Seth Jaffe

Seth Jaffe

Foley Hoag LLP

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EPA and DOJ Cannot Sugarcoat This: SCOTUS Stays the Clean Power Plan

On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court stayed EPA’s Clean Power Plan rule. No matter how much EPA and DOJ proclaim that this says nothing about the ultimate results on the merits, the CPP is on very shaky ground at this...more

2/10/2016 - Clean Power Plan DOJ EPA Judicial Review Order to Stay SCOTUS

Good Law Catches Up With Good Policy: The Supreme Court Upholds FERC’s Demand Response Order

The Supreme Court today affirmed FERC’s Order No. 745, which required that demand response resources be treated the same as generation resources when participating in wholesale electricity markets. I’m feeling vindicated,...more

1/26/2016 - Demand Response Electricity Energy Market Energy Policy FERC SCOTUS Wholesale

The Mercury Rule Lives To Fight Another Day: Vacatur Is Very Much Out of Fashion

On December 15, 2015, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to vacate EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The decision was not a surprise. As I noted earlier this fall, there is a definitely trend towards refusing...more

12/16/2015 - Cost-Benefit Analysis Environmental Litigation EPA MATS SCOTUS Vacatur

Determining An Intent To Dispose Under CERCLA Remains a Puzzlement

Determining when a person has “arranged” for the disposal of a hazardous substance has long been difficult. The Supreme Court brought some clarity to the issue in Burlington Northern, when it said that...more

12/11/2015 - Burlington Northern CERCLA EPA Hazardous Waste Intent PCBs SCOTUS Superfund

MATS, Take Two: EPA Still Supports the Rule (And EPA Is Correct)

Late last week, EPA issued a Supplemental Finding, concluding that it is still “appropriate and necessary” to regulate hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired electric generating units. The Supplemental Finding was...more

11/25/2015 - Coal Cost-Benefit Analysis EPA MATS Michigan v. EPA Oil & Gas SCOTUS

The Sixth Circuit Stays the Waters of the United States Rule: Just a Plain Vanilla Preliminary Injunction — Not!

On October 9, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a nationwide stay against implementation of the “Waters of the United States” rule. The case is so weird, in so many ways, that I don’t even think I can count...more

10/12/2015 - Case Consolidation EPA Jurisdiction Nexus Order to Stay Preliminary Injunctions Rapanos v US SCOTUS US Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the United States

Pre-enforcement Review? Not Enough. How About Pre-issuance Review?

In Sackett, the Supreme Court ruled that EPA could not issue enforcement orders under the Clean Water Act without allowing the subjects of the order the right to bring a pre-enforcement challenge to such orders under the...more

10/8/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act CERCLA Clean Air Act Clean Water Act Deprivation of Property Due Process Enforcement Actions EPA Penalties Sackett SCOTUS

Can the Majority and the Dissent Both Be Wrong? The Supreme Court Remands the MATS Rule

The short answer is, yes, though the majority is more wrong. In fact, the issue in Michigan v. EPA seems so simple that the MATS rule could have been affirmed in a two-page opinion. Judge Scalia notes that the word...more

6/30/2015 - Chevron Deference Clean Air Act EPA MATS Michigan v. EPA SCOTUS

News Flash: Courts Still Defer to an Agency’s Interpretation of Its Own Rules

The Supreme Court today ruled that, when an agency revises its interpretive rules, it need not go through notice-and-comment rulemaking. Although the decision, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, required the court to...more

3/10/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act DOL FLSA Mortgage Loan Originators Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine Perez v Mortage Bankers Assoc Rulemaking Process SCOTUS Statutory Interpretation

FERC Will Seek Supreme Court Review of the Decision Striking Down Order 745

Last Friday, FERC sought a further stay of the decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down FERC Order 745. Whereas the United States had previously only indicated that it was considering filing a cert....more

12/12/2014 - Chevron Deference FERC SCOTUS

More on the Reach of Sackett: Corps Jurisdictional Determinations Are Not Final Agency Action

Early last month, we noted that the decision in Luminant v. EPA suggested that the reach of the Supreme Court decision in Sackett is not unlimited. The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit agrees. In Belle Company v. Corps of...more

8/5/2014 - Appeals EPA Judicial Review Sackett SCOTUS Subject Matter Jurisdiction US Army Corps of Engineers

The Reach of Sackett is Not Infinite: Regulated Facilities May Not Challenge EPA Notices of Violation

After the Supreme Court held in Sackett v. EPA that EPA must provide hearings to those to whom it issues unilateral administrative orders, the regulated community immediately began to wonder how broadly the ruling would...more

7/10/2014 - Administrative Hearings EPA Notice of Violation Sackett SCOTUS

83% of a Loaf Is Better Than None: The Supreme Court Affirms EPA’s Authority to Regulate “Anyway Sources”, But Rejects Regulation...

The Supreme Court affirmed EPA’s authority to subject 83% of greenhouse gas emissions to its PSD and Title V Operating Permit programs. However, EPA’s rationale for the rule did not fare so well, and EPA does not have...more

6/25/2014 - BACT Clean Air Act Climate Change Environmental Policies EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permits Power Plants SCOTUS Title V Utilities Sector Utility Air Regulatory Group v EPA

The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth — And the Supreme Court Says EPA Therefore Has Discretion in Regulating Wind-Borne Pollution

The Supreme Court today reversed the D.C. Circuit and affirmed EPA’s Transport Rule (known more formally as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule). Whatever the hopes and dreams of the upwind states and the industry opponents,...more

4/30/2014 - Clean Air Act EPA SCOTUS Transport Rule

What Do Midwestern States Have In Common With Groucho Marx? Ask Them Whether They Want to Be Part of the Ozone Transport Region

As the Supreme Court gets ready to consider the validity of EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, some of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are taking another tack to address at least part of the air pollution...more

12/10/2013 - Air Pollution EPA SCOTUS

The Third Circuit Reinstates Nuisance Claims Against Cheswick Generating: Bad Idea

On Wednesday, in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals revived class action nuisance claims brought by residential property owners living within one mile of GenOn’s Cheswick Generating Station....more

8/23/2013 - Clean Air Act Environmental Policies EPA Nuisance SCOTUS

The Problem with the Supreme Court’s Regulatory Takings Jurisprudence? It Doesn’t Require a Taking

The Supreme Court ruled today, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, that a property owner who is denied a land use permit on the ground that he refused to pay money to compensate for the harm to be caused...more

6/26/2013 - Dolan v City of Tigard Fifth Amendment Koontz v St John's River Water Management Land Developers Loss Mitigation Nexus Nollan v California Coastal Commission Permits Rough Proportionality Test SCOTUS Takings

The Supreme Court Agrees to Review the CSAPR Decision: Might EPA Avoid Version 3 of the Transport Rule?

On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in EPA v. EME Homer City, the challenge to EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, or CSAPR. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had struck down the rule,...more

6/25/2013 - Air Pollution Certiorari Cross-State Air Pollution EPA EPA v EME Homer City SCOTUS

When Is An Arranger Not An Arranger? When It Sells Some Good Stuff Along With The Junk

As Superfund lawyers know, the Supreme Court decision in Burlington Northern required proof of an intent to dispose hazardous substances as a prerequisite to imposition of arranger liability. While lower courts have often...more

6/20/2013 - Arranger Liability CERCLA Environmental Liability Hazardous Substances SCOTUS Superfund

City of Arlington v. FCC: Did the Supreme Court Just Expand the Scope of Chevron Deference? No.

On Monday, in City of Arlington v. FCC, the Supreme Court made clear that agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes are entitled to deference even where they involve questions relating to the scope of an agency’s authority...more

5/26/2013 - Administrative Authority Chevron City of Arlington v FCC EPA FCC SCOTUS

Not a Good Week for Private Climate Change Litigation: The Supreme Court Denies Review in Kivalina

It has not been a good run for plaintiffs in private climate change litigation. As we noted last week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal in Comer v. Murphy Oil. Now, on Monday, the Supreme Court denied...more

5/23/2013 - Climate Change SCOTUS

Logging Road Runoff Does Not Require an NPDES Permit: The Supreme Court (For Now) Defers to EPA’s Interpretation of Its Own...

Yesterday, in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, the Supreme Court ruled that runoff from logging roads does not constitute a discharge from a point source that requires an NPDES permit. The decision upholds...more

3/21/2013 - Discharge of Pollutants EPA Logging NPDES SCOTUS

Dog Bites Man: Supreme Court Edition

In a curious, but unsurprising, decision yesterday, in Los Angeles County Flood Control District v. NRDC, the Supreme Court held that the flow of water containing pollutants from part of a river that has been culverted into a...more

1/9/2013 - Clean Water Act Discharge of Pollutants NRDC SCOTUS

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