Environmental and Land Use Law

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay. Wading into a dispute about the Clean Water Act’s applicability to groundwater discharges, the Supreme Court handed environmentalists a somewhat surprising victory in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund.  However, the lower courts, EPA, and the regulated community will have many opportunities to shape the significance of the decision. Decision Summary:  The majority reaches a compromise on the regulation of groundwater discharges. The County of Maui’s wastewater treatment…
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay. Wading into a dispute about the Clean Water Act’s applicability to groundwater discharges, the Supreme Court handed environmentalists a somewhat surprising victory in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund.  However, the lower courts, EPA, and the regulated community will have many opportunities to shape the significance of the decision. Decision Summary:  The majority reaches a compromise on the regulation of groundwater discharges. The County of Maui’s wastewater treatment…
As government agencies at every level continue to implement programs to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, many environmental practitioners are struggling to make sense of what this means for their environmental permitting timelines. Below, we have compiled an overview of the main federal, state, and local changes that are likely to impact environmental permitting in Massachusetts. Federal Permitting Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE): The ACOE is still conducting business, but like the rest of…
As government agencies at every level continue to implement programs to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, many environmental practitioners are struggling to make sense of what this means for their environmental permitting timelines. Below, we have compiled an overview of the main federal, state, and local changes that are likely to impact environmental permitting in Massachusetts. Federal Permitting Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE): The ACOE is still conducting business, but like the rest of…
Image by Baudolino from Pixabay On February 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would begin a regulatory determination process aimed at deciding “whether or not to begin the process to propose and promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation” for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS.  PFAS encompasses a large class of chemical compounds commonly used in both household and industrial substances. To date, there are no enforceable federal PFAS…
Image by Baudolino from Pixabay On February 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would begin a regulatory determination process aimed at deciding “whether or not to begin the process to propose and promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation” for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS.  PFAS encompasses a large class of chemical compounds commonly used in both household and industrial substances. To date, there are no enforceable federal PFAS…
This article was first published in the Winter 2019 edition of the Boston Bar Journal. In a unanimous decision last September, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) upheld the Commonwealth’s latest climate change regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generators, rejecting those generators’ arguments that the regulations violate the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (the “GWSA”).  New England Power Generators Ass’n, Inc. v. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. (“NEPGA”), 480 Mass. 398 (2018).  With the Legislature…
This article was first published in the Winter 2019 edition of the Boston Bar Journal. In a unanimous decision last September, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) upheld the Commonwealth’s latest climate change regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric generators, rejecting those generators’ arguments that the regulations violate the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (the “GWSA”).  New England Power Generators Ass’n, Inc. v. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. (“NEPGA”), 480 Mass. 398 (2018).  With the Legislature…
As our changing climate threatens to exacerbate drought conditions in parts of the country, disputes between states over rights to water are likely to become far more common, and to have far higher stakes.  Early this year, the Court heard arguments in two separate water apportionment cases—one involving a dispute between Texas and New Mexico over the waters of the Rio Grande, and one involving a dispute between Florida and Georgia over the waters of…
As our changing climate threatens to exacerbate drought conditions in parts of the country, disputes between states over rights to water are likely to become far more common, and to have far higher stakes.  Early this year, the Court heard arguments in two separate water apportionment cases—one involving a dispute between Texas and New Mexico over the waters of the Rio Grande, and one involving a dispute between Florida and Georgia over the waters of…