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About this Blog

Welcome to the S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Law Blog. This blog is a resource for the regulated community to stay current on new developments impacting the environmental, natural resources and energy sectors. It provides timely updates on a broad range of federal, state and local environmental topics — including proposed legislation and government rulemakings — that impact regulated industries throughout the southwest and the nation as a whole.

Arizona Corporation Commission Issues New Water Policies

by Timothy J. Sabo Water is essential to Arizona. Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans are served by privately-owned water companies regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).  There are hundreds of these companies.  They range widely in size, financial condition, and expertise.  Perhaps the hardest job is faced by the smallest utilities, who must provide […]

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Former Counsel

They Blew Us Off – Insights into the State of New Mexico’s Suits Against the EPA and the State of Colorado

by Maribeth M. Klein While speaking at a recent conference on natural resource damages, the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, Ryan Flynn, outlined New Mexico’s grievances against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the State of Colorado in the wake of the disastrous release from the Gold King Mine into the Animas […]

| 2 min read
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Former Counsel

Murky Waters Following the Gold King Mine Spill

by Cynthia M. Chandley In the wake of actions taken on August 5, 2015 by contractors for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that resulted in the Gold King Mine Spill, western states that rely on water from the Animas River, the San Juan River, and the Colorado River may be left with long-term […]

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Former Partner

Industry, NGOs, Republicans, and Democrats Bond over Chemistry

by Michael C. Ford and Farris J. Gillman* The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was passed in the House by an overwhelming vote of 403 – 12.  After passing the Senate, it was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016. The Lautenberg Act is the first major […]

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Former Associate

As Lake Mead Dwindles, Arizona and Other Colorado River Basin States Continue to Plan for a Drier Future

by Bill Staudenmaier It has become a familiar refrain.  For each of the past three years, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the major reservoirs on the Colorado River, has announced a new “record low” water elevation in Lake Mead.  A quick Google search identifies articles or posts discussing this downward trend in […]

In a Victory for Businesses and Developers, the United States Supreme Court Holds that Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Determinations Are Appealable

by Chris Colyer The United States Supreme Court ruled today that an approved jurisdictional determination under the Clean Water Act constitutes an immediately appealable agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 500 et seq. This decision, United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., rejects the United States Army Corps […]

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Recent Developments in the Gold King Mine Spill

by Megan H. Tracy On Tuesday, May 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chair, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and committee member, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally requested a federal criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine spill. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Sens. Barrasso and McCain stated that […]

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Former Associate

Is Coal Down For The Count

by J. Matthew Derstine Last week Peabody Energy announced that it filed bankruptcy.  Peabody is the nation’s largest coal company.  The filing by Peabody comes on the heels of the January 2016 bankruptcy filing by Arch Coal, the nation’s second largest coal producer.  Over 26 coal companies have gone bankrupt in the past several years […]

| 5 min read | Tagged: ,
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ADEQ Director Testifies before Congress in Opposition to EPA Ozone Standard

by Patrick J. Paul On Thursday, April 14th, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Misael Cabrera testified before Congress regarding naturally occurring ozone levels in parts of Arizona making it impossible to comply with standards proposed last fall by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking to reduce ozone. Cabrera was testifying in […]

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International Environmental Law Guide Published

by Chris Colyer Our colleagues, Denise Dragoo and Stephen Smithson, contributed a chapter on United States environmental law for the 2016 International Comparative Legal Guide to Environment and Climate Change Law (13th Ed.). This Guide is used by in-house counsel across the globe to obtain basic familiarity with the different approaches to environmental law and […]

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