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Landmark Agreement Near in Upper Klamath Basin: Implementation Uncertain

April 1, 2014

The Upper Klamath Basin water users, the Klamath Tribes, the United States, and the State of Oregon tentatively reached an agreement on March 4, 2014 which may resolve years of litigation over water rights in the Klamath basin. More »

Supreme Court to Decide Whether CERCLA Statute Can Revive Otherwise Time-Barred Toxic Tort Suit

April 1, 2014

A corner of Superfund rarely explored by most CERCLA lawyers is the subject of a U.S Supreme Court case that will be heard this term. The case is not about cleanup, but about whether CERCLA can be used to revive otherwise time-barred toxic tort claims brought under a state statute. More »

California Utilities Struggle to Comply With State Energy Storage Requirements

March 19, 2014

California’s three major investor-owned electric utilities took the first steps last month to comply with stringent new energy storage requirements established under a 2010 state law known as Assembly Bill (AB) 2514. More »

EPA Revises CWA Construction Stormwater Rule; Removes Controversial Numeric Turbidity Limits

March 19, 2014

More than four years after finalizing its Clean Water Act (“CWA”) construction stormwater rule, EPA has issued a revised rule eliminating controversial numeric limits for turbidity. More »

Climate Change and Agriculture in the Northwest: Challenges and Opportunities

March 3, 2014

Climate change impacts to agriculture in the Pacific Northwest are detailed in the recent report, Climate Change in the Northwest: Implications for Our Landscapes, Waters, and Communities. More »

Justices Hear Challenge to EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

March 3, 2014

On February 24th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA,[1] a case that has the potential to narrow EPA’s authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from stationary sources, such as power plants and factories, under the Clean Air Act. More »

Clean Air Act: Ninth Circuit Adopts High Bar For Standing In Greenhouse Gas Citizen Suits

February 10, 2014

The Ninth Circuit has let stand a ruling that could sharply limit the availability of Clean Air Act citizen suits to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, denying en banc review in Washington Environmental Council v. More »

Insurers Cannot Use Subrogation to Recover Cleanup Costs Paid to an Insured From Other PRPs

February 10, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has written the last chapter in a years-long effort by an insurance company to recover money paid to an insured from other PRPs in a CERCLA case under a subrogation theory. More »

Sackett: Successful Pre-Enforcement Challenge Brought to CWA Order

November 18, 2013

Just a year and a half ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the bar on pre-enforcement review of EPA Clean Water Act (“CWA”) enforcement orders in Sackett v. EPA.[1] Government and industry lawyers have been debating the significance of that decision ever since. More »

Alternative Energy: Will the Sun Ever Shine on the Solar Industry?

September 9, 2013

The challenges facing the solar industry continue to be daunting, the victim of oversupply and falling prices. As the industry’s ranks thin out, however, new opportunities will arise for companies with a well thought out business and regulatory plan. More »

Recent Developments Regarding Avian Take at Wind Farms

January 27, 2014

A series of recent announcements from the federal government related to avian “take” at wind farms demonstrates the need for wind project proponents to coordinate with the Department of the Interior (Interior) and other agencies early in the development of new wind projects to mitigate potential impacts to eagles and other migratory birds. More »

Insurers Cannot Use Subrogation to Recover Cleanup Costs Paid to an Insured From Other PRPs

February 10, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court has written the last chapter in a years-long effort by an insurance company to recover money paid to an insured from other PRPs in a CERCLA case under a subrogation theory. More »

MTCA: Washington State Amends Its Cleanup Law

December 1, 2013

Earlier this year, Washington State enacted the most comprehensive rewrite of its state cleanup law in a decade.[1] The amendments to the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), Substitute Senate Bill (SSB) 5296, are aimed at expediting and streamlining routine cleanups, incentivizing and assisting regional development efforts in brownfield areas, overhauling the a More »

Climate Change: EPA Releases Revised Proposed Regulations for Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Power Plants

November 18, 2013

Earlier this fall, EPA released controversial proposed regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from newly-constructed coal- and natural gas-fired power plants via the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) program. 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 »

Split in Washington State Climate Workgroup Recommendations Shows Challenges in Moving Climate Policy Forward

January 27, 2014

Washington’s Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup issued majority and minority reports on January 21, 2014, with a party line split on the direction the State should take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. More »