California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 19, 2012

by Allen Matkins

Environmental and Policy Focus

BP Close to Reaching Settlement in Gulf Oil Spill

San Antonio Business Journal - Oct 11

U.S. Department of Justice and BP plc officials are close to coming to a settlement regarding the Deepwater Horizon disaster, otherwise known as the BP oil spill. For Clear Water Act violations alone, BP could be liable for penalties in the $5.4 billion to $21 billion range. A settlement deal with the U.S. would satisfy both criminal and civil liabilities.

In California, a Grand Experiment to Rein in Climate Change

New York Times - Oct 13

On Jan. 1, California will become the first state in the nation to charge industries across the economy for the greenhouse gases they emit.

Prop F Asks SF To Rethink Hetch Hetchy, Future Of Water Delivery

San Francisco CBS Local - Oct 11

San Francisco voters must decide in November whether the city should take a first step towards draining Hetch Hetchy and restoring the natural course of the Tuolumne River. Proposition F would launch a $8 million study to identify other potential sources of water for San Francisco as part of an overall look at the feasibility of emptying the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to reveal a valley that famed naturalist John Muir treasured.

Supreme Court Refuses to Block Chevron's $18.2 Billion Verdict for Pollution in Ecuador

Contra Costa Times - Oct 9

Chevron lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid last week to block an $18.2 billion Ecuadorian judgment against the San Ramon oil company in a case over pollution in the Amazon jungle.

EPA to Fund Clean Diesel Projects

Clean Technology Business Review - Oct 16

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted $7.5m in cumulative funding to the states of Maine, California and Connecticut towards clean diesel projects in their respective jurisdictions.

No Legal Fees in Fight Over Burned Idaho Land

CourtHouse News - Oct 9

An environmental group cannot collect attorneys' fees in a sprawling dispute over Idaho wildlife habitat and grazing lands destroyed by a fire, the 9th Circuit ruled last week.

Senators Ask EPA to Reduce Waste-Coal Limits

Biz Journal - Oct 16

Pennsylvania congressmen from both parties are asking for the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) help to keep open 14 waste coal to energy plants in the state. The 14 plants are slated to be shut because of the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

GAO Report on Fracking Offers Mixed Bag

The Pocono Record News - Oct 12

Shale gas and oil drilling pose environmental and public health risks, but the extent of those risks is unknown, the Congressional Government Accountability Office says in new study.

EPA Extends Stay on PNM Haze Plan

Biz Journal - Oct 15

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted PNM an extra 45 days to consider alternatives to state and federal emissions plans that the utility says could cost it $750 million. The stay will expire Nov. 29. The EPA is seeking to reduce emissions and improve the air quality around the San Juan Generating Station in Farmington, New Mexico.

Loggers Fight U.S. Survey Deal With Enviro Groups

CourtHouse News - Oct 12

Federal land managers and environmentalists never culled public input for a deal over species survey requirements, a timber company told the 9th Circuit. Environmentalists had sued federal agencies in 2008, challenging the elimination of the "survey and manage" standard under the Northwest Forest Plan.

Owens Lake Lawsuit: LA Department Of Water & Power Sues Air Regulators

The Huffington Post - Oct 13

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sued air regulators Friday over demands to control dust from Owens Lake nearly a century after the exploding metropolis siphoned water to quench its growing thirst. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno, marks the latest salvo in a bitter back-and-forth over water rights in the arid region that was set in motion in 1913, when Los Angeles began diverting water from the lake 200 miles to its north.

EPA Settlement Makes AVX Attractive For Value, Income

Seaking Alpha - Oct 13

AVX Corporation ( AVX ) announced a $366 million settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday, agreeing to fund the cleanup costs of the New Bedford Superfund site in Massachusetts.

EPA Worries Dilbit Pipeline Spill Still Threatens Kalamazoo River

Bloomberg News - Oct 13

The hidden, long-term effects of the 2010 pipeline accident that spilled more than a million gallons of heavy Canadian crude oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River became public last week when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that large amounts of oil are still accumulating in three areas of the river. The problem is so serious that the EPA is asking Enbridge Inc., the Canadian pipeline operator, to dredge approximately 100 acres of the river.

Alaskan Village Wants Rehearing of Ninth Circuit's Global Warming Decision

Legal NewsLine - Oct 9

An Alaskan village that claims global warming is eroding its shoreline is asking for a rehearing of their case against several power companies it says are to blame. The village of Kivalina has filed a motion for a rehearing of a September decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On Thursday, it requested the full roster of Ninth Circuit judges hear its appeal. A three-judge panel has decided the village's case is preempted by the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act.

9th Circuit Overrules Lake Tahoe Development Decision

The Sierra Sun - Oct 15

A federal appeals court sided with the League to Save Lake Tahoe Thursday in the environmental group's challenge to a proposed development on Tahoe's South Shore.padb

Cooke David D

David D. Cooke
Litigation | Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use
San Francisco
(415) 273-7459
(415) 837-1516 (fax)

E-mail me

Murray Emily

Emily L. Murray
Energy & Cleantech | Land Use | Litigation | Environmental & Natural Resources | Wireless Telecom Real Estate
Los Angeles
(213) 955-5584
(213) 620-8816 (fax)

E-mail me

Nichols Sandi L

Sandi L. Nichols
Litigation | Environmental & Natural Resources | Land Use | Eminent Domain & Valuation | Wireless Telecom Real Estate
San Francisco
(415) 273-7454
(415) 837-1516 (fax)

E-mail me


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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