Energy Finance Report

PFAS Regulatory Update

Posted by Jeffrey Karp on 6/11/19 4:46 PM

Massachusetts Proposes New PFAS Regulations as States Tackle Contamination

By: Jeffrey Karp, Victor Baltera, Aaron Staudinger, and Maxwell Unterhalter

As in previous postings, we discuss recent state regulatory initiatives aimed at addressing groundwater and drinking water contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances ("PFAS"). PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been used widely in consumer and industrial products since the 1940s. Major applications have included coatings for paper and cardboard packaging products, carpets, textiles with water and oil repellency, non-stick surfaces, and firefighting foams. Due to their chemical structure, PFAS stay in the environment for a long time and do not degrade easily. PFAS have been detected in air, surface water, groundwater, drinking water, and soil.[1] They even have been found in grocery store items, such as meat, fish, dairy, and prepared chocolate-cake.[2] The widespread use and persistence of PFAS in the environment, together with growing evidence that low-level exposure may lead to adverse health effects, has increased concerns about safe levels of human exposure to PFAS.[3] In response, many more state and, to a lesser extent, federal initiatives have been undertaken to regulate PFAS. As discussed below, recently the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the "MassDEP") has proposed to regulate PFAS within the framework of the Commonwealth’s Massachusetts Contingency Plan.

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Topics: Water, Environmental Law, PFAS

Symposium Spotlights Natural Resource Damage Regulations Under DOI Review

Posted by Jeffrey Karp on 10/9/18 10:00 AM

By Jeffrey Karp and Kevin Fink

Section 301(c) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) authorizes the Federal government, States and federally recognized Indian Tribes to act as "trustees" on behalf of the public to pursue claims to redress injury or destruction of natural resources caused by hazardous substance releases. The measure of damages is calculated based upon the cost to restore or replace the injured or destroyed natural resources. Trustees also may recover compensation for services the resources would have provided the public pending restoration, as well as the reasonable cost of assessing injury and determining appropriate restoration.

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Topics: Environmental Policy, Environmental Law

Sullivan & Worcester LLP Lawyers Assist Company Implementing Eco-Friendly Discovery of Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry

Posted by Len Miller on 10/5/18 1:18 PM

By Leonard Miller and Jeffrey Karp

Dr. Frances H. Arnold, a chemical engineering professor at Caltech, has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on biofuels and pharmaceuticals. But she also is the inspiration for and a partner in a company trying to make pest control sustainable with synthetic biology. In 2013, Dr. Pedro S. Coelho, the company’s co-founder, along with Dr. Arnold and another scientist, started Provivi, which seeks to cost-effectively make pheromones that farmers can use to draw insects away from crops and prevent them from finding each other to mate. 
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Topics: Pesticides, Environmental Law

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The Energy Finance Report analyzes developments in energy finance as well as provides updates and perspectives on market trends and policies.

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