Latest Blog Posts


January 19, 2015 10:55 AM | Posted by Andrew Brought
Last week, on January 13, 2015, EPA issued its new “Definition of Solid Waste” Final Rule in the Federal Register at 80 Fed. Reg. 1694. This new rulemaking will have significant impacts regarding how secondary hazardous materials are recycled and exempted from the hazardous waste regulations. Unless challenged (and by all accounts it appears at least certain aspects may be litigated based on initial comments by various industrial sectors) the rule becomes effective on July 13, 2015, where EPA is the authorized implementing agency (Iowa, Alaska, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Because RCRA is a federally delegated program, other states will have to adopt the more stringent aspects of the rule discussed below.
January 4, 2015 4:23 PM | Posted by Andrew Brought
On January 1, 2015, new OSHA regulations took effect that broaden the scope of work-related injuries that employers must now report to OSHA.
October 2, 2014 11:45 AM | Posted by Mike Comodeca

At a national conference on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in San Francisco last month, a major topic of discussion was the recent settlement agreement that ended litigation between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“the Service”) and two major environmental groups.  The settlement agreement is noteworthy because it requires the Service to take action over the next few years to determine whether to list an additional 251 species.  As of May 2014, the Service had listed 97 of these species.  

One species that will be listed pursuant to the settlement agreement is the northern long-eared bat.  The listing of the bat as “endangered” will affect a large part of the country since the bat’s range includes the following 38 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

September 12, 2014 8:25 AM | Posted by Mike Comodeca
The 2014 Missouri Water Seminar was recently held in Columbia, Missouri.  The Water Case Law Update session highlighted three recent court cases that attempted to expand the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Sackett v. EPA, 132 S.Ct. 1367 (2012).  In Sackett, the Supreme Court held that an administrative compliance order (ACO) issued by EPA concerning alleged wetland violations was subject to judicial review because it constituted “final agency action”.   Before Sackett was decided, recipients of ACOs had to wait to sue until either the regulatory agency issued an adverse permitting decision or decided to initiate an enforcement action.
September 3, 2014 1:11 PM | Posted by Andrew Brought

On September 9, 2014, Andrew Brought of Spencer Fane will be one of the panelists in the ABA's Presentation Environmental Compliance Certifications: What Your Clients Need to Know Before They Sign.