News and Resources Pack – Environmental

Environmental Articles

Occupational Safety and Health

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a well-known federal law setting forth safety standards for the workplace. OSHA cannot be used to punish an employer for an unforeseeable accident, but requires an employer to keep its workplace free of “recognized hazards” that could harm employees. Such hazards include faulty equipment and environmental hazards like spilled toxins and pollutants. An employer may be fined $7,000 for each initial violation of OSHA and up to $70,000 for each willful or repeated violation of the law.

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Identifying and Disposing of Hazardous Waste: Explanations for Small Business Owners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority over matters concerning the proper disposal of hazardous waste. But, what exactly is hazardous waste? What is the appropriate form of disposal? What rules or regulations apply to small business owners in particular? If you do not know the answers to these questions, the following information may be helpful.

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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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