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"
Baylor University was concerned that it was not in full compliance with federal law relating to complaints of sexual harassment and violence. Baylor also expected litigation. Baylor’s Board of Regents hired the Pepper Hamilton law firm to investigate Baylor’s procedures, policies and other “institutional response” aspects of Baylor’s compliance obligations. Baylor and Pepper Hamilton agreed […]Read more "Baylor Case: Public Statements Can Waive Privilege"
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"
On July 17, the Texas Tribune published “A Pass to Poison: How the state of Texas allows industrial facilities to repeatedly spew unauthorized air pollution – with few consequences.” Starting with the title, the article is highly critical of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”), especially regarding enforcement. The article will not spur any […]Read more "Texas Tribune Article Highly Critical of TCEQ"
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“DC Circuit”) eased restrictions on recyclers and generators of recyclable materials by striking parts of the EPA’s latest rule relating to the definition of “solid waste”. The DC Circuit (with one judge dissenting), issued American Petroleum Institute v EPA, the most recent development in […]Read more "DC Circuit Strikes Parts of EPA’s “Solid Waste” Rule"