Author Archives: L. Marissa Grace

The Fourth Circuit’s Decision in OVEC v. Fola Coal Company Set to Impact this Region’s Regulated Community

On January 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision that could severely impact this region’s regulated community. In Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal Co., LLC, the Court upheld a decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in which… Read More »

TSCA Reform Bill Signed Into Law

On June 22, 2016 President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, more commonly known as the “Toxic Substances Control Act  Reform” bill. The bill strengthens what environmental commentators considered to be one of the weakest environmental protection laws on the books. The bill revamps the Toxic Substances… Read More »

OSHA’s Silica Exposure Rule Set to Impact Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released new standards for workplace exposure to silica dust, providing the first revisions to these standards since 1971. This final rule addresses workplace exposure to respirable crystalline silica (“silica”) which is a mineral that is commonly found in everyday materials such as roads, buildings,… Read More »

EPA Ordered to Promulgate Hazardous Substance Spill Prevention Regulations

On February 16, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform, Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmental groups, entered into a Consent Decree that requires the EPA to issue proposed regulations “establishing procedures, methods, and equipment and other requirements for equipment to prevent discharges of hazardous-substances… Read More »

Litigation of Groundwater Issues as it Relates to the Clean Water Act

In response to a citizen suit filed under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) by several environmental groups, Duke Energy Carolinas LLC (“Duke Energy”) has filed a motion for certification for interlocutory appeal, asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to decide how the CWA addresses aspects of groundwater pollution.

Proposal to Eliminate CSO Discharges in the Great Lakes Region Excluded from Final 2016 Spending Package

In October, a proposed provision for the U.S. Senate’s Fiscal Year 2016 (“FY16”) spending package for the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) received national attention, as Section 428 of the proposal sought to amend the Clean Water Act by prohibiting both direct and indirect combined sewer overflow (“CSO”) discharges to the Great Lakes watershed. The National… Read More »

Streamlining the Federal Permitting Process for Major Energy and Infrastructure Project

On January 6, 2015, Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) introduced H.R. 22 – Surface Transportation, Reauthorization, and Reform Act of 2015 (“Act”). H.R. Res. 22, 114th Cong. (2015) (enacted). The purpose of this Act, also known as “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” or “FAST Act,” is to “authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and… Read More »

The Rebirth of Chevron Deference

On November 10, 2015, Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden spoke at the D.C. Bar’s Administrative Law and Agency Practice Committee’s Harold Leventhal Lecture on the enduring nature of the Chevron Doctrine. See Remarks, http://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/assistant-attorney-general-john-c-cruden-delivers-remarks-enduring-nature-chevron. Assistant Attorney General Cruden’s remarks are timely, as his main focus was on the use of Chevron deference from an… Read More »

Proposal to Eliminate CSO Discharges in the Great Lakes Region

Municipalities, public service districts and other operators of publicly-owned treatment works (“POTWs”) are closely monitoring a controversial and ill conceived provision in U.S. Senate’s Fiscal Year 2016 spending package for the Environmental Protection Agency. Section 428 of the spending package seeks to amend the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) by prohibiting both direct and indirect combined… Read More »