Massachusetts Environmental and

Land Use Alert

Massachusetts Environmental Developments

EPA Issues NPDES Remediation General Permit Renewal for Massachusetts

US EPA renewed the NPDES General Permit for Remediation Activity Discharges in Massachusetts effective April 8, 2017. This permit authorizes discharges from contaminated sites as well as a collection of miscellaneous discharges that may be contaminated.

Is Offshore Wind Power Riding a Rising Tide?
Recent Offshore Wind Developments in the Northeast

State action in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland may help to advance offshore wind projects in those states, while a new federal proposal would extend the investment tax credit for offshore wind through 2025, improving the outlook for offshore wind projects on the eastern seaboard.  

Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Applicability of Wetlands Protection Act to Commercial Fishing Techniques Using Hydraulic Dredging Methods

The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the applicability of the state’s Wetlands Protection Act to commercial fishing activities using hydraulic dredging methods on land under ocean and nearshore areas, clarifying municipal authority to impose additional requirements on activities in wetlands in relation to shell fishing.  

Massachusetts Land Use Developments

Court Reaffirms Standard for Injury Sufficient to Maintain Standing to Challenge Zoning Permit Modification

The Massachusetts Appeals Court reaffirmed that the injury sufficient to maintain standing to challenge the modification of a special permit turns on the harm stemming from the original project, not the incremental harm between pre- and post-modification changes.

Top Massachusetts Court clarifies 9/11-era Public Records Exemption

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the public records exemption passed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks protecting critical infrastructure documents from disclosure is to be interpreted narrowly, sending a public records case brought by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals back to the trial court for further proceedings.

National Developments

EPA Delays Effective Date of RMP Rule Amendments Until February 2019 Pending Reconsideration of the Rulemaking

On June 14, 2017, EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register delaying the effective date of its Risk Management Program rule amendment package for twenty months, until February 19, 2019. 

Replacement of the Clean Water Rule to Be a Two-Step Process

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced that the implementation of President Trump’s executive order directing EPA and the Corps to replace the Clean Water Rule will be a two-step affair. 

The Supreme Court Makes a Mess of Takings Law

On June 23, the Supreme Court finally addressed directly the frequently posed question: When considering the claimed taking of a property interest by government regulation, what is the affected property to be considered? All of one’s land?  Or the regulated parcel?  In short, what is the proper denominator?

Minamata Convention to Take Effect in August, Restricting the Production and Usage of Mercury Worldwide

On May 17, the European Union and seven EU member states ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, pushing past the 50-state threshold needed for its entry into force. The treaty – the most recent of the global multilateral environmental agreements – will now enter into force (i.e., become legally binding) on August 16, 2017.

Executive Order Charts New Path For Offshore Energy Development

On April 28, 2017, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order entitled “ Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy .”  This EO calls for expanded oil and gas leasing in areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf that were recently placed off-limits to energy development, and instructs several federal agencies to reevaluate and possibly reverse recent regulations imposed on the offshore oil and gas industry. 

New Developments and Uncertainties for Conflict Minerals Disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Corporate Finance issued a new statement adding some uncertainty to company obligations and enforcement exposure under the SEC conflict minerals rule ahead of the May 31, 2017 filing deadline. 

Firm News & Events

Beveridge & Diamond Expands to Seattle

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., announced the opening in Seattle, WA, of its eighth office, formed by the addition of five lawyers formerly of the Riddell Williams, P.S. firm (now Fox Rothschild). 

Chambers USA Ranks Beveridge & Diamond a Top Tier Environmental Law Firm

We are pleased to announce that Beveridge & Diamond's nationwide environmental practice has earned a top tier ranking in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA Guide to the Legal Profession.

Beveridge & Diamond Again Named a Top Tier Environmental Law Firm by The Legal 500

The Legal 500 again ranked Beveridge & Diamond as a top tier firm in the environment - transactional and regulatory category, and as a leading firm in the environmental litigation category, in its 2017 edition of The Legal 500 United States.

Beveridge & Diamond to Assist Larry Thompson as Independent Corporate Compliance Monitor and Auditor in Volkswagen AG Emissions Proceedings

A Beveridge & Diamond team led by firm Chairman Benjamin F. Wilson will assist Larry D. Thompson , Counsel to Finch McCranie, LLP and former Deputy U.S. Attorney General, whom the U.S. government has appointed as the Independent Corporate Compliance Monitor and Auditor for Volkswagen AG (VW).

DRI Names Benjamin F. Wilson Winner of 2017 Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is proud to announce that our Chairman, Benjamin F. Wilson , will receive the 2017 Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award from the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

Authors

Marc J. Goldstein

Principal

(781) 416-5715 mgoldstein@bdlaw.com

Jeanine L.G. Grachuk

Principal

(781) 416-5713 jgrachuk@bdlaw.com

Heidi P. Knight

Principal

(410) 230-1344
hknight@bdlaw.com

Brian C. Levey

Principal

(781) 416-5733 blevey@bdlaw.com

Stephen M. Richmond

Principal

(781) 416-5710 srichmond@bdlaw.com

Brook J. Detterman

Associate

(781) 416-5745 bdetterman@bdlaw.com

Virginie K. Roveillo

Associate

(781) 416-5726 vroveillo@bdlaw.com

Beveridge & Diamond has 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices who focus on environmental, project development, and natural resource law, litigation and alternative dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations.

Our Massachusetts team helps clients manage their environmental issues and provides land use, environmental, and all related litigation services to development projects for industrial, commercial and residential clients. We offer focused expertise and personalized, efficient service from lawyers who know the landscape for business in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Office
15 Walnut Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
(781) 416-5700

Learn more at www.bdlaw.com .

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