Category: Special Topics in Environmental Management

Massachusetts Wetland Ruling Creates Complications for Property Buyers

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Mass SJC) ruled on August 31 that the local conservation commission can sue new owners of real estate to require them to restore wetlands that were filled illegally, even decades after the illegal filling occurred. With this ruling in Conservation Comm’n of Norton v. Pesa, SJC-13058, the triggering event becomes […]

Climate Changes are Unprecedented and Undeniable, Reports the IPCC

Unique climate changes have been reported across every region in the world and in the entire climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, released on August 9, 2021. “Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some […]

Next Steps for WOTUS

On August 5, 2021, the EPA and the U.S. Department of the Army announced upcoming community engagement opportunities for public input into their efforts to revise the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) definition. Redefining WOTUS is a two-part process for the agencies. The first rulemaking will restore the WOTUS definition to the version in […]

pipeline

Supreme Court Delivers Win for Pipeline Industry

By a narrow margin, on June 29, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled states cannot use sovereign immunity as a defense to prevent federally approved pipeline projects from being built on state-owned land.

EPA Indicates Amendments for Aerosol Coatings Standards

The EPA’s Spring Regulatory Agenda indicates it will amend volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions standards for Aerosol Coatings under Section 183(e) of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The agency plans to complete the amended rule by year end 2021. Why Is This Action Necessary? Aerosol coatings regulations apply to aerosol spray paints, which have been […]

Navajo Nation Sees Relief in Lawsuit Over Navigable Waters Definition

New Mexico is known as the “Land of Enchantment,” but it is also a state without a lot of bodies of water. When the Trump administration changed the “navigable waters” definition to include only waters that flowed year-round, both New Mexico and Arizona were particularly hard hit, as the majority of their waterways don’t have […]

EPA Faces Challenges Addressing SIPs

The EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a June 14, 2021, report that says continued delays by the EPA on State Implementation Plan (SIP) actions “increase the risk that state or local air agencies are not implementing plans sufficient to achieve or maintain the [National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)]” under the Clean Air […]

River

WOTUS to be Redefined Again

On June 9, 2021, the EPA and the Department of the Army announced that the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) will again be revised. How WOTUS is defined determines the geographical scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Any body of water defined as WOTUS requires a permit for […]