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The National Environment Act 2019: Revamping the Law on Environmental Protection in Uganda
ENSafrica, May 2019

  Uganda has taken a bold and long overdue step to revamp its 24-year old environmental law, the National Environment Act (Cap. 153) (the “NEA”). An amendment was necessary given the massive infrastructure projects in the energy sector, the planned infrastructure of a refinery and pipelines in the oil and gas space, the imminent production of oil, increasing urbanisation and the consequent pressures on land, and climate change...

Marine Finfish Aquaculture: A New Environmental Framework
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, May 2019

The Scottish Government, SEPA and industry have identified significant opportunities for the growth of the finfish aquaculture sector in Scotland. This expansion is an express policy objective of the Scottish Government, and was confirmed through the National Marine Plan published in 2015. Nevertheless, whilst there has been some growth in the sector since the plan’s publication, the sector has yet to realise its full potential...

Five Things a Buyer of a Rural Property Needs to Know
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, May 2019

Scotland’s countryside offers a vast range of property investment options, from houses and cottages to farms and country estates. However, when buying a rural property it is important to consider various issues that may be taken for granted in the purchase of a property in an urban area. 1...

Change is Coming to the Landed Estates in Scotland
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, April 2019

TheScottish Land Commission recently published their reportinto what it describes as the issues associated with largescale and concentrated land ownership in Scotland. The report draws a number of conclusions and makes recommendations to the Scottish Government about potential future legislative change that might have far-reaching consequences for rural land ownership...

Rights of Access vs Right to Privacy
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, February 2019

The public rights of access on and over land, enshrined in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, have now been around for almost 14 years. They allow all members of the public a responsible right of access on and across land and inland water throughout the country, often informally referred to as the right to roam. Certain parts of land may be excluded from the rights of access under the Act: restrictions may be allowed, for example, due to planned forestry operations...

Recent Changes to EPA Coal Ash Regulations - Regulatory and Insurance Coverage Implications
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2019

A new rule promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) governing the disposal of coal combustion residuals, also known as CCR or coal ash, raises the risk for civil claims and the need for insurance to cover them.1  The rule, which takes effect Aug. 29, 2018, revises regulations issued in 2015 and has the stated intent of providing utilities and states “more flexibility in how CCR is managed...

People Over Wind and Peter Sweetman v Coillte
A&L Goodbody, January 2019

In case C-323/17 People Over Wind and Peter Sweetman v Coillte, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that mitigation measures could not be taken into account at the screening stage of an appropriate assessment. Facts This case focused on proposed works that were necessary to lay a cable connecting a wind farm to the electricity grid and the potential effects that this would have on two special areas of conservation...

The Advocate: Risks to the Energy Sector Posted by Climate Change Litigation
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2019

Fossil fuels are under attack in the legislative, regulatory, and judicial arenas, and in the market place—driven by environmental concerns, especially global warming and associated climate change. The Sierra Club, for example, has launched a “Beyond Dirty Fuels Initiative,” seeking to “push back against the construction of dirty fossil fuel infrastructure that would lock America into decades more of climate-polluting oil and gas production...

Covered by the Clean Water Act and WOTUS? Maybe Not Anymore.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 2018

In December of 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released their much-anticipated draft proposed rule to re-write the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) (“2018 Rule”). The definition of WOTUS establishes the scope of agency jurisdiction over waters and wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA)...

Supreme Court Ruling on Critical Habitat in Dusky Gopher Frog Case
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 2018

The Supreme Court has handed down one of the most anticipated Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulings in recent years. In Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv., the Supreme Court unanimously overruled the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, holding that the Fish and Wildlife Service can only designate property that is “habitat” as critical habitat under the ESA...

Friends of the Irish Environment v An Bord Pleanala
A&L Goodbody, October 2018

The High Court judgment in Friends of the Irish Environment v. An Bord Pleanála (delivered in 2018 by Meenan J) decided that if a Section 5 referral is made by a third party, then the owners and occupiers of the lands must be identified and served with notice of the referral, and given an opportunity to make submissions in accordance with basic fair procedures...

Acquiring Rights of Way by Prescription
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, October 2018

In Scots law, it is possible to acquire certain rights to land – access, for instance – simply by the passage of time. This process is known as “prescription” and is outlined in the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. There are two forms of prescription: positive and negative. Negative prescription extinguishes certain rights after a period of time...

Energy Voice: Avoiding Cost Overruns in Decommissioning
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2018

The UKCS is the largest decommissioning market in the North Sea. There are around 475 fixed facilities, over 10,000 kilometres of pipeline and approximately 5,000 wells. These will all need to be decommissioned over the next 30 years, when they reach the end of their economic life, at an estimated cost of £59.7 billion...

How is Australia Managing the Transition to Renewable Energy?
MinterEllison, October 2018

In Australia, we're seeing enormous opportunities and some policy challenges in renewable energy...

Essential Freshwater. Essential Changes?
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, October 2018

The Minister for the Environment and Minister for Agriculture have released a freshwater work programme called Essential Freshwater: Healthy Water, Fairly Allocated that is designed to get results before the next election. The freshwater programme sets out the Government’s three main objectives: - stopping further degradation and loss of New Zealand’s freshwater resources, waterways and ecosystems;- reversing past damage; and- addressing water allocation issues...

Feeling the Heat: the Draft Climate Change Bill, 2018
ENSafrica, October 2018

Feeling the heat: the draft Climate Change Bill, 2018 Earlier this year, the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs (the “Minister”) published the draft Climate Change Bill, 2018 for public comment. Since then, the Department of Environmental Affairs (“DEA”) has undertaken a road show across the country to solicit comments to the Bill and held further bilateral meetings with stakeholders earlier this year...

The Global Sulfur Cap 2020 - Is the Industry Prepared?
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, October 2018

On 1 January 2020, the maximum allowable sulfur content of marine fuels will be drastically reduced from the current 3.50% to 0.5% m/m. 2020 is rapidly approaching, but is the shipping industry really prepared? In this article, we provide an overview of the regulations and the main alternatives for compliance that shipowners and operators are faced with. Introduction On 1 January 2020, the maximum allowable sulfur content of marine fuels will be drastically reduced from the current 3.50% to 0...

Cabin Fever: Return of the Hut
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, September 2018

Not-for-profit Reforesting Scotland’s "Thousand Huts" campaign has spearheaded the regrowth of the hutting community, previously almost entirely eradicated by increasingly strict building regulations. The new Building (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 sets out the framework for ecologically sustainable hut development. What is a Hut? A hut must be a single storey building used as recreational accommodation...

Can Groundwater Permitting Affect the Public Trust?
Hanson Bridgett LLP, September 2018

The California Court of Appeal recently upheld a lower court decision that, as we previously discussed, expanded the scope of the "public trust doctrine" to include groundwater. In Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board, the appellate court held that agencies permitting groundwater pumping must consider how pumping may harm "public trust interests...

Protection of Land from Mining and Quarrying by Open Space Covenants Under QEII Trust
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, September 2018

The Supreme Court’s decision in Green Growth v QEII Trust in August 2018 is a reminder of the strength of QEII Trust open space covenants in protecting land from development – including mining and quarrying. It’s important to understand the trust’s purpose and what this court decision means...

Environmental Sector - A Hotspot for Upcoming Changes
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, September 2018

Over the last year there has been a flurry of discussions, consultations and hints at what is yet to come in the environment sector.  As the busy government approaches the end of its first year, it is starting to implement changes.  Below we’ve summarised what should be on your radar. These changes are focused on three pillars in the environment sector: 1. climate change; 2. water; and 3. urban development and national standards...

Retail Industry on High Alert After $289 Million Glyphosate Verdict Against Monsanto
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, September 2018

Weeks after a federal judge called the science behind the alleged carcinogenicity of glyphosate “shaky,” a California state court jury hammered Monsanto with a $289 million verdict, connecting a former groundskeeper’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to his exposure to the Roundup® chemical. Earlier this year the verdict in Johnson v. Monsanto Co., No...

Enforcing Give-and-Take Arrangements
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, August 2018

The difficulty surrounding the enforcement of unwritten give-and-take arrangements was recently demonstrated in the case of Hikurangi Forest Farms Limited v Negara Developments Limited [2018] NZHC 607 (the Hikurangi case). Give-and-take arrangements Give-and-take arrangements are a response to situations where the rugged topography of rural land makes it impractical to erect a fence along the legal title boundary between two properties...

How Do Tiered Water Rates Help Californians Save Water?
Hanson Bridgett LLP, July 2018

In the Loop: With the Hanson Bridgett Government Group     Not long ago, the state of California suffered through a crippling six-year drought, and water conservation was the name of the game. But California’s last two winters have been wetter, and water conservation feels a lot less urgent when the stuff is literally falling from the sky...

Supreme Court to Evaluate Critical Habitat Limits as Services Ramp up ESA Reform Efforts
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, July 2018

As the Trump administration is pushing forward on its deregulatory agenda and, in particular, its efforts to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (together, the Services), the Supreme Court is poised to hear a landmark case on designation of critical habitat under the ESA that could provide some guideposts for the Services’ new regulations...

Are You Ready for Proposition 65 Changes? Three Immediate Steps to Take.
Haynes and Boone, LLP, July 2018

Proposition 65 is a 1986 California right-to-know law requiring businesses to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings of potentially harmful exposures to chemicals appearing on the growing list maintained by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”)...

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, June 2018

The Corps Struggles to Balance Competing Constitutional and Statutory Duties Federal agencies must often balance competing policy concerns and legal requirements. This process may be difficult and fraught with intense public feedback, and frequently results in litigation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) has found itself in the hot seat over how it manages the nation’s rivers, pitting its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) against private property rights...

Maine DEP Proposes Changes to Wetlands Rules
Verrill Dana, LLP, June 2018

The Maine DEP is proposing changes to its wetlands rules that clarify the definition of wetlands of special significance. Wetlands of special significance (WOSS) include coastal wetlands and great ponds, as well as other freshwater wetlands. Certain qualifying attributes for Wetlands are, the presence of critical or imperiled plant communities, or location within significant wildlife habitat or a peatland...

Striving Towards the Black Gold
Karanovic & Partners, June 2018

The first upscale exploration of oil and gas in Montenegro started in 1914, when King Nikola Petrovic approved the National Assembly's decision for oil exploration around Lake Skadar. The first well in the area of Crmnica dates back to 1922 - although it produced nothing of significance. In later researches of the Montenegrin offshore, the existence of geological structures with the potential for hiding hydrocarbon deposits was confirmed...

The Superfund Task Force - One Year Later
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, May 2018

It was this time last year that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt created a Superfund Task Force to “provide recommendations . . ...

Practitioner Insights: Maui Groundwater Case Shows Government Retreat is Bad for Everyone
Hanson Bridgett LLP, May 2018

With Administrator Scott Pruitt at its helm, cooperative federalism is the frequently recited principle underlying recent EPA enforcement efforts. As the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory oversight in areas like the Clean Water Act is delegated to the states, the agency is relying more upon state and local authorities to enforce the laws. There are shortcomings associated with this approach, which were raised in the recent U.S...

Guidelines for Comprehensive Management of Waste Requiring Special Management in the Hydrocarbons Sector
Haynes and Boone, LLP, May 2018

The Administrative provisions that set forth the guidelines for comprehensive management of waste requiring special management in the hydrocarbons sector (the “Guidelines”) were published in Mexico’s Federal Official Gazette on May 2, 2018 and became effective the following day...

EPA Streamlining of NSR Review
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2018

EPA Administrator Pruitt recently issued another policy to help streamline the New Source Review (NSR) Program. After receiving comments from many industry sources that the NSR Program should be reformed given its heavy time and cost burden, the Trump EPA has made reforming the NSR Program a priority...

President Trump Issues Memorandum to EPA to Ease NAAQS Implementation Impacts on Industry
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2018

On April 12, 2018, President Trump issued a memorandum to Administrator Pruitt to promote domestic manufacturing and job creation through policies intended to streamline implementation of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS)...

Kentucky Revises Requirements for New and Existing Heat Exchangers
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, April 2018

Earlier this year, revisions to the requirements for new and existing indirect heat exchangers contained in 401 KAR 59:015 and 401 KAR 61:015 became effective. Indirect heat exchangers with a heat input capacity greater than one million Btu/hour (MMBtu/hour) are subject to either 401 KAR 59:015 (new sources) or 401 KAR 61:015 (existing sources). The classification as new or existing depends upon when the indirect heat exchanger was installed...

Circuit Courts Extend Clean Water Act Liability to Discharging Treated Wastewater and Other Pollutants to Groundwater
Hanson Bridgett LLP, April 2018

When a half-mile from the nearest body of water, must you obtain a federal permit when discharging treated wastewater to groundwater? According to a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the answer may be yes.[1] This alarmed many because the Clean Water Act regulates discharges to navigable waters from "point sources" like pipes or ditches...

Environment Minister Announces Government Policy Priorities - Climate Change, Water and Urban Development
MinterEllisonRuddWatts, April 2018

Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment has set out the Government’s environmental policy priorities for 2018, with climate change, water and urban development key areas of focus. The Minister said it was time for New Zealand to once again be a world leader in climate change, and one way to achieve this was through a more comprehensive National Policy Statement (NPS) on water management...

Sustainability Reporting
TSMP Law Corporation, April 2018

Population growth has become the be-all and end-all for economic prosperity, but how on Earth can we cope with the extra billions of people? While “leafing” – or should I instead say “scrolling” in today’s need to sound tech savvy – through the news websites, the two subjects seemed to have captured the media’s attention: immigration and plastic...

Is Agency Guidance the Low-Hanging Fruit for Regulatory Reform?
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, March 2018

Rolling back environmental regulations is a priority of the Trump administration, but revising or withdrawing guidance may be a faster and more effective means to achieve near-term change. The Trump Administration has pursued an ambitious goal to reduce federal regulation. The administration has slowed the promulgation of new rules, and in early 2017 a bevy of late-term Obama-era rules still subject to the Congressional Review Act were overturned by the GOP Congress...

Mexico: Noise Generated By Aircraft
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2018

On February 12, 2018 the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (“SCT”) published the draft of Mexican Environmental Standard PROY-NOM-036-SCT3-2017 in the Official Daily Gazette, which sets forth the maximum allowable limits of noise generated by aircraft. Within the next 60 calendar days, any interested party may provide comments to the National Consultation Committee of Air Transportation Standardization...

Environmental Group Sends Notice of Intent to Sue Letter to EPA Over Failure to Act on Kentucky SIP Submittal
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, March 2018

On February 22, 2018, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a notice of intent to sue letter for failure to approve Kentucky’s air quality plan for limiting fine particulate (PM2.5) emissions in the Louisville, Kentucky area.  Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet submitted a revision to the Jefferson County portion of the Kentucky State Implementation Plan (SIP) to EPA December 21, 2016...

California's First Appellate District Court Finds Reasonable Use Determination Requires Consideration of All Competing Water Users
Hanson Bridgett LLP, February 2018

On January 31, 2017, the First Appellate District Court in the case Santa Barbara Channelkeeper v. City of San Buenaventura found that an allegation of excessive water diversion to protect endangered fish species under the rule of reasonableness and the public trust doctrine, could not be resolved without consideration of all competing water users in the system...

For Hazardous Air Pollutants, “Once in, Always in,” is Out
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

In a major departure from over 20 years of practice, the EPA announced on January 25 that it is withdrawing the “once in, always in” (OIAI) interpretation of the hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) program. The OIAI required sources of HAPs to permanently comply with Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards applicable to major sources of HAPs, even when those sources’ emissions are below major source levels...

The Supreme Court’s Clean Water Act Ruling Opens Floodgates to Future Litigation
Hanson Bridgett LLP, January 2018

We previously reported on oral arguments before the Supreme Court regarding which court has original jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Clean Water Act’s “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) definition. On January 22, 2018, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense that only district courts have original jurisdiction to hear such challenges...

EPA Ends “Sue and Settle” Litigation Strategy
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, December 2017

  On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Pruitt issued the “Directive Promoting Transparency and Public Participation in Consent Decrees and Settlement Agreements.” At the same time, Pruitt issued a memorandum to EPA assistant administrators, regional administrators and the office of general counsel explaining the rejection of “sue and settle” tactics by his administration...

EPA Reverses Position on NSR Enforcement
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, December 2017

  For many years EPA has taken the position it could take enforcement action based on agency review and calculation of projected emissions in determining New Source Review (NSR) applicability for pre-construction permitting for modification of an existing source...

EPA Reverses Position on Review of PSD Issues Through the Title V Permitting Proces
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, December 2017

On October 16, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed an order reversing a long-standing EPA position that EPA has the authority to review previous state decisions on new source permitting applicability when reviewing Title V permits. The order denied a petition by Sierra Club requesting that EPA object to the issuance of a Title V operating permit to the Hunter Power Plant in Castle Dale, Utah...

Kentucky Air Law Update
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, December 2017

Kentucky Regulatory Amendments On September 15, 2017, the Division for Air Quality submitted amendments to 401 KAR 59:015 for new indirect heat exchangers and 401 KAR 61:015 for existing indirect heat exchangers. The Division stated the amendments were necessary to provide clarity for regulated entities and to remove duplicative requirements covered by federal regulations...

Clean Power Plan Update
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, December 2017

EPA continues to make progress in its effort to repeal and replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP). EPA held public hearings on November 28-29, 2017, in Charleston, West Virginia to take testimony on its October 10, 2017, proposal to repeal the rule. EPA is accepting comments on the proposal to repeal the rule through January 16, 2018. EPA announced it will hold three additional public comment sessions due to the “overwhelming response” to the West Virginia hearing...

U.S. International Trade Commission Finds Domestic Solar Manufacturing Companies Harmed by Foreign Imports
Dykema, December 2017

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a determination at the end of 2017, finding that solar panel imports are hurting domestic businesses that operate in the solar industry. The ITC’s determination was issued in connection with a trade case filedby a Georgia-based company, Suniva, Inc., shortly after filing for bankruptcy protection. SolarWorld Americas, Inc. joined Suniva’s petition...

 

 

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