E&W Blog

November 28, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Explains: What is Endangered Species Habitat?

This week the U.S. Supreme Court put its finger on the essential problem of the nearly 50 year old Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1531 – What is endangered species habitat? The question is important.  Unbeknownst to those who do not pour through the Federal Register daily, millions of acres of private lands are designated […]
November 23, 2018

Hyundai settles federal clean air criminal case for $1.9M

The recent sentencing of Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas for Clean Air Act crimes is the latest in EPA and DOJ’s efforts at cracking down on the mobile source market.  This represents another Obama era investigation, but indications are that the Trump administration will continue to make enforcement of violations in the mobile source sector a priority. *** […]
October 19, 2018

Court decision involving EPA temperature TMDL for Columbia and Snake Rivers has implications for climate change, warming waters, and species . . .

On October 18, the District Court for Western District of Washington rejected EPA’s motion for summary judgment arguing that the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. did not require EPA to develop a temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Columbia and lower Snake River.  (court order linked here)  The Columbia […]
October 1, 2018

Trump Administration’s ESA Reforms Are Long Overdue . . .

The proposed rules published by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, “the Services”) on 25 July 2018, if adopted, singly or collectively would be the most significant amendments to the ESA regulations since 1986. These regulatory amendments are long overdue. If adopted, the proposed rules […]
October 1, 2018

Coal-ash policies are not wrong-headed . . .

Author: Dave Moore USA Today Op-Ed Published Sept. 30, 2018 Hurricanes like Florence are force majeur under environmental laws — chance and unavoidable accidents: Opposing view Three years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency placed restrictions on new coal-ash storage and disposal areas as part of laws enacted 30 years ago to address solid wastes. Ash […]
September 21, 2018

Is your company prepared to weather the next severe storm event?

Have you or your company looked at the EHS readiness of your facilities ahead of when the next hurricane arrives?  Last year’s Harvey and this past week’s arrival of Florence put into sharp focus the risks facing companies that don’t plan or respond effectively in the wake of such a catastrophic incident.  With the increased occurrence of severe weather […]
August 30, 2018

DOJ/EPA pursue criminal charges involving environment and worker safety . . .

The recent indictments out of Nebraska related to the deaths of two workers and mishandling of hazardous waste demonstrates EPA’s and DOJ’s continued focus on the intersection of environmental protection and worker safety.  With substantially larger criminal penalties for certain environmental violations than available in worker safety statutes, the DOJ, EPA and OSHA will look to apply […]
August 27, 2018

EPA Announces New National Compliance Initiative

EPA’s Enforcement Chief, Susan Bodine, issued new guidance this week, announcing movement away from “enforcement” to “compliance” initiatives.   The initiative underscores the approach the agency is taking to lighten its civil enforcement footprint, encourage states and tribes to take the lead where they can, and promote compliance over enforcement as a matter of policy.   National Enforcement […]
July 27, 2018

Feds criminally charge water company for hazardous waste violations . . .

The recent multi-defendant indictment against companies in the water and waste industries is one more sign that the environmental cop remains on the beat.  Keep an eye on staffing levels in EPA’s criminal program to see if this type of critical enforcement work can continue at the level needed to keep the playing field level and the public […]
July 27, 2018

DOI limits compensatory mitigation on BLM lands . . .

This week the Trump Administration rolled out a new policy (Memo No. 2018-093) discontinuing certain mitigation practices involving natural resource impacts on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  While the policy states that “voluntary” compensatory mitigation will be allowed in certain circumstances, it ends the practice of BLM accepting monetary payment […]