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Fourth Circuit Restricts Scope of Clean Water Act Permit Shield

September 4, 2014

The Fourth Circuit issued a recent decision that has the potential to increase the burden on permit applicants hoping to avail themselves of the “permit shield” defense under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The case, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards v. More »

In Absence of Comprehensive Federal Regulation, Battles Over GMOs Being Fought in States, Localities

September 4, 2014

Genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”) in American agriculture are an area of great controversy, with proponents pointing to the many benefits of higher crop yields while opponents express concerns about potential risks to human health and the environment. More »

Supreme Court Rules That CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statutes of Repose

July 8, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) – 42 USC §9658 – does not pre-empt state statutes of repose that cut off a defendant’s liability after a certain amount of time. More »

Clean Air Act: EPA’s Proposal for Reducing CO2 Emissions From Electric Power Sector Would Present the States With a Complex Task

July 8, 2014

The Obama Administration has released its much-anticipated proposal for limiting nationwide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electric power sector, calling for an overall 30 percent reduction by 2030, compared to a 2005 baseline (about a 17 percent reduction from current emissions). More »

CEQA: New Rules Narrow Scope of Environmental Review in California

July 1, 2014

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1] More »

NEPA/BGEPA: Fish and Wildlife Service May Overhaul Rule Permitting Incidental Take of Eagles

July 1, 2014

Just as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issues its first permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) [1] authorizing a wind energy project to “take” golden eagles over the next five years, the agency also has announced that it intends to conduct a comprehensive review of its eagle permitting program under the National En More »

Clean Water Act: EPA/Corps Initiate Rulemaking Seeking to Expand Federal Reach Over Wetlands and Other Waters

May 19, 2014

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) are again attempting to expand their jurisdiction over wetlands and other ancillary waters. The move comes after years of debate, studies, and trips up and down the federal court system. More »

Clean Air Act: Supreme Court Defers To EPA on Cross-State Air Pollution, Putting More Pressure on Aging Coal-Fired Power Plants

May 15, 2014

Upholding EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (commonly called the Transport Rule), the Supreme Court has handed a defeat to owners of power plants in 28 Eastern, Southern and Midwestern States.[1] The rule requires reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide from power plants in those States to improve air quality in downwind States. More »

CEQA: New Rules Narrow Scope of Environmental Review in California

July 1, 2014

California has actively been pursuing a variety of initiatives to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline permitting requirements for new and existing development projects. One area where these initiatives are having important consequences involves CEQA – the California Environmental Quality Act.[1] More »

NEPA/BGEPA: Fish and Wildlife Service May Overhaul Rule Permitting Incidental Take of Eagles

July 1, 2014

Just as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issues its first permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) [1] authorizing a wind energy project to “take” golden eagles over the next five years, the agency also has announced that it intends to conduct a comprehensive review of its eagle permitting program under the National En More »

Got Mold? A Brief Guide to Liability and Notice Requirements

March 5, 2008

Thousands of mold-related lawsuits have been filed in the United States during the last decade. Prior to 2000, most mold claims were routinely settled for relatively nominal amounts of $5,000 or less. Today, mold claims by commercial developers and homeowners routinely exceed $100,000, and some are resolved for much higher amounts. More »

Clean Water Act: EPA/Corps Initiate Rulemaking Seeking to Expand Federal Reach Over Wetlands and Other Waters

May 19, 2014

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) are again attempting to expand their jurisdiction over wetlands and other ancillary waters. The move comes after years of debate, studies, and trips up and down the federal court system. More »

Clean Air Act: EPA’s Proposal for Reducing CO2 Emissions From Electric Power Sector Would Present the States With a Complex Task

July 8, 2014

The Obama Administration has released its much-anticipated proposal for limiting nationwide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electric power sector, calling for an overall 30 percent reduction by 2030, compared to a 2005 baseline (about a 17 percent reduction from current emissions). More »

Hydraulic Fracturing: Legislative and Regulatory Trends

October 4, 2011

Hydraulic fracturing (commonly called “fracking”) is a method for increasing output at oil and natural gas wells by breaking open gas-bearing rock formations using high-pressure fluid injection. More »

Supreme Court Rules That CERCLA Does Not Preempt State Statutes of Repose

July 8, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) – 42 USC §9658 – does not pre-empt state statutes of repose that cut off a defendant’s liability after a certain amount of time. More »

New Developments Integrating Wind and Solar Power into the Power Grid

April 14, 2014

Wind producers’ (and solar) generation projects are increasing the level of services and transmission that Regional Transmission Organizations and Balancing Authorities are required to provide to integrate them into their systems. Those systems were originally designed primarily for thermal generation whose output is more subject to control to follow utility load patterns. More »