S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Law

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After hosting its 2020 Environmental & Sustainability Summit (“ESS”) virtually due to the COVID Pandemic…after all, what else could keep Phoenicians from fleeing the scorching heat and heading up to the cooler temps of Flagstaff…, the Arizona Manufacturers Council (“AMC”) and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“Arizona Chamber”) were eager to get back to normalcy with their 2021 ESS. However, due to the ongoing uncertainties accompanying COVID, the AMC and Arizona Chamber decided…
by Luke Narducci, Mike Ford, and Amanda Reeve On January 9, 2020, the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest (“ACLIPI”), on behalf of several individuals, filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Court”) a Petition for Review (“Petition”) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) determination of attainment for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“Ozone Standard”) in the Phoenix-Mesa Area (“Area”) by the 2016 attainment deadline.…
by Patrick J. Paul On Wednesday July 21, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the PFAS Action Act of 2021.  The bill, H.R. 2467, passed 241-183 demonstrating its bipartisan support, with twenty-three Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in supporting the legislation.  H.R. 2467 would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would trigger federal cleanup standards. H.R. 2467 would…
by Patrick J. Paul Avolta, a renewable energy company focused on originating, developing, owning and operating renewable natural gas (RNG) projects, along with its regional development partner, Atlas Global Holdings, LLC, recently broke ground on a RNG project at the Butterfield Dairy in Buckeye, AZ – the first of several such new biogas projects planned in Arizona to be operated by Nacelle Solutions. Dairy operations often result in the production of biogas – think cow manure. Utilizing…
by Patrick J. Paul In what has been described by some as a landmark environmental justice resolution, on July 13, 2021, Delaware-based companies DuPont, Chemours and Corteva agreed to pay Delaware $50 million according to a settlement reached in connection with contamination to the environment caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as forever chemicals. The settlement will result in a guaranteed $50 million payment to Delaware, to be paid immediately. Additionally, the companies…
by Patrick J. Paul On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, a federal court in South Carolina allowed the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), defining the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction, to remain in place while the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) work on a replacement rule. Although opposed by environmental groups who preferred not only a remand of the NWPR, but also its vacatur, the
by Amanda Reeve and Lucas J. Narducci In its June 25, 2021 Press Release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) presented its plan for utilizing $50 million dollars, allocated to the agency under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021/Covid-19 stimulus package, to Environmental Justice (“EJ”) initiatives. The USEPA’s goal is to quickly dispense these funds in a manner that will assist under-resourced communities. The USEPA states it will use the funding to…
by Amanda Reeve and Lucas J. Narducci The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“USEPA”) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (“OECA”) released July 1, 2021 guidance establishing a process on which it will rely upon to advance its’ Environment Justice (“EJ”) goals.  Using authorities granted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), the USEPA is determined to strengthen its EJ initiative through cleanup enforcement at…
by Lucas J. Narducci & Amanda A. Reeve We all have been waiting to see what new course or approach will be taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) in regard to environmental justice.  Rather than a major new program or enforcement initiative, the recent declaration from USEPA in this area provides clarity and focus – basically taking the available regulatory frameworks and existing information and rules and restructuring them in a manner to…
by Patrick J. Paul On June 21, 2021, in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), Governor Doug Ducey announced the provision of $2 million in state funding to facilitate the restart of Tucson Water –– a treatment plant shutdown due to severe groundwater contamination. The funding is intended to accelerate ongoing efforts to continue safely treating contaminated water by bringing the Tucson Airport Remediation Plant (TARP) back online. Because of heightened levels…