News and Resources Pack - Environmental

Environmental Articles

Regulatory Compliance & Auditing

The EPA and state agencies are responsible for ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations that protect public health and safeguard the environment. To carry out their responsibilities the agencies perform inspections, bring actions to impose penalties, and enforce compliance with regulations and cleanup of spills. The cooperation of businesses and other regulated entities is necessary for the government agencies to do their jobs. To make cooperation more likely, the EPA has instituted a policy to encourage small businesses to comply with environmental regulations and to check for violations voluntarily. If states adopt similar policies, the EPA will defer to them.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Environmental disputes can lead to lengthy and costly litigation. There are, however, alternatives to traditional litigation. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) consists of various methods of resolving legal disputes in less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming ways than litigation. ADR methods, like arbitration and mediation, are often more expedient than litigation, yet they offer many of the same advantages, not the least of which is producing a final and legal resolution of the conflict. If you are involved in an environmental dispute, your attorney can advise you on whether ADR may be right for you.

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Environmental Law Case Summaries

[12/05] Monterey Coastkeeper v. Monterey County Water Resources Agency
Reversing a judgment granting the petition for writ of mandate in the case of a nonprofit organization alleging that the Monterey County Water Resources Agency had violated the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act by failing to report waste discharge with respect to agricultural pollutants in a ditch and drain system because the nonprofit failed to exhaust its administrative remedies.

[12/04] Evans v. US
Affirming the dismissal of a case in which a man complained about the destruction of his shade trees by the government, seeking to contain a beetle infestation, because the act qualified for sovereign immunity under the discretionary function exception.

[12/04] Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Affirming the judgment on an appeal from the post-remand judgment of a case involving highly contested proposed development plans because the Public Resources Code does not prohibit partial decertification of an environmental impact report, nor does it prohibit leaving project approvals in place while decertifying a report..

[12/04] Navajo Nation v. Department of the Interior
Affirming in part and reversing in part the district court's dismissal of a Navajo Nation complaint and motion for relief challenging the Department of the Interior's published guidelines clarifying how it would make shortage and surplus determinations used in relation to decisions to deliver water from the Colorado River to Western states, affirming the dismissal of claims for lack of Article III standing because it wasn't reasonably probable that the guidelines would threaten the Nation's rights, but remanding breach of trust claims because they were not barred by sovereign immunity.

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