View Recent Blog Posts in Environmental Regulation

  • EPA Administrator Signs Rule Delaying the Effective Date of RMP Rule By Lee Vail On June, 9, 2017, Scott Pruitt signed a final rule  delaying the effective date of the RMP rule until February 19, 2019. The Environmental Protection Agency” (“EPA”) stated that it had received 54,117 public comments, 54,000 of which were part of a mass mail campaign, leaving 108 submissions with unique content. A... Continue Reading... ....
  • Risk Management Program Rule Delay Decided? By Lee Vail The EPA updated its web page titled “Frequent Questions on the Final Amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule” on Monday, June 12, 2017.  According to the revised Q&A (page 9): When does the rule become effective? The effective date of this action has been delayed to February 19, 2019. It... Continue Reading... ....
  • Sequestering of Greenhouse Gases: California Is Considering a Legal Process (How Does That Affect the Rest of Us?) By Lee Vail New projects require air permits and projects at major stationary sources that will emit (or increase) a significant amount of a regulated NSR pollutant, must conduct a control technology review.  In order to receive a permit, the applicant must determine the level of control considered Best Available Control Technology (“BACT”) and the... Continue Reading... ....
  • Awaiting EPA’s Decision on RMP Delay By R. Lee Vail, P.E., Ph.D. On January 13, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a final rule revising portions of the Risk Management Program (“RMP”) rule. On April 3, 2017, the EPA proposed to delay the effective date of the changes until February 19, 2019 to allow for a reconsideration of these changes.... Continue Reading... ....
  • A Plethora of Cases Could Affect WOTUS Rulemaking By Lauren J. Rucinski The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has an opportunity to rule on controversial Clean Water Act wetlands jurisdictional requirements through the appeal of a Montana man’s conviction for polluting a navigable waterway. US v. Joseph Robertson, No. 16-30178 (C.A. 9). The timing of the appeal could affect the Trump administration’s... Continue Reading... ....
  • Silicone Facility to Pay $1.5M in Fines for Monitoring and Reporting Violations By Lauren Rucinski On May 4, 2017, Momentive Performance Materials Silicones, LLC (“MPM”) agreed to a settlement with the United States, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and the State of New York, that requires MPM to pay $1.5 million in fines. The action was brought against MPM pursuant to Sections 113(a) and... Continue Reading... ....
  • Changes to Boilerplate Language in Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality-Issued Enforcement Actions By Tokesha Collins-Wright The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) derives its enforcement power and ability to assess penalties from La. R.S. §§ 30:2025, 30:2050.2, and 30:2050.3. The typical chronology for the administrative enforcement process is that LDEQ will first issue a notice of potential penalty (NOPP), compliance order (CO), or consolidated compliance order &... Continue Reading... ....
  • The Louisiana Environmental Whistleblower Statute: Independent Contractors Are Not Covered By Erin L. Kilgore The Louisiana Environmental Whistleblower Statute, La. R.S. 30:2027, protects employees who, in good faith, disclose, or threaten to disclose, acts they reasonably believe to be in violation of an environmental law, rule, or regulation.  It also protects employees who testify or provide information to a public body about such acts.  An... Continue Reading... ....
  • Impact of Delek Refining Decision on EPA’s RMP Penalty Policy By R. Lee Vail, P.E., Ph.D. At the very end of 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) citations for alleged violations of Process Safety Management (“PSM”) regulations. In that case, the Court held that OSHA was barred from issuing a citation for the failure to act... Continue Reading... ....
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Affirms Application of Louisiana’s Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine By Chase Zachary On April 18, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit released a published opinion in Guilbeau v. Hess Corp.[1] The court affirmed the application of Louisiana’s subsequent purchaser doctrine to claims for environmental damages allegedly caused by activities of a former mineral lessee prior to the date that the... Continue Reading... ....