Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Completes Gas “Mega Rule”

On August 24, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published in the Federal Register a final rule entitled Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines: Repair Criterial, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments (Final Rule). (more…)

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U.S. District Court Enjoins Biden Administration’s Nationwide Oil and Gas Leasing “Pause” Following Fifth Circuit’s Remand

On August 18, 2022, the federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana (the District Court) enjoined the nationwide pause of oil and gas leasing by the Biden administration (the Government). The District Court issued a permanent injunction just one day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the Fifth Circuit) vacated and remanded the District Court’s order by which the District Court had previously issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the pause.

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U.S. EPA Proposes New Risk Management Program Standards for Stationary Sources

On August 19, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to revise Risk Management Program (RMP) standards for stationary sources using certain regulated substances under the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA’s proposal marks the latest reconsideration of a rule issued under the prior administration, as directed by Executive Order 13990. The proposed changes include more stringent requirements for accident prevention, emergency preparedness, and public availability of information as well as regulatory clarifications, with climate change and environmental justice featured prominently as a basis for many proposed changes.  Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule following publication in the Federal Register.

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Fifth Circuit Vacates and Remands Injunction on Nationwide Oil and Gas Lease Pause

On August 17, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the Court) vacated and remanded an order by the federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana (the District Court) of a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining the Biden administration (the Government) from pausing oil and gas lease sales. The Court found that the District Court’s decision lacked specificity.

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Best Practices For Auto Boards During Industry Revolution

The Nikola case stands at the intersection of several emerging risk areas in the automotive industry. For example, as regulators in the U.S. and European Union continue to ratchet up the pressure on climate change goals, and environmental, social and corporate governance, boards need to be extra careful about their companies’ commitments to going carbon neutral and the efficacy of electric vehicles.

That means putting clear plans and metrics in place to ensure appropriate follow-through and effective communications with investors so that they are well-informed about the caveats, risks and limitations.

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EPA Conducts Flyovers in New Mexico and Texas

On August 1, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is conducting helicopter flyovers of the Permian Basin region in New Mexico and Texas. EPA asserted that the purpose of the flyovers was to “survey oil and gas operations to identify large emitters” of methane and volatile organic compounds. This follows recent flyovers conducted in other regions for the same purpose.

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New York State Launches First-of-its-Kind Statewide Mobile Air Monitoring Program

As previously reported, the second quarter of 2022 ushered in a bevy of federal action by the White House, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, and U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services to address environmental justice through numerous agency functions.

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EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive — What Do UK- and U.S.- Headquartered Companies Need to Know?

Non–EU companies with a significant presence in the EU or with securities listed on an EU-regulated market will become subject to new EU rules on corporate sustainability disclosures (the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, or CSRD). The text of the CSRD has now been agreed by the EU institutions.1 CSRD is expected to become EU law later this year. Once implemented into the national law of EU member states, its requirements will be phased in from 2024.

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