New Trump Appointee at EPA Should Help Reduce Backlogs and Delays

by Mitch Klein United States EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has hired Henry Darwin to serve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as its Chief of Operations. Under both Republican and Democrat administrations, as the Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental … Continue reading

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New Fed Policy Eliminates Ability of Settlement Options to Include Payments to Non-Party NGOs

By Mark Johnson On June 7, 2017, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all Department of Justice (DOJ) components and 94 United States Attorney’s Offices prohibiting them from entering into any agreement on behalf of the … Continue reading

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Green Cars: Reducing Range Anxiety and Increasing Incentives

by Kim S. Colton The “green car” market is growing. Tesla may lead the way in luxury, but almost all auto manufacturers are investing significantly in plug-in electric vehicles (EV(s)). Policy, law, and regulation must change as the EV market … Continue reading

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D.C. Circuit Revokes Drone Registration Rule

by Patrick J. Paul On Friday, May 19, 2017, less than a month after the National Park Service’s first use of a drone in a Grand Canyon search and rescue mission, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals struck … Continue reading

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Trump’s Executive Order Requires Hard Look at National Monument Designations

By Maribeth M. Klein By executive order, President Trump directed the Department of Interior to review national monuments designated since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906. The Antiquities Act grants the President authority to designate “historic landmarks, historic and … Continue reading

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California Supreme Court Invalidates EIR for Coastal Mixed-Use Development

by Richard J. McNeil The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach, ___ Cal. 4th ___ (2017) (Case No. S227473, Mar. 30, 2017) serves as a cautionary reminder that–as stated by the Court … Continue reading

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Disposal of Contamination = Disposal of Evidence. Be Careful What You Throw Away!

by Mitchell J. Klein In a recent unpublished case, the Superior Court of New Jersey held that the Plaintiff in a CERCLA case had committed spoliation when, during the course of the remedial activity, it disposed of various contaminated materials. … Continue reading

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Should Congress End Agency Deference?

By Stephen Smithson At its core, agency deference – as enshrined in the United States Supreme Court’s decision, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984) – is both reasonable and necessary. Indeed, in City … Continue reading

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Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Reserved Water Rights Extend to Groundwater

by L. William Staudenmaier On March 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, Case No. 15-55896.  In this decision, the Court unequivocally held that … Continue reading

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U.S. Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as EPA Chief, Signaling Conservative Re-Imagining of EPA’s Role in Society and Government

by John D. Burnside On February 17, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee Scott Pruitt as the new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Senate confirmation followed weeks of partisan and public attacks against Mr. Pruitt’s fitness … Continue reading

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