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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New York State to Order that 50% of Power Consumed by New Yorkers be from Renewable Sources by 2030

The Order, part of New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Initiative, may prevent or delay the closure of upstate nuclear plants. Read More ›

Substantial OSHA Penalty Increases Are Coming

OSHA penalties are going up.  EPA’s penalties are going up, too.  However, while EPA penalties have been going up modestly every four years to take inflation into account, OSHA penalties have not increased in 25 years.  Maximum OSHA penalties may jump as much as about 78 percent next year.  For a provision quietly tucked away in budget legislation, this packs quite a punch. Read More ›

First Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Limited Deference to Surface Transportation Board Views on Railroad Preemption

In two companion decisions released in October, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, considered the extent to which federal preemption of state and local laws applies to railroad operations involving the construction and operation of a proposed propane transload and storage, and a constructed wood pellet transload and production facility.  See Grosso v. Surface Transportation Board, 2015 WL 6108060; and Padgett v. Surface Transportation Board, 2015 WL 6108047. Read More ›

Auto and Appliance Shredding and Recycling Companies Settle with Mass AG over Allegations of Air, Hazardous Waste, and Mercury Management Violations

Two shredding and metals recycling companies recently settled a complaint brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General (Mass AG) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for alleged violations of the laws and rules governing air emissions, hazardous and solid waste, and mercury management.  The companies settling with the government, Prolerized New England Company, LLC (PNE) and Metals Recycling, LLC (Metals Recycling), both doing business as Schnitzer Northeast, operate three Massachusetts facilities located in Attleboro, Everett and Worcester. Read More ›

MassDEP Agrees to Settlements with Financial Institutions to Resolve Alleged Violations of Massachusetts Environmental Laws at Bank Owned Properties

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) recently entered into consent orders with two financial institutions to resolve alleged Massachusetts environmental law violations occurring at two bank owned properties.  Read More ›

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to Hear Appeal of Challenge to MassDEP’s Implementation of Global Warming Solutions Act

In April of 2015, we reported on an interesting Massachusetts Superior Court decision, Kain v. MassDEP, upholding the actions to date of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) under the Global Warming Solutions Act to enact regulations establishing declining annual emission limits for greenhouse gases (“GHGs”).  As we discussed at that time, MassDEP’s actions were challenged as inadequate, and the trial court upheld the agency’s steps to date, in the process granting an unusual amount of deference to MassDEP in rendering its decision.  To review that article and to access a copy of the trial court’s decision, click here.  In October of 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed to hear a challenge to the trial court’s decision brought by the Conservation Law Foundation (“CLF”). Read More ›

Affordable Housing Permit Revoked by Massachusetts Appeals Court

Local Regulation Improperly Waived in the Face of Evidence of Threat to Public Health

In a recent ruling sure to embolden municipalities seeking to block affordable housing projects, the Massachusetts Appeals Court revoked the approval of a Comprehensive Permit issued under the Anti-Snob Zoning Act, G.L. c.40B, §§ 20–23(Act) on the grounds that the local board of appeals erred in waiving certain waste disposal limitations in a local bylaw where there was evidence that the proposed project’s waste disposal system would  have caused elevated nitrogen levels in the private wells on the abutting properties. Reynolds v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Stow, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 339 (2015). Read More ›

Beveridge & Diamond's Massachusetts Office Named a Top Environmental, Land Use and Litigation Practice by U.S. News/Best Lawyers

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have once again awarded Beveridge & Diamond’s environmental and litigation practices a Tier 1 nationwide ranking in the 2016 Best Law Firms list. In addition, Beveridge & Diamond's Massachusetts office is recognized as a Tier 1 practice in three areas:  Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, and Land Use & Zoning Law.    Read More ›

Updates on the Site Cleanup Program in Massachusetts: TCE, LNAPL and More

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) has been updating its policy and guidance to address improvements in scientific understanding as well as its experience in addressing site contaminants.  As we previously reported, significant changes to the Massachusetts site cleanup regulations, known locally as the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (“MCP”), became effective June 20, 2014.  These changes substantially revised numeric standards and closure requirements and modified the assessment and remediation of sites with vapor intrusion, historic fill, and light nonaqueous phase liquid (“LNAPL”).  Today, we provide an update on recent activities. Read More ›

Seventh Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts in Vinyl Chloride Case

Underscoring the importance of sound science in expert opinions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of expert testimony that did not adequately draw or extrapolate from reliable sources. C.W. v. Textron, Inc., No. 14-3448, 2015 WL 5023926 (7th Cir. Aug. 26, 2015). Read More ›