Environment, Land & Resources

Insights and commentary on environmental issues and developments impacting business in the US and across the world

Latest court ruling further underscores circuit split on groundwater conduit theory. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem The US District Court for the Central District of Illinois has held that power plant owners are not liable under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for discharges of pollutants from coal ash disposal facilities through groundwater to waters of the US. The November 14 ruling is the latest in a series of recent defeats of CWA…
CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Lucas I. Quass, Peter J. Gutierrez, and Roopika Subramanian In a partially published opinion issued September 18, 2018, Atwell v. City of Rohnert Park, Case No. SCV256891, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment that the petition for writ of mandate challenging the City of Rohnert Park’s (City’s) approval of a Walmart expansion project (the Project) was barred by…
The announcement signals EPA’s intent to publish a proposed rule in 2020. By Arthur F. Foerster On November 13, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its “Cleaner Trucks Initiative” (CTI) to further decrease oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from on-highway trucks and engines. EPA intends to publish a proposed rule in early 2020, which will both reduce emissions and also “cut unnecessary red tape while simplifying certification of compliance requirements.” According to EPA’s…
Latham lawyers discuss the business implications of the new legislation. By Tommy P. Beaudreau, Marc T. Campopiano, Michael J. Gergen, Joshua T. Bledsoe, and Jennifer K. Roy Senate Bill 100, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 10, 2018, aims to raise California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030, with an ultimate mandate of 100% clean energy by 2045. On the same day, Brown issued Executive Order B-55-18,…
Companies facing products or environmental liability claims should immediately consider insurance coverage from current and historical policies in light of applicable state law. By Christine G. Rolph and Laura J. Glickman In recent months, the highest courts of several US states have issued important pro-policyholder decisions on insurance coverage issues. The following three cases illustrate important points for policyholders: 1. Xia v. ProBuilders: The Pollution Exclusion Has Limits The Washington Supreme Court recently addressed the…
By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kimberly D. Farbota On September 27, 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed Resolution 18-34, extending the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program to 2030 and making significant changes to the design and implementation of the Program. This blog outlines seven takeaways for market participants and stakeholders. 1. CARB Appears Committed to the LCFS While California’s Cap-and-Trade Program attracts the lion’s share of attention in the trade press,…
By Kimberly D. Farbota, Jennifer K. Roy, and Christopher Garrett CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In an unpublished opinion issued August 28, 2018, Forest Preservation Society v. Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Case. No. SCUK-CVPT-15-66284, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment and upheld the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s (Cal Fire’s or Department’s) approval of a Timber Harvest Plan (THP…
By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Parliament voted in favor of a single-use plastics ban and added its own amendments. Plastics continue to face widespread regulatory attention in the EU. The European Commission (the Commission) released its Plastics Strategy in January 2018 and built on that effort with a proposed ban on 10 single-use plastics in May 2018 (a number of Member States have proposed similar national initiatives). The Commission’s proposals are…
By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Jennifer K. Roy and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In an unpublished opinion issued September 14, 2018, Inland Oversight Comm. v. City of San Bernardino, Case No. E064836, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing the Inland Oversight Committee (IOC), CREED-21, and Highland Hills Homeowners Association’s (HOA’s) (collectively, Petitioners’) appeal challenging the City of San…
The report supports the efforts of the EU’s Seventh Environment Action Programme. By Alexander Wilhelm According to a report prepared by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) — the European Commission’s science and knowledge service — countries across Europe are making progress on tackling soil contamination. The report[i] states that the management of contaminated sites in Europe has improved substantially. The survey prepared by the JCR scientists included 39 countries, of which 25 are EU…