Jun 12, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court to Address Important CERCLA Issue

On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would review a Montana Supreme Court decision that has important implications for cleanup of sites under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA).  In Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Gregory A. Christian, et al., Atlantic Richfield Co. (Arco) is seeking reversal of… Read more

Jun 5, 2019

Federal Judge Blocks Obama Administration Wetlands, Waters Rule

Wetlands - WOTUS rule

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled on May 28, 2019, that the Obama administration erred when it crafted the Waters of the U.S. (“WOTUS”) regulation.  The court found that the final version of WOTUS rule deviated too far from a previous draft version which deprived the public of an opportunity… Read more

May 24, 2019

The New Hemp Licenses

Hemp Field

On Friday, May 10, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia Hemp Farming Act into law, legalizing the licensing of industrial hemp growers in the state. The law sets forth the requirements for grower licenses and processor permits, which will be administered by the state Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture has not yet… Read more

May 15, 2019

$2 Billion Verdict in Monsanto Roundup Case

Roundup Weed Killer

On May 13, 2019, a California jury awarded over two billion dollars to a husband and wife who alleged that they each developed cancer as a result of decades of using Monsanto’s weed-killer Roundup.  The Alameda County, California jury concluded that Roundup likely caused the plaintiffs’ non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and awarded the couple $55 million in… Read more

May 8, 2019

Claims Against Caterpillar Can Proceed Despite “Mere Conclusory” Allegations in CERCLA Complaint

Claims against Caterpillar Global Mining LLC survived Caterpillar’s Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the allegations were merely conclusory in a CERCLA cost recovery claim before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. In its May 3 opinion, the Court stated that the information regarding who, what, when, and where, which… Read more

May 1, 2019

Sluggish Response to Opportunity Zone Program

Opportunity Zone Site

Response from renewable developers has been slow to the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017’s Opportunity Zone program, with only 11 Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) focused on renewable energy since the program began. The program provides capital gains tax benefits for renewable investments in up to 8,700 federally designated areas. The program allows investors to defer… Read more

Apr 24, 2019

EPA Administrator Promises to Listen to Scientists

EPA Building

In an eight-page letter to the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (Board), EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler provided assurances to the Board that the EPA would continue to share information with the expert advisors in a timely fashion and be more transparent on key regulatory science issues by holding more rapid and frequent briefings.  The Board is… Read more

Apr 17, 2019

Developments to Watch: State Chemical Regulation and Proposed Legislation

Toxic Chemicals & State Chemical Regulation

At least 22 States have had at least 97 pieces of legislation introduced in their legislatures for chemical regulation or bans, over and above regulatory actions taken by EPA under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In addition to complying with chemical registration requirements on the federal level under TSCA, manufacturers, importers, and users… Read more

Apr 3, 2019

EPA Risk Management Plan Rule Update

EPA Risk Management Plan

After losing a case in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on its attempt to delay the effective date of the Obama-era final rule strengthening EPA’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program, EPA issued a proposed rule last Fall largely scrapping the Obama-era rule’s requirements. However, EPA has not yet issued a final… Read more

Mar 27, 2019

EPA Citation to Chemours Shows Enforcement Push Under TSCA

EPA Penalty Notice

Last month, EPA issued notices of violation (NOVs) to Chemours, which manufactures per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), among other chemicals, for alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) at two of its facilities located in Fayetteville, NC and Parkersburg, WV.  The two NOVs, relatively rare under TSCA, may indicate an intent by EPA… Read more