Blog Posts: Environmental and Energy Law Update

Visit the Full Blog

The Environmental and Energy Law Update blog provides an analysis and discussion of the most critical and timely legal issues and announcements environmental, natural resource, and energy sectors.

Prop 65: Will the “Short-Form” be Short Lived?

Enacted as part of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) requires businesses with ten or more employees that sell products in the state of California to provide notice to consumers of health risks that are associated with certain chemicals if contained...
Go

A New Hurdle in Prop. 65 Compliance: Inter-Supply Chain Information Requests

Caution Sign
Most industry professionals are aware that a revised set of California Proposition 65 or “Prop. 65” regulations will take effect at the end of the month on August 30, 2018. Prop. 65 is a so-called right-to-know statute that, among other things, requires manufacturers and retailers to provide any California...
Go

It’s Only “Natural:” Avoiding the Risk of Consumer Lawsuits Over Food Labels

Americans are increasingly sensitive to the ingredients that go into the food that we eat. Recently, Congress passed a law requiring manufacturers to label or place QR codes on products containing or made from genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”). Now, consumer advocates have turned their attention to food products bearing...
Go

New Priorities: DEP Adds Two Flame Retardants to Priority Chemicals List

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP” or “the Department”) recently adopted a new regulation that adds two flame retardants to the State’s “Priority Chemicals” list. The regulation requires that manufacturers and distributers who intentionally add decabromodiphenyl ether (“deca BDE”) or hexabromocylododecane to “Children’s Products” report that activity to...
Go

Batten Down the Hatches: FEMA Releases New Flood Maps for Cumberland and York Counties

No Passing Zone
Landowners in Maine’s two most populous counties should take heed: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares to roll-out updated preliminary flood insurance maps for Cumberland and York counties. FEMA announced Monday it plans to issue revised flood hazard maps on April 14. This is consistent with the state’s...
Go

EPA Releases 2016 Enforcement Figures

This year marks the third annual post from this Blog highlighting EPA’s enforcement and compliance figures. And while this year’s data tells a number of interesting stories, no story is larger than the potential impact of the incoming Trump Administration on EPA’s enforcement figures in 2017. With that as...
Go

On Tap For Yuengling, Clean Water Act Penalties

Wastewater disposal for large breweries, mid-sized establishments, and even small craft brewers, remains a significant environmental and economic challenge. Recently, the oldest brewery in America received an unpleasant reminder of this fact. D.G. Yuengling and Sons, Inc. was issued a complaint from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging...
Go

Gray Areas for Green Labels: The Current State of Environmental Marketing

Green Label Icon
“Natural,” “green,” “sustainable,” “biodegradable,” – it seems like everywhere you look, from the big box stores to your local farmer’s market, products are being marketed for their environmental and healthful benefits. For a range of reasons, consumer demand for ecologically conscious or healthy products is exploding and the market...
Go

Vapor Intrusion Intruding on EPA’s Hazard Ranking System under CERCLA

Section 105(a)(8)(B) of CERCLA sets forth the outlines of the scoring system used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) Superfund program to assess and rank the potential and actual threat associated with sites across the country. The scoring system is known as the Hazard Ranking System (the...
Go

EPA Releases 2015 Enforcement Statistics

As it does each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA” or “Agency”) recently released its annual enforcement statistics for the past year . As the Agency has been saying throughout Administrator McCarthy’s tenure, it is focusing on high visibility enforcement with greater environmental (and financial) bang for...
Go

Coming Soon—Reporting Requirements: Phthalates and Formaldehyde

Attention distributors, manufacturers, and some retailers of children’s products sold into the State of Maine. The December 18, 2015 deadline to report the intentional use of formaldehyde and certain phthalates in children’s products sold into the State is less than a month away. The Department of Environmental Protection has...
Go

Count ME In

Count Maine “in” as one of the 18 states filing a motion to intervene to defend the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA” or “Agency”) Clean Power Plan (“Rule”). A coalition including 24 states wasted little time filing suit against the much-anticipated final Rule after it was posted in the...
Go

Welcome to the Club: Formaldehyde and Phthalates Now Priority Chemicals

Two new rules recently adopted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (“Maine DEP” or “the Department”) added formaldehyde and phthalates to the State’s list of Priority Chemicals. As of July 26, 2015, the Department now has the legal authority to regulate formaldehyde and four phthalates when they are...
Go

Bold Words from World Leaders Boost EPA Clean Power Plan

G7 Germany
The buzz word coming out of this week’s Group of Seven Summit (G7; formerly the G8, now sans Russia) in Germany was “decarbonisation.” (Yes, across the Pond they swap the “z” for an “s”.) In the first announcement of its type, leaders from the G7 nations agreed to a...
Go

Far-Reaching Decision: Appeals Court Finds Carbon Offsets Ensure Integrity

In a recent decision by a California Appeals court, the appellant, (Our Children’s Earth Foundation; (Appellant)), challenged the State Air Resources Board’s (Board) use of carbon offsets within its Cap-and-Trade program and more specifically, its method for establishing that the offsets achieve the requirement of “additionality.” That’s a loaded...
Go

“Arctic Caucus” called for by Sens. King and Murkowski

On Thursday of last week, the first-ever hearing dedicated to the Arctic region as a whole was held in the U.S. Senate. The hearing signaled the launch of the “Arctic Caucus” (Caucus), a body assembled by Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to explore issues facing the...
Go

High Water Everywhere: Northeast Waters Warmin’ and A Risin’

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Arizona recently released findings from tidal data collected over a two year period (2009-2010). The central conclusion of the data is this: New England sea levels are rising more rapidly than anticipated. Although the study most...
Go

EPA Considers Portion of Hackensack River for National Priorities List

EPA Workers
This article was written with the assistance of Nora Lawrence, Associate. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to evaluate whether a 17-mile stretch of the Hackensack River in New Jersey should be added to Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL). The assessment comes as a response to a...
Go

Two Federal Leases Secured for Offshore Wind Projects

Two energy companies recently secured leases for offshore wind projects in the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area located 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the winners of the leases totaling 354,409 acres. RES Americas Development LLC (a RES Group holding...
Go

DEP Proposes—or Re-Proposes—Two Chemicals for Priority List

Earlier this month, Maine DEP (Department) announced it would be proposing—or more accurately, re-proposing —the addition of two chemical to its list of “Priority” chemicals. The Department announced that it would be drafting rules to include formaldehyde and phthalates to its list of “Priority” chemicals. By way of background...
Go

EPA Releases 2014 Enforcement Statistics

At the close of last month, EPA released its annual enforcement numbers for 2014. As the Agency had been saying all year, the data reflects its focus on high-visibility enforcement complete with stiffer penalties and greater environmental benefits. In sum: Bigger Fish with smaller budgets. The website is truly...
Go

New Massachusetts Regulation – Limit on Commercial Organic Material

Organic Material
Anaerobic digestion converts organic waste into a biogas to supply heat and power. Photo courtesy the Univeristy of Alberta. Next month, the disposal of food wastes and vegetative materials in Massachusetts will change significantly. New regulations take effect on October 1 limiting the disposal of commercial organic material to...
Go

Firm Highlights

Blog

Verrill Partner Mathew Todaro Presents at The National Safety Council (NSC) of Northern New England’s 51st Annual New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference

The National Safety Council (NSC) of Northern New England recently held its 51 st Annual New Hampshire Safety & Health Conference in Nashua. The two-day conference began on June 7 th and featured keynote...

Blog

Maine Public Utilities Commission to Receive Bids for Northern Maine Transmission and Renewable Generation Projects

On or before May 2, 2022, the Maine Public Utilities Commission has requested bids for proposed transmission and generation resources that would boost energy exports from northern Maine. The northern Maine region has long...

Blog

Kelsey McCutcheon Selected to Join the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Emerging Leaders Initiative

Verrill associate Kelsey McCutcheon has been selected to join the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Emerging Leaders Initiative. The Environmental Law Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, that seeks to "make law work for people...

Blog

Maine PUC to Kick Off Review of Grid Plan to Assist Clean Energy Transition

Last month, the Maine Public Utilities Commission initiated a proceeding to identify the priorities to be addressed in an electric grid plan that will assist Maine in the “cost-effective transition to a clean, affordable...

Blog

Intertidal Court Victory for Property Rights, Marine Conservation, and Public Participation

The Maine Superior Court has dismissed all claims against five intertidal landowners represented by Verrill in Masucci v. Judy’s Moody, LLC . The landowners had been sued because they contacted Maine Marine Patrol to...

News

39 Verrill Attorneys Named 2022 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Publication/Podcast

Amplify Your Process Safety Podcast with Mathew Todaro

Blog

Four Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Chambers & Partners for Energy and Environmental Law in Maine

Verrill attorneys Juliet T. Browne, James I. Cohen, Gordon R. Smith, and Mathew J. Todaro were recently recognized for energy and environmental law in Maine in the 2022 Chambers & Partners Guide . Chambers...

Blog

NextEra Subsidiary Fined $8 Million under MBTA for Eagle Deaths at Wind Power Projects in Western U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that ESI Energy LLC (ESI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Nextera Energy Resources LLC, pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and acknowledged at least...

Blog

Verrill Partner Mat Todaro selected to serve on the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources 2022 Fall Conference Planning Committee

Earlier this year, Verrill Partner Mat Todaro was selected by American Bar Association leadership to serve on the 2022 Fall Conference Planning Committee for its Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources. In this role...

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700