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Study Finds That Fracking Did Not Contaminate Drinking Water

A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a Western Pennsylvania drilling site. Richard Hammack, a geologist with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National...

Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability Proposed Water and Energy Reporting Regulations Expand Reach of Benchmarking Ordinance

by Matthew N. McClure and Richard J. Slavin, Ballard Spahr LLP The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability issued proposed regulations on July 10, 2013, to implement Ordinance No. 120428-A – the City of Philadelphia’s recently enacted energy and water reporting or “benchmarking”...

Florida Governor Scott Wants Supreme Court To Weigh In On Water Fight

SCOTT WANTS SCOTUS TO WEIGH IN ON WATER FIGHT: In the latest skirmish in a 20-year tri-state water war, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to limit how much of the precious resource Georgia can siphon out of the Apalachicola River. Scott accused Georgians, particularly...

Jenner & Block: Environmental Groups Petition IJC About Sulfide Mining Impacts On Great Lakes

At least 40 environmental groups have petitioned the International Joint Commission (IJC) to evaluate the water-related impacts from sulfide mining exploration and development within the Rainy River and Lake Superior Basins. In their petition , the groups request that the IJC make recommendations to...

Modern Agriculture's Big Five Issues (and How the Law is Reacting to Them)

For this next year, I’m serving as the chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Agricultural Management Committee . The Committee is part of the wider ABA Section on the Environment, Energy and Resources and focuses on cutting-edge issues involving agriculture and the environment, including...

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments

BY: LYNNE C. RHODE, JOHN W. DANIEL II & CHANNING J. MARTIN STATE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD A. Final Regulations 1. Existing Stationary Sources (Rev. J07) (amending 9VAC5-40-6970, 9VAC5-40-7050; adding 9VAC5-40-6975). 9VAC5-45. Consumer and Commercial Products (Rev. J07) (amending 9VAC5...

State Net Environmental Law News: California, Washington and Oregon Sign Climate Pact

CA, WA AND OR SIGN CLIMATE PACT: The governors of California, Washington and Oregon signed a pact with the Canadian province of British Columbia last week that commits the four governments to coordinate their policies to battle global climate change. Although the agreement is non-binding, the quartet...

New EPA Report On Water’s Economic Value

EPA has released a new report The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy addressing the total economic value of water resources. According to the report, the economic value of water will rise, and decision-makers in both the private and the public sectors will need information that can help them maximize...

Battles over Stormwater: Maryland Counties Fight the 'Rain Tax'

It's not secession like Colorado but three Maryland counties are staging their own Fort Sumter. The Carroll County Council has received a notice from the State that the County did not appear to be meeting its obligations under the 2012 Stormwater Management – Watershed Protection and Restoration...

EPA Issues Revised Guidance on the Use of Diesel Fuels in Hydraulic Fracturing

Pursuant to its authority under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued final, revised guidance for permitting hydraulic fracturing activities that use diesel fuels. By way of background, an Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit...

Clarification or More Regulation? Agencies Issue Proposed Waters of the United States Rulemaking

BY: LYNNE C. RHODE The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) on March 25, 2014 jointly issued a proposed rulemaking (Docket No. EPA-HQ-OW- 2011-0880) intended to clarify and define “Waters of the...

New York Assembly Approves Passage Of First-In-The-Nation Ban On Plastic Microbeads In Commonly Used Cosmetics

Microbead-Free Waters Act Bans Plastic Beads Used In Facial Scrubs, Shampoos And Toothpaste. Found At High Levels In Lake Erie, Microbeads Pollute New York Waters And Pose Emerging Threat To Wildlife, Public Health. Protecting Our Waterways Is Among New York’s Most Important Responsibilities...

USEPA Seeking to Obtain Information on Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Mixtures

By Meredith Odato Graham The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has announced the availability of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public comments on “the information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and...

Huge Manure Spill Fines: $120,000 Plus Surcharge

Two hog farming businesses and a Director must pay manure spill fines of $120,000, plus $30,000 victim fine surcharges, for discharging pig manure into the Thames River and Sweets Creek. The manure impaired the quality of water, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act. The individual Director also...

Supreme Court: CERCLA Does Not Preempt State’s Statute Of Repose

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) A U.S. Supreme Court majority today reversed a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) against a company accused of contaminating...

Water Resources Legislation Could Lead to Increase of U.S. Water P3s

By Brian Walsh, William C. Rhodes, Lee A. Storey, Steve T. Park, and Christopher R. Sullivan President Obama recently signed into law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The statute begins to address ways to fund...

New Report Concludes Water Will Impact Business Growth

A new report "Bridging Concern with Action: Are U.S. Companies Prepared for Looming Water Challenges?" by VOX Global and Pacific Institute concludes 60% of companies surveyed believe water is poised to affect business growth and profitability within five years. In addition, more than 80% say...

EPA and State of New York Reach Agreement With City of New York To Reopen Croton Drinking Water Supply Next Year

The United States DOJ and EPA and the State of New York have reached agreement with New York City to modify the Consent Decree entered in November 1998 which required the City to construct a filtration plant for its Croton drinking water supply. Under the Third Supplement to the Consent Decree, lodged...

EPA Attempts to Expand its Reach and Re-Define Waters of the United States

After substantial time and review, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers proposed its long-anticipated rule-making establishing a new regulatory definition of the term “waters of the United States.” This definition, if adopted...

GAO Finds EPA Needs to Better Protect Drinking Water from Fracking Activities

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled “ Drinking Water: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement ,” in which the GAO reviews EPA’s oversight of its Underground...

WV Aboveground Storage Tank Act – Interpretative Rule Regarding Initial Inspection, Certification and Spill Prevention Response Plan Requirements

By William E Chambers The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) filed an interpretive rule with the WV Secretary of State’s office providing direction for the initial inspection and certification requirements set forth under the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. The legislation...

Congress Tries to Reign in US EPA Rulemaking on Waters of the United States

By Katerina E. Milenkovski On September 9, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078 , a bill that would prohibit EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing the Waters of the United States rulemaking that was proposed earlier this year. The bill, which was...

Planning For Drought and Drinking Water In Ontario

By Meredith James Climate change is worsening flooding but it will also bring faster spring runoffs, hotter summers, more evaporation and droughts. What will that mean for Ontario’s drinking water supply? Source water protection committees are trying to plan ahead. According to the Minister...

Public Comment Period on PA Department of Environmental Protection's Oil and Gas Rulemaking Closes May 19

Environmental Client Alert The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) rulemaking regarding surface activities for oil and gas wells, Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites (Chapters 78 and 78a), has received a significant amount...

Permit Shield Extended to General Permits by Sixth Circuit

In January 2015, the Sixth Circuit held that a defendant’s compliance with the terms of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) general permit would effectively “shield” that defendant from claims filed under the citizen suit enforcement provisions...