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Newsletter Articles

Pending Updates to California Climate Change Analysis Provide Limited Answers to Difficult Questions

February 14, 2018

California has seen over a decade of controversy and confusion regarding how to apply the state’s environmental impact review statute (the California Environmental Quality Act, or “CEQA”) to questions about the greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts of proposed projects. More

How Northwest Utilities Harness Diversity for Efficient Compliance

January 29, 2018


The region known as the Northwest Power Pool spans an area encompassing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, portions of Montana, Wyoming, and northern California, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. More

New California Law Will Require Manufacturers to Disclose Ingredients in Cleaning Products, Air Fresheners, and Automotive Products

January 2, 2018

On October 15, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act into state law.[1] The Act requires manufacturers of general cleaning products, air care products, and certain automotive products[2] that are sold in California to disclose ingredients on product labels and online.More

End of a Long Dry Road: Federal Court Of Claims Rejects Klamath Farmers’ Takings Claims

December 5, 2017

In a seventy-five page opinion, the United States Court of Federal Claims in September brought to a bitter end takings litigation that began 16 years ago, in 2001.[1] The opinion held that while several plaintiffs had property interests that were physically taken by the United States government, they could not pursue their takings claims because their water More

Permit Denials for Pacific Northwest Coal Terminals Raise Question of Precedent for Major Waterway Projects

December 4, 2017

In late September 2017, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) denied a request by Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview (“Millennium”) for Section 401 Water Quality Certification for its proposed coal export terminal near Longview, Washington. More

Emerging Water Contaminants Update: Uncertainty Remains Despite Regulatory Action

September 25, 2017

Emerging contaminants, particularly perfluorinated compounds, are increasingly found in drinking water throughout the country. Regulatory uncertainty facing drinking water suppliers and consumers is slowly forcing legislators, regulators, and private plaintiffs to act. More

Owner of a Lonely Heart: Federal Government Liable for CERCLA Damages on Public Lands

September 21, 2017

Two federal courts recently ruled that the United States may be liable for the cleanup costs associated with historic mining operations as “owners” of public lands.[1] The courts held that an “owner” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) is at bare minimum, the legal title holder and does not need t More

Nothing Great Comes Easily: The Successful Struggle to Secure the City of Bend's New Water Supply Project

September 18, 2017

Fresh from intense litigation over the spotted frog[1], Central Oregon has again been the arena of another fierce fight, this time involving the future of the City of Bend's water supply improvement project. The legal trajectory of this court challenge was determined not by the ESA but by NEPA-related theories. More