Publications for Environmental Law
A recent federal case may have a big impact on wind projects in Michigan. Very recently, a large wind turbine company (Duke Energy Renewables Inc.) pleaded guilty in federal court in Wyoming to violating a federal law that protects migratory birds (the Migratory Bird Treaty Act [Bird Act]) in connection with the deaths of over 160 protected birds, including golden eagles, at the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. It is believed that this case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Bird Act for unpermitted bird killings at a wind farm.
Michigan's highly successful Clean Corporate Citizen program has received new and added emphasis. The Michigan Legislature passed legislation to organize and enlarge benefits provided to Michigan businesses that exercise environmental stewardship.
On April 27, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued draft guidance for the Clean Water Act.
The Michigan Court of Appeals upholds Administrative Rule 2196 issued by Department of Environmental Quality.
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacates portions of the EPA’s 2008 Rule that required Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations that propose to discharge to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, and the provisions imposing liability for failure to apply for a permit.
The Court of Appeals rejected a claim that a township was excluding commercial uses where there are many commercial uses in the neighboring city and some of those uses were formerly in the township before the city annexed the land on which they exist.
The MDEQ lacks the power to require a township to install a sanitary sewer system where there is widespread failure of private septic systems resulting in contamination of lake waters.
Companies should exercise considerable care before transferring potentially hazardous materials, such as paints, solvents, chemical agents and empty storage drums, to third parties.
On October 7, 2008 Foster, Swift's Energy and Sustainability Team members traveled by bus with clients and friends of the firm to visit the John Deere Wind Park located in Ubly, Michigan.
On September 15, 2009, the Michigan Court of Appeals struck down a MDEQ rule which had broadened challenges to MDEQ decisions approving or denying permit requests to install new major sources of air emissions.
As of January 1, 2010, many facilities and suppliers must collect GHG data, and initial emissions reports of 2010 emissions are due March 31, 2011.
As a first step in its quest to control greenhouse gases ("GHG"), the United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed Rules for the reporting of certain GHG emissions within all sectors of the U.S. economy.
In December 2007, the federal government enacted the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA).
In October, 2008, the United States Environmental Protection Agency adopted new regulations that may increase recycling opportunities for firms that would otherwise dispose of certain materials as hazardous waste.
Two real estate agents (owners) formed a limited liability company to purchase vacant property.
To avoid this unexpected expense and exposure in any construction project, it is important for clients to evaluate a construction site for regulated wetlands before commencing work and obtain the necessary permits from the MDEQ before commencing activities in or around wetlands.