Skip to main content

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.

EPA Revs Up Engine Emissions Enforcement Program

by Michael Ford The recent news about EPA’s enforcement action against Volkswagen for alleged noncompliance with EPA’s emissions control requirements has shocked the vehicle industry and marks the beginning of an enforcement resolution process that has already severely impacted the company and its reputation, will take years to resolve, and could involve criminal prosecutions.  The […]

| 2 min read

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Allow Landowners into Federal Court?

by Brad Cahoon Landowners that may have wetlands on their property are in a perplexing position.  If they fill wetlands that are covered by the Clean Water Act without a permit, landowners face jail time, criminal fines, and civil penalties of $37,500 per day per violation.  If they jump into the permitting process, they face […]

| 2 min read
Former Partner

Arizona’s RCRA Hazardous Waste Rules Updated to Incorporate Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Exclusion and Other Recent Federal Changes

by John Burnside The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has amended Arizona’s hazardous waste rules to incorporate recent changes to federal regulations. ADEQ published the final updated hazardous waste rules in the Arizona Administrative Register on July 31, 2015, and they became effective September 5, 2015. Arizona is authorized by the United States Environmental […]

| 2 min read

Lurking in the Shadows—Issues in Developing Historic Mine Properties: Part 1

by Jim Allen It’s a familiar admonition to exploration geologists seeking new mineral deposits:  Look first “in the shadow of the headframe.”  For a variety of reasons, a new source of production is more likely to be found not far from where historic mining took place.  But historic mining property comes with a list of […]

| 4 min read

No 2016 Shortage Declaration on the Colorado River: You Can’t Simply “Blame it on the Rain…”

by Karlene Martorana According to the 24-month study released August 17, 2015 by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), despite earlier predictions to the contrary, a shortage will not be declared on the Colorado River for 2016. Under the 2007 Record of Decision on Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the […]

| 3 min read
Former Counsel

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