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News & Analysis as of

Advertising Law - July 2016 #2

VW Will Pay $14.7B in Largest FTC False Ad Suit - Volkswagen made a $14.7 billion deal with the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the California Attorney General over charges that the auto...more

VW ‘Dieselgate’ Settlement Benefit Consumers, Environment

News of “Dieselgate” broke in the Fall 2014, when vaunted vehicle-maker Volkswagen was accused of dodging federal emissions laws by rigging its automobiles so they would pass smog tests. The summer of 2015 saw the scandal...more

Battle of the Somme Week – Part IV: The VW Settlement

Today I continue my exploration of the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916. Daniel Todman writing in the Financial Times (FT), in an article entitled “Stories of the Somme”, insightfully noted that for all the...more

Volkswagen Class Action Update

Proposed settlement filed in Volkswagen class action - The class plaintiffs, the government and VW filed a proposed settlement agreement in court yesterday. I wanted to provide you with a copy of the proposed settlement...more

Air Emissions Regulated Under RCRA?

Certain regulated entities that operate under Clean Air Act permits are being reminded that those permits do not necessarily cover air emissions associated with the management of hazardous wastes regulated by the federal...more

Volkswagen proposes a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Judge Breyer sets a June 21 deadline for a...

Tris Coffin heads the Vermont Volkswagen Class Action litigation team at DRM that also includes Directors Bob Luce and Marc Heath. On the evening of April 20, a number of news outlets published stories that Volkswagen...more

EPA Solicits Comments on Next Steps Toward Designating Regions Needing Stricter Controls of Sulfur Dioxide Air Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment by March 31, 2016, on its intention to designate previously uncharacterized areas of the country with particularly large sources of sulfur dioxide (SO2)...more

The VW Scandal: Crisis and the CCO

One of the areas where my thinking has evolved in the compliance arena is around the area of reputational damage. Of course commentators, such as Andrea Bonime-Blanc, have written and spoken about preventing damage to a...more

Heads Up Regarding EPA Region 1/New England Enforcement Priorities

At a recent Boston Bar Association meeting, EPA Region I/New England gave a presentation regarding its enforcement priorities.  Heads Up! Although EPA’s presentation identified its fiscal year 2015 (October 1, 2014 –...more

Good Automotive Emissions News

There certainly has been plenty of bad emissions news in the past few months in the Automotive Industry. How about some good news? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reported that “Automakers Beat...more

High Court Grants Stay of Clean Power Plan

On February 9, 2016, in an historic and unprecedented decision, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) from implementing the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) while the rule is challenged in...more

The Beat Goes On: Pennsylvania Takes Aim at Reducing Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Pennsylvania is currently a hotbed of regulatory initiatives focused on the oil and gas industry. The Environmental Quality Board, for example, will decide on February 3 whether to adopt the Department of Environmental...more

Washington State Department of Ecology Proposes GHG Limits in “Clean Air Rule”

The Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) kicked off what promises to be a busy year in state-level greenhouse gas (“GHG”) regulation by releasing a first draft of the Washington Clean Air Rule (the “Rule” or the...more

Pennsylvania Methane Control Strategy May Go Beyond Federal Requirements

Governor Tom Wolf’s framework of actions to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in Pennsylvania could, if implemented, exceed limitations on methane emissions from natural gas well sites, compressor stations,...more

EPA Issues New Residual Risk and Technology Rule for Petroleum Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) promulgated its final Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review (“RTR”) and New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) rule...more

EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - Royal Dutch Shell suspends Arctic drilling indefinitely: Washington Post - Sep 28: Royal Dutch Shell announced early on September 28, 2015 that it will indefinitely suspend its Arctic...more

Record Review Means That EPA Must Refer To the Record: The Third Circuit Remands EPA’s Approval of the Pennsylvania Regional Haze...

On Tuesday, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals remanded EPA’s approval of Pennsylvania’s regional haze SIP. The decision is a must-read for practitioners. It decides some important issues and provides important reminders for...more

How Can the Automotive Industry Strengthen Its Regulatory Compliance Process and Reduce Its Compliance Risks?

Many Americans listened last week to the admissions by the now former President of Volkswagen that the company had been “dishonest” and had cheated on the U.S. emissions tests. How was this happening at the world’s #1...more

The VW Scandal: Insular Senior Management and Ethical Breakdowns

The Volkswagen scandal will be studied for years. One of many themes from the Volkswagen scandal will rest on the complete absence of any commitment to corporate governance. Volkswagen’s weird corporate structure (it is owned...more

Vermonters Sue Volkswagen Over Emissions Testing Deceit

Vermont Volkswagen car owners headed by Charlotte resident Robert Turnau have sued Volkswagen companies in Germany and the United States over damages they suffered as a result of the company’s falsification of emissions...more

Aikens on Leadership and Culture

Ed. Note-The VW scandal is clearly much broader than simply corporate lying about environmental compliance. It is about an entire corporate culture that engaged in, tolerated or consciously disregarded the illegal behavior....more

The Defeat Device: Compliance and Ethics in the Auto Industry

Things are seriously bad when one of the world’s most respected business focused publications, the Financial Times (FT), asks if the auto “industry faces ‘Libor moment’”? Yet that was a headline yesterday in the lead article...more

Prompted by Independent Study, EPA Issues Notice of Violation to Volkswagen for Circumventing Federal Emissions Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of a notice of violation last week to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (collectively Volkswagen) appears to have further validated EPA’s and...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

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