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Newsletter Articles

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: Carbon Market Improves in California as Offsets Are Issued, Auctions Are Upheld

December 1, 2013

The “cap-and-trade” system enacted under California’s Global Warming Solution Act of 2006 (“AB 32”) aims to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in that state to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Two developments in the last month have moved the cap-and-trade system closer to becoming fully operational. 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

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

Water Law: Ninth Circuit Dismisses Environmental Group’s Suit to Compel State to Issue Permits for Federal Water Diversions

November 17, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit recently dismissed an environmental group’s water resources suit against the U.S. Department of Interior on grounds that the group lacked standing to compel enforcement through the courts because they did not have any rights to the water they sought to have the courts prevent the U.S. More

Clean Air Act: Ninth Circuit Tosses Citizen Suit Seeking to Force State and Local Air Agencies to Regulate Greenhouse Gases

October 27, 2013

The Ninth Circuit ruled earlier this month that environmental plaintiffs do not have standing to bring a citizen suit under the Clean Air Act to force state agencies to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from five oil refineries in the State of Washington.[1] Applying the three-part standing test derived from Article III of the Constitution, the court a More

Water Rights: Washington Supreme Court Refuses to Allow New Diversions to Reduce In-Stream Flows, Puts Developers, Homeowners in Bind

October 27, 2013

In a blow to developers in Washington state, the Washington Supreme Court has refused to allow water diversion from a fully appropriated basin to accommodate access for new water users. More

Takings: Supreme Court Expands Governmental Liability to Property Developers

October 16, 2013

One of the most significant environmental cases to come out of the U.S. Supreme Court last session was Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), a case which many have characterized as a dramatic expansion of the scope of potential governmental liability for takings under the Fifth Amendment. More