Pollution Control

News & Analysis as of

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges - All 10 EPA regions are seeking public comment on the draft 2017...more

EPA Methane Rules Are Coming

“Remember, I can do anything to anybody”, deranged and murderous Roman emperor Caligula to his grandmother (Julia, widow of Tiberius and herself no stranger to things done to other people as and when they pleased)....more

Climate change Regulation Starts to Take Shape in Washington State

In 2015, the Washington Legislature failed to act on Governor Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade proposal to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Since then, all branches of Washington State government, as...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

Court of Appeals Upholds Maryland's Flexible Approach To Stormwater Permitting - Ruling Paves the Way for Counties to Seek...

The Maryland Court of Appeals has issued an important decision broadly upholding county stormwater permits issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The court's unanimous decision, authored by Judge Sally...more

Renewable Energy Update - March 2016

Renewable Energy Focus - BLM issues new guidelines to streamline solar development in Western U.S. - UtilityDive - Mar 5 - New guidelines from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) streamline the implementation...more

PA's New Strategy for Methane Reduction Raising the Bar on Air Emissions for Oil & Gas Operations

On January 19, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") outlined a strategy to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations as part of their plan to establish...more

Alert: Gas Station Owners: State to Pursue Claims of MTBE Contamination

Over a decade ago, Connecticut, like much of the country, had concerns over groundwater contamination from gasoline containing the additive MTBE. Although much of the country had let the issue of MTBE contamination fall by...more

OPR Releases Revised Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendment To Implement SB 743 Traffic Analysis Mandates

The evolution of CEQA traffic impacts analysis from level of service (LOS) methodology to a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) analysis continues apace. The latest step in this revolutionary paradigm shift was the January 20, 2016...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

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19481 - JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Mendez - After a foreclosure sale auction took place, the defendant property owner appeared for the first time and filed a motion to...more

Pennsylvania and Other States Designate Large Sources of Sulfur Dioxide Air Emissions for Close Evaluation

Pennsylvania is among the states taking initial steps required by federal regulations toward identifying areas experiencing unhealthful levels of airborne sulfur dioxide (SO2) and then developing programs to control emissions...more

D.C. Appeals Court: Coast Guard May Impose Non-Financial Conditions for Departure Clearance in “Magic Pipe” Case

In Watervale Marine Co. v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently affirmed a district court ruling allowing the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security –...more

JOIN THE CLUB: EPA Sizing Up Hackensack River for Superfund Listing

The Hackensack River may be joining the likes of the Passaic River, the Hudson River, Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Fox River, the Eighteen Mile Creek, and other waterways that have been placed on the Superfund National...more

December 31st Deadline: 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award Nominations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called for nominations for the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards (PGCCA), and companies engaging in green chemistry innovations will want to act quickly as...more

Climate Change: Nations United-Nations Divided?

The third global summit on climate change has begun its meetings in Paris. Unlike the two previous summits, in Kyoto (1997) and Copenhagen (2009), there is optimism that an agreement under the auspices of the United Nations...more

EPA Finalizes Reconsideration of Boiler MACT; Compliance Deadline Approaches

As major sources gear up to meet the January 31, 2016, compliance deadline for the Boiler MACT regulation, EPA has finalized a number of revisions to the rule that might affect your facility’s compliance plans. On November...more

Perhaps the Clean Air Act Really Doesn’t Preempt State Common Law Remedies

This week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held, in Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, that the Clean Air Act does not preempt source state common law remedies seeking to control air pollution – even where the defendant is...more

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become...more

Brave New World: SB 350 Increases CA’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Goals

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 350, the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015” on October 7, 2015. SB 350 reflects some of Governor Brown’s bold commitments from his inaugural speech...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Dismissal Affirmed

You might recall previous entries discussing Parr v. Aruba – a suit for personal injuries from oilfield pollution (and a $2.9MM verdict for the plaintiffs). Not all similar suits have the same result....more

UK government introduces enhanced enforcement powers for environmental permitting breaches

Earlier this month the government published its response to a consultation on proposals to enhance regulators’ enforcement powers to deal with environmental permitting breaches. Simultaneously, the government has published...more

EPA’s New Refinery Rule—Next Generation Compliance in Action

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a new air pollution rule in September that illustrates how EPA is implementing its next generation compliance ideas. The rule governs hazardous air emissions from...more

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and...more

UK courts get tough on environmental crime: sentencing of environmental offences committed by large companies

There is a widely held belief that environmental laws in the UK are toothless in practice because enforcement authorities are under resourced and typical levels of fines and penalties imposed are far too low. This view...more

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