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Environmental Law Archives

Clean Air Act provides basis for president’s precarious environmental legacy

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a regulation passed by the Obama administration aimed at reducing toxic emissions from coal-fueled power plants. While the regulation has been hailed as a major achievement for clean air, it has also been attacked by Republicans and industry leaders as more costly to the coal industry than is warranted by the benefits.

Shell effort to preempt legal challenges to Alaskan drilling plans fails

The ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a recent case that Shell Oil Company is unable to preemptively sue environmental advocacy groups for putting up legal barriers to offshore drilling in Alaska. The oil giant has reportedly spent billions of dollars on leases and other legal requirements for oil drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and hopes to begin drilling in 2015.

State of Georgia seeks updated water control plans from Army Corps of Engineers

Lake Altoona, as Georgia readers know, is a reservoir in the care of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta. The Corps of Engineers is currently involved in litigation with the state of Georgia, which has filed a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to get water control plans and manuals for Lake Altoona updated. The state is seeking updates not only for Lake Altoona, but also for other reservoirs in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin. The Atlanta Regional Commission and the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority have also filed lawsuits for the same purpose.

Proposed environmental rules could present burden to ag industry in GA

Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a number of new regulations aimed at reducing the occurrence of incidents connected to pesticide exposure among agricultural workers and those who handle pesticides. Included in the proposal were rules establishing a minimum age requirement of 16 for pesticide-handlers; off-limit buffer zones around fields treated with pesticides; training requirements for workers; and enhanced regulatory compliance rules.

EPD defiantly awaiting decision on appeal regarding salt marsh buffers

In July, we wrote about a Georgia Court of Appeals decision which struck down a water buffer protocol established in April by the state Environmental Protection Division. The protocol essentially removed the requirement for 25-foot protective buffers around salt water marshes statewide. The decision, it appears, was not the end of the story.

Clean Power Rule to impact Georgia coal plants

Atlanta readers may have heard that the Environmental Protection Agency released a new rule at the beginning of June which aims to cut back carbon emissions to 30 percent by the year 2030. Already, Georgia Power has starting the process of upgrading units at its plants so as to come into compliance with the new rule. More shutdowns are reportedly scheduled for next year

Georgia power company ordered to reduce coal dust emissions

Under federal law, there are limits as to how much water and air pollution companies can produce, and failure to meet those standards can result in penalties. The Clean Air Act, for instance, limits the amount of toxic coal dust pollution coal-operated power plants can emit.

State agency eases law addressing erosion, sedimentation

The Erosion & Sedimentation Act is a Georgia law that prescribes various practices to prevent soil erosion and to control sediment pollution throughout the state. One of those requirements is that marshfront properties erect 25-foot protective barriers to prevent erosion and provide filtration of storm waters. Compliance with this rule isn’t always easy, though, because determining boundary lines on marshfront properties can be difficult.

Worldwide health statistic underscores danger of air pollution

Environmental law matters can sometimes seem somewhat impersonal and/or focused on short-term consequences. The World Health Organization just released an alarming statistic related to the environment that all people should be able to relate to and take seriously.

Gas prices in Georgia counties show environmental law conflicts

Without giving a big, detailed overview of how the U.S. government works, it is simple enough to understand that there are state and federal laws. That is true even specifically to environmental laws in Georgia. In fact, did you know that gas prices from county to county in the state might differ because of a tug-of-war between state lawmakers and federal laws?

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