E&W Blog

April 15, 2018

Feds file major action against NY town for drinking water violations, signaling shift in enforcement priorities.

In what is a clear shift in DOJ/EPA policy involving large enforcement cases under the nation’s Clean Water Act, the Trump Administration has turned its focus to the Safe Drinking Water Act and the risks to public health associated with health-based violations.  Historically, the federal government has focused largely on enforcing against cities discharging raw […]
April 15, 2018

West Virginia airport operator charged with environmental crimes 

Executive Air Terminal, Inc., has pleaded guilty to illegal storage of hazardous waste and will be sentenced in early May.   According to reports, Executive Air is accused of breaking the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which makes it a crime for someone to store or dispose of hazardous waste without a permit. Under the act, […]
April 13, 2018

4th Circuit Court Expands CWA “Conduit Theory” Liability

In a victory for environmentalists, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals handed Kinder Morgan a major defeat this week that has much wider implications for regulated entities under the evolving “conduit theory” of liability under the Clean Water Act.  4th Circuit Kinder Decision At issue in this case was whether an indirect discharge of a pollutant […]
April 9, 2018

Trump Announces New “One Federal Decision” Approach to Streamline Federal Approvals

Today, the White House announced a new approach to streamlining and making the approval process for federal permits and approvals more efficient.  Although the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the various agencies is still being finalized, the following summarizes the key elements of this new process. No longer will we allow the infrastructure of our […]
April 3, 2018

EPA Tries New Informal Enforcement Approach

*** EPA’s chief of enforcement, Susan Bodine, has set her sights on a new approach to improve compliance, “informal enforcement”, bringing to bear Scott Pruitt’s priorities of cooperative federalism and “back to basics”.   The approach is being criticized by some as more roll-backs, others are hailing the measure as a better way to improve compliance, […]
April 2, 2018

Congress Passes $21.2 Billion Infrastructure Spending Bill

From Water & Waste Digest (March 30) On March 29, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new $1.3 trillion spending package, of which $21.2 billion will be allocated for infrastructure spending. The new injection will fund the government through September 2018. The House passed the bill with a vote of 256-167 and the Senate […]
March 27, 2018

Ethanol markets for biofuel credits rife with fraud and hucksters . . .

Loosely regulated market for biofuel credits spurs speculators and swindlers By EVAN HALPER  MAR 26, 2018 | 3:00 AM | WASHINGTON Andre Bernard made a killing selling a mirage. As oil refineries struggled to comply with federal mandates for blending renewable fuels into the nation’s gasoline and diesel supply, Bernard offered a solution: millions of dollars’ worth of biofuel credits […]
March 24, 2018

DOJ Issues Environmental Enforcement Priorities

DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division released its enforcement principles and priorities under Attorney General Sessions which align with much of Administrator Pruitt’s “Back to Basics” approach.  DOJ will continue to pursue civil and criminal prosecutions where the leading objective is to protect the public health and maintain the integrity of environmental programs. Cases in this category arise […]
March 14, 2018

How Pruitt Distinguishes Trump’s EPA

Practitioner Insights: How Pruitt Distinguishes Trump’s EPA Reposted from Bloomberg Environment, Daily Environment Reporter March 13, 2018 Author:  Doug Parker The EPA may be the agency that best exemplifies the drastic change from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. Administrator Scott Pruitt has focused on advocating for the growth of the fossil fuel sector […]
February 26, 2018

Let the US EPA Coal Ash Rule Procedures Work

Let the US EPA coal ash rule procedures work Environmentalists are raising concerns about risks to groundwater from coal ash, making this an opportune time to clarify EPA’s 2015 coal combustion residual rule, attorney Brent Fewell writes. AUTHOR, Brent Fewell Republished from Utility Dive,  Feb. 26, 2018 In recent weeks, environmental activists have begun to […]