Articles

Indiana lawmakers amend environment bills as deadlines near

Dozens of amendments to bills affecting Indiana environmental policy have sparked debate among lawmakers as the Legislature enters its final stretch of the session. The proposed changes arrive as members of the General Assembly decide whether the state should adopt greener initiatives or scale back current policy protecting water, energy and other resources.

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Sugarman and Thomas: Can plaintiffs ‘squeeze’ restoration damages out of ELA?

On April 20, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian, No. 17-1498, 140 S.Ct. 1335. The Court’s holding was relatively simple: plaintiffs (Montana landowners) could bring state court claims pursuing cleanup of additional contamination from the “Anaconda Smelter,” but they were first required under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to seek the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval for additional cleanup. While on its face this decision addresses the interplay between CERCLA and Montana state law claims, the ramifications of Atlantic Richfield may be felt in Indiana.

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Kelln and Harrell: Hoosier McCabe’s EPA nomination elevates climate change policies

A little more than four years ago, Hoosier Janet McCabe ended her service as assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. Since then, the most significant aspects of the Obama-era climate change regulations, namely the Clean Power Plan, have been unwound. Biden’s selection of McCabe signals a doubling down on regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

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Doehrmann, List and Hagerty: Coal combustion residual regulation outlook under Biden

It has been just over one month since President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and he is delivering on his promise to move quickly. Biden has signed more executive orders in his first 30 days than any president in U.S. history. Perhaps another record-breaking instance is the proportion of these actions that relate to energy and environmental policies.

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McCabe: Biden will reverse Trump environmental policies

The Trump administration has used many tools to weaken environmental protection. For example, Trump issued an executive order in June 2020 to waive environmental review for infrastructure projects such as pipelines and highways. I expect the Biden administration will quickly signal to the nation that effectively applying the nation’s environmental laws matters to everyone – especially to communities that bear an unfair share of the public health burden of pollution.

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Sugarman and Thomas: Nonstick coating emerging as a sticky regulatory problem

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has identified PFAS as an “emerging contaminant.” The agency has released two peer-reviewed documents addressing health impacts posed by the chemicals. EPA also listed PFOA and PFOS on its Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) — which means they are now subject to regulatory decision making and information collection.

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6 former EPA bosses call for agency reset after election

Six former Environmental Protection Agency chiefs are calling for an agency reset after President Donald Trump’s regulation-chopping, industry-minded first term, backing a detailed plan by former EPA staffers that ranges from renouncing political influence in regulation to boosting climate-friendly electric vehicles.

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