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September 15, 2014 0

SGR Attorney Christopher J. Bowers To Testify Before the GA Senate Mold and Mildew Remediation Contractor Study Committee

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

On September 18, 2014, SGR Environmental & Sustainability attorney Chris Bowers will appear before the Georgia State Senate Mold and Mildew Remediation Contractor Study Committee as a legal expert to answer questions regarding federal and state law standards governing licensing and certification of mold assessment and remediation contractors.  In March of this year, the Georgia State Senate [...]

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September 15, 2014 0

EPA Emissions Cap Raises Questions About the Expansion of RGGI Participant States

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The EPA’s proposal to regulate power plants through carbon emission caps has caused speculation that more states will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as a means of complying with the new regulations. The RGGI uses a cap-and-trade program to regulate carbon emissions in its member states. Several factors make the RGGI an attractive [...]

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September 8, 2014 0

Fracking on Public Lands: EIS May Be Required

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has agreed to settle litigation in California by preparing environmental impact statements (EISs) for two disputed oil and gas well leases in the Monterey Shale formation.  The agreement includes suspension of operations and production on the leased sites pending preparation of the EISs, with the right of the plaintiff [...]

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September 2, 2014 0

Recent Trend in Environmental Litigation: Public Nuisance Cases Against Regulated Entities for Air Pollution

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

A June 13 ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court highlights a recent trend in environmental litigation:  lawsuits against regulated entities asserting state law public nuisance claims for air pollution.  In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that the Clean Air Act preempts federal common law nuisance claims against a utility for emissions of greenhouse [...]

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August 26, 2014 0

On the Horizon for Federal Permitting and Project Development: NEPA Lawsuits to Require GHG Evaluation

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The National Environmental Policy Act requires environmental assessment of “major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”  Federal agencies, or contractors undertaking federal projects, must therefore prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) and potentially an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for federal actions ranging from permits to deposit fill in wetlands to construction of [...]

August 21, 2014 0

EPA Extends 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard Compliance Deadline

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The EPA has, for the third time, extended the Renewable Fuel Standard Compliance deadline due to the agencies failure to issue a final rule for 2014.  The proposed standard, which, among other things, sets requirements for the percentage of ethanol that must be used by petroleum refiners as they blend their product, had to be [...]

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August 18, 2014 0

Sixth Circuit Holds That Settling PRPs at Superfund Sites Are Limited to Contribution Claims Against Other PRPs

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The interplay of two remedies for recovery by Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) of their cleanup costs at contaminated sites has been a lively topic of debate ever since Congress added Section 113(f) in 1986, clarifying the right of parties held jointly and severally liable for cleanup costs to seek recovery of a share of those [...]

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August 11, 2014 0

States Ask Court of Appeals to Block Proposed Carbon Standards for Power Plants

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The attorneys general of nine states have filed an amicus brief in support of Murray Energy Company’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over proposed carbon dioxide limits on existing power plants. The brief, signed by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming, asks the U.S. [...]

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August 4, 2014 0

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Narrows Clean Water Act Permit Shield

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

Finding that mining industry arguments in the case would “tear a large hole” in the Clean Water Act, a unanimous panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the liability of A&G Coal Corp. for discharges of selenium that were not authorized by its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its mining [...]

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July 28, 2014 0

NIOSH Investigates Workplace Hazards in Fracking Industry

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is investigating employer safety issues in the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry, as a result of a series of deaths of fracking workers in North Dakota and Montana.  NIOSH determined that the workers were exposed to high levels of volatile hydrocarbons during drilling of fracking wells.  It [...]

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