Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Subscribe to Pennsylvania RSS Feed

Environmental Cases in the Pa. Appellate Courts During 2016

This month, my column in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly surveys the decisions in the Pennsylvania appellate courts during 2016 addressing environmental issues.  The cases cover the Environmental Rights Amendment, impacts of oil and gas drilling, stormwater, land contamination, air pollution, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, solid waste management, and enforcement procedure.  Read Environmental Cases … Continue Reading

EPA’s Amendments to the Standards for Hazardous Waste Generators

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published its amendments to, and reorganization of, the regulations governing generators of hazardous waste, 81 Fed. Reg. 85,732 (Nov. 28). These rules govern the hundreds of thousands of enterprises nationally that produce wastes characterized or listed as hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. … 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

Annual Review of Environmental Cases from the Pennsylvania Courts

In January, my monthly column in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly reviewed the treatment of environmental issues by the Pennsylvania appellate courts in the previous year.  Read the very-cleverly-titled Environmental Cases in the Pennsylvania Courts During 2015, 39 Pa. L. Weekly 56 (Jan. 19, 2016), by clicking here. The cases addressed follow: Berner v. Montour Twp., 120 A.3d 433 (Pa. … Continue Reading

Environmental Commitments, Termination Clauses, and Waiting for the End of Time

My November environmental practice column for the Pennsylvania Law Weekly considered the problem of terminating an environmental obligation when conditions change after a time.  In the pursuit of “paradise by the dashboard light,” as Meatloaf taught, if I promise to love you until the end of time, I might end up “praying for the end of time … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Upholds EPA’s Authority for Chesapeake Bay TMDL

The Third Circuit recently determined that EPA acted within its statutory authority in publishing the Chesapeake Bay TMDL in American Farm Bureau Federation v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 13-4079 (3d Cir. July 6, 2015).  My column for the Pennsylvania Law Weekly discusses the decision and the implications for Pennsylvania, a state that did … Continue Reading

The Proposed Pennsylvania Budget, New Oil and Gas Regs, and the Fear of Fracking

In early March, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf submitted his proposed budget.  The Department of Environmental Protection issued a new iteration of proposed revisions to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Regulations that has since appeared in the April 4 Pennsylvania Bulletin, 45 Pa. Bull. 1615.  Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley reportedly stated the Administration’s support for the Delaware River … Continue Reading

Government Access to Contaminated Sites

Regulators need access to environmentally contaminated sites.  They have to study them to determine whether the contamination requires a cleanup, they have to choose a cleanup, they have to conduct or direct implementation of that cleanup, and then they have to provide for its monitoring and maintenance.  But when the contaminated property is not the … Continue Reading

2014 Environmental Cases in the Pennsylvania Appellate Courts

My column this month in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly summarizes most (maybe all) of the decisions of the Pennsylvania appellate courts with an environmental dimension in 2014.  Read A Review of 2014 Environmental Cases in Pa.’s Appellate Courts, 38 Pa. L. Weekly 28 (Jan. 13, 2015), by clicking here.  If I have left something out, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment: Back to Payne v. Kassab?

We have a new opinion today under the Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution.  Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation v. Commonwealth, No. 228 M.D. 2012 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Jan. 7, 2015).  Maybe the state constitution mandates some sort of environmental impact study before the commonwealth acts.  Maybe it means nothing more than that one must comply … Continue Reading

A New Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment Opinion . . . In Dissent

In Hess v. Pa. Pub. Util. Comm’n, No. 1370 C.D. 2013 (Pa. Commw. Ct. Dec. 22, 2014), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court en banc considered a petition for review of an order of the Public Utility Commission granting approvals for a transmission line crossing the Susquehanna River.  The majority opinion mostly addresses reliability and what constitutes public … Continue Reading

CERCLA Preemption of State Law Contribution Claims under Pennsylvania HSCA

The federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) allows private parties that incur cleanup costs to reallocate those costs to others through a cost recovery claim under section 107(a)(1-4)(B) or a contribution claim under section 113(f)(1) or (3)(B).  So do some state statutes and state common law.  There can only be one allocation … Continue Reading

Thinking About Natural Resource Damages

My column this month in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly considers natural resource damages and their measurement.  NRDs are available under a number of federal programs.  To my knowledge, however, Pennsylvania state trustees have only sought to recover NRDs twice. We have to think about whether that might change.  The Supreme Court’s plurality opinion in Robinson … Continue Reading

Incentives and Legal Risks for Green Building in Pennsylvania

In this month’s Pennsylvania Law Weekly column, I discuss the incentives and legal risks for green building in Pennsylvania. Co-authored with Ana Montalban of Greenberg Traurig’s Public Finance practice, the article gives an overview of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan as well as some of the ways in which Pennsylvania has … Continue Reading
LexBlog