U.S. EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a new hazardous waste pharmaceutical rule on December 8, 2018. This rule will impose significant new obligations on certain health care providers, including pharmacies and long-term care providers, as well as forward and all reverse distributors of pharmaceuticals. The final proposed rule issued on February 22, 2019, will be codified in Subpart P of Part 266  (Standards for the Management of Specific Hazardous Wastes and Specific Types of Hazardous Waste Management Facilities) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (”RCRA”) and will govern qualifying healthcare sector activities in lieu of the obligations contained in 40 CFR §262. READ MORE
  On March 27, 2019,  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Federal Register Notice for New Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans for Community Water Systems describing the requirements and deadlines for community (drinking) water systems to develop or update risk and resilience assessments (RRAs) and emergency response plans (ERPs) under  America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) which was signed into law on October 23, 2018 and amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).   Additionally, as described below, preparation of an ERP will enable owners or operators of community water systems to apply for grants from EPA for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.   READ MORE
On March 21, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) initiated a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to examine whether, and if so how, to revise its policies concerning the determination of the return on equity (ROE) used in setting. READ MORE
Join Terese (T.C.) Richmond during the Water Law and Resource Management in Washington Conference on June 27-28, 2019 in Seattle, WA READ MORE
Join Terese (T.C.) Richmond, Duncan Greene, and Timothy Mcharg in their discussion on Climate Change Resilience, Mitigation, and Carbon Finance in the 2019 Northwest Land Camp This session will consider the various ways that land trusts around the country are starting to “mainstream” (or incorporate) climate change resilience, mitigation, and carbon finance into their planning and decision-making processes. We will also discuss how land trusts can take advantage of ecosystem service markets when adaptation and mitigation measures overlap with monetization activities like carbon offset projects, with specific examples of forest and grassland carbon projects. After these discussions, we will facilitate a conversation with attendees about their... READ MORE
On April 4, 2019, the Independent Advisory Committee for Applied Climate Assessment (IAC) released its recommendations. These recommendations represent a year-long process from the IAC, funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.   READ MORE
In honor of Black History Month, everyone in the DC office gathered for an enlightening presentation about the Harlem Renaissance which included musical trivia, and to hear moving personal anecdotes. READ MORE
We are honored to introduce our newest colleagues, Partner Erin Anderson and Of Counsel Sara Leverette, who join VNF’s Seattle team from Stoel Rives. Their experience, and significant understanding of the unique challenges inherent in permitting developments throughout the region, brings additional depth and expertise to our highly regarded team. READ MORE
PHMSA seeks comments on proposal to increase information submitted to NPMS and more in this installment of the Pipeline Safety Update.    READ MORE
Update on Hoopa Valley Tribe Case Regarding Waiver of Section 401 Authority On March 11, 2019, several environmental organizations filed a request for rehearing of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s (D.C. Circuit) decision in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC finding that the withdrawal and resubmission of water quality certification requests under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) does not trigger a new statutory period of review.  The organizations, including American Rivers, California Trout, and Trout Unlimited, seek rehearing of the decision by the original panel of three judges who issued the decision, or rehearing en banc by all active judges on the Court.  Under the Court’s rules, en banc hearings are granted only to... READ MORE
PHMSA Announces Enforcement Discretion Regarding Inspection of Farm Taps and more in this installment of the Pipeline Safety Update.    READ MORE