News & Analysis as of

BP has settled its Clean Water Act penalty claims, but important questions remain to be decided

The United States and BP lodged their proposed settlement of the remaining claims by the US in connection with the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill with the US District Court today. Comments to the Justice Department are...more

DEC Explains New Enforcement Initiative to the New York Oil and Gas Industry

On September 30, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a public information session regarding DEC enforcement of regulations relating to Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS), petroleum spills...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of New BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic...more

Senate Bill 350 Calls for Higher Renewables Portfolio Standard, Higher Energy Efficiency Targets, an Expanded System Operator, but...

As most of you know by now, Senate Bill (“SB”) 350, the much-chronicled and debated Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, passed out of the California Legislature and is currently awaiting signature by Governor...more

Where You Operate Matters: the Fifth Circuit Widens the Split on MBTA Liability

Last week the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that reduces uncertainty regarding criminal liability for taking migratory birds. In particular, the ruling alleviates potential liability for facilities where interactions with...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Gov. Brown and Democratic legislators drop plan for 50 percent cut in petroleum use in state: New York Times - Sep 9 - Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate Democrats abandoned a proposal for a 50...more

DOE Offers $1 Billion in Federal Loan Guarantees for Distributed Energy Projects, Provides Guidance

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that it will make $1 billion available for distributed energy project loan guarantees. DOE issued supplements to the existing loan guarantee solicitations for Advanced...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal judge in South Dakota issues eleventh-hour order blocking implementation of EPA/COE’s new definition of 'waters of the United States': The Hill - Aug 27: A federal judge in North...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: CMS Releases Guidance on Fast Track Process for 1115 Waivers for Medicaid and CHIP... CEO Sends Letter to State Insurance Commissioners Concerning 2016 Premium Decisions... Medicare Board of Trustees...more

HCS: OSHA Issues Inspection Procedures for Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012)

On July 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued OSHA Directive Number CPL 02-02-079. The Directive is intended to establish "policies and procedures to ensure...more

Major Expansion of EPA Rules for Underground Storage Tanks

On July 15, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule significantly expanding its program for underground storage tank (UST) systems that store petroleum or hazardous substances....more

BP’s 2015 New York Law GTCs for Crude Oil and Products Trading: Key Changes

BP Global Oil Americas (BP) recently published the 2015 edition of its General Terms & Conditions for Purchases and Sales of Crude Oil, Refined Petroleum and Related Products (GTCs), which are governed by New York law. The...more

Iranian Nuclear Accord Reached, But Specific Implementation of Meaningful Sanctions Relief Will Not Be Immediate

On July 14, 2015, the “P5+1” nations (the United States, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom), together with the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran (“Iran”), reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

Significant Tax Provisions in the 2016-2017 Ohio Budget Bill Affecting Businesses

On June 30, 2015, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law the biennial budget bill, Amended Substitute House Bill No. 64 (“HB 64”). The legislation underwent substantial changes during the legislative process such that the...more

ANP Announces the 13th Bidding Round for Exploration of Oil and Gas in Brazil

The Brazilian National Council of Energy Policy (CNPE) recently authorized the 13th Bidding Round for Brazilian oil and gas resources. The Round includes 266 exploratory blocks, both onshore and offshore, and are distributed...more

2015 Florida Legislative Update: Environment, Growth Management and Water

The Florida Legislature concluded its 2015 regular session on May 1, 2015. However, for all practical purposes, the session ended on April 28, when the House unexpectedly adjourned three days early after it became clear the...more

EPA Takes Positions on Vapor Intrusion

In a busy day for vapor intrusion, last week the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency made several announcements about vapor intrusion. First, it announced it had submitted a draft rule to the White House OMB seeking to...more

Final Rules Released for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Tribal Lands

The Bureau of Land Management contends that its new rules are consistent with state regulations and industry standards, but stakeholders believe that the rules are unnecessary or simply miss the mark. ...more

State Water Resources Control Board Gets New Tools to Fight Fraud on Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund

Senate Bill No. 445 ("SB 445"), signed into law by California Governor Brown late last year, makes several significant changes to the Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Trust Fund Act of 1989 ("The Fund Act"). The...more

Model Remedies Under Washington’s Model Toxic Control Act – A Modest First Step for Impacted Soil Sites

In December 2014, the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) issued a white paper discussing the status of its work toward developing “model remedies.” In 2013, the Washington Legislature directed Ecology to establish...more

Commerce Department Clarifies Rules on Exports of Lease Condensate

On December 30, 2014, the Commerce Department issued new Frequently Asked Questions on exports of “Crude Oil and Petroleum Products,” the responses to which make it clear that certain types of lease condensate are eligible,...more

Comparing Franchise Relationships and Beer Distribution Relationships

Beer distribution laws differ from traditional franchise laws in many ways, but they do share some commonalities. As a matter of fact, many states now regulate the relationship between those who brew or import beer into a...more

New York’s Highest Court Affirms Zoning Ordinances Banning Hydrofracking

The Insurance Law Blog has been following decisions related to hydraulic fracturing for potential impacts on insurance coverage issues. As we previously reported in May 2013, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division,...more

Beyond Truth, and Toward Repose: Price Increases Following “Merger to Monopoly” Do Not Rekindle Statute of Limitations

Z Technologies Corp. v. Lubrizol Corp., No. 2:12-cv-12206 (6th Cir., May 23, 2014). In February, 2007, Lubrizol Corporation made a “merger to monopoly” acquisition of the assets of a competitor. The acquisition...more

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