Aug 14, 2019

Landfill Pollution Suits Removed to Federal Court

Landfill Pollution

A federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has ruled that seven consolidated suits over landfill pollution were properly removed to federal court. Waste Connections, Inc. moved to remove the cases filed by over 600 plaintiffs under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) Mass Action Provision to federal court… Read more

Aug 7, 2019

Environmental Groups Challenge EPA’s New Lead Standard Rule

Lead based paint

On July 9, the U.S. EPA issued its “review of the dust lead hazard standards and the definition of lead-based paint” under which the EPA left largely intact, the existing standards and definitions.  The Sierra Club has petitioned the 9th Circuit to review the new standards for “dust lead,” which include a decision by the… Read more

Aug 1, 2019

Federal Mine Regulators Issue Guidance on Refuges

Underground Mining

On July 26, 2019, the Federal Mine, Safety, and Health Administration (“FMSHA”) issued a new policy letter on emergency refuges for workers in underground mines.  The letter, which applies only to metal and nonmetal mines where minerals are excavated, requires the installation of refuges – which are safe areas in mines where workers can retreat… Read more

Jul 24, 2019

EPA Expected to Release Proposal to Modify New Source Review

The EPA is expected to release a proposed rule or policy for public comment regarding changes to the Clean Air Act’s pollution permitting program known as New Source Review. On July 17, the White House Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the proposed rule (RIN:2060-AT89), which is typically the final step before… Read more

Jul 17, 2019

EPA Announces Six National Compliance Initiatives for 2020-2023

New EPA Compliance Initiatives

In June 2019, the U.S. EPA’s Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance announced that it has selected six National Compliance Initiatives (“NCIs”) for fiscal years 2020 through 2023.  The six priorities are (1) reducing excess air emissions of harmful pollutants from stationary sources; (2) reducing toxic air emissions from hazardous waste facilities; (3) reducing risks… Read more

Jul 10, 2019

EPA Lowers Dust-Lead Hazard Levels in Advance of Court Ordered Deadline

Caution Tape: Lead Hazard

On June 21 the EPA released updated dust-lead hazard standards which reduce the acceptable levels from 40 μg per square foot to 10 μg per square foot for floors, and from 250 μg per square foot to 100 μg per square foot for window sills. The standards apply to most pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities,… Read more

Jun 26, 2019

U.S. EPA Not to Impose Stricter Ozone Controls on Upwind States

The U.S. EPA determined in December 2018 that it would not impose additional pollution control requirements on power plants in 20 upwind states whose emissions allegedly cause ozone nonattainment in downwind states in the northeast. Six eastern states led by New York are suing the EPA arguing it should have required stricter controls from upwind… Read more

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