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North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly’s short session will begin on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed bi-weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues...more

D.C. Circuit Affirms EPA’s Utility Air Toxics Rule: An “Appropriate” Rule Need Not Be Justified By Cost-Benefit Analysis

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s rule setting limits for emissions of mercury and other air toxics from fossil-fuel-fired electric steam generating units. The focus of the decision – and the issue...more

EPA, Army Corps Propose New Rule to Govern Federal Clean Water Act Jurisdiction

Intended to clarify confusion from prior US Supreme Court decisions, the rules could have far-reaching implications for many stakeholders. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of...more

EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

Court Hears Challenges To EPA’s 2013 RFS Rule

On April 7, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments in Monroe Energy, LLC v. EPA (No. 13-1265). In the case, Monroe Energy, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines, the American...more

Federal Agency Approvals Beyond the Scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

In the last month, two separate federal district courts have declined to extend the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712 (MBTA), to federal agency approvals of projects that plaintiffs alleged could...more

Obama Administration Releases Proposed Rule on "Waters of the United States"

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule that will impact many segments of the U.S. economy, greatly expanding future permitting requirements. The proposed rule...more

EPA and the Army Corps Propose Rules Expanding Clean Water Act Jurisdiction, Potentially Affecting Everyone Who Uses Lands Where...

On March 25, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) jointly released a long-awaited proposed rulemaking that would redefine the scope of their shared jurisdiction...more

CPUC Issues Decision to Protect Solar Customers for 20 Years

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently ruled to protect all existing solar, biogas and wind customers under their current net-energy metering (NEM) contracts for a 20-year grandfathering period. The...more

Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims

On March 25, 2014, in The Protect Our Communities Foundation et al. v. Jewell et al. , the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on a challenge to the Tule Wind Project and found in favor...more

Ministerial Might – ICAC Opens the Door for Increased Oversight of NSW Tenement Dealings

The New South Wales (NSW) Government has recently introduced the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW) (Bill) in the Legislative Assembly. The Bill proposes to amend the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) (Mining Act)...more

First Texas GHG Permit Upheld by EPA's Environmental Appeals Board

On March 14, 2014, the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) within EPA issued an order denying review of the first petition for review of a Texas greenhouse gas (GHG) prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit....more

Coal Companies, Don’t Look Behind; EPA May Be Gaining on You

As the lawyers among our readers know, the denial of a certiorari petition does not establish precedent. However, that doesn’t make it unimportant. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied cert. in Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. EPA. ...more

Decision on Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm

On March 14, 2014, in Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility et al. v. Beaudreu et al., the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision on multiple challenges to the Cape Wind Offshore Wind...more

Opacity Still Matters: Court of Appeals Affirms EPA’s NSPS for Particulate Matter

Last week, in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s 2012 New Source Performance Standards for particulate matter emissions from fossil-fuel-fired steam electric generating...more

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Authority to Amend the Renewable Fuel Standard

In this article: - Introduction - EPA’s Underlying Authority to Interpret the CAA - RFS Volume Mandate Reduction Authority under the CAA - Analysis of EPA’s Authority to Amend the RFS Regulatory...more

EPA Boiler Regulations Survive Challenge … For Now

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its ruling in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA yesterday. The court’s opinion upheld the EPA’s rules revising new source performance standards for steam generating...more

9th Circ. Reminds BOEM About The Importance Of Evidence

On Jan. 22, 2014, the Ninth Circuit held that the final environmental impact statement ("FEIS") and supplemental environmental impact statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of proposed leases for oil and gas development in...more

February Closes with Significant Activity Relating to EPA's Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Last week saw two developments regarding EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases. On February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. the Environmental Protection...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Landmark Case on Federal Greenhouse Gas Regulation

My colleague, Daniel Lee, followed oral argument yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court's consideration of federal greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, and provides this analysis...more

US Supreme Court considers EPA greenhouse gas emissions regulations

May the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industry under the Clean Air Act? The Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on this issue yesterday,...more

Obama’s Climate Change Strategy In Supreme Court’s Hands

Two years ago, the Supreme Court upheld the major domestic policy initiative of President Obama’s first term, ruling that the Affordable Care Act passed constitutional muster. This coming June, the Court will determine the...more

US Supreme Court Briefing of Greenhouse Gas Cases Completed — Oral Argument Scheduled for February 24, 2014

Briefing has just concluded in a matter before the US Supreme Court involving challenges to the suite of greenhouse gas (GHG) cases decided by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in June 2012. In...more

Cooperative Federalism Is Even Messier Than We Thought: 21 States Oppose the Chesapeake Bay TMDL

Last fall, the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania affirmed EPA’s TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay. As I noted at the time, Judge Rambo pointed to the sometimes “messy and cumbersome” nature of cooperative...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Environmental Document for Chukchi Sea Lease Sale Violates NEPA

On January 22, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Final Environmental Impact Statement ("FEIS") and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement ("SEIS") regarding the effects of...more

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