Michael Cooke

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Navigating Legal Implications of Power Industry Regulations

I participated in a Power Magazine legal issues conference on December 7th in Las Vegas entitled, “Navigating Legal Implications of Power Industry Regulations.”  My presentation focused on the “nuts and bolts” of  preparing a State Plan under section 111(d) of the CAA and on what utilities should be doing with respect to State Plans while … Continue Reading

Clean Water Rule: Confusion Rains Down

The Clean Water Rule, recently promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), continues to generate controversy, confusion and regulatory uncertainty.  Following decades of rulemakings and legal challenges over the scope of the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) jurisdiction, the Clean Water Rule is the most … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses and Remands MATS to D.C. Circuit for EPA Failure to Consider Costs

In a 5 to 4 split decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 29th, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) unreasonably interpreted the federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”) when EPA decided deemed that costs were irrelevant in deciding whether to regulate hazardous air emissions from electric utility sources under section 112 of … Continue Reading

Clean Water Act Jurisdiction under the Newly Issued Clean Water Rule

More than 40 years after Congress passed the landmark Clean Water Act, the jurisdictional reach of that statute remains a contentious legal and political issue. By prohibiting the discharge of pollutants to “navigable waters” without a permit, the Act expressly limits its protections to “navigable waters.” The statute defines “navigable waters” as “waters of the … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Dismisses Challenges to Proposed Clean Air Act Section 111(d) Rule

From Michael Cooke of GT Tampa The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has denied petitions to review the EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing electric generating sources.  See In re Murray Energy Corporation, No. 14-1112 (D.C. Cir. June 9, 2015).    The proposed the rule was issued under section 111(d) … Continue Reading

EPA Direct Final Rule Allows Rescission of Greenhouse Gas Only PSD/Title V Permits

On April 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a direct final rule that will allow the rescission of Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) permits issued by EPA or delegated state and local permitting authorities under Step 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule.  The rule, published at 80 Fed. … Continue Reading

EPA Decision Impacts Back-Up Generators

In a decision issued on May 1, the DC Circuit vacated a U.S. EPA rule that allowed backup generators to operate up to 100 hours/year without emission controls as part of so-called emergency power demand/response programs intended to address short-term capacity shortfalls in the electrical grid.  Delaware DNREC v. EPA, No. 13-1093, (D.C. Cir. May 1, 2015).  … Continue Reading

UN Releases Negotiating Text for December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement Meeting

On March 19, 2015, the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released negotiating text for a new climate change agreement that will be considered for adoption at the December 2015 meeting of the UNFCCC in Paris. The negotiating text provides alternative language, addressing issues such as mitigation, adaptation, finance, and … 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

U.S. Supreme Court To Consider Challenge to EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Decisions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court has granted six of the nine petitions for certiorari that had been filed by parties seeking review of E.P.A.’s greenhouse gas (“GHG”) decisions issued in late 2009 and early 2010. Those E.P.A. decisions led to stationary source permitting requirements for GHGs.  As reported previously, last year, in a unanimous opinion, … 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
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