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Showing 9 posts by Daniel B. Schulson.

DOT and EPA Release Proposal to Roll Back Obama-era Emissions Standards for Automobiles

On August 2, 2018, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) and the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued two related, proposed rulemakings, which together comprise the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (“SAFE”) Vehicles Rule.  The proposed rule, if adopted, would curb NHTSA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (“CAFE”) standards and EPA’s tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years (“MY”) 2021 through 2026 that were issued in 2012.  The proposal also asserts that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (“EPCA”), which requires NHTSA to set national fuel economy standards for new motor vehicles, preempts any state, including California, from imposing or enforcing its own vehicle fuel economy standard.  Read More ›

Full Steam Ahead: EPA Moves Forward with Key Initiative to Reduce Emissions at U.S. Ports

EPA’s Office of Transportation Air Quality recently issued a report titled “EPA and Port Everglades Partnership: Emission Inventories and Reduction Strategies” (“the Port Everglades Report”).[1] The Port Everglades Report comes in the wake of EPA’s 2016 “National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports.”[2] Both the Port Everglades Report and the National Port Strategy Assessment are part of EPA’s “Ports Initiative,”[3] which seeks to establish a framework for stakeholders to evaluate and implement air pollution emission-reduction initiatives at ports. Read More ›

New Jersey Extends Toxic Take-Home Liability Beyond Worker's Spouse

In a case that may help reshape the contours of so-called “take-home” toxic tort liability, New Jersey’s Supreme Court held that a company’s liability for toxic substances brought home on a worker’s clothing can extend beyond the spouse of the worker.  Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., No. A-73-14-076195 (N.J. July 6, 2016).  Read More ›

EPA Issues “National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports”

On September 22, 2016, EPA issued a report titled “National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports” (the “Assessment”).[1]  According to EPA, the Assessment supports the goal of EPA’s “Ports Initiative”[2] to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases through collaboration among industry, government, and communities.  Notably, EPA urges state and local governments, ports and port operators, Tribes, communities and other stakeholders to use the Assessment to inform their priorities and port-related decision making, and to achieve more emission reductions across the United States. Read More ›

EPA Launches Modernized eDisclosure Portal for Self-Disclosed Civil Violations

On December 9, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register Notice announcing the launch of the eDisclosure portal, a centralized web-based system for receiving and automatically processing self-disclosed civil violations.  The portal is intended to receive and respond to disclosures made under two of EPA’s existing policies: (1) the Audit Policy titled “Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction and Prevention of Violations” (65 FR 19618, April 11, 2000), and (2) the Small Business Compliance Policy (65 FR 19630, April 11, 2000).  EPA is not modifying the substantive conditions under either of these policies; instead, by setting up the eDisclosure portal, EPA intends to allow members of the regulated community to disclose violations more easily and EPA to process disclosures more efficiently. Read More ›

Two Chinese Public Interest Groups Win Landmark Environmental Lawsuit in China

In a seminal judicial decision, a court in China’s Fujian province ruled on October 29, 2015 in favor of two environmental NGOs who brought suit against four defendants under China’s revised Environmental Protection Law for causing environmental damage associated with an unapproved quarry.  Read More ›

Supreme People’s Court Issues Judicial Interpretation Addressing Environmental Civil Public Interest Litigation

On January 6, 2015, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a judicial interpretation on environmental civil public interest litigation, effective January 7, 2015. This interpretation comes one week after China’s amended Environmental Protection Law went into effect (see B&D alert from January 9, 2015). Read More ›

Iowa Supreme Court Rules Pollution Suit Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

Striking a blow to defendants seeking to limit the scope of toxic tort claims based on air emissions, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a putative class action filed by residents asserting tort claims against a corn milling facility was not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) or Iowa state law. The court also refused to dismiss the case based on the political question doctrine. See Freeman v. Grain Processing Corp., No. 13-0723 (Iowa June 13, 2014).  Read More ›

Wisconsin Supreme Court Finds Spraying Herbicide is “Inherently Dangerous”

While a homeowner would normally be shielded from liability based on an independent contractor’s actions, a homeowner who hired a contractor to spray herbicide on his property may be held liable for damages to his neighbor’s trees because spraying is an “inherently dangerous activity,” according to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. Brandenburg v. Briarwood Forestry Servs., LLC, Appeals No. 2012AP2085 (Wis. June 12, 2014). In Brandenburg, Plaintiff neighbors alleged that an independent contractor’s spraying caused extensive, permanent damage to trees on their property and that the independent contractor was negligent for failing to take precautions to prevent the damage. The trial court granted the homeowners' summary judgment motion, holding that the homeowners had no duty to the neighbors and that only the independent contractor could be liable for any damage the spraying caused.   Read More ›