On Wednesday, April 28, the U.S. Senate voted to effectively reinstate Obama-era methane regulations by approving a resolution nullifying the Trump-era methane emission rule “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Review.” The September 2020 Trump Administration rule rolled back Obama-era oil and gas emission rules by rescinding methane
Federal agencies aren’t required to hand over draft documents related to the harm an EPA rule would pose to endangered plants and animals, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. v. Sierra Club , U.S., No. 19-547.
In a 7-2 decision, and the first majority ruling led by Justice Amy Coney…
The EPA is moving towards establishing a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS, and has stated that it is considering avenues for regulating additional groups of PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as well. On February 22, 2021, the EPA announced two actions under SDWA to address PFAS.
First, the agency reissued the final regulatory determination to implement a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for PFOS and PFOA (the “Determination”). This Determination is a continuation of an intended action under the Trump administration, but indicates the Biden administration intends to continue to move forward. The Determination also states that the EPA is considering the regulation of additional PFAS chemicals.Continue Reading EPA indicates intention to regulate certain PFAS in drinking water
When a proposed project in California, say a new condominium or a power plant, requires environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a project opponent can, effectively, block a project from moving forward even if it has the necessary approvals from the local government agency that has oversight. This is because the project…
In a historic act, U.S. EPA proposed the nation’s first-ever greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standard for aircraft on July 21, 2020. (Proposed Rule). Once the Proposed Rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to submit comments. There will likely be significant push back from environmental groups on the Proposed Rule; so it may be important to provide industry comments, where appropriate. U.S. EPA has stated it is hoping to issue a final rule in 2021.
Continue Reading U.S. EPA takes historic action on aviation emissions
On April 22, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that suspended for 60 days certain public filing, posting, notice, and public access requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This order affects all projects in the state requiring a governmental approval that triggers environmental review. This could be anything from a commercial development project to a municipality’s general plan.
Continue Reading California Governor temporarily suspends requirements under CEQA
This year might have been the year for California to set sharp reductions in plastic packaging and single-use plastic food ware, among other plastic items. But the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased use of disposable products to avoid the risk of transmitting the virus through reused items appear to have halted this effort. A ballot…
A recent decision by a California court of appeal clarified the breadth of the California Water Resources Control Board’s (Board) subpoena power, which could have implications for other state agencies in California and elsewhere. Moreover, private entities which are the subject of an administrative investigation may have a difficult time withholding financial records even if those records are not related to the alleged violations, and even if the subpoenaed entity is not directly responsible for any of the alleged violations.
Continue Reading Administrative agencies have broad subpoena power