The cast party following the wrap of the month long trial between Florida and Georgia known as the water wars may not be the social event of the season for the participants who exited the case largely as they entered it:  in opposite corners.  A decision on the water turf dispute now rests with United States Supreme Court Special Master Ralph Lancaster who suggested a recommended ruling might be issued prior to Christmas.  In closing remarks to the case, tried in Portland, Maine, Lancaster admonished the parties, “I can guarantee you that at least one of you is going to be unhappy with my recommendation — and perhaps both of you,” in once again advocating for a negotiated resolution.  Absent such a resolution however, Lancaster’s recommendation will go to the Supreme Court for further action.  The parties have an opportunity to file briefs which challenge the Master’s findings and conclusions, and the Court determines whether to accept the views of the Master or hear oral argument about an unsolved issue.

Recently, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) in California finalized revisions to the regulations implementing Prop 65 – the California law that requires business to provide a “clear and reasonable warning” to consumers on products that contain any chemicals listed by California as causing cancer or reproductive harm.

Continue Reading California’s Prop 65 Labeling Requirement Is About to Get Even More Burdensome

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as the next president of the United States, questions have been raised regarding the fate of federal regulatory actions taken by the current administration. Recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions are of particular interest because EPA has adopted a number of very high profile and highly impactful regulations. Commenting on EPA during the campaign, Mr. Trump stated that “[w]e are going to get rid . . . of [EPA] in almost every form. We’re going to have little tidbits left but we’re going to take a tremendous amount out.” While Mr. Trump later softened this stance by stating that he would “refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans,” these statements illustrate that the Trump administration will almost certainly seek to roll back at least some of President Obama’s ambitious environmental initiatives. While Mr. Trump vows to reduce EPA’s size and repeal business-burdening regulations, these changes will not occur overnight. The following sections discuss ways in which an incoming administration may halt or repeal its predecessor’s actions.

Continue Reading The Trump Transition: What to Expect in the Coming Months for EPA

Troutman Sanders attorneys Greg Blount and Karlie Webb are the authors of the Law360 article, “How New EPA Hazardous Waste Rule Impacts Retail Pharmacies” which examines the effect of the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule on retail pharmacies. See the full article here. The two will host a webinar on the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule on Friday, November 18 at 12 p.m. EST. For more information, click here.

Also, Miranda Yost and Andy Flavin authored the article, “Climate Change Litigants Get Creative.” The Law360 article discusses how a new wave of climate change claims is sweeping the country and how claimants are using a broad range of laws (not limited to just environmental), to pursue claims. To see the full article, click here.

You are invited to

A Webinar: The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule

Friday, November 18, 2016 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

The final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule is Here!

Are you a hazardous waste generator? How will the EPA’s updates to the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule affect your business? Could your company be at risk for noncompliance?

On October 28, 2016, the EPA signed the final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule. This Rule has been long in the making and addresses various issues applicable to all hazardous waste generators, regardless of the amount of hazardous waste generated or industry sector. Other changes significantly alter requirements applicable to Large Quantity Generators and Small Quantity Generators.

Continue Reading The Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Final Rule is Here! A Troutman Sanders Webinar (November 18)

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has issued its first Regulatory Guidance Letter (“RGL”) in 8 years. The new RGL supersedes two previous guidance letters (RGL 07-01 “Practices for Documenting Jurisdiction under Sections 9 & 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act” and RGL 08-02 “Jurisdictional Determinations.”) and describe differences between “approved” jurisdictional determinations (“AJDs”) and “preliminary” jurisdictional determinations (“PJDs”).  Issuance of RGL 16-01 appears to be motivated by a recent US Supreme Court decision holding that “approved” jurisdictional determinations are subject to judicial review (US Army Corps of Engineers v Hawkes Co., 136 S.Ct. 1807 (2016)) and questions on that decision’s impact on the Corps’ willingness to issue JDs.

Continue Reading Army Corps rolls out guidance to help determine jurisdiction

 

Yesterday, November 2, 2016, EPA released a pre-publication version of proposed regulations that spell out how the Agency’s 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) will be implemented. The proposed regulations apply to states with areas that are classified as nonattainment for the 2015 standard of 70 parts per billion (ppb), as well as to states in an Ozone Transport Region.

Continue Reading EPA Issues Proposed Implementation Rule for the 2015 Ozone Standard

Yesterday, October 31, 2016, U.S. EPA posted the pre-publication version of its final Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (“Final Generator Rule”).  The Final Generator Rule was signed by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on October 28, 2016.  This rule has been long in the making and addresses various issues applicable to all hazardous waste generators, regardless of the amount of hazardous waste generated or industry sector.  Other changes significantly alter requirements applicable to Large Quantity Generators and Small Quantity Generators.

Continue Reading EPA Finalizes the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

One of the storied college football rivalries is the annual gridiron battle of teams of the University of Georgia and University of Florida.  Last weekend’s football battle, held at the Jacksonville site where the Tri-State Water Wars between Florida, Alabama, and Georgia were heard in Multi-District Litigation five years ago, ironically tipped off the Supreme Court litigation between Florida and Georgia that commenced on October 31.  Special Master Ralph Lancaster, sitting by designation of the Supreme Court of the United States, heard opening remarks in the three year old case of Florida v. Georgia, Supreme Court Docket No. 142, which is proceeding under the original jurisdiction of the Court.  At issue is Florida’s assertion that it should be granted a consumption cap for its upstream neighbor in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (“ACF”) basin based upon a claim of a substantial injury predicated on a variety of theories.  Florida ceded away any claim of delivery of a specific amount of water at the state line earlier in the litigation.  To prevail, Florida must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence a substantial injury that is redressable by the Court.

Continue Reading Early Salvos Fired In The Florida / Georgia Water Wars