November 16, 2012
15 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Wellesley, MA 02481-2133
(781) 416-5715
15 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Wellesley, MA 02481-2133
(781) 416-5713
15 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Wellesley, MA 02481-2133
(781) 416-5733
15 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Wellesley, MA 02481-2133
(781) 416-5710



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Massachusetts Environmental Developments

MassDEP Continues Efforts at Regulatory Reform Affecting Nearly All Agency Programs

MassDEP has conducted an extensive review of its regulations and programs searching for opportunities to improve its efficiency.

MassDEP Receives First Year Funding for Information Technology Transformation Initiative

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s regulatory reform efforts reported elsewhere in this e-alert issue include an Information Technology Transformation Initiative in which MassDEP plans to update its self-described outdated and "siloed" IT system.

First Deadline Approaches for Submittal of Applications for New Massachusetts Hazardous Material Processing Permits

Arising from several chemical explosions in Massachusetts in recent years, the state Board of Fire Prevention has adopted rules requiring numerous hazardous material handlers to obtain permits which vary in their stringency dependent upon the amount of risk posed by the chemicals that are processed.

U.S. EPA Proposes to Add Two Sites in Massachusetts to the Superfund List

On September 18, 2012, U.S. EPA proposed to list two sites to the National Priorities List, also known as the Superfund list.

U.S. EPA and MassDEP enter into Record $366 Million Settlement with AVX Corp. for Cleanup of New Bedford Harbor

On October 10, 2012, U.S. EPA announced that AVX Corp. had agreed to pay $366 million to EPA and MassDEP to fund a new remedy for the New Bedford Harbor Superfund Site PCB cleanup.

Sewer Connection Charges are (Sometimes) Allowable Fees and Not Impermissable Taxes

As more communities undertake costly efforts to upgrade their sewage collection and treatment systems, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently held that, at least in some circumstances, municipalities may assess fees related to such work on developers seeking new connections to a community’s sewer system.

Massachusetts Land Use Developments

Appellate Courts Toughens Standard for Developers Obtaining Summary Dismissal of Zoning Appeals

Two recent cases, 81 Spooner Road, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Brookline, 461 Mass. 692 (2012) and O’Connell v. Vainisi, 82 Mass. App. Ct. 688 (2012), recalibrate the evidence that the defendant/developer must produce in order to rebut successfully the presumption of standing of the project opponent and secure a summary judgment dismissing a zoning appeal.

Massachusetts High Court Set to Review Decision Whether Untimely Recorded Variance Saved by Substantial Reliance

A previous edition of the Massachusetts Environmental & Land Use Alert reported on Grady v. Langone, et al., 2011 Mass. LCR Lexis 77, in which the Land Court held that a variance is effective even if it is recorded outside the statutory one-year period so long as there has been substantial reliance on the variance.

National Developments

RCRA’s Hazardous Waste Manifest System Enters the Electronic Age

On October 5, President Obama signed into law an amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that will establish an electronic hazardous waste manifest system.

FTC Issues Revised Green Guides for Environmental Marketing

On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued final revisions to the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, known as the Green Guides.

Court Enjoins City of Dallas from Enforcing Flow-Control Ordinance

On October 16, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted a request for a permanent injunction enjoining the City of Dallas from enforcing a flow-control ordinance that would have required all solid waste collected within the City to be disposed at a City-owned landfill or transfer station.

Two State Courts Allow Greenhouse Gas Claims to Proceed on Public Trust Theory

In a new wave of climate change litigation that could pave the way for state-level regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, at least two courts have extended the "public trust" doctrine to include protection of the air and atmosphere.

Firm News & Events

Beveridge & Diamond Again Named a Top National Environmental and Litigation Firm by U.S. News/Best Lawyers

Washington, DC - U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have once again awarded Beveridge & Diamond’s environmental and litigation practices a Tier 1 nationwide ranking in the 2012 Best Law Firms list.

Twelve Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers® for 2013

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is proud to announce that 12 of its attorneys have been named to the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers®, the "oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession."

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