Environmental and Sustainability Law

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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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July 21, 2014 0

Clean Air Act Notices of Violation Not Reviewable

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a power plant’s suit seeking review of a Notice of Violation (NOV) issued to a coal plant.  In the case, Luminant Generation Co., L.L.C. v. U.S., Luminant requested that the Court reject the NOV due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) failure to provide adequate notice [...]

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July 14, 2014 0

Iowa Supreme Court Decides That Solar Power Provider Is Not a Public Utility and Not Governed by Exclusive Territorial Restrictions

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

In a case closely watched nationwide, the Iowa Supreme Court last Friday, July 11, affirmed a lower court decision allowing the use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) to finance installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy facilities.  SZ Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Eagle Point Solar v. Iowa Utilities Board, a Division of the Department of Commerce, State [...]

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July 2, 2014 0

Proposed Rule on U.S. Jurisdictional Waters Facing Heavy Criticism

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”).  The purpose of the rule was to provide clarification after a number of Supreme Court cases which had cast doubt on the existing understanding [...]

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June 27, 2014 0

EPA Proposes Rule to Remove Reference from Outdated Due Diligence Standard

By in Environmental and Sustainability Law

On June 17, the EPA proposed a rule that would remove references to the outdated 2005 industry standard for assessing Brownfields and other sites for potential environmental issues.  The proposed rule would amend the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry (“AAI”) rule under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. (“CERCLA”).  Conducting an investigation that meets [...]

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