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TCEQ has published updated guidance to facilitate the use of New Source Review air authorizations for oil and gas industry facilities.
On February 22, 2012, the Lower Colorado River Authority (“LCRA”) approved a new Water Management Plan for Lake Buchanan and Lake Travis.
On February 7, 2012, the Railroad Commission of Texas sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) in response to a December 8, 2011, draft EPA report purporting to find a “likely association” between groundwater contamination and hydraulic fracturing in Pavillion, Wyoming.
On February 24, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that landowners hold ownership interests in the groundwater in place beneath their properties and may be entitled to compensation if that groundwater is taken for public use or if their access to the water is restricted by permitting authorities.
TCEQ is offering an opportunity to provide written and oral public comment on proposed revisions on the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (“TERP”) Guidelines for Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (TCEQ Publication RG-388).
On February 1, 2012, EPA published a proposal to determine that the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (“HGB”) severe nonattainment area did not attain the one-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard by its applicable attainment date of November 15, 2007. EPA based this proposal on three years of ambient air quality monitoring data for the period preceding the attainment deadline.
On February 8, 2012, the states of Texas and Wyoming filed their opening brief with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the lawsuit challenging EPA’s imposition of a New Source Review prevention of significant deterioration (“PSD”) permitting program for greenhouse gas emissions in Texas and Wyoming.
On February 23, 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) Commissioners announced that the agency’s Executive Director, Mark Vickery, will retire effective May 2012.
On February 28, 2012, Barry Smitherman was elected to be Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas. He was appointed to the Commission in July 2011.
The TCEQ Chief Engineer’s office has issued its 2012 Report on Air Pollutant Watch List Areas in Texas, as well as an updated Air Pollutant Watch List (“APWL”) protocol document that outlines the framework the agency will use in implementing the APWL program, including the listing and delisting of APWL areas.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the City of Dallas from implementing the City’s flow control ordinance, which the City enacted in September 2011. The ordinance requires all solid waste generated, found, or collected inside the City to be disposed of at a City-owned or -operated facility.
TCEQ announcements for enforcement orders adopted in February can be found on the TCEQ website at http://www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/2-11Agenda2-22 and http://www.tceq.texas.gov/news/releases/2-12Agenda2-8 .
For information on recent TCEQ rule developments, please see the TCEQ website at http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/whatsnew.html .
On February 6, 2012, Congress passed legislation, which is expected to be signed soon by President Obama, to prohibit the United States Department of Transportation from issuing or enforcing any regulation regarding the transport of lithium batteries by aircraft that is more stringent than the requirements of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (“APHIS”) and the agriculture-biotechnology industry received welcome news on January 5, 2012. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California upheld APHIS’s decision to grant non-regulated status to Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready Alfalfa (RR Alfalfa), in a case commonly referred to as “Alfalfa II.”
Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., the Environmental, Land Use, and Litigation Law Firm is pleased to announce that W. Parker Moore in our Washington, D.C. office and Evynn M. Overton in our Baltimore office have been elected as Principals and Shareholders of the Firm.
On February 13, 2012, Law360 released its ranking of the nation’s largest environmental practices, listing Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. as the fifth-largest environmental practice, and noting that the Firm had the highest percentage of lawyers dedicated to the practice of environmental law of any law firm.
Nanotechnology holds a great deal of promise, but also raises many regulatory issues. In a book edited and co-authored by Mark Duvall of Beveridge & Diamond, the complex issues raised by nanotechnology in FDA-regulated applications are explored in detail
Beveridge & Diamond’s Texas office secured a ruling from a Texas state district court denying novel claims that a wastewater permit for a Texas power plant was issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in violation of the plaintiffs’ due process rights.
The purpose of this update is to provide current information on Texas environmental regulatory developments. It is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, legal advice. You should consult with legal counsel for advice specific to your circumstances. This communication may be considered advertising under applicable laws regarding electronic communications.
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