Environmental Law Portal

Welcome to the Beveridge & Diamond Environmental Law Portal.

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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TSCA Reform Implementation Update

Eight months have now passed since President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA), Pub. Law 114-182, on June 22, 2016.[1]  This historic legislation overhauled the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in 40 years.[2]  Attention has now switched to EPA implementation of the new TSCA.  This alert summarizes EPA’s implementation activities and challenges since June 2016 and highlights upcoming milestones. Read More ›

States Consider 51 Bills to Restrict Chemicals in 2017

So far in the 2017 legislative cycle, 16 state legislatures are considering 51 bills seeking to restrict or otherwise regulate chemicals, just 8 months after sweeping changes to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) were signed into law on June 22, 2016. Many of these new state bills follow recurring themes from 2016, while others signal new trends.  The attached  chart provides details regarding active state bills in the 2017 legislative cycle. Read More ›

District of Columbia Proposes Much-Anticipated Synthetic Minor Air Permitting Regulations

On February 3, 2017, the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment (“Department”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing its much-anticipated synthetic minor air permitting regulations (“Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule will establish a synthetic minor permit program under Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations, set up and revise fees for air quality permits, and through the administrative amendment process, allow for the incorporation of Chapter 2 preconstruction permit requirements into Title V (Chapter 3) permits under the Clean Air Act. Read More ›

Second Circuit Offers Policyholders Painful Reminder on Giving Notice of Claims: Don’t Wait, Use Correct Addresses, and Be Specific

In January 2017, the Second Circuit ruled that policyholders must actually or presumptively give their insurers notice of specific policies under which they seek coverage—mailing a notice of the claim may not be enough. Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 15-3117-CV, 2017 WL 391926 (2d Cir. Jan. 27, 2017). Read More ›

Early Presidential Actions to Expedite Infrastructure and Domestic Manufacturing

On January 24, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order and a Presidential Memorandum aimed at streamlining environmental reviews and permitting for infrastructure projects and domestic manufacturing.  These actions echo efforts in prior administrations to achieve similar goals, and if aggressively implemented have the potential to significantly reduce lead times and increase certainty for large-scale infrastructure projects and manufacturers seeking federal approvals. Read More ›

New York Proposes First Major Amendments to SEQRA in Over Two Decades, Driven In Part by Statewide Energy Initiatives

On January 17, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released proposed amendments to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) regulations. The proposed amendments represent the first major proposed revisions to SEQRA in more than two decades, and are intended to streamline the environmental review process by modifying the thresholds for actions that are more likely to be subject to further review under SEQRA (Type I actions), expanding the list of actions not subject to further review under SEQRA (Type II actions), and providing clarity on procedures for accepting draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs). The proposed amendments and related documents are available hereRead More ›

NEC Future Names Preferred Alternative and Releases the Final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement

After nearly four years of planning and evaluation, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) released its Preferred Alternative to improve the Northeast Corridor for passenger rail transportation from Washington, DC, to Boston. Read More ›

OSHA Issues New Beryllium Standards

After more than 40 years of trying, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a rule to reduce its occupational exposure limits for beryllium, a toxic metal used in various industries.[1]  Upon effect, the final rule will reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for beryllium and establish short-term exposure limits.  It will also require employers to both implement controls to limit worker exposure to beryllium and to establish programs to provide medical monitoring.  The final rule is intended to protect a worker population of approximately 62,000 workers.  It sets specific standards for three industries: general, construction, and shipyards, with a staggered timeline for compliance.  The final rule can be accessed here. Read More ›

Fourth Circuit: CWA Permit Shield Requires Compliance with Incorporated Quality Standards

A recent Fourth Circuit decision will have wastewater dischargers taking a closer look at their NPDES permits and state water quality standards. The court of appeals held, in Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal Co., No. 16-1024, that permit language incorporating state water quality standards required compliance with all such standards, including narrative standards not reflected in the permit’s effluent limits.  As a consequence, a source can only be assured that it is shielded from liability under the CWA if its discharges comply with both (a) effluent limits in the NPDES permit and (b) any water quality standards—even narrative standards—that the permit incorporates.  The decision raises questions about potential exposure and how to approach permit writers in the future. Read More ›

EPA Releases Final RMP Amendments, Awaits Response of New Administration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a final rule updating the Accidental Release Prevention rules at 40 C.F.R. Part 68, which implement the Clean Air Act Section112(r)(7) risk management planning program. A pre-publication copy of the rule can be accessed here. Read More ›