Rosa D. Forrester

All articles by Rosa D. Forrester

 

Tall Drink of Wastewater: EPA Considers Permitting Wastewater Disposal Into Texas Rivers and Streams

For every barrel of oil drilled in Texas, four-to-five barrels of wastewater are produced. The abundance of untreated water has led the EPA to consider whether to permit oil drillers in Texas to discharge wastewater directly into local rivers and streams, avoiding the complicated and costly process of trucking the water to underground wells that may be many miles away. If put into effect, this plan would alter established federal clean water regulations that have been in place for decades.
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Long-Term Environmental Impact of Hurricane Florence Yet to be Seen

As of press time, Hurricane Florence has claimed nearly 40 lives and caused extensive destruction in the hardest-hit areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Environmental analysts will have their work cut out for them as they attempt to measure the environmental impact of the storm. At present, we have detected three current areas of primary environmental concern — risk to nuclear sites, the spread of coal ash waste, and the flooding of industrial farms.  Nuclear Sites: The Carolinas are uniquely situated
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Trump Administration Continues Rollback of Obama-Era CO2 Regulations

On August 21, 2018, the Trump administration released a proposed CO2 plan that will permit states to establish emission standards for coal power plants rather than encouraging their closure. The new proposal will provide coal companies with a strong financial incentive to keep their plants in operation, rather than the Obama administration’s goal of replacing them with power plants using renewable energy.  According to the EPA, the proposed rule, named the Affordable Clean Energy (rule), contains several key components:  a
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Pain in the Ash: Part II- The Reckoning

The Environmental Law Monitor reported earlier this year on battles between environmental activists and power plants over the controversial storage of toxic coal ash waste near waterways and in landfills. The battle rages on this week after the EPA finalized a rule on July 17, 2018 that reduces Obama-era requirements for handling and storing the dangerous waste, thrilling the coal industry and evoking anxiety from activists. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler enacted a new standard for storing coal ash at
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Old MacDonald Had a Gas Station — EPA Requires Increased Quantities of Ethanol in National GasolineSupply, but Producers are Skeptical

The Environmental Protection Agency has increased the total amount of ethanol and biodiesel that must be used in 2019 to 19.88 billion gallons under the Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard for 2019, a 3 percent increase over 2018 levels. Fifteen billion gallons of the blended gasoline will be traditional ethanol, made from crops like corn and soy, while the remainder will be composed of biofuels and biodiesel. This change was bolstered by agricultural and renewable fuel lobbyists, who argue that American
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New Jersey Settles MTBE Pollution Case for Almost $200 Million

A pollution lawsuit initially filed against three major oil companies is settling for almost $200 million, with additional parties still negotiating. In 2007, the state of New Jersey sued a number of oil companies in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over their usage of MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether). MTBE was a synthetic chemical added to gasoline to help fuel burn more completely and reduce tailpipe emissions from vehicles. MTBE was approved for use in
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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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Tree for All: NJ Forest Department Distributes Free Trees to Residents

We thought it would be a breath of fresh air to report this week on a positive development to the local environment, in this instance, happening right here in my home state of New Jersey. In recent years, New Jersey has been hit with more natural disasters than ever before, resulting in a serious reduction in the amount of healthy trees in the state. The Forest Department has been pining for that to change, so it has instituted a free
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Tijuana Blues: Mexican Wastewater Contaminates SoCal Coast, According to New Lawsuit

SoCal surfer dudes were in for a surprise when a serious funk rolled in with the tides in Imperial Beach and Chula Vista, California. A new lawsuit has been filed against the International Boundary & Water Commission – United States Section (IBWC or the Commission) and Veolia Water North America West for repeatedly failing to address “devastating pollution discharges” from the Tijuana River, which had been used as a dump for decades. In the last three years alone, severely polluted
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Michigan County: Worst PFAS Contamination in the Country to Date

This blog post follows our regular postings on one the key emerging unregulated contaminants, PFASs. Following New York’s lead, Michigan’s now considering blood tests for the contaminant in individuals located in what’s considered the country’s most serious PFAS contamination zone. What’s PFAS? A quick recap — per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of human-made toxic chemicals. PFASs were used to make some of the most common consumer products, including Gore-Tex clothing, Teflon cookware, Scotchgard stain-repellant for carpets or
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PFAS Update — Hudson Valley City Authorizes its City Council to Commence Suit Involving PFOS Contamination to Drinking Water Supply

The City of Newburgh, New York has had enough. After the city’s water supply was shut down following contamination by perfluorooctane sulfonate, a toxic chemical known as PFOS, residents have authorized its city council to commence a lawsuit against the alleged contaminator, a nearby Air National Guard Base. PFOS, and the related chemical PFOA (both of which are part of the class of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFASs) was first discovered in Newburgh’s water supply in mid-2016. Washington
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Pain in the Ash: Citizens in Virginia and North Carolina Seek Protection from Hazardous Coal Ash Waste

Power companies in North Carolina and Virginia are currently battling with their neighbors over the best method to store coal ash waste. Coal ash, also referred to as coal combustion residuals, is the resulting waste following the burning of coal in coal-fired power plants. The ash is often disposed of in surface impoundments, landfills, and nearby waterways. When improperly disposed of, coal ash is hazardous to the surrounding environment, as it contains contaminants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. In the case
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Does this Water Taste … Nuclear to You? Florida Power Company Granted Permission to Store Wastewater from Proposed Nuclear Reactors Beneath Miami’s Drinking Water Aquifers

After a months-long battle, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently granted Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) application to: (1) build two new nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point Generating Station; (2) store wastewater from the proposed nuclear reactors under Miami’s drinking water aquifers; and (3) eventually store nuclear waste near the same site. This application was granted despite previous citations issued to FPL for its leaks of saltwater into drinking water and wastewater into Biscayne Bay that were from
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California’s Groundwater Protection Plans Seek to Protect and Preserve the State’s Most Scarce Resource

This past winter, California finally experienced the rain it had been desperately awaiting for several years. The state Department of Water Resources is tracking more than 22 million acre-feet of water in its reservoirs, hoping that it will replenish the losses sustained from 2012 onward when a drought began ravaging the state. While California residents must be excited at the prospect of longer showers, state water officials are researching how to best make the bounty last. California precipitation is unpredictable,
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Regulated Industry Beware: Citizen Suit Under Clean Air Act Results in Largest Ever Penalty

In late April 2017, ExxonMobil was ordered to pay almost $20 million in penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act in the Houston area. The oil giant was sued in 2010 by environmental groups The Sierra Club and Environment Texas, which alleged that the corporation emitted levels of hazardous contaminants in excess of what is permitted by federal and state law. U.S. District Judge David Hittner stated in his decision that Exxon financially benefited to the tune of $14
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Up in the Air: The Evaporating Confidence of New York Property Owners

A growing number of New York State property owners are facing legal issues, decreases in property value, unexpected environmental remediation costs, and general uncertainty because of a phenomenon called “vapor intrusion.” Goldberg Segalla’s John F. Parker and Rosa D. Forrester have explained the issue in an article for New York Law Journal. “In New York, recent changes in environmental guidelines and practices have led to the reopening of previously closed environmental spill sites to further investigate the presence of volatile
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