Environmental Law Portal

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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Comments Due August 15 on EPA Proposal to Remove Emergency Defense from Title V Operating Permit Regulations

On June 14, 2016, EPA proposed to remove the affirmative defense for emergency conditions from the Title V operating permit program regulations.  Comments on this proposed rule are due by August 15, 2016. Read More ›

TSCA Reform Becomes Law; Now the Clock Starts to Tick on Implementation

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2576. Read More ›

Eric Klein Quoted on Use of Freedom of Information Act to Challenge EPA in Bloomberg BNA

Eric Klein, a Principal and litigator in Beveridge & Diamond's Washington, DC office, was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report article titled "Companies Turn to FOIA to Challenge EPA Cleanups." Read More ›

Comment Period Closing July 21 on Possible Expansion of Environmental Sustainability Disclosure Requirements

Summary:  Comments are due July 21, 2016 on a concept release published on April 22, 2016 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) on potential revisions to certain business and financial disclosure obligations in Regulation S-K, which governs the disclosure requirements applicable to periodic reports.  Among other topics, the Commission requested comment on expanding disclosures relating to environmental sustainability and public policy issues, including climate change.  The Commission is soliciting public input on a number of specific questions, including whether to impose line-item disclosure requirements related to sustainability and public policy issues, the overlap with reporting of information concerning sustainability outside of Commission filings, and potential challenges and costs of compliance.  Companies should ensure that their interests are reflected in the comment process—either directly or through participation in industry organization commenting efforts.  Read More ›

China Announces Action Plan to Tackle Soil Pollution

On May 31, China’s State Council released a nationwide Action Plan for Soil Pollution Prevention and Control (“Action Plan”). The Action Plan, whose implementation will be led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (“MEP”), calls for the establishment of laws to monitor, prevent, and remediate soil pollution, and aims to incrementally improve soil quality across the country by mid-century. Specifically, the plan aims to make 90% of polluted arable land safe for human use by 2020, and increases that target to 95% by 2030.[1] Read More ›

What’s New About the Revised TSCA

After years of effort, comprehensive legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed the House of Representatives on May 24, 2016.  The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is expected to pass the Senate the week of June 6.  President Obama is expected to sign the legislation shortly thereafter.  At that point, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin its implementation of the new TSCA.

This alert first highlights key ways in which passage of TSCA amendments will impact industry.  Next, it outlines the key changes that the legislation will make to TSCA.  It then identifies those provisions of the bill as passed by the Senate in December 2015 that are retained in the bill as passed by the House on May 24 (thus expected to remain in the final Senate-passed version) and those provisions that are changed.  Finally, it considers what is likely to happen in the early days of implementation of the new TSCA. Read More ›

Maryland Court of Appeals OKs Circumstantial Causation Evidence in Lead Paint Cases

In a case that may make it easier to prove causation in Maryland lead paint cases, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that neither direct evidence of the source of lead nor expert testimony was necessary when a trier of fact had sufficient circumstantial evidence to conclude that the subject property was the “reasonable probable” source of lead exposure.  See Rowhouses, Inc. v. Smith, 133 A.3d 1054 (Md. 2016) Read More ›

Expert’s Specific Causation Methodology Unreliable in Leukemia Row

In a case underscoring the importance of reliable methodologies in expert testimony, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a trial court decision excluding specific causation testimony linking benzene exposure and acute promyelocytic leukemia (“APL”) because the expert could not properly support her conclusions.  See Milward v. Rust-Oleum Corp., No. 13-2132, 2016 WL 1622620 (1st Cir. Apr. 25, 2016). Read More ›

D.C. Water Utility Sheds Negligence, Consumer Protection Claims in Lead-in-Water Litigation

In a decision that may have implications in other cases related to alleged lead in drinking water, a District of Columbia trial court dismissed negligence and consumer protection claims against the District’s water utility, DC Water.  See Barkley v. D.C. Water & Sewer Auth., 2016 WL 184433 (D.C. Super. Ct. Jan. 13, 2016).  Plaintiffs claimed injuries stemming from their alleged exposure to lead in drinking water in the early 2000s.  DC Water, represented by Beveridge & Diamond P.C., successfully argued that the public duty doctrine – which bars negligence claims against government entities regarding services provided to the public at large – bars claims regarding drinking water distribution and related public education.  Read More ›

Tenth Circuit Bars Class Tort Claims for Failing to Plead Injury

Underscoring the importance of pleading actual injury in a toxic tort class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed Oklahoma class claims that were based only on “reasonable concern” of future injury and a summary statement of alleged health effects.  See Reece v. AES Corp., No. 14-7010 (10th Cir. Apr. 20, 2016).  Read More ›