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Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter

Members of Best Best & Krieger’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group were published in the August/September 2021 issue of the Environmental, Energy & Climate Change Law and Regulation Reporter. Their analysis covers a range of recent investigations, settlements, penalties and federal decisions.

An overview of each article can be found below and the complete August/September issue is available here.

Recent Investigations, Settlements, Penalties and Sanctions
By Andre Monette
Discusses recent investigations and outcomes in matters involving air quality, water quality, chemical regulation and hazardous waste.

First Circuit Upholds Massachusetts’ State Law Enforcement As Barring Clean Water Act Citizen Suit But Requires NPDES Permits
By Rebecca Andrews and Kara Coronado
This case supports a diligent prosecution bar to citizen suits, as long as the state enforcement action was brought, at least in part, pursuant to a comparable state law. The case also appears to support a contention that every operator on a construction site may be required to obtain individual permit coverage to discharge from the site.

Fourth Circuit Finds State Agency Did Not Waive Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification
By Rebecca Andrews and Julia Li
In this case, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opined that state authority under Clean Water Act 401 is not waived when the state has failed to take final action on a certification request within the statutory one-year period. If the state has taken “significant action” on the certification request, it is deemed to have “acted” on the request. The Fourth Circuit’s statutory interpretation of state action under the 401 waiver provision diverges from decisions in the D.C. and Second circuits.”

District Court Applies Clean Water Act Functional Equivalent Standard Set Forth By U.S. Supreme Court
By Rebecca Andrews and Ana Schwab
This case is the first published case in which a court has applied the “functional equivalent” standard created by the U.S. Supreme Court. The fact-specific nature of the standard means this case will likely be the first of many to come.

Reprinted with permission from the August/September issue of the Law and Regulation Reporter, Copyright © 2021, Argent Communications Group (ACG). All rights reserved. No further reproduction or dissemination is permitted without separate consent from ACG, 530-852-7222 or

Key Contacts

Ana D. Schwab thumbnail
Director of Government Affairs and Of Counsel
Ana D. Schwab

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