While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's long-waited proposed vapor intrusion guidance documents provide more certainty as to how to investigate and assess vapor intrusion, the guidelines could also significantly increase remediation costs, add more uncertainty to business transactions and cause regulators to reopen sites, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP.
In Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska dismissed the principal claims in a citizen suit addressing fundamental Clean Water Act issues. This decision may now serve as precedent in future litigation implicating the CWA's permit shield or in cases concerning airborne emissions, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.
Must a public project receive environmental clearance before an agency may begin acquiring property for it? In Golden Gate Land Holdings LLC v. East Bay Regional Park District, the California Court of Appeal answered no, permitting an agency to file an eminent domain action prior to complying with the California Environmental Quality Act, but the holding appears limited, say attorneys with Nossaman LLP.
Even though there probably will not be a major climate change bill passed during the 113th Congress, we can expect a very active next couple of years — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will continue to tout new environmental policies and pursue a lengthy regulatory agenda to control emissions from fossil fuel power plants and other industries, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.
The environmental laws and regulations enacted in the 1970s reflect a modern understanding that even a trace of certain chemicals may pose a potential human health threat many years after their release into the environment. The results of this radical change in scientific understanding are the enforcement actions brought today under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, says Neil Shifrin of Berkeley Research Group LLC.
In the recent ruling of Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the court ruled against the BLM on the National Environmental Policy Act and called for further review of fracking. The decision is one of the early takes on the thorny legal pathway that lies ahead for parties seeking to develop federal shale oil and gas reserves, says Tyler Welti of Perkins Coie LLP.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently released a final permit covering vessel discharges under the Clean Water Act. One of the most significant changes with this new permit is the inclusion of numeric effluent limits to control the release of invasive species in ballast water, says Meline MacCurdy of Marten Law PLLC.
The Internal Revenue Service's recently published Notice 2013-29 provides two new "begun construction" tests used to determine whether certain projects qualify for a production tax credit or investment tax credit. While these tests are very similar to the U.S. Department of Treasury's Section 1603 rules, practitioners should take note of the important differences, says Forrest Milder of Nixon Peabody LLP.
You are general counsel of a publicly traded medical device company and have found that your manufacturer's facility might have dumped some related toxic materials on the plant site — how can you diligence this? A key issue, among others, is setting a deal-oriented scope at the beginning of the environmental due diligence process, say attorneys with Haynes & Boone LLP.
A survey of local rules for courthouses with available Wi-Fi has shown that no courts expressly prohibit the use of Internet by lawyers to gain information about the venire. Interestingly, at least one appellate court has held that it was error not to allow counsel to access the Internet during jury selection, say Derek Sarafa and William O'Neil of Winston & Strawn LLP.