Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

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

EPA Finalizes GHG Regulations for the Oil and Gas Industry and Clarifies which Sources May Be Aggregated for Permitting Purposes

The EPA is moving forward with the second stage of the Climate Action Plan – regulation of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Even while the first stage in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Clean Power...more

Washington, D.C. Update – June 2016

With the national party conventions less than eight weeks away, the House and Senate continue to push forward on Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) appropriations legislation (despite possible floor obstacles detailed below) and other...more

5th Circuit Vacates Verdict for ExxonMobil in CAA Citizen Suit: Still Not Much of a Win for the Plaintiffs

Last Friday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District Court decision which had refused to impose penalties on ExxonMobil for various violations of the Clean Air Act at ExxonMobil’s Baytown refinery. While the...more

Public Hearing Announced For Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes

On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a public hearing for the proposed rule "Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018." A...more

EPA Releases Proposed Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed increase of the renewable fuel volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for all biofuels in 2017 and...more

Full Court Press: EPA Issues Final Rulemakings and a Draft Information Collection Request in Its Ongoing Effort to Reduce Methane...

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) on May 12, 2016 released a suite of final actions and a proposed action that are focused...more

EPA Proposes to Amend the Site Remediation NESHAP to Remove the Exemption for Site Remediation Activities Performed under CERCLA...

On May 13, 2016, EPA proposed to amend several provisions of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs): Site Remediation. The Site Remediation Rule currently exempts from hazardous air pollutant...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 Finalizes Regulations Targeting Methane and Volatile Organic Compounds from Oil and Gas Operations

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued three final rules to reduce methane emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified sources in the oil and gas sector by 2025. These rules create significant new obligations to reduce emissions of...more

Energy Insights: An Update from the First Quarter of 2016

Seyfarth Synopsis: In this edition of Seyfarth Shaw’s Energy Insights Newsletter, our Energy and Clean Technologies team covers important developments in Q1 2016 for the energy industry including 1) the fate of the Clean...more

More Than Chickens, Lizards and Polar Bears – Environmental Case Law Update (Dec. 2015 – Mar. 2016)

This blog, although not brief, is a brief report on some of the significant environmental law and administrative cases decided in late December and the first quarter of 2016. U.S. SUPREME COURT - FERC Final Rule re...more

EPA, the Clean Air Act and the Oil and Natural Gas Industry: New Rules for New Sources and New Rules Coming for Existing Sources

The Environmental Protection Agency has released the pre-publication versions of four significant Clean Air Act regulatory actions specifically targeting the oil and natural gas industry... ...more

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