LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Reed Elsevier Recognizes Its Own Green Heroes for World Environment Day

United Nations World Environment Day (WED) 2010 is aimed to be the biggest, most widely celebrated, global day for positive, environmental action. Commemorated on June 5th since 1972, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment...

Ninth Circuit rules that owners of storm water systems (e.g., cities, counties, districts) are liable for discharges of polluted stormwater into rivers and ocean

It is well known that stormwater gathers a variety of pollutants as it flows across the landscape and even through stormwater drainage systems. See, for example, http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6 and http://www.epa.gov/owow_keep/NPS/index.html . In NRDC v. County of Los Angeles, Ninth...

Gasification of garbage: A future strategy?

One of the problems with the disposal of even household trash (in California, at so-called Class 3 landfills) is that pollution, particularly of groundwater, may result, even from well constructed sites. Sometimes construction is less than ideal; sometimes earth movement or earthquakes fracture the containment...

Mycoremediation shows promise in breaking down "disposable" diapers

Despite their name, disposable diapers are difficult to break down in a landfill; studies suggest they may take centuries to rot away. The reason they are so persistent is that the main ingredient of disposable diapers is cellulose, a rather persistent material. Researchers therefore took a look at Pleurotus...

EPA proposes new hazardous waste recycling regulations to address environmental justice concerns

EPA is has released for public comment its draft expanded environmental justice analysis of the 2008 definition of solid waste. The draft evaluates the rule’s potential impact on low-income and minority communities. EPA is also requesting public comment on the environmental justice analysis as...

RCRA imminent & hazardous endangerment notice must be specific, notes Second Circuit

A RCRA notice is mandatory, as noted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hallstrom v. Tillamook County , 493 U.S. 20, 26 (1989). The purpose of the notice is to a) inform public agencies of the alleged problem so that they can ascertain if they wish to take action, and b) provide the alleged violator with sufficient...

Amount of plastic trash in the ocean may be vastly underestimated

Prior posts have noted the various plastic debris wastes that are located in the oceans. Prior posts have also suggested that there may be plastic waste in the water column, though its quantification was uncertain. A recent assessment suggests that the amount previously estimated using surface sampling...

State Net Environmental Law News: Michigan Governor Snyder Rolls Out Expanded Recycling Plan

SNYDER ROLLS OUT EXPANDED RECYCLING PLAN: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) released a proposal last week that would double the amount of residential waste that Wolverine State residents recycle. "Michigan has a strong tradition of protecting and enhancing its environment," Snyder said in a...

Sixth Circuit Weighs in on CERCLA Cost Recovery, Contribution Actions

By Glenn A. Harris The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court recently issued an important opinion, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], related to claims to recover environmental cleanup costs at an Ohio landfill. The court’s ruling in Hobart Corporation, et...

DOD Finalizes Amendments to DFARS Regarding the Storage, Treatment, and Disposal of Non-DOD Toxic and Hazardous Materials on DOD Sites

The Department of Defense (DOD) has published a final rule that amends Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) subpart 223.71 to better align the DFARS with the current provisions set forth in 10 U.S.C. 2692, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], concerning storage...

Safeway, Inc. to Pay $9.87 Million Settlement for Environmental Violations

Safeway Inc. has entered into a Stipulated Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction in California to resolve allegations that more than 500 Safeway stores and distribution centers, including its other brands, Vans, Pavilions and Pak 'n Save, violated California laws for the safe storage, handling...

EPA Issues Final Rulemaking for Coal Combustion Residuals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an advance notice of a final rulemaking that will regulate coal combustion residuals (CCR) as solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The rulemaking will apply to CCR generated by coal-fired power plants...

EPA Issues New Rules Governing Recycling That Will Impact Most Major Industries

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently revised its rules governing the recycling of spent materials, listed hazardous sludge and listed by-products associated with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) definition of solid waste (DSW). See 80 Fed. Reg. 1694-1814 (Jan. 13,...

E-Waste Settlement Nets State of California $51.8 Million

By Steven M. Siros AT&T agreed to pay $51.8 million to resolve allegations that it improperly disposed of hazardous electronic waste at its facilities in California. In one of the first enforcement actions of its kind in California, AT&T has agreed to expend $28 million over the next five...

New EPA Rule Regulates Coal Ash As Non-Hazardous

By E. Lynn Grayson The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) from coal-fired power plants which will be regulated under the nonhazardous waste provisions of RCRA. In developing...

New York Environmental Regulator Announces New Hazardous Waste Enforcement Initiative Against Supermarkets, Retail Pharmacies and Similar Establishments

In a move that will have a substantial impact on future obligations of supermarkets, drug stores and “big box” retailers in New York State, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that it would begin to require strict compliance with the hazardous waste...

The 2014 California Environmental Legislative Recap: An Election Year Drought

By Mr. Gary A. Lucks Get the latest expert analysis on California's new environmental and land use laws. This article summarizes legislation passed during the 2014-2015 California Legislative Session, including bills addressing water supply, hazardous waste, solid waste, cimate change, air...

EPA E-Manifest Implementation Update

By E. Lynn Grayson On October 5, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (PDF) , which authorizes the EPA to implement a national electronic manifest system. Commonly referred to as "e-Manifest," this national system is envisioned...

Creative Sentence For Ontario Concrete Company

A Sudbury ready mix concrete company, Rainbow Concrete Industries Ltd ., pleaded guilty to one count under s. 30 of the Ontario Water Resources Act , for discharging concrete waste water into a Sudbury creek, and received a creative sentence plus a fine. This is good news. Creative sentences, i.e...

South Carolina Court Limits CERCLA Remedies

By Jessica J.O. King The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allows the federal government to collect funds from or to order a “potentially responsible party” (“PRP”) to clean up contaminated sites. 42 U.S.C.A. §9601 to 9675...

Purchaser Of Contaminated Site Loses Case Against Own Lawyer

I continue to be surprised by how many people knowingly purchase a contaminated site, and regret it afterwards. Buy in haste, repent at leisure? Sometimes the purchaser of a contaminated site is merely unlucky, or suffers from a change of rules or approach by government regulators; sometimes I see...

Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling Protocol

By A. Keith "Kip" McAlister, Jr. The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), SW-846 Method 1311, was promulgated by EPA pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to test and determine the potential leaching rate of disposed hazardous wastes in landfills. 55 Fed...

International Chemicals Management Meeting

In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development , the international community adopted an ambitious target for world wide sound management of chemicals and hazardous wastes by 2020: that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects...

California Approves New Mattress Recycling Fee

Mattress retailers and manufacturers face new requirements in California in 2016. Responding to attempts to over-regulate disposal of used mattresses, a coalition of manufacturers and retailers sponsored legislation to create an industry managed recycling program. The primary objective of the program...