Clean Air Act Environmental Protection Agency

News & Analysis as of

EPA’s Final Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (“SSM”) Rule: The Emperor’s New Clothes, Part II

The Final EPA Rule under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) emissions standards for the Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (“SSM”) Rule is out. EPA issued the Final Rule on May 22, 2015 and it’s even worse than when proposed. I...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Decision in Civil Rights Case in Review of California SIP

On May 8, 2015, in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a Panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review filed by several groups that the court describes as “community...more

In Wake of Supreme Court Ruling, EPA Issues Direct Final Rule Allowing Rescission of Some Clean Air Act Permits

On May 7, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a direct final rule in the Federal Register. The rule allows for rescission of certain Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permits under the Clean Air...more

Recent Settlement Under EPA’s Energy Extraction Initiative Provides Insight For Future Enforcement in the Oil and Gas Industry

Given its patchwork of regulatory authority over operations in the oil and natural gas industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a national enforcement initiative to focus its efforts. Through its...more

Opponents of EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan Face Tough Questions From the Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument on the first legal challenges to EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” on April 16, 2015. The plan is a proposed rule under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air...more

BLM Announces New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules for Oil and Gas Wells on Federal Lands; Industry Trade Associations and the State of...

On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final rule setting new standards for hydraulic fracturing on onshore federal and Indian lands. The final rule, as published in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - EPA emissions rules face Supreme Court test: NPR - Mar 25: On April 1, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Obama Administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and...more

MATS in the Supreme Court–Toxic to EPA?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unreasonably decided not to consider the cost of regulation when the EPA determined it was “appropriate and necessary” to...more

New Source Review Update: Courts Limit Aggregation for Major Source Determination and Challenges to NSR Pre-Project Emissions...

Pennsylvania Court Limits NSR Permit Aggregation - In February, the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down an environmental group’s challenge that Ultra Resources should have aggregated eight compressor stations...more

Source Aggregation: Recent Court Decision Addresses Whether Certain Facilities are "Adjacent"

On February 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a decision finding eight compressor stations to be "separate sources" under the Clean Air Act and State of Pennsylvania regulations....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: California renewable energy zone plan gets revamp after criticism: Reuters - Mar 10: An ambitious plan to put California's renewable energy projects in areas where the environment will...more

No Competitors In My Backyard?

In Paradise Lost, John Milton wrote that “easy is the descent into Hell, for it is paved with good intentions.” A modern environmental lawyer might say that the road to waste, inefficiency, and obstruction is paved with good...more

EPA and Sierra Club Reach Partial Settlement in Ozone SIP Litigation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club have entered into a proposed consent decree that would partially resolve a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club against the agency. Notice of the proposed...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Civil Rights Issue in Review of California SIP

On February 12, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of provisions in a...more

When Bad Things Happen at Good Facilities (Hazardous Air Pollutant Edition)

Malfunctions happen, even at a well-managed facility. When they happen, they can cause a facility to deviate from emission limits or other standards regarding (among other things) hazardous air pollutants. Furthermore,...more

Year in Preview: 2015 Heralds Big Changes Under the Clean Air Act

Not only has a new interstate pollution and allowance trading regime kicked in (effective Jan. 1), but the agency has announced that it will publish final carbon standards this summer for new and existing power plants and...more

"Ambitious EPA Plan Would Require States to Reduce CO2 Emissions at Existing Power Plants"

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to issue in final form three proposed regulations for limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions pursuant to Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The proposed...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: EPA Stakes Out Approach to Address GHG Permitting for Authorized Sources Affected

On December 19, 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two memoranda outlining the Agency’s planned response to the Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental...more

Can You Feel New Regulations in the Air? EPA Announces Steps That It Will Take to Reduce Methane and VOC Emissions from Oil and...

In recent years, the proliferation of oil and gas production, transmission, and distribution activities in the United States has led to a number of regulatory initiatives by state and federal agencies designed to manage new...more

EPA Seeks Additional Comment on NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule, and Other Recent CWA Developments

EPA Seeks Additional Comment On NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested additional comment on the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System...more

Transportation Conformity Form Over Substance

A few determined environmental advocates have attempted for years to use the Clean Air Act’s strict transportation conformity rules to tie up planned highway improvements. For the most part, courts have rebuffed those...more

Three Obstacles to EPA’s O3 Rule: Industry Opposition, Implementation, and Congressional Oversight

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed revising the national air quality standard for ozone, the key pollutant in smog and regional haze. EPA acknowledges that the rule will cost billions of dollars...more

EPA Proposes Update to National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ground-Level Ozone

On November 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed to reduce both the primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for ground-level ozone from 75 parts per billion (“ppb”) to...more

EPA Proposes to Retain Current Lead NAAQS

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy on December 19, 2014, signed a proposed rule that would retain, without revision, the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for lead of 0.15...more

More Regulatory Stability and Incentives for Biogas and Biomass Projects

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a host of new incentives to encourage the use of fuels derived from biomass—including biogas that replaces traditional natural gas in the form of compressed...more

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