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 […]

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 […]

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This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a draft guidance on compliance with the Supreme Court decision regarding Clean Water Act (“CWA”) permits for groundwater pollution. The draft guidance narrowly interprets the permitting required by the April Supreme Court decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund.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

SEC Signals Intention to Encourage Increased ESG Investing, Possible Guidelines

Tue Nov 17th, On Compliance Counseling, by

The current SEC Commissioner, Allison Lee, recently signaled the agency’s desire to encourage financial institutions to consider environmental issues when evaluating their investments. Identifying climate change as a specific and increasing threat to the U.S. economy, the Commissioner called for more regulated disclosures of environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) risks, particularly with regard to financial institutions known to invest in fossil fuels. Lee identified climate change as a systemic […]

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