Tag Archives: GT Insight

Tenant Insolvencies in the UK and Contaminated Land Liability Risks Due to COVID-19

The negative economic effects resulting from efforts to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have put financial pressure on many businesses.  In the worst such cases, businesses may face the risk of insolvency.  In an environmental law context, this raises the question of what the potential implications may be for those businesses’ environmental … Continue Reading

Changes to Environmental Provisions of the USMCA Trade Agreement

The original text of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (“USMCA”) was amended by the Parties to the Agreement to clarify certain commitments made with respect to environmental and trade matters.  These amendments sought to clarify that the Agreements listed below could not be used to impair, modify or reduce the rights of investors and their investments … Continue Reading

Presidential Executive Order on U.S. Bulk Power System Equipment from ‘Foreign Adversaries’

On May 1, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) declaring a national emergency due to “foreign adversaries” that are “creating and exploiting vulnerabilities” in the U.S. bulk-power system (BPS). The EO prohibits “transactions initiated after May 1, 2020” for BPS electric equipment with voltages 69 kilovolt and above if the transaction would pose an undue … Continue Reading

Is There Still a Place for Supplemental Environmental Projects in Pennsylvania?

SEPs, which permit a defendant to undertake an environmentally beneficial project in lieu of paying penalties—or in exchange for reduced penalties—have been seen as benefiting defendants, enforcement agencies and communities at the same time. SEPs have given enforcement agencies and defendants additional flexibility in negotiating consent decrees and settlement agreements, while also providing communities potentially … Continue Reading

UK Environment Agency Continues to Issue Coronavirus Disease 2019 Enforcement Suspensions

In addition to the recent temporary enforcement suspensions (see April 16 Alert and April 21 Alert) in response to the ongoing disruption caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK’s Environment Agency (EA) has published further temporary regulatory position statements (RPS). Like the EA’s general pre-COVID-19 RPS, the new COVID-19-specific RPS are declarations by the EA (the primary … Continue Reading

FERC Upholds June 2018 PJM Minimum Offer Price Rule Order Thwarting State Subsidies

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued two orders denying rehearing and offering some clarity on the PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM) Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR), a construct that potentially prevents new capacity-market sellers from depressing prices by offering at reduced prices to clear a capacity auction. The April Orders relate to FERC’s June 2018 order, which … 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

FERC Clarifies and Reaffirms ADIT Rules

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Order 864-A on Public Utility Transmission Rate Changes to Address Accumulated Deferred Income Taxes (ADIT). Order No. 864-A addresses requests for clarification and rehearing concerning the obligation of public utilities with either transmission formula rates or transmission stated rates to return excess ADIT arising from the reduction in the … Continue Reading

Mexican Official Standard NOM-017-CRE-2019: Clean Energy Measurement and Compliance Assessment

The Energy Regulatory Commission (Comisión Reguladora de Energía, “CRE”) published Mexican Official Standard (Norma Oficial Mexicana) NOM-107-CRE-2019, Methods for measuring variables to calculate the percentage of clean energy and compliance assessment procedure (the “NOM”). We discuss the background, purpose, scope of application, measurement methods, compliance assessment, and oversight authority of the CRE. Read the full … Continue Reading

UK Environment Agency Four Further Coronavirus Disease 2019 Enforcement Suspensions

In addition to the three new temporary regulatory position statements (RPS) discussed in a previous GT Alert, in response to the ongoing disruption caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic the UK’s Environment Agency (EA) has published four new temporary regulatory position statements (RPS). Like the EA’s other RPS, the four new COVID-19 specific … Continue Reading

Implementation of the Dutch Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet) Postponed Due to Pandemic

On 1 April 2020 the Dutch minister for Environment and Housing (Minister voor Milieu en Wonen) announced that implementation of the Environment and Planning Act is postponed. Implementation of the new legislation was planned for 1 January 2021, but according to the minister, postponement is inevitable due to the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 … Continue Reading

UK Environment Agency – Coronavirus Disease 2019 Enforcement Suspensions

In response to the disruption caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK’s Environment Agency (EA) has published three new temporary regulatory position statements (RPS). Like the EA’s other RPS, the three new COVID-19 specific RPS are declarations by the EA (the primary environmental regulator and enforcement authority for England and Wales) that … Continue Reading

For Developers and Owners: How COVID-19 Is Affecting Construction Projects and Actions You Should Consider

COVID-19’s impact on construction projects is mixed and varies by state. Many states consider construction an “essential” service, following guidance from the federal Department of Homeland Security, which issued a non-binding list of 16 “critical infrastructure sectors.” Other states and some local municipalities take a narrower view, requiring virtually all construction to cease. In all … Continue Reading

FERC Puts PJM’s Minimum Run-Time Proposal on Hold

On April 10, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order (April Order) on PJM Interconnection, LLC’s (PJM) proposal for minimum run-time requirements for capacity storage resources. The April Order relates to Order No. 841 from December 2018, which opened energy markets to energy storage, and a FERC order from October 2019, where … Continue Reading

Amendment to Mexico’s Energy Transition Law

The Decree, from the Chamber of Deputies, provides that the Transition Strategy to Promote the Use of Cleaner Technologies and Fuels (Estrategia de Transición para Promover el Uso de Tecnologías y Combustibles más Limpios) issued by the Ministry of Energy, which contains policies and measures to promote the use of the country’s renewable energy resources, … 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

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Issues Enforcement Discretion Policy to Address Civil Noncompliance during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum (Susan Parker Bodine, “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program,” U.S. EPA, March 26, 2020) (Discretion Memo) granting enforcement discretion for virtually all civil violations of federal environmental laws during the COVID-19 pandemic. Timing The policy will apply retroactively from March 13, 2020, the … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Disease 2019 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act: OSHA Update No. 2 – Essential Workers

Michael G. Murphy P.E. authored this update to a Jan. 31, 2020 Alert, which provided general information on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and steps for employers to consider as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was just starting to appear in the United States, and before work shut down and shelter orders … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania and the Circular Economy: Turning Waste Into Something New

The “circular economy” is coming to Pennsylvania. And if recent polling data are correct, it cannot come a moment too soon—and Pennsylvania attorneys and advisers would be well-advised to become acquainted with the coalescing legal and market forces that are driving the transition. In the circular economy, resources are extracted, made into products and then … 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
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