Category Archives: Federal Regulation

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The intersection of the Clean Air Act and energy policy: EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants

In the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of the American Bar Association’s Trends, attorneys Michael Cooke and Christopher Bell co-author “The intersection of the Clean Air Act and energy policy: EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants”. Read more here.… Continue Reading

Permitting Implications of UARG Decision

Last week, EPA issued guidance to its Regional Administrators that addresses some of the questions raised by the decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group  v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 134 S.Ct. 2427 (U.S. June 23, 2014) (“UARG”).   As discussed in our posts of June 23rd and July 14th, that decision raised several issues that … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Releases Decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA — EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Permitting Authority is Limited

In a split decision, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday June 23rd that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) does not have authority under the federal Clean Air Act to require major source permits based solely on emissions of greenhouse gases.  Specifically, the Court said that the agency may not treat greenhouse gases … Continue Reading

EPA Releases its Proposed Rule to Cut Carbon Emissions at Existing Power Plants

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a draft rule that is intended to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.  EPA hopes to accomplish this through a state-focused strategy that is essentially an energy control rule than a traditional environmental pollution control effort.  EPA expects to finalize the rule by … Continue Reading

EPA Releases Cooling Water Intake Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized standards today that are designed to protect fish and other aquatic life drawn each year into cooling water systems at large power plants and factories.  The rule addresses impingement issues and heat damages that can be caused by cooling water intake structures at large industrial facilities and power plants. … Continue Reading

EPA Initiates Rulemaking On Reporting About Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids

From Chris Bell of GT Houston: EPA today published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment, by August 18, 2014, on a variety of options EPA is considering to collect and make available to the public information about chemicals used in oil and gas exploration and production, particularly those used in hydraulic fracturing.  79 … Continue Reading

NCA Final Draft Under Consideration

Today (May 6, 2014), a 60-person federal advisory committee (the “National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee”) will consider the final draft of the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA).  If the report is approved as expected today, the NCADAC  will submit the Assessment to the federal government for use in establishing ”federal science priorities” and … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Appeal Federal Court Order Allowing the State of Florida to Adopt Nutrient Standards For Its Waters — March 6, 2014

In a long-running controversy over nutrient standards for Florida waterways, five environmental groups filed a notice of appeal yesterday in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit challenging the order of U.S. district court Judge Hinkle.  Click here  for a copy of the notice of appeal.  Specifically, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the … Continue Reading

FTC Chops ‘Green’ Plastic Lumber Claims and Diaper Claims That Fail to ‘Pass the Smell Test’

Written by Justin J. Prochnow On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a revised version of its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims,” better known to many as the “Green Guides,”  which describe the types of environmental claims that the FTC may find deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act.  … Continue Reading

GT Air Update – Part II

By Adam Silverman. In part II of our Air Update we address the following recent developments related to the regulation of greenhouse gases: Massachusetts became the ninth—and most recent—state to adopt stricter air standards under the RGGI.  We wrote about New York’s adaptation earlier this year. European Parliament froze the number of pollution allowances in … Continue Reading

EPA’s January 2014 Section 316(b) Rulemaking to Require BAT for Cooling Water Intake Structures at Hundreds of Existing Manufacturing Facilities and Power Plants

From Marc Davies of Greenberg Traurig Philadelphia: On January 14, 2014, EPA will unveil BAT requirements related to cooling water towers that will impact manufacturing operations across the country.  Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act requires that the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures reflect the best technology available for … Continue Reading

GT Air Update – Part I

By Adam Silverman Several recent developments in air regulations are likely to impact regional, national and international air pollution policy.  In part I of our Air Update we address several Clean Air Act topics: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issues two important Clean Air Act opinions, one clarifying a recent decision to uphold revisions … Continue Reading

OSHA Proposed Rule for Crystalline Silica

from Frank Citera of Greenberg Traurig Chicago  OSHA is currently accepting comments on a proposed rule that would significantly tighten the exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica across all industry sectors to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air on a time-weighted average. If adopted, that change would reduce the exposure limit by roughly half for general … Continue Reading

Construction Products and Environmental Marketing Claims

Many construction materials are marketed with claims of environmental friendliness or energy efficiency.  Many people may be familiar with the term “greenwashing,” but not everyone is familiar with the fact that the Federal Trade Commission has been regulating environmental marketing claims since the early 1990s.  More surprising may be the fact that the FTC’s regulatory … Continue Reading

Climate Change Adaptation Update: Executive Order and Draft EPA Implementation Plans

Further to my recent column and post on this blog about the less controversial adaptation side of responding to climate change, the federal government took two actions today: President Obama issued an Executive Order on “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change” that directs executive agencies to have plans for taking adaptation and … Continue Reading

EPA Promulgates TSCA Significant New Use Rule For Perfluorinated Chemicals – And Limits Its Applicability To “Articles”

From Chris Bell of GT Houston: EPA last week published a significant new use rule (“SNUR”) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) that requires prior notification to EPA before a company may newly manufacture (including import) or process certain perfluorinated chemicals historically used in the manufacture and treatment of carpets.  78 Fed. Reg. 62443 … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes NSPS for Power Plants

On Sept. 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new proposal for carbon pollution from new power plants. EPA is proposing to set separate standards for natural gas-fired turbines and coal-fired units. The proposed limits for new coal-fired power plants are based on the assumption that carbon capture and sequestration (“CCS”) can be applied … Continue Reading

One Step Forward, One Step Back – NY Moves Forward on Its Environmental Self-Audit Policy as EPA Looks to Retreat

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently proposed an environmental “audit incentive” policy, which is similar to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) long standing self-audit policy. In its draft policy, DEC encourages participation by waiving or reducing penalties for environmental violations that regulated entities discover through an environmental audit, and expeditiously report … Continue Reading

Is EPA Playing Chicken With Clean Air Act?

In this week’s Pennsylvania Law Weekly and Legal Intelligencer, I write about the motivations behind EPA’s potential delay of issuing a final rule that would limit carbon emissions from new power plants.  The agency appears to be playing a high stakes game of political chicken that could provoke congress to pass standalone cap-and-trade legislation.  Read Is EPA Playing Chicken With … Continue Reading

Lozman v. Riviera Beach: When is a floating structure a “vessel”?

This week, the Supreme Court decided Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, No. 11-626 (U.S. Jan. 15, 2013), holding that a floating house is not a “vessel” subject to federal admiralty jurisdiction.  That ruling resolves a split in the circuits with implications for regulation of and litigation involving casinos, hotels, restaurants, and similar structures. Kerri … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Announces Final Green Guides

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously voted last week to finalize revisions to its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,” also known as the “Green Guides.” This culminates a five-year regulatory process by the FTC that has included consumer perception surveys, workshops and public comment. The Green Guides as revised are effective immediately.… Continue Reading

EPA Petitions for En Banc Rehearing of Decision that Overturned CSAPR

From Michael Cooke of GT Tampa: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a petition seeking en banc review of the August 21, 2012, decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that vacated EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”). (We posted the court’s opinion on August … Continue Reading
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