News & Analysis as of

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - In California's climate debate, state lawmakers push for more authority - Los Angeles Times - Aug 11 - Over the last two weeks, a bipartisan group of assembly members have...more

EPA Issues Final Rules To Reduce Methane Emissions From MSW Landfills

Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to issue New Source Performance Standards (NSPSs) for certain source categories of air pollutants. These NSPSs set threshold limits on emissions of certain pollutants...more

Environmental Notes - August 2016

Time to Pay More: EPA Increases Maximum Civil Penalties - Remember the days when the maximum civil penalty EPA could assess for a violation of environmental law was $25,000 per day? Those days disappeared 26 years ago...more

EPA Cuts to Landfill Methane Emissions Create New Opportunities for Credit Trading and Gas–to-Energy Projects

On July 14, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its latest set of methane regulations as part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan: Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. The Administration issued two...more

New EPA Air Emissions Rules Mean Greater Compliance Burden for Landfill Owners

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently released two rules updating the regulation of air emissions from landfills. These rules enlarge the potential universe of landfills required to implement...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

Renewable Energy Update - May 2015

Renewable Energy Focus - U.S. proposes giving wind farms 30-year "incidental take" permits - Reuters - May 4 - U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday again proposed granting 30-year permits to wind farms that...more

EPA Investigates Alabama State Environmental Agency for Alleged Violation of Civil Rights Act

In an unprecedented action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), one of its state counterparts, for alleged civil rights violations under Title...more

New York State Proposes Sweeping Revisions to Solid Waste Regulations

Governor Cuomo has proposed a comprehensive revision to the regulations governing the disposal of solid waste. Under the proposed rule making the entire existing regulations for solid waste management facilities will be...more

Zoning Commission Expertise Due Limited Deference in Eyes of Court

The Connecticut Superior Court recently ruled that the Town of Rocky Hill Planning & Zoning Commission (Commission) exceeded its authority by approving a fill permit application to construct a road at the site of the former...more

Proposed Rules Seek to Cut Methane Emissions at Landfills

EPA has issued a proposed rule and a supplemental proposal to a July 14, 2015 proposed rule that are designed to achieve additional reductions of landfill gas (LFG) and its components, including methane, by lowering the...more

State Water Board Approves Composting General Order

Earlier this month, the California State Water Quality Control Board (“State Water Board”) approved a General Order for Waste Discharge Requirements (“WDRs”) for composting operations, which will streamline and standardize...more

EPA Hits Oil and Gas Industry With a Flurry of Proposed Methane Regulations

EPA took major steps on August 18, 2015 to curtail methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by simultaneously releasing four new proposed rules. These actions are part of the Obama Administration’s larger climate...more

Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Next Step, Landfill Methane

Having gotten the Clean Power Plan out the door, EPA has moved on to another target of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: landfill methane emissions. Late last week, EPA proposed both new emission guidelines for...more

EPA Proposes Significant Change to Controlling Landfill Gas Emissions

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued two proposed rules lowering the threshold at which landfills must control methane gas emissions. For active landfills, EPA proposes to reduce the threshold from 50...more

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

K&L Gates Texas Environmental Legislative Review

The 84th Texas Legislature ended June 1, 2015. This was the first legislative session under Republican Governor Greg Abbott, and while over 6,000 bills were filed, approximately 1,300 were enacted. For your review, we have...more

Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling Protocol

The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), SW-846 Method 1311, was promulgated by EPA pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to test and determine the potential leaching rate of disposed hazardous...more

Illinois Supreme Court Declines to Apply Environmental Injunction Retroactively

In July 2004, the Illinois legislature amended the state Environmental Protection Act to authorize the Attorney General to seek “an injunction, prohibitory or mandatory, to restrain violations . . . or to require such other...more

Down in the Dumps: Court Refuses to Apply Pollution Exclusion in Landfill Seepage Case

Claims involving potential coverage for pollution liability pose unique challenges for insurers. In many cases, the polluting activity occurred decades ago and over a large span of time, with only a fraction of the activity...more

Is Your Landfill or Other Wasting Asset Fairly Assessed?

Some assets, such as houses, art and collectibles, and investments appreciate in value over time; others, such as landfills, are considered “wasting assets,” as they have a finite life and little or no capital value at the...more

Pennsylvania’s Management of Fill…One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is currently considering modifications to its “Fill Policy.” The proposed revisions appear likely to result in a reduction in acceptable numeric values of contaminants...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Ground broken on controversial California bullet train project - Los Angeles Times - Jan 8: On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown and other California leaders launched the state’s...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Retroactive Application of Landfill Cleanup Statute

In 2004, the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois Environmental Protection Act to authorize mandatory injunctions to require cleanups of landfills. But could the courts use the statute to order cleanups of older...more

Real Estate and Land Use - Sep 2014

Evidence of Economic Infeasibility of CEQA Alternatives Explained (SPRAWLDEF v. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission) - Why it matters: In upholding the approval of a 260-acre expansion to the...more

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