frESH

Perspectives on Environmental, Safety & Health

Public consultation is currently open for the Western Australian (WA) government’s proposed amendments to the state’s environmental protection legislation. The proposed changes aim to modernise the state’s environmental protection legislation to address the new challenges and priorities that have arisen in environmental protection in the 30 years since the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) (EP Act) was introduced. With Australia currently experiencing perhaps the most catastrophic bushfire season in living memory, and the CSIRO reporting…
The UK government has recently consulted on the future of minimum energy efficiency standards for non-domestic properties. If you are a UK landlord or tenant, and find the prospect of a minimum energy performance certification B somewhat eye-watering, then this consultation is critical reading for you. For more detailed information and a link to the consultation, see our fuller article authored by Squire Patton Boggs’ lawyer Sally Coleman :  The New Minimum Energy Performance? It
Last month, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) hosted a comprehensive two-day seminar on per- and polyflouroaklyl substances (PFAS) in California. PFAS are a family of an estimated 4,000-6,300 chemical compounds that have a variety of applications due to their stability in the environment.  Although some reports suggest that these chemicals are ubiquitous in the environment, such pervasiveness may be explained by sampling for parts per trillion, in contrast to the…
On October 9, 2019, President Trump signed two Executive Orders that could have a few significant impacts on federal government agency guidance documents moving forward. The White House says these two Executive Orders are “combating bureaucratic abuse and holding federal agencies accountable.” Our read is that in many ways the two Executive Orders actually just maintain the status quo. Still, there are a few directives that could make a real difference.…
On November 6, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) proposed a new procedural rule titled “Modernizing the Administrative Exhaustion Requirement for Permitting Decisions and Streamlining Procedures for Permit Appeals” (the Proposal). The Proposal represents the first update to the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) in 27 years. Specifically, the Proposal would impact the EAB’s process for reviewing US EPA’s permitting decisions under the Clean Water Act, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination…
We are pleased to share with you the latest edition of “frESH Law Horizons – Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy”. In our September edition, we summarise 32 developments in the environmental, safety and health sector. Some of the top stories this month include: The 2019 UK Modern Slavery Report is published The Court of Appeal decides that the resources of a parent company should not be…
Disagreements between California and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) over greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for automobiles have been simmering since 2018, but tensions between the two sides have recently increased after California entered into a voluntary agreement on GHG standards with a group of major automakers, followed swiftly by US EPA’s withdrawal of California’s authority to enforce its own GHG standards. California has challenged the withdrawal in court. The dispute over vehicle emissions standards is…
On September 20, 2019, Maui County Council (Council) voted to settle the County’s pending appeal before the US Supreme Court of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in County of Maui v. Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund, et al. As previously reported here, the Ninth Circuit’s ruling held that the eventual migration of pollutants from permitted underground injection wells through groundwater into surface waters violates the Clean Water Act (CWA). The decision may portend an expansion of federal…
In recent years, offshore wind costs have tumbled, leading to significant potential growth in the industry.  However, US offshore wind developers setting up their supply chains need to be prepared to navigate a complicated regulatory scheme involving overlapping federal and state laws, and adequately protect themselves with contracts that reflect the unpredictability of building wind turbines in the ocean.  Offshore wind supply chain ventures will also likely face environmental opposition, despite the clean energy moniker. …
As we’ve covered extensively on this blog, the administrative state responsible for implementing environmental, health, and safety policy in the United States is in flux. A few months ago in Kisor v. Wilkie the US Supreme Court upheld but significantly narrowed Auer deference. Auer instructs that courts must defer to an agency’s construction of its own regulation unless that interpretation is “plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation.” After Kisor though, lower courts reviewing an…