Robert Wilkinson

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Bob advises domestic and international clients in the agriculture, specialty chemical, mining, energy, product manufacturing and waste management industries on safety and health compliance, permitting and enforcement defense. Common challenges for these clients include air and water quality, land use, toxic chemical regulation, pesticide regulation, and site remediation and redevelopment.

Latest Articles

Manufacturers, processors and formulators of ag chemicals should take note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s January 25 change to its “once in always in” policy will allow facilities that have historically been regulated as “major sources” of hazardous air pollutants to be reclassified as “area” sources if they have reduced their potential to emit to below major source thresholds. Read our Emerging Energy Insights blog post here covering the topic.…
Since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, there has been extensive debate over which waters may be regulated as waters of the United States under the act. Yesterday, Bob Wilkinson explained how this issue came to a head in a recent 9th Circuit opinion and how, in response, EPA is requesting comments on whether pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow with a direct hydrologic…
Since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, there has been extensive debate over which waters may be regulated as “waters of the United States” under the Act. Over the years, various federal courts have reached differing conclusions on the question of whether discharges to groundwater can be considered discharges to waters of the United States. This issue recently came to a head in a 9th Circuit opinion. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…
On February 20, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested comments on whether pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow with a direct hydrologic connection to the jurisdictional surface water may be subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The answer to this question will have far reaching implications because the scope of the agency’s powers under the CWA determines the scope of:…
On February 1, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit issued a stay delaying the implementation of a rule that will require farmers to estimate and report emissions from animal waste. Farmers will now have until at least May 1, 2018 before they are required to report their emissions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last April, the D.C. Circuit invalidated a rule that exempted livestock operations from reporting emissions…
We previously discussed the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, 853 F.3d, to strike down EPA’s regulation that exempted farms from air pollution reporting requirements for releases of hazardous substances from animal wastes. In October 2017, EPA petitioned the D.C. Circuit to stay the mandate in that case. On November 22, the D.C. Circuit granted EPA’s motion to stay the mandate until January 22, 2018. The stay gives farmers an additional two months…
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) filed a motion in the D.C. Circuit asking the court to delay the reporting requirement until 2018. Unless the motion is granted, farms with reportable releases of hazardous substances from animal waste must begin reporting those releases next Wednesday, November 15, 2017. On November 9, the National Pork Producers Council and the United States Poultry and Egg Association filed a motion in support of EPA’s request to…
On Monday October 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) filed a motion Monday in the D.C. Circuit asking the court to delay the reporting requirement until January 18, 2018. Unless the motion is granted, owners or operators of farms with reportable releases of hazardous substances from animal waste must begin reporting those releases on November 15, 2017. Since April, EPA has been developing guidance to help farms come into compliance with requirements to report…
We previously discussed the decision of the D.C. Circuit in Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, 853 F.3d, striking down EPA’s regulation that exempted farms from air pollution reporting requirements for releases of hazardous substances from animal wastes and EPA’s petition to stay the mandate in that case until late January 2018.  The D.C. Circuit responded to that petition on August 16 and ordered the issuance of the mandate be stayed through November 14, 2017. The Court’s…
In April 2017, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA, 853 F.3d 527, which, if upheld, will require approximately 63,000 small- and medium-sized farms that were previously exempt from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting requirements to come into compliance. Read Husch Blackwell’s analysis of the decision and its implications here. Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…