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Pharmaceuticals, Drinking Water, and Liability

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer The better our detection ability becomes, the more things we find in the water. One important group of those things is pharmaceuticals and their metabolites. Pharmaceuticals are specifically designed to affect the bodies, brains and behaviour of humans...

EPA finalizes mountaintop mining guidance for Appalachia

EPA issued final guidance concerning environmental permitting regulations for mountaintop mining in Appalachia, maintaining the strengthened requirements it set out in the earlier interim guidance that was released on April 1, 2010. A summary of the guidance can be found at http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs...

Major Changes Proposed for Shale Gas Fracking

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer Advisors to US Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu, have recommended major changes to improve regulation and environmental performance of shale gas fracturing (fracking) in the US. Public consultation is continuing, and the final report will be released in November...

Do Homeowners Policies Protect Against Liability from Fracking Operations? Probably Not

My partner Dean Pappas and I recently had an article published by Best's Review (February 2012) that looks at the potential risks that arise from hydrofracking operations, and the extent to which a typical homeowner's insurance policy covers the damages and harms that may arise. For those of...

Storm Water Pollution Control Permits Mandated

By Armando F. Benincasa The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has issued its long-delayed S torm Water Construction General Permit for Oil and Gas projects. The permit which will impact greatly oil and gas industry support activities, such as pipeline construction, will...

Problems in the Mississippi River are Flowing Upstream: Gulf Restoration Network v. EPA

In 2008, various nonprofit environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create rules to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Mississippi River Basin. The environmental groups argued that because of the massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico—known...

Is Ethanol Causing Pollution of Our Streams?

While watching CNBC during my usual workout routine, I heard a story about how President Obama's "Green Energy" policies had a dark side. The story specifically referred to the renewable fuels standard (or "RFS") requiring that gasoline sold in the US contain a minimum percentage...