Author Archives: Armando F. Benincasa

EPA Attempts to Expand its Reach and Re-Define Waters of the United States

After substantial time and review, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers proposed its long-anticipated rule-making establishing a new regulatory definition of the term “waters of the United States.” This definition, if adopted, would in many ways re-define the limits of federal jurisdiction over surface waters found… Read More »

The D.C. Circuit Court Rejects EPA Guidance on Source Aggregation

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled upon a petition filed by an industry coalition which objected to the manner in which USEPA intended to implement the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Summit Petroleum Corp. v. EPA in 2012 which found the agency’s policy regarding whether multiple sources of air emissions should be… Read More »

New Drilling Regulations Imposed in Ohio to Address Potential Seismic Activity

On April, 11, 2014, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced that it would be imposing new permit terms and conditions for drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The new policies are in response to the finding of state geologists researching recent seismic events in northeastern Ohio that show what they… Read More »

EPA Mercury Rule Upheld by Divided Court

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the nation’s first-ever national standards requiring power plants to cut emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollution.  The EPA rules require coal utilities to cut at least 90% of their emissions of mercury and require the installation of scrubber technology to reduce mercury emissions.

Senate Joint Resolution 12 Placing Water Rights on the Ballot in West Virginia Dies

The West Virginia Legislature failed to pass SJR12 on the final day of the Regular Session of the 2014 Legislative Session.  The resolution proposed an amendment to the West Virginia Constitution which would have made it the policy of the state that the water resources of the state be protected, conserved, utilized and developed for… Read More »

A Twist of Fate: Court Declares Ecuador Judgment Against Chevron a Fraud

On March 4, 2014, a federal court in New York added an additional twist to the ongoing drama between Chevron Corporation and indigenous Ecuadorean plaintiffs by ruling that the Plaintiffs would not be allowed to collect on a $9.5 billion dollar judgment entered against Chevron in Ecuador for alleged failure to remediate land and property… Read More »

Court Hesitant to Push Aside Post-Summit Memo

A coalition of manufacturers, the National Environmental Development Association’s Clean Air Project (NEDACAP), has asked the D.C. Circuit Court to strike the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) memorandum regarding how it planned to address a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking the agency’s policy regarding how it would implement air… Read More »

It is Not Just a Question of Federal vs. State Regulation – Local Power to Regulate Oil and Gas Industry Challenged in Colorado

The oil and gas industry has commenced a legal challenge to two local ballot initiatives in Colorado where voters approved extended moratoriums against the use of hydraulic fracturing within their jurisdictions.  The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) has filed actions in Boulder County and Larimer County to strike down a five-year moratorium in the… Read More »

Federal Judge Mandates USEPA Set Schedule for Final Rule-Making Regarding Coal Ash Residue

A federal court has now ordered USEPA to set a deadline for finalizing federal coal ash regulations.  Pursuant to the court order, USEPA has 60 days to set a schedule for the final publication of regulations concerning how we will treat coal ash residue in this country. The order was the result of a lawsuit… Read More »

Region III Agenda Presents Challenges to West Virginia Business

The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Committee made its annual visit to USEPA Region III on June 25, 2013 to discuss national and state environmental issues and potential impacts on West Virginia.  The meeting was well attended by Chamber members and USEPA staff.  Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin took time to welcome us and give… Read More »