Air Pollution Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

Court to Consider EPA Rule Eliminating Exemption for Excess Emissions During SSM

A 2015 EPA rulemaking required 36 states to revise their State Implementation Plans (“SIPs”) to eliminate provisions exempting air emission exceedances during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction (the “SSM SIP Call...more

EPA Issues Final Rules To Reduce Methane Emissions From MSW Landfills

Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to issue New Source Performance Standards (NSPSs) for certain source categories of air pollutants. These NSPSs set threshold limits on emissions of certain pollutants...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

Federal - Notice of Availability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Two Updated Chapters in the EPA Air Pollution Control Cost Manual - EPA is making two finalized chapters of the EPA Air Pollution Control...more

EPA Determines that Aircraft Emissions Contribute to Air Pollution and Climate Change

Synopsis: EPA’s recent finding paves the way for the Agency to develop standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft. Businesses in the commercial jet manufacturing and aviation transportation industry should...more

DC Circuit Upholds EPA’s CAA Rules Governing Industrial Boilers and Incinerators

On July 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit released a very longno (156 pages) opinion essentially upholding every regulatory decision made by the EPA in three major Clean Air Act (CAA) rulemakings: the...more

Chevron Deference Lives! EPA’s Boiler Rule (Mostly) Survives Review

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit largely upheld EPA’s Boiler MACT rule. The industry challenges were a complete washout. The environmental petitioners won one significant victory and a number of smaller ones....more

New EPA Air Emissions Rules Mean Greater Compliance Burden for Landfill Owners

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently released two rules updating the regulation of air emissions from landfills. These rules enlarge the potential universe of landfills required to implement...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

A double defeat for EPA on regional haze regulations

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) a stinging double defeat on its partial disapproval of Texas’ regional haze rule (the...more

Mercury Rule Moves Forward

The federal lawsuit filed by twenty-three states challenging EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) is in the 8th inning, and things are not looking good for the challengers. Some background is appropriate....more

Environmental Notes - July 2016

CONGRESS FINDS THE FORMULA TO REFORM CHEMICAL REGULATION - The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary federal law by which the manufacture, import and use of chemical substances are regulated in the United...more

Air Emissions Regulated Under RCRA?

Certain regulated entities that operate under Clean Air Act permits are being reminded that those permits do not necessarily cover air emissions associated with the management of hazardous wastes regulated by the federal...more

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

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

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