Air Pollution

News & Analysis as of

EPA Issues Final Amendments to Cement Kiln NESHAP

Effective July 27, 2015, EPA amended key components of the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for new and existing portland cement kilns. The changes, in part, were necessary to comply with a...more

EPA Finalizes Significant Changes to the Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration’s landmark effort to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants...more

Supreme Court Tells EPA Cost Does Matter

The Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) placed national limits on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. The agency projected MATS to prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700...more

President Obama Implements Sweeping New Rules to Control Climate Change

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) utilized executive action to call for a major societal shift on climate change policy. The new rules, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, are intended...more

CPP Sets First National Standards Limiting Power Plants' Carbon Pollution

President Obama unveiled the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) rule on Aug. 3, 2015, which sets forth a historic and ambitious regulation for cutting greenhouse-gas pollution. The CPP establishes the first-ever national standards...more

EPA Finalizes Carbon Pollution Emissions Standards for Power Plants

Today EPA released its final Clean Power Plan, its first-ever regulations aimed at reducing carbon pollution from electric power plants. The final rule contains several significant changes from the proposed rule that was...more

Top 6 at 6 - Climate Change Legal Highlights of the First Six Months of 2015

Some might say that the Clean Power Plan is all one needs to talk about in any highlights article on recent climate change legal issues. When final the CPP will expand the scope of the Clean Air Act profoundly, impact the...more

A breath of fresh air for our cities?

A working group chaired by Stéphane Illouz, partner in Reed Smith’s real estate and environment department in Paris, in partnership with French think tank La Fabrique Ecologique, has published a report on the subject of air...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

Penn Study Unlikely to Result in Flood of Fracking Lawsuits

A recently released study from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for gas and oil and cardiac and neurological illnesses. Whether the report triggers a rash...more

EPA Oil and Gas GHG and Source Aggregation Rules Coming Soon

Soon the Environmental Protection Agency will propose greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for the oil and gas industry sector. The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has begun formal review of an EPA proposal to cut...more

Supreme Court Rejects EPA Mercury Emissions Rule

On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court cast serious doubt upon the future of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”) by finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) failed to adequately consider the costs of...more

Environmental Protection Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (2015 Draft)

June 10, 2015 marked the day that the Chinese government released a new draft law for public comment. China’s increased awareness of the long lasting effects of pollution on the country’s land, water, and people is reflected...more

MATS attack: Supreme Court reversal of EPA's Air Toxics Rule signals difficulties ahead

On June 29, 2015, the US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, reversed and remanded to the DC Circuit EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule (MATS). Michigan v. EPA, No. 14-46. MATS is a signature regulation of the Obama...more

Air Quality Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Blocks EPA Coal Plant Air Toxics Standards

Earlier today the US Supreme Court issued a 5 to 4 decision in Michigan v. EPA that struck down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule. The MATS rule imposes stringent...more

US Supreme Court Nixes EPA Regulations on Mercury Emissions – Must Consider Costs Early!

In Michigan v. EPA, the U. S. Supreme Court invalidated EPA’s rules limiting emissions of mercury and other pollutants from power plants, ruling that EPA inappropriately ignored the costs of regulation – particularly...more

Supreme Court: EPA Must Consider Cost Of Implementing Regulations

In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the EPA acted unreasonably when it refused to consider the cost of implementing its Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). The MATS rule, issued in 2012,...more

New York Finalizes Updates to Regulation of Hazardous Air Pollutants

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) recently finalized amendments to several regulations primarily concerning hazardous air pollutants. NYSDEC repealed and replaced 6 NYCRR Part 212, Process...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - June 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: Offshore oil drilling banned along new stretch of California coast - San Jose Mercury News - Jun 10: In the largest expansion of national marine sanctuaries in California in 23 years, the...more

California Once Again Leads Subnational Climate Change Agenda

Yesterday, California Governor Brown took another step down the road of long-term climate change regulation. Along with 11 other signatories, he signed a first-of-its-kind agreement with leaders from other international...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Strikes Class Allegations in Air Pollution Suit

Underscoring the requirement that class action plaintiffs clearly and objectively define the putative class without reference to the underlying merits of plaintiffs’ claims, a federal district court in Pennsylvania struck...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - April 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus:Governor Brown issues executive order requiring statewide mandatory water restrictions - Allen Matkins - Apr 3: Responding to severely depleted water supplies and a record low snowpack at...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - EPA emissions rules face Supreme Court test: NPR - Mar 25: On April 1, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Obama Administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and...more

California Legislature Debating 2015 Climate Leadership Legislation

During his fourth inaugural address just three months ago, California Governor Jerry Brown announced an ambitious new plan to address the impacts of climate change in California over the next 15 years. The groundbreaking plan...more

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