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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Showing 10 posts by Heidi P. Knight.

Central Massachusetts Sand and Gravel Company Hit with $120,000 Civil Penalty for Air Violations

Kimball Sand Company, Inc. agreed to pay a civil penalty of $120,000 and implement corrective actions as part of a Consent Agreement and Final Order resolving allegations that Kimball operated stone crushing and processing equipment and engines/generators in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.  As part of the settlement, Kimball agreed to other corrective actions as well as the penalty.  This enforcement action is a reminder to all businesses, whether large or small, of their initial and continuing obligation to determine if their equipment and operations trigger federal CAA requirements, or in the alternative face potentially significant civil penalties. Read More ›

Academic Institutions: Do You Still Have a Single-Walled Steel Underground Storage Tank?

Massachusetts state regulations require that all single-walled USTs be removed or closed-in-place by August 7, 2017. Most tanks installed prior to 1970 (and in some cases later) were single-walled steel tanks.  Such tanks corrode over time and are likely to leak if left in place.  As a result, MassDEP is phasing out use of such tanks.  There are many types of replacement tanks including double-walled jacketed steel tanks and metal tanks with cathodic protection. Read More ›

Practice Corner for EH&S at Academic Institutions: Raising the Stakes – EPA Increases Civil Penalties for Environmental Noncompliance

Colleges and universities could see huge increases in civil environmental penalties as a result of a recent update to the maximum civil penalties for federal environmental violations. 

For example, the civil penalties that were originally set at $25,000 under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act have increased to between $44,539 and $93,750.  Because the penalties are per day per violation, a single noncompliance can lead to a demand for a massive civil penalty.  Assuming a particular violation of rules implementing the Clean Air Act is eligible for a penalty of $44,539 under the updated rules and that single violation is a continuing violation that lasts for one month, the penalty demanded could be as high as $1.38 million. 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 ›

Beveridge & Diamond Elects Six New Principals

Beveridge & Diamond is pleased to announce that Lauren A. Hopkins (San Francisco), Eric L. Klein (Washington, DC), Heidi P. Knight (Wellesley), Jayni A. Lanham (Baltimore), John H. Paul (New York) and Bina R. Reddy (Washington, DC)  have been elected Principals of the Firm. 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 ›

RMP and General Duty Clause Enforcement Continues at EPA Region 1

As we reported last year, the U.S. EPA has stepped up its enforcement activity under the risk management provisions of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), Section 112(r), focusing on both the Risk Management Plan (“RMP”) program rules and the General Duty Clause (“GDC”). The RMP requirements help prevent accidental releases of substances that can cause serious harm to the public and environment from short-term exposures and also help reduce the severity of releases that do occur.  Background on these programs is available in our prior article. Read More ›

Continuing Efforts to Ban Single-Use Plastic Carrier Bags in Massachusetts and Beyond

Over the last several years, a number of municipalities across the nation have passed ordinances imposing bans, fees, and/or taxes on single-use plastic carrier bags distributed by retailers. In the most recent 188th legislative session, Massachusetts legislators sought, and failed, to pass the first statewide ban on plastic bags. That legislation was instead passed by California and signed into law on September 30, 2014. Given California’s recent passage of a statewide ban, and the increasing concern of legislators and environmental groups over potential environmental impacts from the use of plastic bags, it is highly likely that Massachusetts legislators will reintroduce the same or similarly-worded legislation in the next session. Read More ›

OSHA’s Increased Enforcement of Facilities with Combustible Dusts Hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) continues to issue citations for alleged violations of various general industry standards (such as general housekeeping and electrical standards) and Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the General Duty Clause (“GDC”), for alleged workplace exposure to fire and/or explosion hazards from “combustible dust,” despite the lack of a clear and comprehensive general industry standard governing employers’ handling of combustible dusts.  Read More ›

EPA Establishes June 30 Deadline for Oil and Natural Gas Companies’ Submittal of Requests for Alternative Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Methods

On May 1, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule amendment moving up the deadline for petroleum and natural gas systems to submit their requests to use alternative monitoring methods to comply with the federal Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule, 40 C.F.R. Part 98.  Read More ›