The Biden administration continues to make many major environmental policy actions aimed at climate change, enforcement, and several other issues. GT continues to track these changes in key areas on
Continue Reading TRANSITION THOUGHTS: How Will President Biden’s Elevation of Environmental Justice Within the EPA Affect Your Permitted Facility or Redevelopment Project?

The incoming Biden Administration intends to take many major environmental policy actions   aimed at climate change, enforcement, environmental justice, and several other issues, many of which entail reversing actions taken
Continue Reading TRANSITION THOUGHTS: What Clean Air Act Permittees Should Track in the Biden Administration

The ongoing battle over Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) – environmentally-beneficial, beyond-compliance projects that defendants agree to undertake for potential penalty mitigation in settlement of environmental enforcement actions – heated up
Continue Reading New Lawsuit Challenges DOJ Policy Prohibiting SEPs

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


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

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 final rule by December 2020. If implemented, Minnesota would join 14 states with an LEV standard, 11 of which also have a ZEV standard.

The Minnesota plan is modeled after California LEV and ZEV standards. California has a nearly 50-year-old waiver under the Clean Air Act permitting the state to set stricter emission standards. After indications that the federal government would publish a rule revoking the waiver, California, joined by 22 other states, including Minnesota, and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce states’ rights to set emission standards more stringent than those imposed by the federal government. The lawsuit presents novel questions under the Clean Air Act including whether a waiver can be revoked, and if so, under what circumstances. Any final rule in Minnesota will be contingent on states retaining the right to adopt more restrictive measures, including through the operative waiver under Sections 209(b) and 177 of the Clean Air Act.   
Continue Reading In Minnesota, More Little Red Corvettes May Soon be Electric

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).
Continue Reading United States Indicts Facility Owner Under Clean Air Act General Duty Clause

On Sept. 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army followed through on an early Trump administration promise to repeal a 2015 jurisdictional rule defining the scope of the government’s authority under the Clean Water Act. See Definition of “Waters of the United States”—Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules (pre-publication version).

Dubbed the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, the Obama-era regulation spawned a tide of litigation, in federal trial and appellate courts, challenging the WOTUS rule as an unlawful attempt by the EPA and the Corps of Engineers to increase the numbers and kinds of waters subject to permitting requirements. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately weighed in, saying that challenges to the WOTUS rule belong in the federal districts courts, not the U.S. courts of appeals. National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense, __ U.S. __, 138 S.Ct. 617 (2018).
Continue Reading Government Repeals Obama-Era Waters of the U.S. Rule: Major Supreme Court Decision to Come, but ‘Regulatory Patchwork’ Remains