The Role That Shaped My Legal Career and My Life

The Role That Shaped My Legal Career and My Life Rita Barker Wyche attroney

Following graduation from law school, I served as a law clerk for Judge Beverly B. Martin, then on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and now on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This role shaped my legal career and my life in countless ways. Judge Martin displayed boundless energy,…
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Analyzing Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Losses

Businesses are experiencing significant business interruption losses as a result of COVID-19.  You may have purchased “business interruption” insurance, and so you may expect to have coverage under that policy.  Indeed, business interruption insurance is generally intended to cover losses from interruptions to a company’s operations, such as from fires or natural disasters.  Coverage may…
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SC Manufacturer Liability Protection Act Limits Nuisance Actions Against Manufacturing Facilities

On February 8, 2018, the SC General Assembly passed A132, R136, H3653, the Manufacturer Liability Protection Act, legislation that limits the ability of residents near manufacturing facilities to claim that the facility is creating a nuisance as long as the facility is following the law and has current permits.  Under the law, a manufacturing facility…
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DHEC Issues Emergency Orders in Advance of Hurricane Irma

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management has implemented its emergency operations plan in preparation for Hurricane Irma.  DHEC issued emergency orders to local governments to allow beachfront property owners to conduct minor renourishment, sand scraping or sandbag installation to provide temporary protection.  These emergency…
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President Trump Orders Review of National Monuments

If you’re planning a family vacation to tour the most recently designated national monuments, you might want to expedite that trip.  On Wednesday, President Trump signed an Executive Order instructing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review any national monument created since January 1, 1996, that spans at least 100,000 acres, or “where the Secretary determines…
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Trump Directs Review of EPA’s Waters of the US Rule

On Tuesday, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise to reduce and scrutinize environmental regulations and signed an executive order directing the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers to review the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, a key Obama Administration regulation intended to more clearly define which waterbodies fall within the jurisdiction…
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Stream Protection Rule Repealed

Acting under the authority of the little-known Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn rules passed in the previous 60 working days, yesterday President Trump signed legislation repealing the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule, a key Obama administration regulation aimed at protecting waterways from coal mining waste.   The regulation stated that coal…
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EPA Releases Environmental Justice Plan

It feels great to be back in action in the blogosphere.  (Forgive our absence; we were migrating servers.)  The US Environmental Protection Agency is also back in action in the environmental justice arena.  As background, environmental justice is defined as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin,…
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EPA Finalizes Formaldehyde Rule Regulating Composite Wood Flooring and Furniture

When I hear the word formaldehyde, my mind drifts back to the specimens preserved in my middle school biology classroom.  But last week I was reminded that formaldehyde is used in many other applications, including in adhesives in composite wood flooring and furniture.  You might be wondering why an environmental law blog is concerned with…
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EPA Makes It Easier for Citizens to Report Environmental Violations

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance has made it easier for citizens to report environmental violations.  It has established a website for reporting suspected environmental violations.  With a few strokes on the keyboard, users can submit information about a suspected violation (such as the suspected violator’s name and location and…
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Trader Joe’s Settles Clean Air Act Violations

It’s impossible to imagine that anyone could ever dislike Trader Joe’s.   After all, it is the go-to source for such pantry necessities as cookie butter.  But the US Environmental Protection Agency was less than impressed with the company’s failure to (a) repair leaks of the ozone-depleting coolant R-22, which the company’s stores use to…
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TSCA Reform: Congress Passes First Major Environmental Legislation in More Than 25 Years

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) is being reformed by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.  TSCA regulates the manufacture, transportation, sale and use of thousands of chemicals, so this is big news for anyone who makes and/or uses chemicals, which is all of us.  TSCA 2.0 is…
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Celebrate Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  Time to don your recycled party hats and celebrate. Today more than 150 world leaders will meet at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, a landmark commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  For its part, the United States has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2025…
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SC House Wants to Bag the Bag Bans

Several communities in South Carolina, including Isle of Palms, have banned single-use plastic bags and other containers or are considering such bans, because of the containers’ adverse impacts on the environment, particularly marine and wildlife.  The SC House wants these communities (and any others out there considering similar bans) to bag the bag bans and…
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EPA Announces Safer Choice Label for Cleaning Products

While the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot help you make good choices in every aspect of your life (like whether enjoying all those Friday morning donuts at the office was truly a good idea), it has released its “Safer Choice” label to help you make safer choices when purchasing cleaning products.  If a product…
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Glass Recycling Ends in Upstate South Carolina

The glass (recycling industry) is not half full these days.  Upstate South Carolina citizens will no longer be able to recycle household glass because there are no remaining materials recovery facilities (known as MRFs in the waste management industry) to accept the glass.  Upstate Forever has prepared a detailed summary of why glass recycling has…
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EPA Releases Drinking Water Mapping Tool

If the drinking water issues in Flint, Michigan have you thinking twice about enjoying a refreshing glass of water from your tap, consider using the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters, known as DWMAPS.  This online mapping tool offers the public, water system operators, and state and federal agencies…
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Latest Toxics Release Inventory Issued

Industrial facilities can give themselves a pat on the back.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recently released 2014 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), only 16% of the 25 billion pounds of toxic chemical waste managed at the country’s industrial facilities was released to the air or water or placed in some type of land…
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Say Goodbye to Microbeads

While many of you were taking down your holiday lights, President Obama signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 (catchy title, right?).  Just when we thought Congressional members could agree on nothing, the ban on microbeads sailed through both the House and Senate with relative ease.  Why?  Probably because microbeads, plastics used as…
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The Top 3 Environmental News Stories of the Month

Running out of topics to impress your friends and family with at holiday gatherings?  Consider incorporating some of the latest and greatest news stories from the world of environmental law. Paris Climate Change Deal Reached:  Leaders from nearly 200 countries around the world inked a landmark climate change deal in Paris, committing to reduce greenhouse…
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EPA Launches eDisclosure Portal for Self-Disclosure of Environmental Violations

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its new eDisclosure Portal, which will modernize the implementation of the agency’s self-disclosure policies.  Through its Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, EPA has long encouraged businesses to self-disclose civil environmental violations, offering penalty mitigation and other incentives for companies that discover, promptly disclose and expeditiously…
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Greenville Selected for Inaugural Envision America Smart Cities Initiative

Envision America, a White House initiative aimed at developing “smart cities” to address climate change and improve city services and energy efficiency through technology and project planning, has selected Greenville, SC as one of its first ten cities to participate in the inaugural program. Greenville joins Cambridge, MA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Milwaukee, WI,…
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Federal Appeals Court Issues Nationwide Stay of EPA’s “Waters of the United States” Rule

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a nationwide stay of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s “Waters of the United States” Rule, which was issued in May and intended to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act. The Rule has been subject to numerous challenges throughout the country and, prior to the Sixth Circuit’s stay,…
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Corps Institutes Emergency Permitting Procedures

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District (Corps), which has jurisdiction over South Carolina projects, has initiated emergency permitting procedures in response to conditions resulting from erosion and storm damage caused by Hurricane Joaquin.  Some activities may proceed under Nationwide Permit #3, which authorizes the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of structures or fills destroyed or…
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EPA Issues Final Rule on Clean Water Act Electronic Reporting

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its rule requiring Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) users to electronically report data. States will have time to transition from paper reporting to electronic reporting.  Most facilities subject to effluent monitoring requirements will be required to begin submitting data electronically one year following the…
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President Obama Announces Clean Energy Initiatives

On Monday, August 24th, President Obama announced a slate of executive actions and private sector commitments related to renewable energy, focused on both industry and consumers.  The incentives are part of the White House’s continued emphasis on mitigating climate change impacts. Under the new incentives: Homeowners can more easily adopt renewable energy technologies by paying…
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City of Greenville Announces Expanded Recycling Program

The City of Greenville has received a $125,000 grant from The Recycling Partnership, a national recycling nonprofit, to assist with the City’s efforts to convert its current recycling collection system to an automated system.  The grant funds will be used to purchase new 96-gallon recycling rolling carts and to educate city residents about the new…
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What is Seismic Surveying and is it Happening in South Carolina?

Seismic surveying is the mapping of the ocean floor to conduct oil and gas exploration, evaluate seafloor conditions for renewable energy installations, and analyze marine mineral deposits.  (If you want to know more about seismic testing, the US Geological Survey has provided an overview here.) In 2008, a federal moratorium on oil and gas development…
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Twenty-Seven States, Including South Carolina, Initiate Challenges to EPA’s Clean Water Rule

EPA’s Clean Water Rule, which defines “waters of the United States” that fall within Clean Water Act jurisdiction, was published in the Federal Register on June 29 and already faces numerous tests.  Twenty-seven states, including South Carolina, have initiated challenges to the Rule. As of July 1, the roster of challengers includes: Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana…
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Supreme Court Rules That EPA Did Not Properly Consider Costs in Regulating Mercury Emissions

In a 5-4 decision issued today and authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the US Supreme Court held that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not properly consider costs that power plants would have to bear under the agency’s new regulations of mercury emissions.  The case, Michigan v. EPA, combined with companion cases Utility Air…
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EPA Releases Technical Guides Regarding Vapor Intrusion Assessment and Mitigation

Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two technical guides related to vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation activities: The Technical Guide for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Vapor Sources to Indoor Air, which applies to sites being evaluated under federal land cleanup statutes; and A companion document, the Technical Guide…
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Final Clean Water Rule Issued

On Wednesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers issued the final Clean Water Rule defining “waters of the United States” subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.  The final rule comes more than a year after the agencies published a proposed rule, which resulted in approximately 400 public…
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Bank of America Issues $600 Million Green Bond

On May 14, 2015, Bank of America issued a $600 million green bond to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.  In a statement issued by the bank, its chief operating officer Thomas Montag stated, “We believe green bonds will play an important role in closing the financing gap for renewable energy, energy efficiency and…
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Agricultural Producers Beware: Dairy Owner Sentenced to Home Detention and Ordered to Pay Penalties for Cattle Wastes Discharged into French Broad River

On April 30, 2015, the owner of one of North Carolina’s largest dairy farms, William Franklin Johnston, was sentenced to four years probation, six months of which must be spent in home detention, and has been ordered to pay a $15,000 fine, for his role in discharging cattle feces into the French Broad River in…
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EPA Releases 20th Annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 20th Annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions  for the 2013 calendar year. The inventory reveals a 2% increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 from 2012 levels, attributed to increased energy consumption and coal use. Greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,673 metric tons of…
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New Air Quality Standards for Ozone Could Hamper Upstate SC Economic Development

Upstate Employers Network recent featured Wyche Environmental Attorney Rita Barker as a guest blogger. The featured article can be found below. Under the Clean Air Act, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes and reviews National Ambient Air Quality Standards, known as NAAQS. NAAQS are nationwide air quality goals designed to protect public health…
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After DHEC Director Nominee’s Withdrawal, Agency Conducts Search for New Director

Welcome back! We were on blogging hiatus while our new website was constructed. We hope you enjoy connecting with us on the redesigned website and blog. Now, back to environmental news… As we reported several weeks ago, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Board nominated Eleanor Kitzman as the agency’s new…
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A Founder. A Friend. A Legacy.

Tommy Wyche’s visionary leadership shaped Wyche into a unique law firm where like-minded attorneys could build a meaningful practice in a community that they love. Tommy brought that same innovative spirit to help transform Greenville and conserve the Upstate’s natural beauty.  It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to our beloved founder and…
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DHEC Board Names Eleanor Kitzman as New Director

Following Catherine Templeton’s resignation as Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the DHEC Board has named Eleanor Kitzman to the post.  Kitzman formerly served as the state’s Insurance Commissioner from 2005 to 2007 and most recently worked as an executive for Starr Insurance Holdings in New York.  The appointment…
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DHEC Director Catherine Templeton Resigns

Catherine Templeton, the director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), announced her resignation from the agency, effective January 12, 2015.  Templeton stated:  “When Governor Haley pulled me from the private sector, I promised her four years of public service and I have fulfilled my commitment.  I’m looking forward to serving…
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SC Supreme Court Rules Against Proposed Kiawah Island Bulkhead

On December 10, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in a 3-2 decision that a developer could not construct a proposed bulkhead and revetment at Captain Sam’s Spit on Kiawah Island.  The developer asserted that the bulkhead was needed to stop erosion to facilitate development of the spit.  When the developer submitted its original…
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EPA Announces Historic Greenhouse Gas Enforcement Case

On November 3, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Justice announced a significant settlement with Hyundai and Kia, automakers facing allegations of inaccurate testing and certification of vehicles sold in America.  According to EPA, nearly 1.2 million vehicles sold by the automakers will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons more…
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EPA Changes All Appropriate Inquiries Standard: 2005 ASTM Standard No Longer Sufficient

On October 6, 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized an amendment to its All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) rule, stating that ASTM E-1527-05, the due diligence standard issued in 2005, is no longer adequate to establish landowner and lender liability protections under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a statute that imposes…
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EPA Releases Latest Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

Earlier this week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data for 2013 emissions.  From approximately 8,000 sources that represent 50% of the nation’s total emissions, 3.18 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent were reported, which constitutes an increase of 20 million metric tons from the previous year,…
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EPA Extends Comment Period for its Clean Power Plan Proposal

Earlier this week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will extend the comment period for its most recent regulatory effort to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, the Clean Power Plan proposal.  The proposal aims to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels.  Stakeholders now have until December 1,…
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In Light of Widespread PCB Contamination, ReWa Establishes a General Permit Program for Food Service Establishments

In light of the discovery of PCBs in waste streams throughout SC, including at ReWa, ReWa has announced a permitting program for Food Service Establishments.  Most of the approximately 1,350 Food Service Establishments in ReWa’s service area will be covered under the General Permit. The General Permit features a unique condition requiring that each Food…
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US Department of Energy Assists Alternative Fuel Vehicle Drivers with Its Fueling Station Locator

If you own an alternative fuel vehicle or are considering purchasing one, the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator can make your life easier.  Users type in their locations, and the website locates local fueling stations.  For users planning trips, the website locates fueling stations along travel routes.   The service is also available…
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Supreme Court Sends Mixed Message to EPA on the Agency’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stationary Sources

On June 23, 2014, the US Supreme Court issued an important environmental decision, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, No. 12-1146 (L), which restricts the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting…
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EPA Proposes Carbon Limits for Existing Power Plants

Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Clean Power Plan proposal, aimed at cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants.  According to EPA, power plants contribute a third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.  These plants’ emissions for arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter are…
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South Carolina Contractor Convicted for Clean Air Act Violations Arising from Improper Asbestos Removal

Last week, the United States Attorney for South Carolina announced that a contractor who ran CoolCote, a Myrtle Beach-based construction and renovation company, was sentenced to six months in prison, six months house arrest, three years supervised release and a $10,000 fine for Clean Air Act violations.  The criminal conviction arises from the contractor’s involvement…
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EPA Issues Final Rule Authorizing the Use of Electronic Manifests for Hazardous Wastes

Earlier this month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule authorizing the use of electronic manifests to track the off-site shipment of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  The rule will streamline the current process, which requires paper manifests, resulting in an estimated savings of 300,000 to 700,000 hours…
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EPA Adds Nine Hazardous Waste Sites to the National Priorities List

On December 11, 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the addition of nine hazardous waste sites to Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL).  According to EPA, these sites, including two in North Carolina, pose risks to human health and the environment: (1) Cristex Drum in Oxford, North Carolina; (2) Hemphill Road TCE in Gastonia, North Carolina; (3) Beck’s…
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EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data for Large Facilities

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program collects greenhouse gas information from over 8,000 facilities in the largest emitting industries, including power plants, iron and steel mills, landfills, and oil and gas production and refining.   In late October, EPA released greenhouse gas emissions data for large facilities.  The most recent data for 2012 reveals that in the…
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EPA Proposes Pollution Regulations for New Power Plants

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new Clean Air Act regulations to reduce carbon pollution from new power plants.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stated that these regulations are intended to slow the effects of climate change and promote a safe and healthy environment.  Some industry opponents have expressed concern that compliance with…
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M&A Buyer Protection Beyond Indemnification and Escrows

Strafford Webinar held September 19, 2013 by Rita Bolt Barker Structuring Deal-Specific and Often Overlooked Acquisition Provisions to Minimize Buyer’s Risk Click here to download and view the webinar.

Facilities Using Solvent Wipes Get Relief from Waste Regulations

On July 31, 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) modified its hazardous waste management regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to conditionally exclude solvent-contaminated wipes from hazardous waste regulations as long as businesses clean or dispose of the wipes properly.  EPA altered the rule after concluding that wipes contaminated with certain…
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City of Greenville Passes Low-Impact Development Parking Program

Last month, the City of Greenville, in partnership with Upstate Forever and Furman University, approved a market-based program to incentivize developers to build appropriately-sized parking lots while reducing adverse impacts to waterbodies. Recognizing that stormwater runoff from parking lots can adversely impact water quality but acknowledging the need for flexibility for certain projects, the Fee-in-Lieu…
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President Obama Releases Expansive Climate Action Plan

Today President Obama unveiled his new executive action plan to promote renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.  The full 21-page plan is available here and sets as its primary goal the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. The plan rests on what the Administration describes as “three key…
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Register for the 2013 SC Clean Energy Summit

The South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance is hosting the 2013 South Carolina Clean Energy Summit July 11th at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  The Summit will include sessions on Solar, Wind, Biomass, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Project Finance, Clean Transportation and Recycling.  Click here to register today.  For more information,…
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Environmental Non-Compliance Can Be Costly

Major retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has been hit with more than $81 million in civil and criminal penalties for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  Wal-Mart pleaded guilty in three criminal federal cases and entered a consent agreement with the EPA to resolve…
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EPA Invests in Brownfields Redevelopment

Last week, the EPA announced it will award approximately $4 million in grants to 20 communities to assist with planning for remediation and reuse of brownfields properties.  The winning projects were chosen based on their ability to advance livability principles, support local and regional planning efforts, and engage community members.  Review the winning project summaries…
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DHEC Seeks Comments on Environmental Regulations

Governor Haley has established a Regulatory Review Task Force to evaluate regulatory burdens on South Carolina businesses and explore ways to relieve those burdens.  To support this initiative, DHEC has invited the public to comment on environmental statutes and regulations that may unduly burden businesses.  DHEC will be receiving public comments at the following meetings:…
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EPA Releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule (74 FR 56260) requires large sources and suppliers to report greenhouse gas emissions.  Earlier this month, EPA published emissions data for reporting year 2011, when 8,000 facilities across nine industry sectors reported 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of direct emissions.  The results are available on EPA’s website. As…
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EPA to Highlight Key Environmental Issues in the Southeastern Region

On February 26, 2013 at the Georgia State Bar Conference Center in Atlanta, GA, the EPA will offer updates on key state and regional developments in environmental law in the Southeast Region, Region 4, which includes South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.  Sessions will provide information on EPA’s program initiatives…
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EPA Announces a More Stringent Standard for Soot Particles

On December 14, the US Environmental Protection Agency revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution, announcing a more stringent standard for harmful fine particle pollution, known as PM2.5, including soot.  In response to a federal court order declaring the standards too weak to adequately protect public health, the final rule sets an…
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BikeShare is Coming to Greenville!

Greenville B-Cycle has announced that it will launch a BikeShare program here in Greenville in the Spring of 2013.  The program will provide community members and visitors an active way to get around town by providing access to rental bicycles.  Greenville B-Cycle, an idea initiated by Leadership Greenville Class 37, is a partnership between Upstate…
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The FTC Has Released New Green Guides

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released its Final Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims.  Known as the Green Guides, they update and supplement the agency’s prior guidance on green marketing.  The Green Guides offer direction to marketers about how to make non-deceptive environmental marketing claims about products and services.  Failure to comply…
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EPA Takes Enforcement Action Against 16 Businesses for Alleged Violations of the Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule

On November 14, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 16 enforcement actions for alleged violations of its Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule, which governs construction activities that disturb lead-based paint.  The Rule, which took effect in 2010, requires that contractors who work on pre-1978 dwellings and child-occupied facilities be trained to use lead-safe…
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Summary of Considerations for Allocating Environmental Liabilities in Transactions

Prepared by Wyche attorneys: Rita Bolt Barker & Maurie Lawrence Below is a summary of considerations that parties may want to consider in allocating environmental liabilities.  This summary is not exhaustive, as considerations vary for each transaction.  For example, this summary does not address the various types of deal structures. Download a PDF version of…
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Sample Buyer’s Environmental Due Diligence Checklist

Prepared by Wyche attorney: Rita Bolt Barker & Maurie Lawrence This checklist is intended to be used only as a suggested template for conducting environmental due diligence. The scope of environmental due diligence is deal-specific and will be dependent upon a variety of factors, including the buyer’s knowledge of the site and operations, level of…
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EPA Names Twelve New Sites to the National Priorities List

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named twelve new hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) for cleanup under the Superfund program.  The list includes sites across the United States, including a former wood treating facility in Yadkinville, NC and an electroplating facility in Vincent, Alabama.  EPA has also proposed to add…
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Congratulations to Greenville for Winning the EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Award

The City and County of Greenville were recognized by the EPA as a winner of this year’s Clean Air Excellence Award for their innovative Electric Vehicle (EV) Ecosystem Pilot Project. The EV Ecosystem Pilot Project was created to provide area companies, residents and visitors access to electric vehicles and charging stations.  The City and County…
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Upcoming Seminar on Managing Environmental Risks in Business Transactions

Wyche is hosting a roundtable on Thursday, September 27 on the key environmental risks facing businesses today. We’ll have a panel of experts who will weigh in on the environmental issues that may arise during various phases in a transaction, from performing due diligence to negotiating a purchase and sale agreement to securing environmental insurance. …
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Senate Committee Approves the Safe Chemicals Act

On July 25, 2012, the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works approved S. 847, the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, which, if passed, would revamp the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) by requiring chemical companies to provide more health and safety information about their products and empowering regulators to force dangerous…
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DHEC Finalizes its Surface Water Withdrawal Regulation

DHEC Regulation 61-119, governing surface water withdrawal, permitting, use and reporting, became effective June 22, 2012.  Some highlights from the Regulation: The Regulation requires existing surface water withdrawers to submit a permit application within 180 days of the Regulation’s effective date.  New surface water withdrawers must apply for and obtain a valid permit before making…
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Protecting the Blue Ridge Escarpment

Back in the early 1970s, our colleague, Tommy Wyche, known as “the godfather of conservation” in South Carolina, began his efforts to protect the Blue Ridge Escarpment, a mountain bridge of approximately 400,000 acres that stretches across the Upstate.  His efforts, which utilize the legal tools of conservation easements and land trusts, have resulted in…
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Governor Haley Signs Amended SC Pollution Control Act

After much negotiation, on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, Governor Haley signed into law the amended South Carolina Pollution Control Act (R255, H4654).  As expected, the compromise between business and environmental groups, which postpones the creation of an isolated wetlands regulatory program and excludes private rights of action under the Act, is in the final version…
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Pollution Control Act Compromise

After months of debate, this week business and environmental groups reached a compromise regarding amendments to South Carolina’s Pollution Control Act.  In the wake of the uncertainty created by the SC Supreme Court’s Smith Land ruling, environmental groups have been advocating for the creation of an isolated wetlands regulatory program.  The business community objected, noting…
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SC Supreme Court to Hear Savannah Port Dredging Dispute

The SC Supreme Court will exercise original jurisdiction over an issue involving agency authority in the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).  Several environmental groups have asked the Court to determine which state agency, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) or the Savannah River Maritime Commission (SRMC), had authority to issue a permit to…
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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Approves S.C. Reactors

On Friday, Scana Corp. received approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by a 4-1 vote for the construction and operation of two units at a plant 26 miles northwest of Columbia.  The Chairman of the Commission dissented, citing pending safety rules in response to the nuclear disaster at Fukishima Dai-lchi in Japan last year. …
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Redeveloping Contaminated Sites: Turning Brownfields into Green

nterview with Rita Bolt Barker As heard on “South Carolina Business Review” with Mike Switzer Broadcast July 18, 2008 What is a brownfield? Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The EPA estimates that there…
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