Climate Change Lawsuits Heat Up – The City of Boulder, Boulder County, and San Miguel County Join the Mix

On April 17, 2018, the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and San Miguel County, all in Colorado, collectively became the latest government entities to file suit against some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, seeking compensation for the costs of adapting to climate change in their communities.   Non-coastal suits arrive: The Colorado suit, similar to all the previously filed government suits, alleges that the defendants’ greenhouse gas products are directly responsible for current and future physical impacts
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Extra-Terrestrial? Illinois Attorney General to File Suit Over Emission Controls in Wisconsin

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced she plans to file a lawsuit challenging a recently issued ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While lawsuits involving environmental regulations between individual states and the federal government are becoming increasingly prevalent, this suit is noteworthy as it involves a manufacturing facility being built by Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) just north of the Illinois border in southeast Wisconsin. The Taiwanese company plans to build flat-screen display panels at the factory and
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What Happens to Wastewater From Oil and Gas Extraction? EPA Seeks Input

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun soliciting information for a new study that will examine how numerous entities across the U.S., including industry, stakeholders, local officials, energy providers, states, and the EPA itself, regulate and manage wastewater produced during the oil and gas extraction processes. The goal of the study is to develop better and more effective ways to dispose of, recycle, or reuse the wastewater generated during extraction. By way of example, and with regard to hydraulic
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In the Name of Transparency: EPA’s Proposed Rule to Limit Scientific Studies Raises Concern

On April 24, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a rule to impose limitations on what scientific studies may be used by the agency to promulgate regulations. Mr. Pruitt seeks to exclude from the agency’s consideration any scientific studies that contain confidential data on the grounds that the agency ought to be transparent about the information it relies upon in crafting regulations. The proposed rule has garnered support from certain scientific organizations, like the American Chemistry Council,
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Up the Creek: The EPA Invites Public Comment Regarding Cleanup to NJ Superfund Site

The U.S. EPA is seeking public comment now on its proposed cleanup plan for the Berry’s Creek Study Area — a Superfund site located in Bergen County, New Jersey. Berry’s Creek Study Area includes a 6.5 mile tributary of the Hacksensack River and about 12 miles of additional wetlands and industrial properties within the watershed. The creek originates near Teterboro Airport, runs through various sections of towns that are close to where Giants Stadium used to stand in the Meadowlands,
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States Sue EPA Over Delay in Setting Methane Emissions Standards

On April 5, 2018, 14 U.S. states filed a lawsuit against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleging that the agency is “unreasonably delaying” the issuance of federal methane emissions standards. The complaint names the EPA and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as the defendants. New York State is taking the lead in this challenge; other states joining the lawsuit include California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, and New Mexico. The District of Columbia and
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The Scorecard

In May 2017, we reported about the intentions of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to rebalance the EPA. At that time, Pruitt discussed core values and stressed that going forward the process and rule making will matter. One of the customs that Pruitt expressed he wanted to shed was “the federal government [being] actively involved in picking winners and losers by using regulations and the power to penalize…” Pruitt contended that the EPA’s mission is and should be clean air, water
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The Coming Battle Between California and EPA Over Vehicle Fuel Standards — The Implications for CO2 Emissions and Climate Change

Two weeks ago, we reported on potential moves by the EPA to weaken fuel economy standards, and in doing so, picking a fight with California and the state’s ability to set its own emission rules through its waiver under the Clean Air Act. Those threatened moves are now reality, as the EPA announced on Monday that current fuel economy standards will be revised. But underlying the moves to roll back fuel economy standards is the ongoing war between the Trump
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Cutting out the CARBs: EPA Administrator Suggests Possible Split with California on Emission Standards

Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently discussed a broad range of issues in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Chief among those, Pruitt stated that the EPA is opposed to setting stricter fuel economy standards beyond 2025 and has questioned whether individual states should be able to enact their own tougher emissions rules for cars and light trucks. Pruitt said that California, which has a waiver under the 1970 Clean Air Act giving it authority to
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EPA to Host National Leadership Summit on PFAS

In the latest on per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), earliest this week, the EPA sent a letter to the governors of 56 states and territories announcing its plan to host a National Leadership Summit on PFAS in Washington, D.C. on May 22 and 23. Stakeholders from across the country are invited to participate in identifying immediate actions to address the public’s growing concern over PFAS. At the Summit, the EPA plans to: Share information on ongoing efforts to characterize risks
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