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Sive Paget & Riesel is a law firm located in New York that is a leader in the field of environmental law and litigation. The firm has been a pioneer in environmental law for over forty years and continues to be an industry leader in Environmental Law, Commercial and Employment Litigation, Development & Land Use, and Municipal Law. For the past six years, SPR has been ranked the #1 Environmental Law Firm in New York by an independent ratings organization.
The SPR Environmental Law Blog contains news & updates concerning significant legal developments in the field of environmental law.
Please visit the blog here: http://blog.sprlaw.com
Ashley S. Miller
SIVE PAGET & RIESEL, P.C.
460 Park Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10022
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Report on Minerals Management Service’s Environmental Decisions Regarding Off-Shore Oil and Gas
September 3, 2010 09:00 AM - Jessica Steinberg, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
On August 16, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a report (CEQ Report) summarizing the findings of a thirty-day review of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Minerals Management Service's (MMS) environmental polices for oil and gas exploration and development in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). CEQ found that MMS’s reliance on the "tiering process" (where prior programmatic environmental reviews are incorporated into later site-specific analyses) was not transparent and led to confusion and concern regarding whether MMS sufficiently evaluated and disclosed environmental impacts.
EPA to Study Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water; Seeks Public Input
July 26, 2010 03:24 PM - Vicki Shiah , Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
This July and August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") is holding a series of public meetings seeking input on the design for an upcoming study to assess the effect of hydraulic fracturing on public drinking water supplies. Hydraulic fracturing uses high-pressured water, combined with chemicals, to release natural gas present underground in shale formations. Use of this process has raised concerns across the country that this process will contaminate, or has contaminated, drinking water supplies.
D.C. Circuit Upholds EPA Revisions to Air Quality Criteria and Standards for Lead
June 3, 2010 09:46 AM - Dan Mach , Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
In Coalition of Battery Recyclers Association v. EPA, 2010 WL 1929879 (May 14, 2010), the D.C. Circuit recently upheld an EPA rule revising the primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for air-borne lead (Pb) pollution against challenges by industry representatives. The case arose from consolidated petitions for review under the Administrative Procedure Act filed by two industry representatives alleging that the revised standards were overprotective. The circuit panel, Judge Rogers writing, rejected the petitions, holding that the new standards were supported by substantial record evidence and were not arbitrary and capricious.
LEED System Expands to Include Neighborhood-Scale Developments
May 27, 2010 09:44 AM - Ashley S. Miller, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
The U.S. Green Building Council ("USGBC") recently released a certification system for green neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND. LEED-ND expands the well-known LEED system for green buildings to larger-scale projects ranging in size from two buildings to multiple buildings on sites up to 320 acres. The system incorporates the principles of new urbanism, emphasizing mixed-use planning and walkable neighborhoods, and was developed in concert with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Congress of the New Urbanism. While LEED-ND is primarily designed for neighborhood-scale projects, it may also apply to campus-style developments, such as university campuses, military bases, resort developments, religious retreat centers or summer camps.
EPA Proposes Changes to Its Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Governing Disturbances of Lead-Based Paint
May 12, 2010 09:44 AM - Jennifer Coghlan, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
In April 2008, EPA promulgated regulations governing renovations in target housing (i.e., any housing constructed prior to 1978) and child-occupied facilities. The rule requires contractors to become certified by EPA, to notify owners and occupants before commencing renovations that disturb lead-based paint, and to follow certain safe work practices in conducting such work. The certification and safe work requirements went into effect on April 22, 2010. The current regulations require cleaning verification at the end of a renovation project, but do not require any testing.
EPA Releases Review of Federal Drinking Water Standards and Proposes New Strategy for Protecting Drinking Water
April 2, 2010 11:44 AM - Vicki Shiah , Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
This month, the EPA completed its second review of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act ("SDWA") and published the findings of its review in the Federal Register. Such reviews are required every six years under Section 1412(b)(9) of the SDWA. The EPA reviewed existing regulations for 71 contaminants and determined that 67 regulations remain appropriate, while four regulations are in need of revision. Each regulation covers a single contaminant. The four regulations found to be in need of revision were those governing acrylamide, epichlorohydrin, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. According to the EPA, "tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene are used in industrial and/or textile processing and can be introduced into drinking water from contaminated ground or surface water sources," and "[a]crylamide and epicholorohydrin are impurities that can be introduced into drinking water during the water treatment process." The review states that reevaluations of the health risks posed by exposure to acrylamide, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene are under way. The review also concludes that compliance with more stringent limits on the concentration of all four contaminants is feasible and will likely be required under the revised regulations.
New Lead-Based Paint Requirements from EPA
February 26, 2010 03:33 PM - Steven C. Russo, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
In April 2008, EPA promulgated regulations governing renovations in target housing (i.e., any housing constructed prior to 1978) and child-occupied facilities. The rule was designed to ensure that owners and occupants of target housing and child-occupied facilities receive information on lead-based paint hazards prior to the commencement of renovations and to ensure that firms performing such work are certified and safe work practices followed. Pre-renovation notice requirements had been in effect since 1999; the April 2008 simply specified a new pamphlet to be distributed to owners and occupants as of December 22, 2008.
Settlement Reached in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Lawsuit
January 14, 2010 03:20 PM - Vicki Shiah , Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.
The parties to a lawsuit challenging New York State’s participation in, and its rules to implement, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have reached a settlement. On December 23, 2009, a proposed consent decree in the matter of Indeck Corinth, L.P. v. Paterson, No. 5280-09, was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Albany. The litigation, which commenced on January 29, 2009, was brought against Governor Paterson, various State entities, and Consolidated Edison by Indeck Corinth, the operator of a gas-fired energy co-generation facility that held a long-term contract with ConEd. Two other gas-fired energy co-generation facilities with long-term ConEd contracts later intervened in support of Indeck. As described in the proposed consent decree, Indeck alleged that New York’s participation in RGGI was outside the scope of the State's lawful authority and unconstitutional, and that the rules implementing RGGI were arbitrary, capricious, and not supported by a proper record. Indeck contended that its long-term contract prevented it, unlike other generators without such contracts, from passing on to ratepayers the costs of complying with New York's rules implementing RGGI.