Category Archives: Environment

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The Margate Dune Project, Cooperative Federalism, and Problems of Litigation Procedure

The current federal administration has expressed a desire to defer largely to states through principles of cooperative federalism.  A recent case involving the dune construction in Margate, New Jersey, offers some insight into the procedural complexities this approach presents for those affected.  Where a state oversees a federally funded project, it is unlikely that one … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Provides Guidance on the Definition of Relevant Property in a Regulatory Taking Case

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Murr v. Wisconsin, No. 15-214, 2017 WL 2694699 (U.S. June 23, 2017), which presented perhaps the most important issue of regulatory takings law that the Court has never addressed – the “relevant parcel” or “parcel-as-a-whole” issue. That issue, which arises in many regulatory takings cases, is … Continue Reading

EPA Solicits Comments on Regulatory Reform

On April 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a request for comments to aid EPA’s ongoing “Evaluation of Existing Regulations,” which seeks to identify regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. Comments must be submitted by May 15, so parties interested in taking this opportunity to help EPA identify regulations … Continue Reading

Legislative Proposal for New Dutch Asbestos Regulations

On Feb. 3, 2017, the Dutch government sent a legislative proposal to amend the Dutch Environmental Management Act (Wet milieubeheer) regarding asbestos to the Dutch House of Representatives.1 If this legislative proposal becomes law, new and more far-reaching obligations to remove asbestos will be introduced for the owners of Dutch real estate. The Required Removal … Continue Reading

President Trump’s Action Impacts Pipeline Operators by Requiring U.S.-Sourced Materials and Equipment for Pipeline Construction, Retrofits, Repairs, and Expansions

On Jan. 24, 2017, President Trump took four executive actions that affect the oil and gas pipeline industry. In the first two, he directed the appropriate agencies to take expedited actions to the extent permitted by law to review and grant permits necessary to build the Keystone XL project and the Dakota Access pipeline. In … Continue Reading

EPA Seeks to Impose Financial Responsibility Requirements on Hardrock Mine Operators

On Dec. 1, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator signed a proposed rule, “Financial Responsibility Requirements under CERCLA § 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry,” which would impose new financial responsibility requirements for current owners and operators of hardrock mines, including numerous metal mines in the western United States. Federal Register … Continue Reading

Buckle Up for a Wild Ride: Environmental Policy in the Trump Administration

Millions of Americans are coming to grips with the broad social and political ramifications of Donald Trump’s stunning upset victory in last Tuesday’s presidential election. And while the president-elect’s policy pronouncements to date have been short on detail, one thing is clear: those concerned with environmental protection and climate change had better buckle up for … Continue Reading

Brexit: The Great Repeal Bill and the EU’s Chemicals, Emissions, and Medicines Regimes

As discussed in our recent GT Alert, “Brexit: 100 Day Update“,  the UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently announced plans for a “Great Repeal Bill” for the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act (ECA). Under the ECA, European Union (EU) law was established as part of the UK’s legal order and was given supremacy … Continue Reading

Philadelphia’s Approach to Nuisance Abatement on Vacant Properties

Conventional environmental lawyers may find themselves in unfamiliar territory when faced with a municipal citation for allowing a vacant property to become a nuisance or a municipal claim to recover the costs of abating that nuisance.  In Philadelphia, the City has a regular program to do both.  That program proceeds under City ordinances and regulations, … Continue Reading

Environmental Crimes by Companies Will Now be Prosecuted at the International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on 15 September 2016 that it will start to investigate environmental crimes under international law, raising the prospect that company executives could be prosecuted in The Hague in respect of corporate activities with serious environmental impacts. An ICC policy paper on case selection and prioritisation states that the ICC … Continue Reading

Israel Posts Information and Schedule Regarding Upcoming Bidding Round for New Oil and Gas Exploration Licenses

Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources has posted on a dedicated website new information concerning the first round of bidding for offshore oil and gas exploration activity.  Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Mediterranean Sea is divided into 69 exploration areas or blocks.  The Ministry plans to conduct successive rounds for … Continue Reading

Independent Scientific Panel Faults the EPA’s Landmark Hydraulic Fracturing Study

In a detailed, 180-page report released Aug. 11, the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) faulted the clarity and conclusions of the agency’s landmark study on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, the high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals to break open shale and other “tight” geologic formations to release gas and other hydrocarbons. In … Continue Reading

Brexit: Environmental Law Implications for the Chemicals Sector

This note addresses the possible legal impact of Brexit on the chemicals sector.  It is one of a series of GTM Alerts designed to assist businesses in identifying the legal issues to consider and address in response to the UK’s referendum vote of 23 June 2016 to withdraw from the European Union.   While Brexit … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court Rules Leaded Gasoline is Not “Oil” Subject to Less Stringent Cleanup Requirements

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) upheld a statutory interpretation by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that the statutory definition of “oil” does not include leaded gasoline. As a result, contamination from leaded gasoline released from a gas station was not eligible for less stringent remediation standards applicable to “oil” releases.  Based on … Continue Reading

Food for thought: Florida, Israel can lead the way in agtech

By 2050, the global population is expected to increase to 9 billion people — a dramatic increase of more than 35 percent. Given scarce natural resources and the uncertainties of climate change, feeding that growing population means food production will need to increase by 70 percent, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Florida, where … Continue Reading

Massachusetts High Court Rules Global Warming Solutions Act Mandates Annual, Declining Restrictions on GHG Emissions

In a decision that will have far-reaching consequences for the Massachusetts economy, Massachusetts’ highest court has ruled that the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), passed in 2008, mandates the imposition of annual, declining limits on greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.  In Kain vs. Dept. of Environmental Protection (SJC-11961, May 17, 2016), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court … Continue Reading

Taking Another Look at Environmental Indemnity

From Grant E. Nichols of GT Philadelphia: For at least the past 30 years, parties involved in the purchase or sale of properties that contain environmental exposure have had to negotiate environmental indemnity agreements, either to protect assets, transfer liability, or to simply get a deal across the finish line.  However, as more properties have … Continue Reading

New York To Promote Climate Smart Project

This year’s New York State budget offered numerous headline grabbing changes, yet one of the less-heralded portions has the highest potential to reshape the state’s responsiveness to changing climactic conditions.  As part of the state transportation, economic development, and environmental conservation Article VII budget legislation (“TED Bill”), the Legislature passed Title 15 of Part U, … Continue Reading

Does FERC’s Denial of Authority to Construct Jordan Cove Signal a More Rigorous Test for Future LNG Projects?

On March 11, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied an application by Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P. (Jordan Cove) for authority under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) to site, construct, and operate a facility at Coos Bay, Oregon, for the exportation, principally to Asia, of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In … Continue Reading

The “Other Yates Memo” and USDOJ’s Enforcement of Worker Safety Laws

On March 15, John Cruden, the Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources, gave an address explaining USDOJ’s approach to enforcement of workplace health and safety laws.  This new approach is set out in a memorandum authored by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and issued late last year.  In short, criminal enforcement of workplace … Continue Reading

New York Environmental Regulator Proposes Major Overhaul of Solid Waste Regulations

On Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, the New York Governor announced that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) was proposing new regulations for the handling of solid waste.  The proposed changes to the solid waste regulations contained in Parts 360, 364, and 369 seek to reorganize and rationalize the muddled set of regulations created … Continue Reading

Congress Adopts “FAST Act,” Seeking Expedited NEPA Review For Major Infrastructure Projects

Review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) can be one of the most costly and time consuming components of any federal project or action.  Often, the hurdle of NEPA can be so substantial that necessary projects fall by the wayside.  Recognizing the tremendous burden environmental review can create, President Obama signed into law the … Continue Reading
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