Air Pollution Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

Air Program Malfunction Exemption Nixed, But Not Agency Discretion

Virginia’s State Air Pollution Control Board (“Board”) recently amended its regulations to remove the long-standing malfunction exemption available to regulated sources of air pollution for violations of emission limits and...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

Environmental Groups Sue Over Aircraft Emissions Rulemaking

The Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) seeking to compel the Agency to issue regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions...more

EPA Continues to Dismantle Clean Air Act Affirmative Defenses — Blame It On the Judge(s)

On Wednesday, EPA published certain amendments to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in the Federal Register. EPA describes most of the changes as “technical corrections,” but there is one important substantive change. ...more

EPA Solicits Comments on Next Steps Toward Designating Regions Needing Stricter Controls of Sulfur Dioxide Air Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment by March 31, 2016, on its intention to designate previously uncharacterized areas of the country with particularly large sources of sulfur dioxide (SO2)...more

The Fight to Stop the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” Continues in the D.C. Circuit, Amid an Uncertain Future for Its Presumed Ultimate...

On February 19, 2016, 27 states, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and over 150 different organizations and entities (the “Petitioners”) filed their joint Opening Brief on Core Legal Issues (the “Opening Brief”), related...more

Proposed Rule Adding Vapor Intrusion Component to Hazard Ranking System Published in the Federal Register Today

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed rule in the Federal Register which would add a vapor intrusion component to the Hazard Ranking System, the system EPA uses to evaluate sites for...more

High Court Grants Stay of Clean Power Plan

On February 9, 2016, in an historic and unprecedented decision, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) from implementing the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”) while the rule is challenged in...more

Perhaps the Clean Air Act Really Doesn’t Preempt State Common Law Remedies

This week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held, in Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, that the Clean Air Act does not preempt source state common law remedies seeking to control air pollution – even where the defendant is...more

EPA Issues Final Residual Risk Rule for Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued substantial new regulations to control hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from petroleum refineries. The final rule arises from the “residual...more

EPA Finalizes Tougher Ozone Standards

On October 1, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule lowering the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb nationwide (2015 Ozone...more

EPA Seeks Comment on National Enforcement Initiatives

On September 15, 2015, EPA solicited public comment on its upcoming cycle of National Enforcement Initiatives (NEI) for fiscal years (FY) 2017-2019. EPA is proposing to adopt three new enforcement initiatives and is...more

EPA Requests Comment On Fiscal Year 2017 – 2019 Enforcement Priorities

EPA on September 15, 2015, announced its National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) for its Fiscal Years (FY) 2017 – 2019 and requested comment on them. 80 Fed. Reg. 55352. EPA selects enforcement initiatives every three years...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

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

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

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