Environmental Committee Newsletter - September 2019


In This Issue

Business & Corporate

News from the Chair

Welcome to the Business Law Section (“Section”) Environmental Committee Newsletter, September 2019. It has been my pleasure serving as the Environmental Committee Chair for the past two years, a period of tumultuous transition in environmental law. Our committee, holding fast at about 270 members, has historically focused on providing education and insight to our Section members regarding developing environmental issues that appear to present significant business risks with deliverables that are practical and efficient, so as to arm our Section members with the most useful information in the most digestible form.

Business & Corporate

Adapting Business for Climate Change Risk

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston/Crosby area on August 24, 2017, with a record 39 inches of precipitation over the following six-day period, and 17.54 inches on August 27, 2017 alone. Throughout the storm, the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center received 102 reports of releases of oil or hazardous chemicals. These releases are reported to the NRC where they are not otherwise authorized by permit, thus potentially constituting permit violations, as well as statutory and regulation violations, and possibly also facts that could potentially support claims of negligence, nuisance and trespass. If the facts point to reckless disregard, criminal claims may result.

Business & Corporate

Business Resilience in a Time of Climate Change

The public is taking notice of the manifest evidence of climate change. From “rain bombs” to sea level rise to “sunny day flooding,” the fact of climate change is inescapable, regardless of disputes in some quarters as to its cause. Adverse effects are felt not just in coastal areas. Wildfires spawned by droughts and high temperatures threaten large swaths of the United States, and more intense storms forming over ever-warmer waterbodies lead to inland flooding.