On October 11, 2017, the EPA issued its Record of Decision (“ROD”) selecting the remedy for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site in Harris County, Texas. The proposed remedy calls for excavation and off-site disposal of source materials and contaminated soils from impoundments in and adjacent to the San Jacinto River. The proposed […]Read more "EPA Chooses Removal for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits"
A suit claiming that an ExxonMobil facility has not adequately planned for severe events such as storm surges, heavy rainfall and flooding can proceed regarding current and near future conditions. The suit cannot proceed as to longer term issues, such as sea levels predicted for 2050 or 2100, according to a federal judge in Massachusetts. […]Read more "Judge Narrows Climate Change Citizen’s Suit, But Allows Key Parts To Go Forward"
The Texas Supreme Court has begun identifying the cases that it will hear in its 2017-2018 term. One case involves an individual’s personal liability for violating environmental rules; another addresses state pre-emption of local environmental ordinances. Individual Liability of LLC’s Owner and Manager First, the Court agreed to review Morello v. State, where the Austin […]Read more "Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Environmental Cases"
Recent action, both governmental and non-governmental, suggests that the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will be less inclined to include mitigation projects or Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in environmental enforcement settlements. In a prior Alert, I discussed the June 5, 2017 memorandum issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (“the Sessions Memo”), which stated that DOJ […]Read more "Mitigation and SEPs Under Increased DOJ Scrutiny"
On August 4, 2017, at the 29th Annual Texas Environmental Super Conference, I heard presentations from Patrick Traylor, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Jeffrey Wood, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). These federal officials spoke […]Read more "DOJ/EPA Officials Deny Significant Changes to SEP Policy Due to Sessions Memo"
In one paragraph, the Texas Supreme Court reiterated that landowners must allow easement holders to conduct their operations, consistent with the easement that they hold. Landowner Must Allow Access for Regulatory Compliance On July 26, 2017, the Court issued an Order directing a trial court to issue any necessary temporary orders to allow Denbury Green […]Read more
The Environmental Integrity Project (“EIP”), a self-described “watchdog organization that advocates for effective enforcement of environmental laws,” has issued a report and filed five lawsuits regarding environmental issues in Texas, all in the month of July. Groups such as EIP have become more active, and better funded, since the election of President Trump and his […]Read more "Environmental Integrity Project Continues Hig Profile Texas Activity"