Dec 5, 2018

California Appeals Court Upholds Jury Verdict that Project Owner not Liable for Asbestos Injury to Contract Worker

In Hubbard v. Cal. Water Services, a California appeals court upheld a jury verdict finding that California Water was not liable to the estate of Thomas Hubbard for asbestos exposure occurring while he was employed by an independent contractor.  The appeals court reasoned that the jury reasonably found that Mr. Hubbard’s employer, a contractor for… Read more

Nov 28, 2018

California Moves to Tighten Truck Exhaust Standards Ahead of EPA

On November 13, the EPA announced that it will reopen existing federal standards for smog forming pollution limits for heavy trucks.  California, which has some of the worst smog in the country, has announced that it cannot wait for the federal rulemaking process and is proceeding with setting its own, potentially more stringent standards.  California… Read more

Nov 14, 2018

Solid Waste Incineration Units/Emission Guidelines

On November 13, the U.S. EPA submitted a notice of a continuing information collection request regarding emission guidelines for existing solid waste incineration units.  The information request affects existing facilities and new solid waste incineration units – including very small municipal waste combustion units and institutional waste incineration units.  The request is seeking information regarding… Read more

Nov 7, 2018

OSHA Court Case Shows Limits on Safety Inspections

A recent ruling by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals could limit OSHA’s ability to search for other hazards when investigating an accident. Many employers have traditionally allowed OSHA inspectors to expand their inspection to areas in the workplace not directly related to the accident under investigation, leading them to identify other hazards that often… Read more

Oct 31, 2018

Additional Stormwater Regulation on the Horizon in California—and Elsewhere?

After a ruling by Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles Waterkeeper, et al v. Pruitt, et al, case number 2:17-cv-03454 (August 9, 2018), additional permitting requirements for stormwater discharges may be on the horizon in California and elsewhere.  Judge Wilson’s ruling requires that… Read more

Oct 24, 2018

Increased Regulation Coming for Coal Ash

The decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on August 21 in Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), et al v. EPA, No. 15-1219, likely will lead to more stringent regulation of coal ash disposal at both active and inactive power plants.  In a per curiam opinion, the D.C…. Read more

Oct 17, 2018

First Vapor Intrusion Superfund Sites Listed by EPA

In 2017, EPA finalized a rule that updated its Hazard Ranking System (HRS), used to determine when to add contaminated sites to the National Priorities List (NPL), to allow ranking of sites based on subsurface intrusion, including both vapor and water seepage from underground contamination.  EPA has now added the first two sites to the… Read more

Oct 10, 2018

Congress Approves America’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Act


On September 13, 2018 the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.  The legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate and is expected to be approved.  When approved, the Act will increase funding allocated for EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which provides financial support to state drinking water systems.  The… Read more

Oct 3, 2018

EPA Seeks to Revamp NSR Test

The EPA has proposed easing the emission test for triggering new source review (“NSR”) requirements for installation of modern pollution controls as part of its power sector climate rule. The proposal is contained in the August 21st “Affordable Clean Energy” (“ACE”) which would replace the Obama-Era Clean Power Plan.  Under the existing NSR program, facilities… Read more

Sep 26, 2018

Federal Appellate Court Rules That Coal Ash Ponds Not Subject to CWA

On September 12, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (which covers federal courts in South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) issued a decision concluding that the migration of arsenic from coal ash stored in settling ponds and a landfill was not subject to the federal Clean Water Act… Read more