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Science, Law & the Environment Emerging Topics in Environmental Law

Diane Meyers

Diane Meyers

Diane is a partner with over a decade of commercial litigation experience. She has particular expertise in insurance coverage and environmental and natural resources matters. In addition to significant experience in a variety of complex commercial matters, Diane handles numerous environmental litigation and claims involving hazardous site investigations, cleanups, cost recovery, natural resource damages, including sites in Washington and Idaho on behalf of petroleum companies, refineries, distributors, and landowners in MTCA and CERCLA actions. Diane’s clients come from a variety of industries and include ports and municipal agencies, petroleum and chemical companies, public transit authorities, and national and community banking institutions.

Posts by Diane Meyers

Wherefore Art Thou, Fisher? U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Decides Not to List the Pacific Fisher

Posted in Endangered/Threatened Species

On April 14, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it would not list the Pacific Fisher under the Endangered Species Act. The fisher (Pekania pennant) is presently found in Southern Oregon, Northern California, and the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, although historically, the species ranged the northern forests of Canada and the United States,… Continue Reading

Oregon Department of Lands: State of Wyoming Lacks Standing to Challenge Denial of Port Morrow Permit

Posted in Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, Project Permitting

Late last week, the Oregon Department of State Lands denied the State of Wyoming’s request to challenge the Department’s denial of Ambre Energy’s application for a removal-fill permit. (We were following this case at the end of August.) The Department said that Wyoming lacked standing because it had not shown how it would be adversely affected… Continue Reading

What We Are Reading, October 3: Cement Plant Retrofits, Critical Habitat Land Grabs, and Job Losses Under the Clean Air Act

Posted in Clean Air Act, Endangered/Threatened Species, Natural Resources and Environment, Rule Making

This week has been a week of catching up, so some of this may be old news to you, but maybe you have a tall stack of things you aspire to read someday and you’ll have some sympathy… St. Mary’s Cement Inc. Against the EPA Out of the Sixth Circuit, by way of Michigan, a… Continue Reading

Pebble Mine Jumps the Gun on Challenge to EPA’s 404(c) Authority

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Endangered/Threatened Species, Natural Resources and Environment, Project Permitting

Ruling from the bench on Friday, Judge H. Russel Holland dismissed Pebble Limited Partnership’s claims that the EPA overstepped its authority in initiating proceedings under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. (The written opinion is here.) EPA advised Pebble Partnership by letter in February 2014 that it was beginning the process under 404(c) to review… Continue Reading

WRRDA Signed by President Obama

Posted in Capital and Funding, Legislation, Tax, Water Quality

To close the loop on our previous stories regarding the WRRDA (here and here), President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 on Tuesday. Now it is on to the appropriation process, although there are some immediate changes to how projects are approved, etc., that we could see the benefit of sooner. During the signing,… Continue Reading

CTS v. Waldburger: “A Gold Mine for Law Nerds”

Posted in Regulatory

A lot has already been written and said about yesterday’s 7-2 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court in CTS v. Waldburger case, in which the Court held that statutes of repose (as opposed to statutes of limitations) are not preempted by CERCLA and operate, as North Carolina’s did there, to bar state law claims for contamination…. Continue Reading

Bike to Work Month May Be Over, but the Wheels Keep Turning

Posted in Emerging Policy

I know this blog is about the intersection of science, law and the environment, and it has largely adhered to typical topics that you expect to meet at that intersection. But today I’m excited about a different kind of intersection, specifically a study (long and the first of its kind) of protected bike lane intersections in five… Continue Reading

Mexico Joins Maritime Redevelopment Fun

Posted in Capital and Funding, Legislation, Water Quality

As we have previously detailed (here and here), Congress just passed, and the President is expected to sign, the first water resource development bill since 2007. This will make ports on both coasts more competitive internationally. For those ports here in the Pacific Northwest, it will make them more competitive with Canadian ports in British Columbia…. Continue Reading

Water Resource Reform, Port Channels and Flood Control, Oh My!

Posted in Legislation, Natural Resources and Environment, Project Permitting, Water Quality

At long last, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) is expected to be passed by the Senate today and signed by President Obama soon. The first water resources development bill was enacted in 1974 and was intended to be reauthorized every two years. It was consistently updated (except for a hiatus between 1976 and… Continue Reading

Particulate Emissions from Trains in Washington: A Cause for Concern?

Posted in Clean Air Act, Emerging Policy, Environmental Risk, Geeky Science Stuff

Last week, Dan Jaffe’s atmospheric research group at the University of Washington released the results of a study of particulate emissions associated with rail traffic here in Seattle and along the Columbia River. That study was motivated by the controversy over coal exports, and was funded by contributions from the Sierra Club and through crowdfunding…. Continue Reading

Breaking: Judge Coughenour Denies BNSF’s Motion to Dismiss in Suit Alleging CWA Violations for Discharge of Coal from Trains

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Natural Resources and Environment, Water Quality

Yesterday, Judge Coughenour denied BNSF’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by various environmental groups under the Clean Water Act that alleges that BNSF has been discharging coal from rail cars without an NPDES permit. He did so without oral argument, finding that the 60 day notice letter sent by the plaintiffs to BNSF and others… Continue Reading

Keystone Pipeline (Part 2) Receives U.S. State Department’s “Blessing”

Posted in Climate Change, Emerging Policy, Energy Policy, NEPA, Project Permitting, Regulatory

The U.S. State Department issued its final environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The study, which raised no major concerns, clears the way for the 875-mile pipeline project to proceed and, as some have noted, gives President Obama some political latitude to endorse it. The route has changed since the State Department’s… Continue Reading

Washington Legislature Wades Into Oil Transport Issues

Posted in Emerging Policy, Energy Policy

For those of you tracking developments in the crude oil transportation world, you may have seen an uptick in activity recently. At the beginning of the year — following the collision of two oil trains in North Dakota on December 30 — the federal government (the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) issued a rare safety alert about… Continue Reading