Environmental

By James L. Curtis, Mark A. Lies, II, Adam R. Young, and Craig B. Simonsen Seyfarth Synopsis: Health care providers are increasingly called upon to address drug resistant medical cases such as Candida auris (C. auris), an emerging multidrug-resistant fungus that presents a serious health threat to health care employees.  Health care employers need to ensure that employees are being adequately protected from potential hazards, such as C. auris. News sources are reporting mysterious…
Section 400(h) of the National Contingency Plan (NCP) contains an unremarked, yet problematic, last sentence. The NCP, of course, governs response actions under the federal Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund); the government cannot recover costs incurred inconsistently with that regulation. 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a)(1-4)(A). Section 400(h) provides: (h) Oversight. The lead agency may provide oversight for actions taken by potentially responsible parties to ensure that a response is conducted…
Yesterday, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services Office of Marijuana Policy released a preliminary draft of the Adult Use Marijuana Rules. The preliminary draft includes comprehensive provisions on business licenses for marijuana establishments, which include cultivation, testing, and products manufacturing facilities, and marijuana stores. In addition to licensing provisions, the draft addresses general compliance, advertising, product safety, packaging and labeling, and enforcement. The Office of Marijuana Policy has requested that public feedback on…
On April 10th, President Donald Trump signed two Executive Orders that seek to promote timely review of critical energy infrastructure projects in the United States. These changes to the review process seek to “enable the timely construction of the infrastructure needed to move our energy resources through domestic and international commerce.” (EO 13868.) “By promoting the development of new energy infrastructure, the United States will make energy more affordable, while safeguarding the environment and advancing our Nation’s economic…
On April 5, 2019, US EPA finalized significant new use rules (SNURs) for 13 new chemical substances under section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Notably, the 13 chemicals are not also subject to orders under TSCA section 5(e) or 5(f) – an approach that differs substantially from US EPA’s long-standing past practice. US EPA previously outlined this “SNUR-only” strategy in a “framework” policy document in late 2017 that was challenged in a…
Last month, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers agreed on a plan to implement a sweeping new transportation policy in Manhattan: congestion pricing.   New York will join other major cities around the world – including London (Congestion Charge), Stockholm (Congestion Tax), and Singapore (Electronic Road Pricing) – which have recently implemented a form of congestion pricing, but New York City will be the first American…
Last week, the Fifth Circuit found that Lloyd’s syndicates may not subrogate against an additional insured and may not force that additional insured to arbitration. Lloyd’s Syndicate 457 v. FloaTEC, LLC, No. 17-20550 (5th Cir. Apr. 17, 2019). The case arose out of an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico called Big Foot, owned and operated by Chevron. Chevron contracted with FloaTEC to engineer steel tendons to moor Big Foot to the ocean floor.…
April 22 is Earth Day! In honor of this day, here is a roundup of insights from our Environmental team highlighting best practices, trends, and recent regulations: EPA Announces New Owner Audit Program Agreement for Oil & Natural Gas Exploration and Production Facilities Staying in Lane Under the Environmental Rights Amendment New York to Propose Stringent Drinking Water Standards Philadelphia’s Approach to Lead Contamination in the Riverward Neighborhoods A Busy Time for the New Jersey
Four years after the Supreme Court of Ohio struck down the City of Munroe Falls’ attempt to regulate oil and gas development through zoning, a lower appeals court held that the City and its law director could not sanctioned for attempting to enforce ordinances that required Beck Energy to obtain a zoning certificate and/or variance prior to drilling wells within the city.  See State of Ohio, ex rel. Thomas W. Kostoff v. Beck Energy Corp…
On Friday, MassDEP proposed a number of revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, including reporting and cleanup standards for PFASThe proposed GW-1 standard, applicable to current and potential drinking water source areas, would be 20 parts per trillion for the sum of six PFAS compounds (PFDA, PFHpA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA) – significantly more stringent than the 70 ppt guideline for the sum of five PFAS compounds currently in effect. Of course,…