Air Pollution

News & Analysis as of

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Army Corps Drops Regional Permit - The Army Corps has announced that it has abandoned the idea of establishing a regional general permit for the New England states. The proposal would have replaced the individual...more

Fall 2014 CEQA Roundup: Legislative and Regulatory Developments

A number of recent legislative and regulatory developments in or related to CEQA will impact public agencies, developers, and practitioners in the coming year. Some significant recent developments include: SB 743...more

Exemptions for Excess Emissions During Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Are In Jeopardy – What Can You Do?

For many years, a number of state air regulations, including certain MEDEP, NHDES, and RIDEM regulations, have contained exemptions and/or affirmative defenses for excess air emissions occurring during startup, shutdown...more

China’s Pollution Woes Trigger a New Environment for Manufacturers in China

The most modern of manufacturing operations can exist nearby the most backward. Thousands of quality assurance, hygiene, energy conservation and other regulatory standards are in place, but access to, enforcement and...more

MN PUC Affirms Path of Contentious Litigation for Externalities Value Determination

The MN PUC held a hearing on September 4, 2014, to address the impending investigation of social costs of pollutants under Minn. Stat. § 216B.2422 subd. 3 (known as externalities values). First established in the late 1990s,...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2014

Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition, et al. v. Donna Norris, et al. - Why it matters: With land use issues and development projects increasingly the subject of local ballot initiatives, it is imperative...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

New Wave of State Law Air Pollution Torts?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Bell v. Cheswick could pave the way for more state common law air pollution tort suits and greater exposure for emitters. A new wave of state common law air pollution...more

EPA Is Holding Flare Users’ Feet To The Fire

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned industry using flaring for pollution control that it is targeting flaring violations nationwide to reduce the release of hazardous air pollutants. Originally...more

The Fifth Circuit holds it lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear petitions for review of Clean Air Act notices of violation

“Final actions” of the EPA under the Clean Air Act are subject to direct review by a United States Court of Appeals. 42 U.S.C. § 7607(b)(1). In a decision issued on July 3, 2014, in Luminant Generation Company, LLC v....more

Boiler Owners Must Submit Notification to EPA by July 19, 2014

In December 2012, the U.S. EPA finalized changes to its National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Source Boilers at 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ. Under this regulation, owners or operators of...more

LNG As A Marine Fuel – The Speed Of Change

“When I was asked if I might speak about the use of LNG as fuel for ships, two thoughts came to mind. Firstly, the old Latin maxim: volenti non fit injuria. Or in my vernacular: “well, you asked for...more

Ground Control to Major Tom: Appeals Court Shuts Down CEQA Challenge to San Jose Airport Master Plan

In Citizens Against Airport Pollution v. City of San Jose, No. H038781 (Cal. Ct. App. 6th Dist., June 6, 2014), Citizens Against Airport Pollution (“CAAP”) appealed the trial court’s ruling that the City of San Jose’s...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jun 2014 #2

Nevada Supreme Court Holds That Absolute Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Suit - Why it matters: In answering certified questions from the Ninth Circuit, Nevada joined...more

DC Circuit Strikes Down EPA “Aggregation” Policy for Regions Outside the Sixth Circuit

On May 30, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit nullified an EPA Directive that attempted to reassert its “functional interrelationship” standard for aggregating air pollution sources. This EPA...more

What's a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County) review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California...more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows to Stand Ruling That Sources of Air Pollutants are Subject to State Common Law Tort Claims

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowing state common law tort claims against sources of air pollutants. This spells uncertainty...more

EPA May Be Regulating GHGs, But Private Litigation Still Looks to be On Shaky Ground

In a case of interesting timing, three days after EPA announced its proposed GHG rules for existing facilities, the D.C. Circuit affirmed dismissal of a case seeking an injunction against EPA and other federal defendants...more

House Subcommittee To Review EPA Emissions Plan

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power announced that it will hold a hearing to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power...more

EPA Proposes Unprecedented Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program

We analyze EPA’s novel proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants as it will shape its regulation of other industry sectors. On June 2, 2014, EPA released its long-anticipated proposal to...more

EPA Approves Maricopa County’s Five Percent Dust Plan

On May 30, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Maricopa County’s proposed plan to meet federal air quality standards for particulate matter measuring ten microns or less (i.e., dust), known...more

Air Quality Law Alert: EPA Unveils Sweeping New CO2 Rules

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced two new rules that will ultimately result in the application of carbon dioxide (CO2) standards to existing power plants. The first rule was proposed under Section 111(d) of...more

EPA proposes carbon goals for power plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed its plan to reduce carbon emissions from the nation's power plants by 30% below 2005 levels. Formally known as "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing...more

D.C. Circuit Defers to US Environmental Protection Agency's Decision to Retain Existing Acid Rain Standards In Light of Scientific...

On May 27, 2014 the D.C. Circuit upheld the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to retain its existing air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) which address the...more

EPA’s Next Generation Compliance Initiative – The Agency’s Latest Proposed Rule for Refineries Shows the Initiative in Action and...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a proposed rule that illustrates several of the agency’s Next Generation Compliance ideas in action. The proposed rule concerns hazardous air pollutant (HAP)...more

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