Category

Environmental Trends

21 November 2019

EPA Begins Next Phase of PFAS Action Plan

On November 8, the EPA announced a public comment period on its systematic review protocol for five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals historically used in manufacturing and consumer goods for their nonstick and flame-retardant properties. A PFAS chemical (typically perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)) is also a major ingredient in firefighting foam used on military bases to contain industrial fires. (more…)

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19 November 2019

Supreme Court Could Clarify Intersection Between CERCLA and State Law

On December 3, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, et al., a case that raises the question of whether landowners may bring state-law causes of action to force Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) parties to go beyond what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered them to do. CERCLA allows EPA to investigate and clean up contaminated sites and to recover its costs from persons and entities (potentially responsible parties, or PRPs) that have a connection to these sites. When faced with government action at a site, PRPs sometimes elect to perform these investigations and remedial actions themselves. (more…)

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05 November 2019

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week:

  • A wave of litigation begins as both supporters and opponents of the Trump administration’s repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule file suit
  • D.C. Circuit declines to review EPA’s revised midterm evaluation of auto GHG standards but reminds agency of need to provide reasoned explanation to revise the standards
  • Interior Department finalizes FOIA rules

(more…)

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29 July 2019

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Interest groups kick off challenges to EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule
  • D.C. Circuit upholds EPA decision not to impose new financial assurance requirements on hardrock mining operators
  • Fourth Circuit vacates Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit
  • EPA declines to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos
  • Maryland high court holds that state agency supersedes county zoning boards on solar zoning

(more…)

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03 July 2019

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week:

  • EPA finalizes Clean Power Plan repeal and promulgates Affordable Clean Energy rule
  • U.S. Senate passes defense bill with PFAS requirements
  • Council on Environmental Quality issues draft guidance on considering GHGs in environmental impact reviews
  • Solicitor General asks for Supreme Court review of Atlantic Coast Pipeline decision
  • EPA air chief steps down

(more…)

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30 May 2019

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • U.S. House and Senate hold hearings on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • D.C. Circuit issued two decisions related to small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
  • California Department of Pesticide Regulation moves to ban chlorpyrifos in California
  • Carbon capture and storage technology receives greater political support with new bill in the U.S. Senate

(more…)

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08 May 2019

Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Clean Water Act groundwater case settlement proposed, potentially ending Supreme Court review
  • EPA issues draft interim cleanup guidelines for PFAS in groundwater
  • EPA reaffirms its stance that glyphosate does not pose risk to human health and is not carcinogenic
  • Virginia will not join Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues certificate for natural gas pipeline expansion in Northeast

(more…)

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