As medical marijuana expands under state laws, a number of courts are recognizing protections for employees that complicate zero-tolerance rules. Donna Pryor, Partner, reviews the latest, leading cases and discusses considerations for employers in her recent Coal Age article.
The Trump administration announced in December 2018 its proposed replacement rule defining “waters of the United States.” Under the proposed rule, the number of wetlands that fall outside of federal jurisdiction is expected to increase.
Phillip Bower and Megan McLean weigh in on what this means for state regulation of non-federal wetlands in the recent article published in the American Bar Association’s March/April 2019 edition of Trends, the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources newsletter.
What are Wisconsin, Minnesota and other states doing? What’s next?
Check out the full article: The Proposed WOTUS Rule: How do states regulate non-federal wetlands?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) are synthetic chemicals used in a number of industrial processes and in the manufacturing of certain consumer goods because of their fire resistance and because they repel oil, stains, grease, and water. There are approximately 3,500 different compounds under the umbrella of PFAS. Some of these were used in firefighting foam, which in some places, including near airports, were spread over the ground to prevent forest fires. The most well-known versions, and considered to be of greatest concern, are long chain PFAS, perfluoroctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and perfluoroctane sulfonate (“PFOS”). Continue Reading PFAS: A new source for regulatory concern
Previously, we reported the Federal Circuit split (Part 1) regarding indirect discharges to navigable waters through groundwater and the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in one of those cases (Part 2), which will hopefully settle whether the Clean Water Act (“CWA” or the “Act”) governs an indirect discharge to navigable waters. Whether the CWA applies to particular surface waters remains a hot topic almost 50 years since the modern-day CWA was passed in 1972, as the litigation continues over the Obama Administration’s rule (promulgated in 2015) defining the scope of the CWA, as well as the Trump Administration’s attempts to repeal that rule. Continue Reading CWA Series: In redefining the scope of the Clean Water Act, will the new WOTUS rule truly be a sea change?
By the time the March 8, 2019 bill filing deadline for the 86th Texas Legislature passed, many bills concerning the electric industry had been filed. Storage, cybersecurity of the electric grid, and capital project tax abatements are among the energy issues Texas lawmakers are considering. This reviews the major filed bills before the current Texas Legislature.
Rock Products magazine recently published an article by Daniel Fanning discussing a proposed rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States” and its potential effects. The rule is intended “to increase CWA program predictability and consistency.” Will this change impact your operations?
The Renewable Fuels Association National Ethanol Conference (NEC) concluded on February 13. During the last few quarters, ethanol margins have been at the lowest levels in many years resulting in reduced production and the permanent closure of some plants. A number of plants are seeking buyers. In this climate, the focus of the NEC was on the future of the industry. Here are some key points gleaned from multiple conference presentations.
Under the CWA, the discharge of pollutants, meaning the “addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source,” without a permit is prohibited. Previously, we reported on the circuit split (Part 1) between the Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals regarding whether indirect discharges to WOTUS through groundwater required a CWA permit. Continue Reading CWA Series: SCOTUS Agrees to Grant Certiorari on Indirect Discharge Question
Members of Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team attended the 2019 Infocast Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit in Carlsbad, CA, February 5-7. Here are some of the themes from the conference:
- While there is a push to complete many projects in 2020, there was a lot of discussion about how the industry and project financing will evolve in coming years as the Production Tax Credit steps down and after it sunsets. The industry is becoming increasingly complex with ever-changing state and federal policies, an increase in C&I offtakers, increasingly complex non-traditional offtake arrangements, and new financing parties waiting in the wings. It is important to understand the challenges and opportunities that these changes create. Husch Blackwell’s renewable energy team can help you navigate these ever changing challenges and opportunities and ensure that your project is completed on time and in compliance with all state and federal policies.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting comment through March 11, 2019, on its proposed “National Compliance Initiatives” for fiscal years (FY) 2020-2023.