Groundwater

News & Analysis as of

Updated Status of Oil-and Gas-Related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 3, 2016 was the final deadline for oil- and gas-related bills introduced in the 2015-2016 legislative session to move through their house of origin. Below is a summary of those bills, many of which relate to natural gas...more

One Final Word on Peterborough Oil: Yes, MTBE Is An Additive

The final answer to the critical issue raised by the recent Peterborough Oil Company decision is that MTBE is an additive and is not, in MassDEP’s view, subject to the “oil exemption” under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan....more

Vermont’s Generalized Injury Claims from MTBE Contamination Time-Barred

On May 27, 2016, Vermont’s Supreme Court, in State of Vermont v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al., ruled that the State of Vermont’s “generalized injury” claims “to state waters as a whole due to groundwater contamination...more

The Accommodation Doctrine Gets Its Feet Wet

Let’s start with a little background: Under the Accommodation Doctrine an oil and gas lessee has an implied right to use the land as reasonably necessary to produce and remove the minerals, but must exercise the right with...more

Eighth Circuit Reverses Class Certification in Vapor Intrusion Litigation

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed class certification in a case involving residential vapor intrusion claims, in Ebert et al. v. General Mills, Inc., No. 15-1735 (8th Cir. May 20,...more

Climate Change Further Threatens MENA Water Security

Climate Change Further Threatens MENA Water Security - The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is home to 14 of the 33 most water scarce countries globally, with six times less water availability than the worldwide...more

When Contract is Silent, Accommodation Doctrine Applies to Water Rights Disputes

A case that has been closely followed by oil and gas and other interests which involves groundwater disputes has now been decided by the Texas Supreme Court. In Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC, v. The City of Lubbock, decided on May...more

Land Use Matters: Alston & Bird LLP, May 2016

Land Use Matters provides information and insights into legal and regulatory developments, primarily at the Los Angeles City and County levels, affecting land use matters, as well as new CEQA appellate decisions. Please...more

North Carolina Court of Appeals Caps UST Damages to Diminution in Property Value

Illustrating the limits on damages available to North Carolina landowners in toxic tort cases, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s order capping damages at the diminution in the value of the...more

Michigan Court Defers to Regulator’s Concurrent Jurisdiction in UST Cleanup

In a decision highlighting a practical challenge in pursuing tort claims against some underground storage tank (“UST”) owners and operators, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a trial court could nix a lawsuit stemming...more

Tenth Circuit Bars Class Tort Claims for Failing to Plead Injury

Underscoring the importance of pleading actual injury in a toxic tort class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed Oklahoma class claims that were based only on “reasonable concern” of future injury...more

Emergency Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations Adopted By California Water Commission

Key Principle: Sustainable Management Through Local Efforts - The California Water Commission unanimously adopted a demanding set of regulations to govern the creation and implementation of groundwater sustainability...more

EPA Region III Assesses Largest Superfund Stipulated Penalty Ever

The Rodale Manufacturing facility in Emmaus, Pennsylvania was added to the National Priorities List in 1991 after more than 50 years of electrical component manufacturing. Operations at the facility included electroplating,...more

Environmental and Industry Groups Challenge EPA Coal Ash Rule

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Fourth District Upholds EIR For Cadiz Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project Against Various CEQA Challenges

In the second of two published opinions filed May 10, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment upholding the lead agency designation and EIR for a controversial project proposing to pump...more

Tribal Groundwater Resources – Management Considerations Under Current Law

In the arid southwest, water is the most important and precious natural resource. In some communities, groundwater is the primary source, and often sole source, of water for domestic, agricultural irrigation, industrial, and...more

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District

Court Upholds Public-Private Groundwater Conservation and Recovery Project That Will Serve Customers Throughout Southern California - A proposed public-private partnership project to pump fresh groundwater, which would...more

Fourth District Rejects CEQA Challenges To Large Mojave Desert Groundwater Pumping Project In Separate Published Opinions

In two opinions filed May 10, 2016 (one partially and the other fully published), the Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected a number of CEQA and other challenges to a project proposing to pump 50,000 acre-feet of...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Three Michigan state and local officials face first criminal charges in Flint water crisis - The Guardian - Apr 20 - Three state and local officials involved in Flint’s water...more

New Chinese Soil Pollution Law Planned for 2017 Could Be Accelerated

On April 17, 2016, China Central Television (CCTV), the country’s state-run broadcast network, aired a report claiming that nearly 500 students apparently developed illnesses (including leukemia) at a school built on...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Justices suggest support for landowners in wetlands case - Bloomberg - Mar 30 - U.S. Supreme Court justices across the ideological spectrum signaled in oral argument this week...more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

U.S. Court of Appeals Issues Split WOTUS Ruling

On February 22, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Cincinnati) issued a split 2-1 decision, ruling that it has jurisdiction to proceed with challenges to the Obama administration's "Waters...more

Environmental Notes - March 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Jurisdictional Determinations May be Appealed - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the presence or absence of wetlands and other “waters of the United States” on a...more

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