Monthly Archives: August 2022

EPA Proposes to List PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

EPA announced today that it is proposing to list PFOA and PFAS as hazardous substances under CERCLA.  EPA appears to be sanguine about how the listing will play out in the real world.

EPA is focused on holding responsible those who have manufactured and released significant amounts of PFOA and PFOS into the environment. EPA will use enforcement discretion and other approaches to ensure fairness for minor parties who may have been inadvertently impacted by the contamination.… More

Massachusetts to Require Disclosure of Energy Usage from Large Buildings

Lost amid the more high profile items in Massachusetts’ recently enacted Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind is a requirement that the Department of Energy Resources establish a program requiring large buildings across the Commonwealth to report energy usage on an annual basis.   The requirement goes into effect on July 1, 2024, but DOER has an additional year (until July 1, 2025) to draft implementing regulations and establish the parameters of the reporting program.  … More

IRA Incentives for Carbon Sequestration and Low Carbon Fuels

Yesterday, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, creating a law that contains the most significant climate-related incentives in U.S. history. In the few short weeks since the bill was introduced in the Senate, a flurry of economic activity has already begun, with entities already beginning to align their business practices to the incentives laid out in the bill.

Among the many programs enhanced or created by the legislation,… More

Coming soon to Massachusetts cities and towns: all electric buildings

As we’ve discussed before, multiple cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have tried to ban fossil fuel hookups for new buildings by zoning or other ordinance over the past few years.  But in July 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Municipal Law Unit struck down the first such ban that came across its desk as inconsistent with other state law.  As we noted then, in order for municipalities to restrict or ban fossil fuel connections,… More

The Inflation Reduction Act: Investments in Environmental Justice

The Biden administration has made it a priority to target environmental justice issues as part of the administration’s broader economic agenda. On August 7, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Act), which would provide about $369 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030 as well as reduce carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy. A small but potentially mighty component of the Act focuses on strengthening environmental justice.… More

NEPA Is Indeed Posing a Really Big Obstacle to Coal Mining On Public Lands

On Friday, I posted about a decision invalidating BLM Resource Manage Plans for failure to comply with NEPA.  My caption was “NEPA Is Still Going to Pose an Obstacle to Leasing Public Lands for Fossil Fuel Extraction.”  Little did I know how prescient I was, because later on Friday, Judge Brian Morris – the same judge who invalidated the RMPs – went farther and reinstated the moratorium on leasing of public lands for coal mining that had been implemented by then-Secretary Jewell in 2016. … More

NEPA Is Still Going to Pose an Obstacle to Leasing Public Lands for Fossil Fuel Extraction

Earlier this month, Chief Judge  Brian Morris made clear that NEPA remains a powerful weapon against the leasing of public lands for fossil fuel extraction.  It’s déjà vu all over again for the projects at issue.  In 2018, Judge Morris ruled that two resource management plans (RMPs) prepared by the Bureau of Land Management concerning potential expansions of coal mines in Wyoming and Montana violated NEPA for a variety of reasons,… More

Massachusetts Passes Climate Bill Focused on Clean Energy and Offshore Wind

Governor Baker signed the climate bill (H.5060), titled An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, into law on Thursday August 11, 2022. The act combines and modifies provisions from the House’s proposed offshore wind bill (H.4524) and the Senate’s proposed omnibus climate bill (S.2819). The legislation covers a wide range of policy changes focused on electrifying vehicles and transit, reducing fossil fuel connections in new construction,… More

Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill Turbocharges the Adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles and Clean Transportation

Based on numerous sources, Governor Baker has now signed an Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind.  This bill includes a number of key advancements for increased adoption of zero emission vehicles and clean transportation throughout the Commonwealth.  The law:

  1. Outlaws the sale of internal combustion vehicles by any dealership after January 1, 2035 by making it an unfair or deceptive act or practice under Chapter 93A;…
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Inflation Reduction Act Aims to Propel EV and Clean Fuel Vehicle Adoption

The Inflation Reduction Act looks to accelerate the adoption of clean vehicles by reforming the related tax credits in a number of key ways.  Specifically, the bill does the following.

  1. Eliminates the 200,000 clean vehicles sold quota per manufacturer.
    • Previously, Tesla, GM, and Toyota were all over the 200,000 vehicle threshold and thus ineligible for the tax credit.
  2. Preserves the existing up to $7,500 tax credit for new qualified vehicles including electric,…
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