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...

DLA Piper – Research Report: Climate Change Adaptation in the Boardroom

DLA Piper has published a research report, in collaboration with Future Ready and Climate Planning, on climate change adaptation and its place in the boardroom. Climate adaptation is recognized by many of the world's largest businesses as a global risk and one that requires critical attention...

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...

Jenner & Block: Climate Change May Cause Greater Aviation Turbulence

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 atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains...

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...

William A. Ruskin: Does Preemption Prevent Redress For Homeowners Impacted By Polluters' Air Emissions?

By William A. Ruskin On April 23, 2012, residents of rural Muscatine, Iowa filed a class action lawsuit titled, Laurie Freeman et al. v. Grain Processing Corporation (case no. LACV 021232), in the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County. The defendant, Grain Processing Corporation, is an Iowa manufacturer...

William A. Ruskin: No Unanimity As To What New ASTM E1527-13 Standard Requires

By William A. Ruskin Some environmental practitioners contend that Phase I site assessments, commonly used in real estate transactions, will now be more costly and time consuming due to the new standard. Seyfarth Shaw counsels in its Client Alert that the new standard requires that, “if the...

William A. Ruskin: How Environmental Lawyers Can Avoid Getting Sued For Legal Malpractice

By Wi lliam A. Ruskin No matter how conscientious, environmental lawyers, like other attorneys, are regularly sued for legal malpractice. It is not difficult to imagine some of the dicey situations where the environmental practitioner may fall prey to such claims: (1) a municipality sues...

Texas Federal Judge Imposes Maximum $2 Million Fine On Felony Pollution Counts

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — (Mealey’s) A Texas federal judge on Feb. 5 imposed fines totaling more than $2 million on convictions stemming from oil/water separation tanks that had been operated without the required covers for nearly 10 years, polluting the air and causing the deaths of migratory...

William A. Ruskin: Environmentalists Support Fracking But With Important Reservations

By William A. Ruskin It is necessary that natural gas be substituted for coal and oil as an energy source if the world is to have any chance of avoiding runaway greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, particularly from the developing world. At present, it is unrealistic to expect renewable...

Babst Calland: Permitting for Using Diesel in Hydraulic Fracturing Revised by EPA

By Scott McKernan The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released revised permitting guidance for underground injection control (UIC) under the Safe Drinking Water Act for wells using diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities, reports The State Journal . EPA has...

Babst Calland: Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474 , introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic fracturing waste above...

High Court Hears Arguments On EPA’s Ability To Regulate Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 heard oral arguments on whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its bounds by regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources such as power plants ( Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental...

DLA Piper Product Liability Alert: California Green Chemistry Initiative’s Coming Priority Products List, And The DTSC Strategic Plan

The highly anticipated next step in California’s Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) is the planned April 2014 release of the list of Priority Products that will be first in the spotlight for chemical regulatory scrutiny, triggering compliance requirements with a 180-day deadline for any manufacturer...

Company, Government Tell High Court That Landowners’ Claims Are Time-Barred

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Attorneys for CTS Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice told the U.S. Supreme Court April 23 that a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling reinstating a lawsuit brought by landowners asserting claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation...

Supreme Court Reverses Ruling Giving States Second Chances At Emissions Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) In a 6-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 29 reversed a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that states are excused from adopting implementation plans prohibiting emissions that “contribute significantly” to air pollution...

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation And Liability Act Does Not Preempt A State’s Statute Of Repose

Monday, June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court released the decision in the case of CTS Corporation v. Peter Waldburger, et al . The case involved a tort action brought for damages that arose from the release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant into the environment. CTS sold...

DLA Piper Climate Change Alert: EPA Announces Carbon Regulations For Existing Power Plants

By Deborah E. Jennings , Andrew B. Schatz and Catherine B. Campbell The Environmental Protection Agency has announced long-awaited regulations to reduce carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from existing power plants pursuant to the Clean Air Act. EPA's Clean Power Plan would for the first time establish...

Norton Rose Fulbright: CERCLA's Federal Discovery Rule Does Not Preempt State Statutes Of Repose

By Janet L. McQuaid , Michael P. Gaetani , Joshua Snyder , and Jennifer Blair Caplan . . . [T]he United States Supreme Court held in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger 1 that Section 9658 of CERCLA 2 does not preempt state statutes of repose that set a time frame after which a potential defendant is no longer...