Monthly Archives: March 2019

Second 83C Offshore Wind RFP Submitted to Massachusetts DPU for Approval

The Massachusetts electric distribution companies (“Distribution Companies”), together with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, have asked the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to approve a second request for proposal(“RFP”) for long-term offshore wind contracts in accordance with Section 83C of the Green Communities Act (“83C”).  Pursuant to 83C, the Distribution Companies are authorized to solicit up to 1600MW of offshore wind energy generation in staggered rounds of procurements. … More

Just In Case You Wondered Whether PFAS Are Really a Big Deal

If you were thinking that PFAS were important, but you’ve been unsure just how big a deal they are, you need look no further than the Statewide PFAS Directive issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  Some of my colleagues in New Jersey may correct me, but I think that the Directive may be the most wide-ranging order I’ve ever seen issued by an environmental agency. … More

Any Press Is Good Press

Yesterday, the Washington Post (subscription required) published an article about the Trump Administration’s inability to defend many of its policies in court. Yours truly was among those quoted.  I liked the story and it was largely accurate, including its quotes from me, except that Fred Barbash stated that I had “been looking forward to deregulation under Trump.”  On that issue, I can only say that Fred and I had a misunderstanding,… More

Would the Last Generator to Leave the Wholesale Competitive Energy Market Please Turn Off the Lights?

On Friday, Connecticut announced that it had reached agreement with Dominion, Eversource, and United Illuminating to keep the Millstone nuclear plant operating for 10 more years.  Not coincidentally, on the same day, the six New England Governors announced their “Commitment to Regional Cooperation on Energy Issues.”  An important element of that commitment is to work with ISO New England:

to evaluate market-based mechanisms that value the contribution that existing nuclear generation resources make to regional energy security and winter reliability.… More

When Is Property Damage From a Release “Expected or Intended”? Only After the Owner Learns of the Spill and Ignores It

Any good trial lawyer will tell you that the law is about telling stories.

Once upon a time, Timothy and Stacy Creamer bought a house.  Only after they closed did they realize that some strategically placed rugs were hiding the evidence that, “up from the ground come a bubblin’ crude.”

Unlike Jed Clampett, rather than finding themselves millionaires, the Creamers found themselves with a million dollar liability – literally.… More

Injunctions In RCRA Citizen Suits — Broad, But Not Infinite

Two recent cases illustrate the potential scope of, and the potential limitations on, injunctive relief in RCRA citizen suits.  First up, Schmucker v. Johnson Controls.

Contamination was detected at the Johnson Controls manufacturing facility in Goshen, Indiana.  In response, Johnson Controls performed substantial remediation under the auspices of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Voluntary Remediation Program.  Nonetheless, significant contamination remains at the site,… More

An NSR Enforcement Decision – Last of a Dying Breed?

Late last month, Federal Judge Rodney Sippel ruled that EPA could obtain injunctive relief against Ameren Missouri in the long-running NSR enforcement case concerning Ameren’s Rush Island Plant.  The Court had already ruled that Ameren had violated the Clean Air Act by failing to obtain a PSD permit prior to implementing substantial modifications at the plant.

Having lost at the liability stage, Ameren took three shots at avoiding injunctive relief. … More

Governor Baker Shows Support for Offshore Wind Industry

Governor Baker addressed a room full of offshore wind stakeholders at “The Future of Offshore Wind” Forum hosted by the Environmental League of Massachusetts on Wednesday morning.  He applauded the developers, environmental groups, legislators and local students for the progress made in recent years which has led to a dramatic decrease in the price of offshore wind energy to ratepayers in recent years.

Thanks to a bill Governor Baker signed into law in 2016,… More