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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.

Apparently Dilution Might be the Solution to Pollution

by Patrick Paul As we previously reported, less than a month ago contractors working under the guidance and direction of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inadvertently triggered a breach at the abandoned Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado, thereby unleashing three million gallons of mercury, arsenic, and lead-laden sludge into Cement Creek, a […]

| 4 min read

Clean Water Rule Halted in Arizona and Twelve Other States

by Patrick Paul and Chris Colyer On August 27th, the day before it was set to become final, a federal district court in North Dakota halted implementation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of The United States” rule.  North Dakota v. U.S. E.P.A., Civ. No. 3:15-cv-59. Arizona and […]

| 3 min read

Clean Power Plan Impacts More than Coal: Transmission Solutions No Easy Feat

By Matt Derstine Since last June when the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced its proposed plan for achieving carbon emission reductions from power plants, much of the discussion has focused on the impact of the plan on coal plants and the possibility of widespread coal plant retirements. Now, with the release of the EPA’s final […]

| 3 min read

The Obama Administration and EPA Issue Aggressive Clean Power Plan to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Existing Power Plants

By Chris Colyer and Patrick Paul On August 3, 2015, President Barack Obama and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued their final Clean Power Plan rule, which imposes requirements on states and tribes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. EPA issued the new rulemaking pursuant to Section 111(d) of the […]

| 3 min read

ADEQ Issues New and Revised Rules Regarding Agricultural Best Management Practices to Reduce Particulate Matter Emissions in Arizona Non-Attainment Areas

By Chris Colyer The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has announced new and revised rules, effective as of July 2, 2015, regarding agricultural best management practices (BMPs) to reduce particulate matter air emissions in Arizona’s non-attainment areas. The revised rules may be found here. As background, the Clean Air Act requires Arizona to maintain […]

| 2 min read

Deadlines for EPA’s New General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activities Approaching Fast

by Maribeth M. Klein On June 4, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a revised National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial activities. EPA’s MSGP only applies in areas where EPA remains the NPDES permitting authority, such as: Idaho, New Mexico, Massachusetts, New Hampshire; the […]

| 3 min read
Former Proposals Specialist

EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Issue Proposed Green House Gas Rules for Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

By Chris Colyer On June 19, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly proposed new rules to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel consumption for new medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. The proposed rules will impact companies that manufacture, sell, or import medium-duty […]

| 2 min read

Net Metering and the Cost-Shift Debate: Ignoring the Noise to Parse the Net Issues at the Heart of the Debate

The debate over net metering is a hot topic before many state legislatures and public utility commissions. The Western U.S. is no exception.   Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and California are among the states grappling with the idea of how to properly incent distributed generation (DG) and whether net metering needs to be part of that […]

| 5 min read