Category Archives: Environmental Law

A Sliver of Hope for the Government’s Remaining NSR Enforcement Cases?

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted something of a reprieve to EPA’s New Source Review enforcement initiative.  The Court first confirmed what everyone other than EPA and DOJ already knew – that failure to get a pre-construction permit is a one-time offense, so that penalty claims for alleged violations more than five years prior to filing are barred by the statute of limitations. However, the Court then surprised most observers by holding that expiration of penalty claims did not doom the government’s claim for injunctive relief.  Specifically, the Court ruled that the “concurrent remedies doctrine,” which bars equitable remedies when no legal remedy is available, cannot be applied to a sovereign. I’m not going to provide an exegesis of the doctrine, which carries more than a whiff of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce.  I’ll settle for three points.  First, it may not be a legal doctrine, but I’d….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Weyerhauser is Less Important than You Might Think

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court will hear argument in Weyerhauser v. United States, a case involving the critical habitat designation for the dusty gopher frog. In some quarters, the case has been billed as a potential blockbuster, and….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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W.R. Grace Trial, cont.

Yes, the world keeps revolving and the Grace trial continues. I have not posted on the Grace trial the last two weeks; rather, I have been following it on the University of Montana blog http://blog.umt.edu/gracecase/. I have said it before;….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Fourth District Holds City Violated CEQA By Refusing To Recognize Exemption For Single Family Residence Project And Attempting To Subject Owner’s Already Authorized And Completed Demolition Action To Retroactive Environmental Review (Yet Absolves City From Liability For Regulatory Taking)

In a published opinion filed September 18, 2018, the Fourth District Court of Appeal (Div. 1) affirmed a judgment granting a writ setting aside the City of San Diego’s (City) decision to subject a coastal development permit (CDP) application for construction of a single family home on a vacant La Jolla lot to CEQA review.  Francis A. Bottini, Jr. v. City of San Diego (2018) ___ Cal.App.5th ___. The City’s basis for finding the CEQA Guidelines Class 3 categorical exemption for construction of a single-family residence (14 Cal. Code Regs., § 15303) inapplicable was that CEQA review was required to address the potential impacts of the landowners’ (Bottinis) project on an allegedly “historic” cottage (the Windemere).  Which at first blush seems pretty reasonable – that is, until you consider the undisputed fact that at the time of the Bottinis’ CDP application, the Windemere didn’t exist anymore.  While the….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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EPA Aims To Increase Transparency Through RFS Website Updates

By Lynn L. Bergeson The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has included a new data portal on its website to promote greater transparency on small refineries exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Criticized in the past for its lack of transparency, EPA’s new RFS data portal also provides previously undisclosed information on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) transactions, renewable fuel volume production, average RIN prices, and RIN transaction volumes. The data available dates back to July 1, 2010, which is when EPA started collecting the information provided. EPA intends to update the data portal on a monthly basis... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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