Tag Archives: clean air act

EPA’s Final Risk Management Program Reconsideration Rule More In-Step with OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standards

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

In Minnesota, More Little Red Corvettes May Soon be Electric

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

United States Indicts Facility Owner Under Clean Air Act General Duty Clause

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

EPA Announces New Owner Audit Program Agreement for Oil & Natural Gas Exploration and Production Facilities

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

EPA Approves Renewable Fuels Produced from Sorghum Oil; Provides Additional Source of Revenue for Farmers in Wake of Chinese Tariffs

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

D.C. Circuit Issues Stay of the EPA’s Latest Effort To Ease Clean Air Act Requirements

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

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

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

Environmental Policy as Part of Integrated Overall Policy

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

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

Lessons from the Supreme Court’s Cross-State Air Pollution Decision

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

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

Climate Change Adaptation

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

Massachusetts High Court Limits the Scope of Article 97

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

Greenhouse Gas Regulations Upheld

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). … Continue Reading
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