In 2016, the incoming Trump Administration stated its intention to reduce substantially federal environmental regulation. The president issued executive orders requiring two rule repeals for each new rule and directing the reorganization of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He also carried through on promises to announce the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords … Continue Reading
On July 30, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) unveiled the “The Environmental Justice for All Act.” The bill proposes a finding that communities of color, low-income communities, tribal communities, and other vulnerable populations, such as children, elderly, and persons with disabilities, are disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards. The premise … Continue Reading
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a final rule rescinding major amendments to the Clean Air Act §112(r) Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations that were promulgated at the end of the Obama Administration in 2017. The 2017 revisions were promulgated partially in response to a 2013 explosion at a fertilizer company in West Texas, which … Continue Reading
On Sept. 25, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz asked the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to initiate the process to establish a Clean Cars Minnesota Rule, which would set both a low-emission vehicle (LEV) standard and a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard. Next month, the MPCA will begin its rulemaking process, with a goal of adopting a … Continue Reading
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to increase its enforcement role in industrial accidents, at times overshadowing the role traditionally played by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). EPA often takes tougher enforcement actions than OSHA and is more willing to bring criminal charges. This trend is reflected in a recent case affirming … Continue Reading
On March 29, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency issued its final Oil & Natural Gas Exploration and Production Facilities New Owner Audit Program Agreement (Oil & Gas New Owner Audit Policy, or Policy). This voluntary program provides total civil penalty mitigation for qualified new owners of upstream oil and natural gas well sites (including associated … Continue Reading
At a nationally-televised news conference July 24, 2018, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the approval of biofuels derived from sorghum oil as “advanced” renewable fuels under the Clean Air Act’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. See Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Grain Sorghum Oil Pathway (Sorghum Rule) (July 24, 2018, pre-publication version). Wheeler called the … Continue Reading
On July 18, 2018, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) ordered a stay of a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action that would allow manufacturers to continue to produce trucks with engines that do not comply with the agency’s Clean Air Act caps. In so ruling, … Continue Reading
Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced Senate Bill 203, titled the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017. The RPM Act would amend the Clean Air Act to clarify that it is legal to modify a road-going automobile into a racecar used exclusively on racetracks regardless of whether the car thereafter … Continue Reading
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
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
Environmental quality is important, but it is just one set of the objectives of public policy. Is it possible to think about the incentives set by environmental regulatory decisions and the outcomes they induce as part of a more integrated policy? Perhaps not. Consider Michigan v. EPA, No. 14-46 (U.S. Nov. 25, 2014). Last month, … Continue Reading
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
As Michael Cooke noted in his post the following day, on June 3 EPA proposed its “Clean Power Plan” that EPA estimates would, if adopted and implemented, cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing electricity generating units by 30% from 2005 levels. 79 Fed. Reg. 34,829 (June 18, 2014). A few weeks later, as Mike again … Continue Reading
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
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
On April 29, the Supreme Court revived EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in Environmental Protection Agency v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014). That set of rules would have imposed budgets on air emissions by sources in upwind states in order to implement the “Good Neighbor” provision, section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the Clean … Continue Reading
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
A lot of the climate change news recently — and I note it below — has focused on climate change “mitigation.” Mitigation is steps that might be taken to slow or to avoid changes in the climate. Of course, that first requires an identification of causes of climate change. That runs into an ideological dispute … Continue Reading
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently held that the redevelopment of land taken for urban renewal is not subject to legislative approval under Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. This constitutional provision mandates that any disposition or change in use of lands held for certain public purposes must first be approved by a two-thirds … Continue Reading
Michael Cooke has prepared a more in-depth analysis of Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit's June 26 opinion upholding EPA's greenhouse gas emission regulations.
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The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion this morning upholding EPA's greenhouse gas regulations. Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 09-1322 (D.C. Cir. June 26, 2012).
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In this month's weekly column, I discuss two recent Western District of Pennsylvania cases and the recurring issues related to the enforcement of the Clean Air Act's prevention of significant deterioration and new source review programs.
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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued draft technical guidance on how to aggregate air emission sources in the oil and gas business under the Clean Air Act and the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act.
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