Close Only Counts with Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and Dicamba Applications? Suit Seeks to Overturn EPA’s Decision to Allow Expanded Use of Dicamba

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has heard from the parties in a suit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow more widespread applications of dicamba. In 2016, the EPA approved dicamba for a conditional two-year registration. The agency allowed the more widespread use of dicamba, previously considered a volatile herbicide, as long as incidents of the pesticide harming other crops “are not occurring at unacceptable frequencies or levels.” In 2018, despite more than 4,200 official complaints that alleged damage to at least …

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CWA Alert: High Court Establishes New “Functional Equivalent” Test for Permitting Related to Groundwater Discharge

Last week, the United States Supreme Court provided additional guidance regarding the application of the Clean Water Act. In short, the Clean Water Act requires the federal government to regulate certain groundwater pollutants that find their way into navigable waters such as oceans, rivers and streams. 

The recent Supreme Court opinion has been considered by many to constitute a compromise of opposing positions, as it rejects the Trump Administration’s goals of lesser regulation, but also eliminates a Ninth Circuit court ruling that would have increased permitting requirements related to …

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Can Groundwater Be Regulated Under the Clean Water Act?

Recently, we reported on the EPA’s decision to postpone the Clean Water Rule, a controversial rule pertaining to what bodies of water are protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). While the CWA states that it regulates discharge from point sources into surface waters, what constitutes “surface waters” has continued to be an open and debated question, one that appears to have created a Circuit Court split that the U.S. Supreme Court may need to resolve.

Specifically, on February 1, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued …

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Get the Lead Out

Two recent developments illustrate that the dangers of lead paint need to remain on the radar, especially for employers, property owners, and real estate managers. First, on January 26, a jury in New York handed down a $57 million verdict against the New York City Housing Authority after it failed to perform lead paint inspections and then represented that the inspections had been completed. The Housing Authority’s failure resulted in high blood-lead levels in at least one small child, whose mother sued the Housing Authority. …

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