Author Archives: Alston & Bird Environmental, Land Development and Climate Team

Significant Expansion of Judicial Review Under the Clean Water Act

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Today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedent-setting decision in Hawkes v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, holding that jurisdictional determinations issued under the Clean Water Act are subject to immediate judicial review. Under the Clean Water Act, the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters requires a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (other types of discharges require a permit from the United States Environmental Protection Agency or its state-agency designates). Although on its face seemingly straightforward, the question [...]Read more

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment to Georgia Power

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The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed today the lower court’s grant of summary judgment to Georgia Power in the Ward Transformer Superfund Site litigation.  While this opinion focuses on whether Georgia Power’s sale of used transformers to Ward Transformer constituted an arrangement for disposal of PCB-containing oil, the court’s analysis includes a number of findings related to arranger liability generally.  This opinion is the first Court of Appeals decision to address the test for arranger liability post Burlington, and may impact a number of other pending CERCLA cases and enforcement [...]Read more

Trade secret protection for mandatory California consumer product survey?

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Every company listed on a label of a consumer or commercial product sold or supplied for use in California in 2013 must complete and submit a survey to the California Air Resources Board by March 2, 2015.  Makers of hair sprays, cleaning products, floor waxes, insecticides, paints, as well as numerous other categories of products must submit their data in CARB’s electronic survey system, called the Consumer Product Reporting Tool (CPRT) and for formulators, the CPRT-F.  See Appendix A in the survey instructions for a full list of product categories.  The survey is unprecedented in its scope [...]Read more

DTSC to Reschedule Workshops

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The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) had scheduled two workshops for earlier this month to review its draft Priority Products Work Plan, but they were postponed. The draft work plan has yet to be released and is the reason behind postponing the workshops. DTSC hopes to release the draft work plan in September and schedule the workshops following its release to allow ample time for stakeholders to review the work plan and be prepared for the workshops. We will provide more details on the draft work plan and the new dates for the workshops when they are released. [...]Read more

EPA Releases Chemical Risk Assessments

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final risk assessments for dichloromethane (DCM), antimony trioxide (ATO), and 1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8,-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB). The risk assessment conducted on DCM, a chemical widely used in paint stripping products, determined that there are health risks to workers and consumers who use these products and to other people in the workplace or residences where it is used. EPA is in the process of considering whether to implement voluntary or regulatory actions to address the concerns that DCM presents. The agency [...]Read more

California DTSC to Hold Workshops on Priority Product Work Plan

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The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will hold two workshops later this month on its draft Priority Products Work Plan, which will be released later this month prior to the workshops. The workshops, which will be held on August 19 and August 25, will provide an overview of the work plan and provide detailed information on how future Priority Products will be listed. The draft work plan will be open to public comment once it is released. We will provide more details on the work plan as well as an update on the workshops later this month. In March, DTSC announced their [...]Read more

One Week Left to Vote For Us For Best Legal Blog

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The American Bar Association (ABA) is accepting entries for their 100 best legal blogs. If you enjoy the content we produce, we ask that you please take the time to submit our blog for consideration. You can do so by visiting their site: http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit/ . You have until August 8 to vote. Thank you!

EPA Extends Comment Period

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the public comment period for 30 days on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) for the hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures rule. The ANPR was published on May 19, and comments were originally due on August 18; however the notice extends the deadline for public comments until September 18. EPA is seeking public comment on how it can obtain information on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing, and whether it should implement a regulatory (under TSCA sec. 8(a) and/or 8(d)) and/or [...]Read more

EPA Administrator Testifies Before Senate Committee

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EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) regarding EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. McCarthy wrote in her testimony that, “The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction are clear.” McCarthy stated the proposed plan “will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of other harmful air pollutants from existing power plants.” She continued on to say that these reductions will provide health benefits to the most vulnerable citizens, including children. [...]Read more