Monthly Archives: May 2021

The Test For Injunctive Relief Was Not Developed By a Risk Assessor

Earlier this Month, Judge James Boasberg, who had previously ruled that the easement allowing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline must be vacated due to a failure to comply with NEPA, nonetheless declined to issue an injunction requiring that the pipeline cease operations.  The Court’s rationale was clear and straightforward.  The Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Boasberg could not enjoin use of the pipeline without finding that all elements of the four-factor test for an injunction had been met. … More

I Love It When SCOTUS Reminds Me How Clear and Unambiguous CERCLA Is

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that only settlements that explicitly resolve liability under CERCLA trigger the contribution provisions of section 113 of CERCLA.  I have previously commented on the Court’s tendency to treat CERCLA as much more straightforward and unambiguous than practitioners have understood it to be.  The Court’s approach to section 113 in yesterday’s decision followed this now well-worn path.  In a short, sweet, and unanimous decision,… More

I May Agree With This EPA On Most Issues, But I Still Don’t Like Guidance

One of the results of the November election that makes me happiest is that I can now go back to being part of the loyal opposition.  In other words, I know that the Administration and I share a common mission and common goals.  We also often share common approaches to achieving those goals, but not always.  And now, in the spirit of friendly cooperation, I know that I can sometimes disagree with the Biden administration on implementation of those goals without undermining my confidence that we are generally on the same page.… More

Incidental Take Permits Under the Migratory Bird Treat Act — Why Is This So Difficult?

Last week, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule that would revoke the rule promulgated by the Trump Administration in January 2021 and return to the prior status quo, in which the incidental take of birds subject to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act constituted a violation of the Act.  I’m not taking a position on the proposal.  I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as my friends in the environmental movement seem to believe. … More

How Are We Really Going to Get to Net Zero?

Late last month, the Washington Legislature passed the “Climate Commitment Act”, a piece of sweeping climate legislation that includes, among other provisions, an economy-wide cap-and-trade system.  Washington was not far behind Massachusetts, which enacted its “next generation roadmap” bill in late March.  This friendly competition among states to move towards net zero economies as aggressively as possible is certainly a good thing.… More