Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • Environmental groups and attorneys general challenge delay of civil penalty increases for automakers.
  • Interior seeks to streamline environmental impact statements.
  • Landowner suit claims FERC eminent domain powers are unconstitutional.
  • EPA will reconsider coal ash disposal rule.
  • EPA postpones compliance with power plant effluent limitations.
  • Environmental groups threaten suit to compel oil and gas methane regulations.

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District Court Rules It Lacks Jurisdiction Over Claims for Future Climate Change Injuries

The U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts dismissed, in part, an environmental group’s challenge to a Boston Harbor terminal’s stormwater permit, claiming that the permit fails to protect the group’s members from future harm from climate change. The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act citizen suit in September 2016. Among other things, they argued the Everett Terminal’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan, and Facility Response Plan failed to account for petroleum product discharges that would occur in the future from sea level rise, storm surges, severe weather events and flooding caused by climate change. (more…)