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Environmental Law & Litigation

State Environmental Regulations: How and When to Obtain Stormwater Construction General Permits

State Environmental Regulations: How and When to Obtain Stormwater Construction General Permits

In a blog post from January, we discussed Rhode Island DEM’s state-level enforcement action priorities for 2020. Today, we’ll take a closer look at one of the priority areas, stormwater construction general permits, and the related state environmental regulations. The DEM Stormwater Program DEM established the Stormwater Program to meet its requirements from the federal Clean Water Act, state law,…

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New Environmental Regulations for Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture

New Environmental Regulations for Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture

In a wonderfully informative article from May 10, 2020, ecoRI News dove into the problems oyster farmers (and shellfish farmers generally) are facing now that their main buyers, restaurants, have either closed or scaled back their businesses significantly because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Bob Rheault, the executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, explained to ecoRI News that…

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The Second Supreme Court Decision This Week on Federal Environmental Legislation: The Clean Water Act

The Second Supreme Court Decision This Week on Federal Environmental Legislation: The Clean Water Act

This week, coincidentally the week of Earth Day 2020, saw two Supreme Court decisions on two different federal environmental legislation issues. The Court’s decision of April 21, 2020 , which we discussed in our last blog post, relates to the Superfund law. The Court’s more recent April 23, 2020 opinion assesses the Clean Water Act of 1972 (“CWA”). This decision,…

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Environmental Protection Laws, CERCLA, and the Supreme Court: This Week’s Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian Decision

Environmental Protection Laws, CERCLA, and the Supreme Court: This Week’s Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian Decision

A colleague pointed out this new U.S. Supreme Court decision. Hot off the presses, this decision is for a case related to environmental protection laws. Specifically, the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability and Act, also known as CERCLA or Superfund. To understand the decision, this blog post will discuss CERCLA, a summary of the case and the holding,…

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Permitting Help During COVID-19 Shutdowns: Don’t Flush Those Disinfectant Wipes, Even if They Say “Flushable!”

Permitting Help During COVID-19 Shutdowns: Don’t Flush Those Disinfectant Wipes, Even if They Say “Flushable!”

Rhode Islanders: lend me your ears! I’m sure many of you are using disinfecting or cleaning wipes in your homes, cars, etc., while trying to avoid contact with COVID-19. This virus is reported to live on certain surfaces for up to seventeen days before disinfection procedures were implemented, as evidenced by the cruise ship industry. While cleaning supplies are essential…

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COVID-19 and Environmental Law

COVID-19 and Environmental Law

In today’s time of crisis, many have started discussing the place of environmental law in responding to COVID-19. Some have argued that environmental law has no place in virus responses, and some have argued it must occur contemporaneously. Whatever your opinion is, it seems that environmental law and COVID-19 are somehow intrinsically connected. Contributors to Scientific American and The Hill…

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Corporate Environmental Law

Corporate Environmental Law

Corporate environmental law is increasingly an important part of the compliance world for any business. It continues to involves more and more topics. These topics range from safety and prevention of environmental hazards, to ensuring business operations comply with the requirements of environmental laws and regulations. Further, this area of law includes attempts at  reducing emissions (even just from corporate…

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Current Environmental Laws: 2020 Enforcement Priorities at the State Level

Current Environmental Laws: 2020 Enforcement Priorities at the State Level

The current environmental laws in Rhode Island cover a host of topics that affect individuals and businesses every day. While the laws demonstrate a commitment to environmental protection ideals, the current environmental laws and regulations are only as good as their enforcement. Environmental enforcement is regulated by, among others, the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM), at the state level.…

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Environmental Law Violations

Environmental Law Violations

Receiving a Notice of Violation or other formal enforcement action from a state agency is not fun. In fact, clients are never happy about it. Environmental law violations can be serious, depending on a few different factors. Bottom line, though? If you receive a notice from the government and it contains a penalty assessment, you should be proactive in your…

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Environmental Land Use

Environmental Land Use

Industrial, commercial, and residential property are all subject to various types of regulation. The regulations can be federal, state, or municipal in nature. Environmental land use is a subject covered by all three of these types of regulations. A good example is the federal Land Policy and Management Act (“FLPMA”), which was passed in 1976. The Bureau of Land Management…

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