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Environmental Articles


Environmental permits are documents that resemble licenses and are used to regulate activities that are potentially harmful to the environment. Government bodies that issue permits use them to track the types and qualities of pollutants released into the environment and to impose standards on permit holders.

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Identifying and Disposing of Hazardous Waste: Explanations for Small Business Owners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority over matters concerning the proper disposal of hazardous waste. But, what exactly is hazardous waste? What is the appropriate form of disposal? What rules or regulations apply to small business owners in particular? If you do not know the answers to these questions, the following information may be helpful.

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Environmental Law Case Summaries

[02/21] San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Auth. v. Haugrud
In a dispute arising out of the release of Trinity River water from the Lewiston Dam above the amount designated in the applicable water release schedule, to help prevent a mass die-off of salmon in the Klammath River, the district court's judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) had the authority to implement the release of Trinity River water from the Lewiston Dam, above and beyond the amount designated in the applicable water release schedule; 2) the 2013 flow augmentation release did not violate Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) section 3406(b)(23), which called for a permanent water release that would serve only the Trinity River basin. and 3) the 2013 flow augmentation release did not violate California water law and, in turn, did not violate the Reclamation Act of 1902 or CVPIA section 3411(a), both of which require the BOR to comply with state water permitting requirements.

[02/02] Center for Biological Diversity v. US Environmental Protection Agency
In a citizen suit alleging that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it registered certain pesticide active ingredients and pesticide products without undertaking consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed in part as to the dismissal of all category one, two and three sub-claims; and 2) reversed in part as to the dismissal of all category four sub-claims, which alleged that the EPA's approval of individual pesticide products was an agency action, where those claims were barred by the collateral attack doctrine.

[01/18] Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Inc. v. EPA (Catskill III)
In a challenge to the Water Transfer Rule, which formalized the EPA's longstanding position that water transfers are not subject to regulation under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting program established decades ago by the Clean Water Act, the district court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiffs, on grounds that the Rule could not survive judicial scrutiny because it was based on an unreasonable interpretation of the Clean Water Act, is reversed where the Rule is based on a reasonable interpretation of the Clean Water Act and therefore entitled to deference under Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984).

[01/04] Ohio Valley Envt'l Coalition v. Fola Coal Co.
In a suit brought by environmental groups brought this action against a coal company, alleging that the company had violated the Clean Water Act and seeking appropriate injunctive relief, the district court's judgment that the company had indeed violated the Act is affirmed where: 1) the company did not comply with the conditions of its permit; 2) the permit does not shield it from liability under the Clean Water Act; and 3) the district court properly ordered appropriate remedial measures.

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