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Category: Rulemaking and Legislative Practice

Busy Final Weeks For Trump’s EPA and Department of Interior

The current leadership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) used the remaining time in Trump administration to alter the criteria for evaluating scientific studies used to enact public health policy, change the methodology for conducting oil and gas tank inspections, and finalize more rollbacks of environmental protections. The changes made during these last weeks are mostly formal finalizations of rule changes presented earlier during the administration’s tenure. Many of […]

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Clean Air Act: The Status of EPA’s Methane Regulation Rollbacks and Associated Litigation

Methane is the main ingredient of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas (“GHG”) with a short half-life. When methane leaks into the air before its use—from a leaky valve at a drilling site, for example—it absorbs the sun’s heat and warms the Earth’s atmosphere. The largest source of methane emissions in the United States is the oil and gas industry (source: EPA). The methane regulations established by the Obama […]

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EPA’s Groundwater Guidance Is Vague, Not Likely To Be Finalized

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a draft guidance on compliance with the Supreme Court decision regarding Clean Water Act (“CWA”) permits for groundwater pollution. The draft guidance narrowly interprets the permitting required by the April Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. In Maui, the Court ruled Clean Water Act permits can be required under certain circumstances when pollution hits groundwater before […]

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A Mixed October for Tribes Looking to be Viewed As a State for Environmental Regulatory Purposes

October 2020 was a mercurial month for tribes hoping to control environmental regulations on tribal lands. Early in the month, a SCOTUS ruling designated a large portion of Oklahoma as being part of Indian Country, a decision which paradoxically resulted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) granting the state full control over the lands’ environmental regulation. Later in the month, a regional office of the EPA granted treatment as […]

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