Ninth Circuit Bans Use of Pesticide Chlorpyrifos in Agriculture

On August 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit ordered that the EPA ban a widely used pesticide called chlorpyrifos within 60 days. The court found that EPA had failed to determine that chlorpyrifos was safe.  The decision marked the end – albeit perhaps only temporarily – to a decade-long battle between the pesticide and agriculture industry on one side and environmental and public health groups on the other. By way of background, EPA, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
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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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And Then There Were Five: One State Expands Its Concern To Other PFAS Chemicals And Other Major (Breaking) News On PFAS

Every week there’s more news surrounding the mystifying nature of PFAS chemicals. Our firm recently published a well-received article that explored the state of PFAS and what the horizon holds for regulation and litigation. And this week we have more news on the PFAS front. We should buckle-up because it’s only going to heat-up from here. In November 2017, we reported on the New Jersey scientists that were urging the state to impose a strict limit of 13 ppt for
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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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A Public Hearing Before the Death Knell Tolls on U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. EPA will conduct a public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia on November 28 and 29, 2017 that concerns the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP, as passed under the Obama Administration in 2015, was designed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emitted by power plants. Under the CPP, the EPA assigned each state a goal to reduce emissions from existing power plants and gave the states broad discretion to devise their own
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The California Wild Fires – A Looming Environmental Threat

Clean-up efforts are underway following the devastating Northern California wildfires of last month. Early damage estimates are in the $3-6 billion dollar range. While property damage estimates continue to be updated, Cal Fire reports that 8,400 structures were destroyed by the fires that spanned 245,000 acres. The health impact on residents and workers, as well as the impact to the environment during cleanup efforts from toxins and fire residue in the air and watershed are serious concerns. Asbestos siding, treated wood
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