Posts in Alabama.

Alabama has joined several other states in a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's final rule regulating emissions standards for certain oil and gas operations. (AG's Press Release). This challenge is apparently intended not only to address concerns about the rule for new and expanded projects, but also the potential that the rule will be extended to cover existing oil and gas operations. The challenge is led by West Virginia, and a copy of the Petition as filed with the D.C. Circuit can be found at ...

EPA's new rules for limiting emissions of carbon dioxide for both existing power plants and proposed plants have prompted at least two substantive reports by public policy institutes focusing on the economic aspects of the proposals. The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University and The Heritage Foundation have recently published reports that estimate the potential costs, particularly in terms of jobs, associated with the adoption of these regulations. These reports can be viewed here (Beacon Hill) and (Heritage Foundation). The Heritage Foundation report has apparently ...
A combination of factors in Alabama has raised concerns about the reliability of adequate water in various parts of the State in the event of prolonged droughts or significant withdrawals. Industrial users and public water systems would be well advised to become familiar with, and participate in, current efforts by State government and the Legislature to address these problems. Alabama has an abundance of surface stream mileage, and historically has had the water to fill those stream beds. In fact, Alabama is said to have more navigable channels than any other state. (A Treasure ...
Earlier this month, the State of Florida announced it will be filing a lawsuit in September in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to limit Georgia's consumption of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint River Basins through an injunction. Florida claims that the unchecked consumption of the upstream water flows have negatively impacted Apalachicola Bay by increasing the salinity of the Bay, particularly in the summer and fall months. The reduction in the salinity is blamed for the reduction in the oyster population. Apalachicola Bay produces 90% of Florida's oyster supply and 10% of the ...

In answering a certified question from a federal district court, the Alabama Supreme Court concluded that action by the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") naming an insured as a Potentially Responsible Party ("PRP") satisfied the definition of "suit" under the insured's Comprehensive General Liability ("CGL") policy. See Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Alabama Gas Corp., No. 1110346 (Ala. Sup. Ct. Dec. 28, 2012). From shortly after World War II through the early 1980's, Alabama Gas Corporation ("Alagasco") maintained CGL policies with Travelers ...

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) has apparently ended its effort to require payment of fees to review groundwater assessments and remediation plans, at least for the time being. Approximately a year ago, ADEM's Groundwater Program initiated a process attempting to require the execution of formal Remediation Agreements as a part of assessment requirements for releases which threatened or impacted the groundwater. This was prompted by recent reductions in appropriations by the State's Legislature to the Department. While much of ADEM's funding comes ...

"The complex system of environmental laws and regulations impact our clients' businesses in a variety of contexts. Our attorneys regularly counsel clients on environmental legal issues arising in business strategy, regulatory compliance, permitting, transactions and resolution of disputes. Land conservation, historic preservation, brownfield redevelopment, environmental remediation, recycling, greenhouse gas, climate change, and regulation of air, water and wastes, all have the potential to pose challenges to corporate or real estate transactions. Our attorneys ...

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