Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

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

A Coal Plant Shutdown and the Undoing of a Wind Energy Bottleneck

Everyone knows the transmission bottleneck is the boot on the neck of wind energy. The Plains States have megawatts of wind energy. Getting it to the places with megawatts of demand, like Oregon and Washington, aye, there’s...more

Fifth Circuit Stays EPA 2016 Final Rule in Favor of Texas and Oklahoma SIPs

Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an important decision regarding the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the interactions between EPA and the states. On July 15, Fifth Circuit, in a unanimous ruling,...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Launches Advisory Panels: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two advisory panels designed to facilitate small businesses to provide feedback to EPA...more

Inflation Matters: EPA Civil Penalty Authority Receives a Dramatic Boost

A little-publicized section of the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 has led to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgating new interim regulations that increase by unprecedented amounts the civil...more

US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit delays oral arguments in Clean Power Plan litigation

On May 16, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced that it was delaying scheduled June 2 oral arguments before a three-judge panel in litigation over the Clean Power Plan. Instead, the DC...more

Democrats reach compromise on hydraulic fracturing as EPA continues its working on regulating methane

In the US, there is growing divide on how to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. This debate is impacting Democratic presidential politics and could affect future regulatory efforts at the federal, state and...more

EPA Raises Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts

If the cost of doing business includes responding to and resolving periodic environmental and worker safety enforcement matters, the price goes up on August 1. The EPA is raising statutory civil penalty amounts for the many...more

Regulatory Enforcement for Food and Beverage Industry Heats Up

Mid-to-late June 2016, federal and state authorities brought a variety of enforcement actions against food and beverage companies under environmental, health, and safety statutes, suggesting increased governmental oversight...more

Maximum Civil Penalties for Violations of Environmental Statutes are now Significantly Higher After Inflation Adjustment

Seyfarth Synopsis: EPA finalized its new per violation penalty rules that in some cases now increase by substantial amounts. In a federal rulemaking published last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...more

Food and Beverage Industry in Regulatory Enforcement Crosshairs

Recent federal and state enforcement actions against food and beverage companies under environmental, safety and health statutes highlight the need for this industry to pay attention to both basic and unique compliance...more

VW ‘Dieselgate’ Settlement Benefit Consumers, Environment

News of “Dieselgate” broke in the Fall 2014, when vaunted vehicle-maker Volkswagen was accused of dodging federal emissions laws by rigging its automobiles so they would pass smog tests. The summer of 2015 saw the scandal...more

EPA’s Enforcement Focus on Refrigerants Continues With Another Multi-million Dollar Settlement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or “Agency”) continues its enforcement focus on commercial refrigerant leaks from major retailers, keeping with the Agency’s goals of reducing leaks of ozone depleting...more

An Air of Change in CERCLA Liability? Pakootas v. Teck Cominco and CERCLA’s Federal Permit Shield

A case recently argued before the Ninth Circuit, Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., 9th Cir., No. 15-35228, could pave the way for a new theory of liability for parties who release air emissions during the course of...more

Minnesota May Not Prohibit Power Sales That Would Increase Statewide CO2 Emissions. Why Not? Pick Your Reason.

If you needed any further proof that energy law is very complicated, Wednesday’s decision in North Dakota v. Heydinger should convince you. The judgment is simple – the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Minnesota...more

EPA Doubles Down with Expansive New Methane Regulation

The Obama administration took two major steps in implementing its comprehensive climate change strategy this month, setting first-ever methane emissions standards for new, reconstructed and modified sources and simultaneously...more

Eighth Circuit Panel Rules Minnesota Climate Change Law Unconstitutional

Today, the Eighth Circuit determined that the Next Generation Energy Act (“NGEA”), a Minnesota law that established power sector standards for carbon dioxide emissions, was unconstitutional. In so doing, the Court affirmed...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, June 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - TSCA Reform Bill Is Sent To President Obama For Signature: It has been reported that on June 14, 2016, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R-UT) signed...more

Feds Crack Down on Unsafe Asbestos Removal

The unsafe removal of asbestos by unprotected workers poses a huge health and safety risk in today’s workplace. Although asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is not banned and continues to pose dangers...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

NOx Emission Reductions for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks Forthcoming

The timeline for federal NOx emission reductions for medium and heavy-duty trucks is uncertain, but expected in California in 2017. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to issue a NOx standard in 2017 that...more

Ploughing the Same Furrow: EPA Proposes 2017 Renewable Fuel Volumes Using the Methodology From its Previous Rule

On May 31, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its proposed 2017 volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), an ever-controversial program established by Congress to spur the...more

Compliance Clock Starts on Clean Air Act Regulations for Oil & Natural Gas Sources and Concerns Emerge Regarding the Existing...

On June 3, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register its latest significant Clean Air Act regulatory actions specifically targeting the oil and natural gas industry....more

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