Environmental

On February 14, 2019, U.S. EPA issued a comprehensive Action Plan for addressing Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in environmental media. The Action Plan, which was developed in response to significant public input received by EPA over the past year, describes EPA’s short- and long-term multi-media and multi-program approach for addressing PFAS. Notable activities that EPA will implement under the Action Plan include: establishing a maximum contaminant level for PFOA and PFOS under the Safe…
Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced from Region 3 in Philadelphia, what EPA is describing as the most comprehensive cross-agency action plan for a chemical of concern in the history of EPA – the Action Plan for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The PFAS Action Plan has five primary components: EPA is moving forward with the process to establish a federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) under the State Drinking Water…
Members of Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team attended the 2019 Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit in Carlsbad, CA, February 5-7. Here are some of the themes from the conference: While there is a push to complete many projects in 2020, there was a lot of discussion about how the industry and project financing will evolve in coming years as the Production Tax Credit steps down and after it sunsets. The industry is becoming…
By Brent I. Clark, Adam R. Young, Matthew A. Sloan, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: Fifth Circuit rules on Title VII liability concerning workplace violence in a healthcare setting involving third parties.  Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, No. 17-60072 (5th Cir. February 6, 2019). A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit highlights the risks posed to employers in the healthcare and social assistance industries by…
China’s MEE is seeking comment on new chemical regulation framework, which includes a comprehensive environmental risk assessment. Paul A. Davies, Ethan Prall, and R. Andrew Westgate In January 2019, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) issued a draft Regulation on Environmental Risk Assessment, and Control of Chemical Substances (the Chemical Substances Regulation or CSR) in conjunction with 20 other ministries and agencies, including the Supreme People’s Court, the National Development and Reform…
On February 6, 2019, a federal judge upheld U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) 90-day finding that a petition to delist the endangered golden-cheeked warbler (Petition) did not present substantial information that delisting the warbler may be warranted (Negative 90-day Finding). In 2015,  various groups and individuals filed the Petition, which, among other things, alleged that because a 2015 study indicated that the golden-cheeked warbler and its habitat were far more abundant than the Service…
In an article published online this week in BioScience, the American Institute of Biological Sciences’ scholarly journal, Drs. Dennis Murphy and Paul Weiland contribute to the literature on independent scientific review, focusing on the review of federal agency determinations under the Endangered Species Act. They describe the types of decisions that can benefit from independent scientific review. They also describe past shortcomings in undertaking such reviews, relying on specific examples from past reviews. Identification of…
In yet another development relating to Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 water quality certifications, a recent policy directive from the Department of the Army could impose tighter timeframes for a state to review whether projects comply with state water quality standards. The U.S. Department of the Army has issued a policy directive memorandum requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to adhere to a “default time period” of 60 days for states to…
A case filed in 2015 by 21 minors, Juliana v. United States, seeks to hold the U.S. government liable for climate change. After an Oregon federal judge granted an interlocutory appeal to the defendants following a denial of their motion to dismiss, the case is now pending before the Ninth Circuit.…