Category Archives: Environment

Subscribe to Environment RSS Feed

Webinar: Renewable Energy in Latin America – An Industry Update

On Nov. 5, 2020, at 11 a.m. CST, join Greenberg Traurig, in collaboration with Rubicon Capital Advisors, for a webinar on the current renewables climate in Latin America, with a focus on Chile and Colombia. Guest speakers include: Invenergy LLC’s Gabriel Monroy, VP of Finance & Capital Markets; Patricia Tatto, ATA Renewables’ VP of America; … Continue Reading

New Lawsuit Challenges DOJ Policy Prohibiting SEPs

The ongoing battle over Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) – environmentally-beneficial, beyond-compliance projects that defendants agree to undertake for potential penalty mitigation in settlement of environmental enforcement actions – heated up last week when an environmental group sued the attorney general and others for violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in issuing a legal memorandum effectively … Continue Reading

U.S. and Dutch Governments Announce Hydrogen Collaboration

On Oct. 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat) issued a statement of intent. The governments aim to jointly stimulate future hydrogen research & development and demonstration activities. Hydrogen has caught … Continue Reading

Pleasing All the People Some of the Time: New York Simultaneously Proposes Regulations Implementing Its New Siting Law and Community Benefit Program for Renewable Projects

Earlier this year New York state, conceding that its previously enacted siting law had not been effective in siting large-scale renewable energy projects, enacted the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (codified primarily in N.Y. Executive Law § 94-c; hereinafter, the Act). The Act, effectively a new siting law for renewable projects, created, … Continue Reading

EU Commission Limits the Netherlands’ Plans to Subsidize Green Hydrogen Production

On Sept. 14, 2020 the Dutch minister of Economic Affairs and Climate informed the Dutch Parliament that the EU Commission does not consent to the granting of subsidies for the environmentally friendly production of hydrogen through sustainable energy (so-called ‘green hydrogen’) under the Dutch SDE++ scheme in the form requested by the Dutch government. State-aid … Continue Reading

New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Legislation: The Focus on Major Source Permit Applications Might Impact Property Values

Last month, I wrote about the “Environmental Justice for All Act,” a bill that proposes a finding that vulnerable populations are disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards. New Jersey is following the federal environmental justice debate, passing historical environmental justice legislation in both the House and Senate, where it is currently awaiting Governor Phil Murphy’s approval. … Continue Reading

McGirt v. Oklahoma: Understanding What the Supreme Court’s Native American Treaty Rights Decision Is and Is Not

Confusion permeates the public arena as to what the U.S. Supreme Court recently did – and didn’t do – by ruling in favor of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, a federally recognized Native American tribe, and against the state in McGirt v. Oklahoma. Not since a grinning incumbent President Harry S. Truman hoisted The Chicago Daily … Continue Reading

New DOJ Guidance Seeks to Limit Federal Enforcement under the Clean Water Act

On July 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a policy memorandum designed to stay the federal government’s hand in enforcing the Clean Water Act where states have initiated a civil judicial penalty proceeding under analogous state laws on the same core of operative facts. The policy, “Civil Enforcement Discretion in Certain Clean … Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Environmental Policies: President Trump Announces NEPA Reform, as Former Vice President Biden Vows to Roll Back Reforms If Elected

On July 15, 2020, President Trump’s administration finalized a significant overhaul of the regulations governing the administration of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In January 2020, when the regulatory overhaul was announced, we observed that rolling back 50 years of precedent in an administrative action could trigger judicial challenges to the rule and result … Continue Reading

DOJ’s Attack on ‘Supplemental Environmental Projects’ Extends to Citizen Plaintiffs

The Department of Justice, in the last year, has altered its guidance related to supplemental environmental projects (SEPs), first prohibiting their use in settlements with state and local governments, then extending that prohibition to settlements with private parties. The Department of Justice is now targeting settlements that include similar projects agreed to by two private … Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Pollutants Reaching Navigable Waters Through Groundwater May Require Permit Under Clean Water Act

Rejecting the Trump administration’s novel 2019 interpretation that the Clean Water Act never requires permits for pollutant discharges to groundwater, the United States Supreme Court handed down, on April 23, its eagerly awaited decision in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, et al. The 6-3 majority held that Section 301 of the Clean … Continue Reading

EPA Commences Public Comment on Recycled-Content Product List – It May be More Relevant Than You Think

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as large and small businesses alike struggle to stay afloat while acting responsibly to protect public health, sustainability may not be top-of-mind. But the development and sale of sustainable products may provide struggling businesses with new sources of revenue and competitive advantage in the days ahead. The federal government promotes recycling … Continue Reading

Mexico’s SENER and SEMARNAT Suspend Activity Until April 20

This past week, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) and Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) published official communications to suspend activity until April 20. These decisions impact terms, deadlines, promotions, and administrative procedures. To learn more about how this decision applies, please refer to my Alerts: Mexico’s Ministry of Energy Suspends Terms and Deadlines … Continue Reading

Meeting Environmental Compliance and Cleanup Requirements During the Pandemic

In addition to causing infection and illness, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating challenges for organizations contending with employee quarantines and isolation, supply chain and logistics disruptions, and other operational changes. While environmental compliance may not be top-of-mind right now for most Americans, it still is a critical consideration for organizations with environmental compliance or cleanup … Continue Reading

Summary of Guidance on Section 45Q Carbon Tax Credits Under 2020 Notice and Revenue Procedure

On Feb. 19, 2020, the IRS released Notice 2020-12 and Revenue Procedure 2020-12 (together, the “Carbon Guidance”) which provide highly anticipated clarity on the Internal Revenue Code Section 45Q credit for carbon oxide sequestration. The Carbon Guidance provides details on determining when construction has begun on an eligible project, and valid partnership allocations (including a permissible partnership flip structure), … Continue Reading

PFAS Update: EPA Begins Process of Developing Drinking Water Limits for PFOS and PFOA

On Feb. 20, 2020, roughly one year after announcing its comprehensive per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) action plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a preliminary regulatory determination under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for the two most-studied of the chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This is the initial step in the process of … Continue Reading

UK Approach to EU Negotiations Post-Brexit: Implications for Environmental Standards

On 27 February 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) government published an outline of its intended approach to the forthcoming negotiations with the European Union (EU) over the future EU/UK relationship once the Brexit transition period ends. As set out in our previous GT Alert, “UK to Formally Leave EU on Friday 31 January 2020”, while … Continue Reading

IRS Takes First Steps to Implement Carbon Capture Tax Credit

On Feb. 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service released partial guidance on the implementation of section 45Q tax credits related to the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide. The section 45Q tax credit was updated on Feb. 9, 2018, as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act (Pub. L. 115-123) to increase the amount of the … Continue Reading

New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act Sends Positive Signals to Renewable Energy Developers, and Revamps Renewable Siting

In January 2020, in his annual budget address, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a complete overhaul of renewable energy siting. In his 30-day amendments to the executive budget, he proposed the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (the “Act”). The proposal would apply to large and mid-sized renewable projects, energy storage, … Continue Reading

The Dutch Supreme Court Obliges the Dutch Government to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On 20 December 2019 the Dutch Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the case of Urgenda against the Dutch State. In 2013, the NGO Urgenda started a civil law procedure against the Dutch State for “knowingly exposing its own citizens to danger” by not taking sufficient measures to prevent climate change and therefore not preventing … Continue Reading

Congress Takes Initial Steps to Address PFAS in the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report

On Dec. 11, the House of Representatives passed S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report. The Senate followed suit on Dec. 17, bringing an end to protracted negotiations on this annual must-pass legislation. In one of their final acts, conferees agreed to provisions addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Two major provisions … Continue Reading

The Revised Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration and Their Impact on UK Environmental Standards

An important difference between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement and former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement is that provisions relating to environmental protections have been removed and are now to be found in the amended Political Declaration. While the Withdrawal Agreement, once ratified, would be a legally binding treaty between the UK … Continue Reading
LexBlog