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Environmental Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.

Cooling Towers: Not So Cool?

by Blank Rome LLP on

Anyone who has been in a tall building looking down on shorter buildings has seen the usual array of mechanical “boxes” with large spinning fans. Those “cooling towers” sit atop tens of thousands of buildings across the...more

AG Sessions Speaks. No More Guidance. Make It So.

Last week, Attorney General Sessions sent a memorandum prohibiting the use of guidance in place of notice and comment rulemaking “when purporting to create rights or obligations binding on members of the public or the...more

Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride – State of California’s 3rd Priority Product Proposed

by Alston & Bird on

On November 16, 2017, the State of California’s DTSC proposed to add its third product-chemical combination to its priority products list for regulation under its green chemistry/safer consumer products rules. We are all...more

Cascades Frog Takes Another Leap Toward Listing under CESA

by Nossaman LLP on

On October 17, 2017, the California Fish and Game Commission (“Commission”) published notice of its preliminary positive finding on a petition to list the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) as threatened or endangered under the...more

EC Posts Comments Received on Draft Regulation to Amend REACH Annexes to Address Nanomaterials

by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. on

As reported in our October 11, 2017, blog item, on October 9, 2017, the European Commission (EC) began a public consultation on a draft regulation that would amend Annexes I, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, and XII of the...more

Major Public Nuisance Ruling by California Court of Appeals

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

On November 14, 2017, California Court of Appeals affirmed liability findings in $1.15 billion judgment ordering three lead paint manufacturers to abate public nuisance in 10 counties and cities containing homes built before...more

Environmental Groups Argue Sham Recycling Rule Should Be Recycled by EPA Rather Than Partially Discarded by Court

by Williams Mullen on

EPA promulgated a final rule in 2015 redefining “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) to curb sham recycling (the “Rule”). In the August 2017 issue of Environmental Notes, we reported that...more

Prompt Reporting is Key to the Upset Defense

by Williams Mullen on

Companies discharging industrial process wastewater often face challenging circumstances at their wastewater treatment facilities. Unexpected equipment malfunctions or system failures can lead to discharges that exceed...more

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $3.7 Million in Grants for Clean Energy Technology

On November 1, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $3.7 million in grants to increase the adoption of cost-saving clean energy technologies by Massachusetts low-income residents as part of the Commonwealth’s Affordable...more

Sue and Settle is Gone: EPA Administrator Revises EPA Litigation Policy

by Williams Mullen on

A prominent characteristic of the Obama EPA was its close relationship with national environmental groups. The most controversial EPA rulemakings seemed to be the by-product of litigation settlements when environmental...more

EPA Seeks Greater Autonomy for State Environmental Programs

by Williams Mullen on

EPA has released its strategic plan for fiscal years 2018 to 2022 describing its top goals and priorities. One goal is to provide states with greater autonomy in implementing federal environmental laws....more

Interior Department and Forest Service Identify Burdens on Domestic Energy Development

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

Report on the agencies’ review of programs provides a roadmap to understanding which energy policies the Trump administration will revise. Several federal agencies have now issued reports responding to Executive Order (EO)...more

A Comparison of the Energy Tax Changes in the Proposed House and Senate Tax Reform Bills

On November 9, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee released a Description of the Chairman’s Mark of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” and on November 14, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee released a Description of the Chairman’s...more

Army Corps of Engineers Floats Changes to Further Streamline Oil and Gas Pipeline Permitting

by Nossaman LLP on

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issues nationwide permits (NWPs) to authorize discharge of dredged or fill materials to waters of the U.S. (WOUS) that require Department of the Army permits under Section 404 of the...more

Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water Provides Environmental Policy Insights

by Williams Mullen on

Lee Forsgren was appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water in July 2017. We recently had the opportunity to hear him speak to a trade group where he discussed EPA’s priorities under the Trump...more

ECHA Will Hold Webinar on Updated REACH Guidance for Nanomaterials

by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. on

On November 30, 2017, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will hold a webinar to explain the support documentation available for registrants that cover nanoforms in their Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and...more

Power to the Public: DEIR’s Failure to Identify Proposed Project Among Handful of Vastly Different Analyzed Alternatives Violates...

by Miller Starr Regalia on

In a published opinion filed November 15, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal (Division 5) affirmed the trial court’s order granting a petition for writ of mandate setting aside the California Department of Parks and...more

Clean Energy/Cities: 2017 Sierra Club Case Study/Report

The Sierra Club has issued a case study report (“Report”) titled: Cities Are Ready for 100% Clean Energy - The Report identified 10 United States cities that have made commitments to be powered with 100% renewable...more

Wastewater Enforcement: Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Pangburn, Arkansas Enter into Consent Administrative...

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) and the City of Pangburn, Arkansas (“City”) entered into a Consent Administrative Order (“CAO”) addressing alleged Clean Water Act National Pollution Discharge...more

U.S. EPA Environmental Appeals Board: Fairhaven, Massachusetts Petition Challenging NPDES Permit Nitrogen Limit

The Town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts (“Fairhaven”) filed an October 27th Petition for Review before the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Environmental Appeals Board (“EAB”). Fairhaven is challenging...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - November 2017 #2

Wheeling Resident David Zatezalo Confirmed to Lead MSHA - "In a strict party-line vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Wheeling resident David Zatezalo to lead the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The vote to...more

How viable is hybrid energy in remote mining locations?

by DLA Piper on

Providing remote mining locations with a reliable and cost-effective energy source is an ongoing challenge, but technology may be on hand to provide an alternative solution. ...more

Bay Area Air Quality Management District Sets Stringent New Standards for Toxic Air Emissions at Bay Area Facilities

by Downey Brand LLP on

On November 15, 2017, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (“BAAQMD”) adopted sweeping new standards to reduce toxic air contaminant (“TAC”) emissions from existing stationary sources. The new rule, Regulation 11 Rule...more

Environmental Citizen Suits —A Growing Trend Under the Trump Administration

by King & Spalding on

In his first year in office, President Trump has begun to deliver on his campaign promise of rolling back environmental regulations—from the waters of the United States rulemaking to the Clean Power Plan. He has also proposed...more

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program Accepting Applications

by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. on

On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) issued a statement soliciting applications for its Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program. The...more

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