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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OSHA, EPA and DOI Increase Maximum Civil Penalties

Summary: This summer, many federal agencies increased civil monetary penalties as much as 150 percent in response to new legislation mandating that federal agencies "catch up" with inflation and remedy past government failures to adopt periodic penalty increases. Interested parties should be aware of these higher penalties, when they take effect, and whether there is still time to comment. Read More ›

Delay in Massachusetts Efforts to Assume Control of CWA Program

As we reported in our recent Massachusetts Environmental and Land Use Alert, Massachusetts is in the first stages of seeking delegation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Clean Water Act program.  This first stage includes filing with the state legislature a bill to bring certain elements of state law into conformance with EPA requirements.  The effort has suffered a serious delay as this bill will not become law this year.  Read More ›

OSHA Workplace Safety Reporting Anti-Retaliation Regulations Effective August 10, 2016

OSHA Adds Electronic Reporting Requirement To Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Regulations; August 2016 Deadline For Anti-Retaliation Provisions; Potential For Increased Criminal Liability

OSHA regulations designed to encourage workplace safety reporting and discourage employer retaliation will become effective on August 10, 2016.  These regulations are part of a final rulemaking, otherwise effective January 1, 2017, requiring many employers to submit electronically to OSHA the occupational injury and illness data they are currently required to record. Importantly, OSHA plans to post the data from these submissions on a website available to the public. Read More ›

Brazil Proposes Sweeping Chemicals Legislation

Brazil's Ministry of the Environment has proposed a bill that would establish an expansive chemical regulatory regime consisting of registration and reporting requirements, substance risk assessments, and risk management measures including potential restrictions on the production, import and use of substances. Read More ›

Supreme Judicial Court Orders the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to Expand Greenhouse Gas Regulation

More greenhouse gas regulation is on the horizon as a result of the Massachusetts’ top court’s decision in Kain v. MassDEP. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) to expand its regulation of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in May and the full impact of this decision is unlikely to play out overnight.  The case has broad implications for MassDEP’s future interpretation and application of environmental laws in Massachusetts. Read More ›

FedEx Settlement with California Department of Toxic Substances Control Contains Important Lessons/Reminders for Product and Waste Shippers

On June 14, 2016, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) to resolve allegations that FedEx improperly handled, transported, stored, recycled and disposed of damaged packages of hazardous materials (“DTSC Settlement”).  Under the terms of the DTSC Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $3.4 million in civil penalties and is enjoined from further violations of California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law (“HWCL”).  See Stipulation for Entry of Final Judgment and Order on Consent, People v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Case No.34-2014-00165454 (Sacramento County Superior Court) (filed June 14, 2016).  The DTSC Settlement also resolves a related case FedEx brought in federal court in April 2014 (“Federal Action”).  Read More ›

Massachusetts Moves To Assume Control of CWA Program as EPA issues Disputed MS4 Permit

Massachusetts’ status as one of only four states not in control of the Clean Water Act program within its boundaries may change as the state begins the process of applying to U.S. EPA for delegation of that program.  Delegation won’t happen quickly and not soon enough to provide relief to municipalities that must meet the requirements of EPA’s recently issued General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts (known as MS4 systems).  Read More ›

Gasoline with Lead is not Subject to the Petroleum Exemption in Massachusetts Clean-Up Statute Says Top Mass. Court

In a decision that has broad implications, gasoline with additives such as lead is not included in the exemption under the Massachusetts remediation statute, Chapter 21E, for oil releases located in certain drinking water areas according to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision upholding an interpretation by the MassDEP.  Read More ›

Governor Baker Approves First Major Overhaul of Massachusetts’ Public Records Law

Massachusetts has its first significant update of its Public Records Law since the 1970s with promises of swifter responses and real consequences including attorney’s fees for failures to comply.  Read More ›

Massachusetts Attorney General Joins Multi-State Coalition Investigating Climate Change Disclosures

Massachusetts State Attorney General Maura Healey has joined a coalition of attorneys general from 15 other states and the Virgin Islands—the “AGs United for Clean Power” coalition—who, according to Attorney General Healey, are “working as quickly and as aggressively as we can to fight climate change” by investigating the adequacy of public companies’ statements to their investors and the public about potential impacts of climate
change on their businesses. Read More ›