Environment, Land & Resources

California Response to COVID-19: What Hotel Owners Need to Know

Posted in California

The Governor has issued an Executive Order that permits commandeering of hotels and other places of temporary residence for the state’s response to COVID-19.

By Winston P. Stromberg, Lucas I. Quass and Cody M. Kermanian

As part of California’s continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak, on March 12, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20, which, among other measures, permits the state to commandeer real property, such as hotels, for the treatment and quarantine of COVID-19 patients. Specifically, the Executive Order provides as follows:

The California Health and Human Services Agency and the Office of Emergency Services shall identify, and shall otherwise be prepared to make available — including through the execution of any necessary contracts or other agreements and, if necessary, through the exercise of the State’s power to commandeer property — hotels and other places of temporary residence, medical facilities, and other facilities that are suitable for use as places of temporary residence or medical facilities as necessary for quarantining, isolating, or treating individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who have had a high-risk exposure and are thought to be in the incubation period.

Continue Reading

FAQ: EU Commission’s New Circular Economy Action Plan

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, Contaminated Properties & Waste, Environmental Regulation, European Environmental and Public Law

The Action Plan is part of the European Green Deal promoting actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a cleaner and more competitive Europe.

By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green and Federica Rizzo

On 11 March 2020, the European Commission published its Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions laying down the details of a new “Circular Economy Action Plan For a Cleaner and more Competitive Europe”.

The first Circular Economy Action Plan, which entered into force in 2018, led to the adoption and implementation of measures regulating the entire lifecycle of products, from production and consumption to waste management and the creation of a market for secondary raw materials. Continue Reading

Judicial Review of Heathrow Expansion Is Successful on Climate Change Grounds

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, Environmental Regulation

The Airports National Policy Statement is ruled illegal as a result of government failure to take account of its Paris Agreement commitments.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

In R (Plan B Earth and Others) v. Secretary of State for Transport and others, the Court of Appeal in England (the Court) heard an appeal in relation to a judicial review of the UK government’s Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS). The UK government had effectively provided its support for the construction of the third runway at Heathrow under the ANPS, which was the subject of appeal by a number of local authorities and environmental NGOs. In the first instance, these local authorities and NGOs were unsuccessful. However, the Court determined that, in making the ANPS, the Transport Minister had not taken into account the UK’s commitments in the UNFCCC Paris Agreement (the Paris Agreement). Therefore, the ANPS was considered illegal. Continue Reading

Trends in Public Utility Regulation: 5 Developments at the California Public Utilities Commission

Posted in California, Environmental Regulation, Power, Oil, Gas and Minerals, Project Siting and Approval

Wildfires, ride-sharing, community choice aggregation, and more bring increased regulatory risk.

By Marc T. Campopiano, Charles C. Read, and Brian F. McCall

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has tremendous influence on public utility regulation in California and beyond. The CPUC has the biggest staff of any state utilities commission and has issued fines and penalties well in excess of US$2 billion. The CPUC has been very active with new rulemakings and proceedings that will impact utilities and a range of industries. Because of the CPUC’s outsize influence, many of these new regulatory developments may well be adopted by public utilities or public service commissions in other states. Below are summaries of five key developments at the CPUC. Continue Reading

New Amendments to Prop 65 Regulations Aim to Clarify Warning Responsibility

Posted in California, Environmental Regulation

The new amendments seek to clarify the division of responsibility for providing warnings among upstream entities, intermediaries, and retailers.

By: Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and Kevin A. Homrighausen

On April 1, 2020, new amendments to the implementation regulations of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65 Regulations) will go into effect, addressing the responsibility to provide warnings within the chain of commerce for products containing chemicals listed by the state as potentially causing cancer and/or reproductive harm. Specifically, the amendments to the Prop 65 Regulations serve to clarify when retail sellers are responsible for providing Prop 65 warnings. Continue Reading