Emerging Issues

EPA Announces “Action Plan” for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

On February 14th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced its PFAS Action Plan to better understand PFAS chemicals and the extent of existing contamination, prevent future contamination, and more effectively communicate with the public regarding PFAS and associated health and environmental risks. PFAS, a group of chemicals created in the 1940s, exist in a…

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Sixth Circuit rules in two cases that discharges to groundwater from coal ash ponds do not require a Clean Water Act Permit

The Sixth Circuit’s recent decisions in Kentucky Waterways Alliance et al v. Kentucky Utilities Co., (“Kentucky Utilities”) No. 18-5115 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2018), and Tennessee Clean Water Network v. Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) No. 17-6155 (6th Cir. Sept. 24, 2018), have further widened an existing circuit split regarding EPA’s Clean Water Act (the “Act”)…

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New York Moves Closer to Offshore Wind Energy Procurement

On July 12, 2018, the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) issued an Order directing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) to begin soliciting bids for approximately 800 MW of offshore wind capacity in the fourth quarter of 2018, taking the State closer to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of…

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Emerging Contaminants Update:  New Federal Report Highlights PFAS Risks as New York State Court Certifies Class Action for PFAS Groundwater Contamination

By Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz For decades, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) have been widely used in industrial processes and consumer products, including non-stick cookware, strain resistant fabrics, and firefighting foams.  PFAS have emerged as a focus of regulatory concern only in recent years, however, as new studies have detected PFAS in groundwater and drinking water supplies…

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Federal Agencies Begin Rulemaking to Weaken Fuel Economy Standards

By: Nathaniel Eisen As one of numerous attempts by the Trump Administration to roll back Obama-era rules, in the coming weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to announce a proposed rule that would weaken the agencies’ 2012 national standards for vehicular greenhouse gas emissions and fuel…

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New York City Proposes First Stormwater Management Program Regulating Construction Runoff

For the first time, the City of New York has proposed a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) to describe how the City will satisfy the requirements of its SPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit.  This means that, as soon as this fall, certain large construction projects in the City will need City Department of…

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