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Compliance

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On April 15, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana held that the Army Corps of Engineers failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act consequently must reconsider its Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12, which authorizes discharges under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act associated with the construction, maintenance or repair of pipelines, electrical lines, cable lines, and other utilities. The case, Northern Plains Resource Council v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No.…

This week the U.S. Supreme Court continued its plain language approach to interpreting CERCLA, allowing property owners’ state law claims for restoration of their properties to proceed in Montana even though resolution of the claims may require additional work than the U.S. EPA-determined remedy. See Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, et al, No. 17-1498 (Slip Op. April 22, 2020).The decision creates uncertainty for parties responsible for cleaning up sites under CERCLA where there are pending…

The issue of enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak became contentious this week, when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit against U.S. EPA in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over the temporary regulatory enforcement policy that U.S. EPA issued three weeks ago on March 26. NRDC’s April 16th lawsuit follows its April 1st Petition to U.S. EPA asking the Agency to issue an emergency rule requiring that…

New National Decree regulating the take-back system of electronics – Trench Rossi Watanabe The Federal Government published Decree No. 10,240/2020 in the Official Gazette last Thursday (February 13, 2020). The Decree regulates the take-back system on electronics nationwide. The new rule is aligned with the Sector Agreement for the take-back of electronics signed by the Ministry of Environment and some companies in the sector in October 2019. The Decree came into force immediately after its…

BRAZILIAN FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (IBAMA) REGULATES ENVIRONMENTAL OBLIGATIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – Trench Rossi Watanabe Brazilian Federal Environmental Protection Agency (IBAMA) has taken some measures towards procedural and administrative deadlines in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.Sanctioning procedures: The deadlines for IBAMA’s administrative procedures are suspended for an undetermined period, beginning on March 16, 2020 (Ordinance No. 826/2020), covering both administrative defenses and appeals. All environmental conciliation hearings are also suspended.Environmental licensing and management…

On March 30, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), on behalf of the Department of Transportation, finalized the long-signaled rule establishing new carbon dioxide and fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles.  Per the final rule, carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emission standards and corporate average fuel economy (“CAFE”) standards for light-duty vehicles will now increase in stringency at 1.5 percent per year over the course of model…

Following California Governor Gavin Newsom’s shelter-in-place order in response to the COVID-19 emergency, California’s State Water Resources Control Board and the nine California Regional Water Quality Control Boards confirmed this week that they consider compliance with orders, permits and regulations to be an “essential function” under the order. The announcement does clarify that there is a mechanism for regulated entities to seek specific relief when a Water Board order or requirement cannot be timely met…

Operational Disruptions The ever-evolving COVID-19 crisis continues to pose significant challenges for industrial enterprises across the United States. Until very recently, the engines of industry continued to hum while the broader world wrestled with this unprecedented public health crisis. However, with growing constituencies across the public and private sector calling for more aggressive action on social distancing and with states now beginning to issue strict shelter-in-place orders, more and more manufacturing facilities are closing their…

COVID 19 Disrupts Cross-Border Waste and Recyclables Flow In light of all the actions being taken by all levels of government to address the spread of the coronavirus, it is worth considering its impact on the waste management sector in Canada. For most, how waste is collected and where it is taken, is not a daily consideration. And yet, it is one of the most important public health and safety considerations. Canadian Waste Industry Vulnerable to US Shutdown…