Category: Environmental Permitting

Louisiana Granted Federal Primacy in CCS Permitting

After a four-year process, on December 28, 2023, the EPA signed a final rule that grants the state of Louisiana authority, known as primacy, for the permitting, compliance, and enforcement of Class VI (carbon sequestration) wells as part of the Underground Injection Control Program (UIC). The rule will likely facilitate carbon capture and storage (CCS) […]

NY DEC Releases Policy for Evaluating Impacts on Disadvantaged Communities

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced the release of a new draft policy to implement the environmental justice provisions of the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). The proposed DEC Division of Environmental Permits policy, titled “Permitting and Disadvantaged Communities (DEP-23-1),” could serve as a template for […]

EJ Permitting Bill Advances Through PA House

Last month, a Pennsylvania House of Representatives committee approved H.B. 652, a bill that would require developers of proposed industrial projects to be located in environmental justice (EJ) areas to develop and submit cumulative impact statements of the projects. “Environmental racism is a longstanding issue in the commonwealth,” Pennsylvania State Representative Donna Bullock said, according […]

A Deep Dive Into the ‘Final’ WOTUS Rule

On January 18, 2023, the long-awaited final “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States (WOTUS)’” rule was published in the Federal Register. It is set to go into effect March 20, 2023.  The definition of WOTUS is the key to determining the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This final rule repeals […]

EPA Enters Keystone Pipeline Kansas Spill Cleanup Agreement

On January 9, 2023, the EPA announced it entered into an agreement with TC Oil Pipeline Operations Inc., whose parent company is TC Energy, to clean up the oil discharge that occurred December 7, 2022, in Washington County, Kansas, resulting from a rupture in a section of the Keystone Pipeline. The EPA reports an estimated […]

Judge Nixes Louisiana Formosa Plant’s Air Permits

Baton Rouge District Judge Trudy White recently vacated air permits for the Formosa Petrochemical Corp.’s proposed plastic and petrochemical plant in Louisiana’s infamous industrialized “Cancer Alley,” so named because of the high rates of cancer suffered by the predominantly African-American residents. Environmental and citizen advocacy groups challenged the permit approval decision for Formosa’s controversial Sunshine […]

Streamlined CWA Permitting Final Rule Issued

On December 27, 2021, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued a final rule for the reissuance and modification of nationwide permits (NWP), which authorizes “certain activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) of 1899 that have no more than minimal individual […]

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 […]

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 […]


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.