BPA, the never-ending saga

Prior posts have reviewed various studies that indicate that BPA has estrogenic effects. In January 2013 the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed listing BPA under California's Proposition 65 because OEHHA's evaluation of the data indicated an adverse impact on...

Mountain States Legal Foundation: Miners Rebut Feds & Environmentalists; Claim Land Law Is Unconstitutional

By William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation A 117-year-old nonprofit, non-partisan mining trade association with thousands of members has rebutted arguments by federal lawyers and environmental groups in urging an Arizona federal district court...

Appellate Division Endorses "Waiver Rule:" DEP Allowed To Waive Regulations In Limited Circumstances

On March 21, 2013, the Appellate Division rejected a challenge to the so-called Waiver Rule ( N.J.A.C. 7:1B-1.1, et seq .) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], which allows the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") to waive certain environmental regulations...

Jenner & Block: DOJ Not Required To Produce Interagency Memorandum in CERCLA Case

A recent Seventh Circuit decision rejected a PRP's efforts to obtain interagency memorandum and other communications between the Environmental Enforcement and the Environmental Defense Sections within the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ"). See Menasha Corp. et al. v. United States...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Power Line Rights of Way - FERC Approves New Vegetation Management Rules

By Kurt L. Krieger and Nora C. Price On March 21, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") approved new rules for managing vegetation along power line rights of way. The purpose of the approved modifications to existing electric reliability standards is to ensure the continued...

Solar Trade Group Reports Surge in U.S. Installations

Partly driven by an oversupply of cheaper panels from China, the domestic solar market had its best year in 2012, with the growth in installations outpacing that of the global market, according to an annual report. The report, from the Solar Energy Industries Association, the industry's main trade...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: NY, NJ Take Different Paths To Sandy Recovery

NY, NJ TAKE DIFFERENT PATHS TO SANDY RECOVERY: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) are taking vastly different approaches to residents seeking to rebuild their coastal homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Christie wants them to stay and to rebuild and is willing to pay...

Californians Now Permitted To Capture and Use Harvested Rainwater Pursuant to Rainwater Recapture Act of 2012

By Scott Slater and Courtney Davis of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, L.L.P . Passage of the Rainwater Recapture Act of 2012 affords residential users and private and public entities with a new source of on-site water supply, which should reduce reliance on potable water for landscaping needs and...

Marten Law on Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center: No Permit Required for Stormwater Discharges from Logging Roads, U.S. Supreme Court Rules; Attention Shifts to EPA Rulemaking

By Meline MacCurdy, Associate, Marten Law PLLC In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Meline MacCurdy of Marten Law PLLC discusses the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center that stormwater runoff from logging roads is not "associated with industrial activity"...

Property Owner Allowed To Pursue Just Compensation Claim Over Rails To Trails Taking Of Easement

By William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation A Wyoming man whose lawsuit-in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. for "just compensation" for use of his private property as a federal trail-was dismissed in November 2011...

ExxonMobil Found To Be Negligent and Ordered To Pay $236 Million For MTBE Contamination To Groundwater

CONCORD, N.H. - (Mealey's) A state court jury in New Hampshire on April 9 found that ExxonMobil Corp. was negligent in adding methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to gasoline and that it should pay $236 million to remediate groundwater contamination caused by the additive ( State of New Hampshire v...

Jenner & Block: Insurer Unable To Step Into CERCLA Shoes Of Insured

A recent Ninth Circuit decision limited the ability of an insurer to seek CERCLA contribution and/or cost recovery from potentially responsible parties ("PRPs"). In Chubb Custom Insurance Company v. Space Systems/Loral et al. , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Chubb...

9/11 and the CERCLA “War Risk” Exclusion

By Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP New York Federal Court Holds That September 11th Was An "Act Of War" In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, there was intense political pressure on the insurance industry not to invoke the "war risk" exclusion...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: States' Transportation Funding Needs Trumping Tax Aversion

STATES' TRANSPORTATION FUNDING NEEDS TRUMPING TAX AVERSION : This month Virginia's Republican-controlled House and GOP-Democrat-split Senate gave final approval to a $6 billion transportation funding overhaul proposed by the state's Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell that included, among other...

Flood Insurance Guidance Announced By Federal Agencies

By the Ballard Spahr LLP Mortgage Banking Group The federal banking agencies, together with the Farm Credit Administration, have issued joint guidance on amendments to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA). The amendments were part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Hunting Bison in Montana and Deer in Indiana

ENVIRONMENT: The MONTANA House rejects SB 143, a bill that would have increased the number of hunting licenses for bison and prohibited the future relocation of the animals (HELENA INDEPENDENT RECORD]). • The INDIANA House approves SB 487, a bill that would allow the Hoosier State's five "high...

Mountain States Legal Foundation: Polar Bear Listing Upheld

By William Perry Pendley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation A western legal foundation has expressed dismay with the decision by a federal appellate court upholding the 2008 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to place polar bears on the Endangered...

William A. Ruskin: Keeping Your Adversary's Environmental Expert Honest

By William A. Ruskin Law 360 reported on April 12, 2013 that Steven Donziger , counsel for the indigenous Ecuadorians known as the Lago Agrio plaintiffs, "meddled" in the preparation of a key environmental report used against Chevron as part of an effort to secure, by hook or by crook, the...

Foley & Lardner: Developers Rejoice! IRS Issues "Begun Construction" Guidance

On April 15, 2013, the IRS released Notice 2013-29 addressing the eligibility for certain alternative energy projects to qualify for the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) under section 45 of the Tax Code. This guidance has been eagerly anticipated since the beginning of the year by developers...

Babst Calland: Sixth Circuit Rules that EPA May Pursue New Source Review Enforcement Actions Without Having to Wait for Actual Emissions Data: But Can EPA Prevail on the Merits?

In DTE Energy Co. v. EPA (March 28, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Sixth Circuit determined a procedural aspect of EPA's enforcement authority under the New Source Review (NSR) program of the Clean Air Act. The court ruled that EPA has authority to challenge, before...

Homeowner Environmental Responsibilities For Septic Sewage Systems

By Richard D. Vetstein, ESQ Massachusetts Title V Septic Regulations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About 1/3rd of all homes in Massachusetts are dependent upon septic systems, rather than municipal sewer. These include some of the toniest Metrowest suburbs from Wayland, Sudbury, Weston, and Hopkinton...

Keller and Heckman – California's Green Chemistry Initiative/Safer Consumer Products Regulations

California Assembly Bill 1879 (Cal. Health and Safety Code sec. 25252, et seq. ), an important statutory basis for California's Green Chemistry Initiative, attempts to reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous materials through an all-inclusive approach that considers how hazardous substances can...

Court Rules In 2013 That Mining Environmental Contamination Going Back To Late 1800’s Covered By Insurance Issued In 1950’s

by Seth Lamden , Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP The court in Doe Run Resources Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London , No. ED98086, 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 468 (April 16, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], held that excess liability insurers were...

Does Climate Change Cause Greater Aviation Turbulence

By E. Lynn Grayson , Partner, Jenner & Block A recent study published in the British journal, Nature Climate Change , suggests that turbulence on flights may be stronger and occur more often if carbon dioxide emissions double by 2050 further heating up the atmosphere. Turbulence is created by...

Disposal Of Hazardous Waste Materials Resulting From Oil And Gas Well Drilling Operations Not A Pollution Event For Insurance Endorsement

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Colony Insurance Company v. Bear Products, Inc ., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43716 (E.D. Okl. Mar. 26, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States District Court for the...