The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

Category Archives: Environmental Law

Supreme Court Decisions Raise Questions about Future Judicial Scrutiny of EPA’s Clean Power Plan

smoke stack oil refinery

Two of the Supreme Court’s major, end-of-term decisions turn on the deference the Court gives to agency determinations of the meaning of ambiguous clauses in complex regulatory statutes, applying the familiar Chevron framework.  The Court’s less deferential applications of Chevron raise important questions about the deference courts might be expected to give to the scope of EPA’s …

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Draft EPA Study Finds Fracking Has Not Led to Widespread Drinking Water Contamination

The EPA released a draft of its study, U.S. EPA Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources (External Review Draft), EPA, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-15/047, 2015, assessing the impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water in early June (the draft Assessment). According to the EPA’s press release, the …

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EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Approve New Definition of “Waters of the United States”

river

The U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that they have jointly approved a new definition of the key term “waters of the United States,” a term that defines the limits of federal jurisdiction over surface waters under the Clean Water Act and several other federal laws. The rule containing the …

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No Bright Lines for Pipelines

Natural Gas Regulation

The United States Supreme Court recently issued a 7-2 decision that dismantled almost 70 years of bright-line jurisprudence in the energy industry and, instead, instituted a “make-it-up-as-you-go-along” approach. The decision upholds states’ rights to regulate conduct under antitrust principles in the energy industry even though the same conduct is concurrently subject to federal regulation. While …

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New York Lawmakers Agree on Brownfield Law Extension With Less Drastic Changes to Tax Credits

In a departure from his budget proposal, the Legislature negotiated changes with the Governor to extend the tax credits for New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) with relatively modest changes to BCP eligibility requirements.  The Governor’s budget proposal would have limited the lucrative “tangible property” tax credit, which is the credit based on a percentage …

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