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New Oregon “Stay in Place” Order Permits Construction Industry Work Under Distancing Policies

On Monday, March 23rd, Governor Kate Brown issued a new executive order for the state, further limiting personal interactions. It appears that construction industry businesses are not subject to the order so long as the business designates “an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing polices.” The executive order is available here. … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Push for New Rules Restricting Emissions From Indirect Sources

Environmental activist groups recently petitioned the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission (the “EQC”) to enact far-reaching rules that would regulate air emissions from so-called indirect sources in cities and metropolitan districts with populations of 50,000 or more. The petition identifies an indirect source as any facility, building, structure, or installation that attracts mobile sources (vehicles), and … Continue Reading

Washington Employees Can Waive Their Meal Breaks

This article was originally published as one of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn’s News You Can Use e-flashes, our occasional e-mail newsletter focusing on the latest developments in employment law and labor relations. From The Ground Up editor George Kaai felt that this information would be useful to those in the development industry. If you are interested … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Seek to Kill “Zombie Permits”

Environmental groups recently sued the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) over its alleged failure to renew permits in a timely manner. Most permits issued by DEQ under the Clean Water Act have an initial term of five years. According to the complaint, at least 75 percent of all such permits in Oregon have exceeded … Continue Reading

Chapter 2: Ending “Drive-By” Lawsuits Under the ADA

We wrote about the plans to amend the Americans With Disabilities Act on January 31, 2017, to deal with so-called drive-by lawsuits claiming that there are illegal physical barriers to access. Now we have the language in the proposed bill, HR 620. This differs from the bill that was submitted in Congress in 2015 in ways … Continue Reading

Ending “Drive-By” Lawsuits Under the ADA

Businesses are required to comply with the obligations under Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”)—there cannot be discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation. When a plaintiff prevails in an ADA lawsuit, the court … Continue Reading

Employment Law Issues for the Development Industry (June Update)

As mentioned in my April post, I plan to capture and consolidate employment law articles written by my colleagues on employment issues pertinent to the development industry. Below are three recent articles that you might find useful to your business, ranging from the new FLSA overtime rules to OSHA’s final rule on tracking workplace injuries.… Continue Reading

Employment Law Issues for the Development Industry

Recently, several of my colleagues have written articles on employment law issues, ranging from best hiring practices to Oregon’s new minimum-wage laws. Since employment issues are prevalent in all industries, including development, it dawned on me that I should capture and consolidate a few of these resources from time to time and share them on … Continue Reading

Heading Into Muddied Waters

August 28, 2015, was the effective date of a new regulation that many argue expands permitting requirements for project development and other activities near or in waterbodies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) rewrote the definition of “Waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the federal Clean Water Act … Continue Reading

EPA Adopts Clean Power Plan

Earlier this week, the EPA adopted rules under the Clean Air Act intended to ensure that by 2030, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants will be 32 percent below 2005 levels. The rule establishes emission performance rates for fossil-fuel-fired electric steam-generating units and natural-gas-fired combined-cycle generating units and sets state-specific CO2 goals based on the … Continue Reading

Citizens Continue to Focus on the Columbia Slough Watershed

The Columbia Slough Watershed is a place in which environmental citizen groups continue to find violations of the Clean Water Act (the “CWA”). The filing of two recent cases in the federal district court for the District of Oregon by the Columbia Riverkeeper exemplifies these efforts. See Columbia Riverkeeper v. American Recyclers LLC, No. 3:14 cv … Continue Reading

Court Allows Claims of Atmosphere as a Public Trust Resource: Demands for Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Does Oregon’s public trust doctrine extend to the atmosphere? In Chernaik v. Kitzhaber, the Oregon Court of Appeals directed a Lane County circuit court to decide that question. The circuit court had concluded that it did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to make that determination or to direct the state to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as … Continue Reading

Washington Court Clarifies an Insurer’s Duty to Defend under MTCA

For 20 years now, Washington law has required an insurance company to indemnify an insured for historic environmental contamination under general liability policies, even in the absence of an overt, threatened action by a regulatory agency. Weyerhaeuser Co. v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 123 Wn.2d 891, 896-97, 874 P.2d 142 (1994). Earlier in June of … Continue Reading

Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014

The long-awaited federal water resources authorization bill is likely on its way to becoming law. The bill authorizes work carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”), ranging from navigation to flood control. As of May 22, 2014, both the House and Senate have approved the Conference Report. See here for more information. This … Continue Reading