News & Analysis as of

EPA Asks STB to Resolve Preemption Question

The Administrator of Region IX of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has petitioned the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for a declaratory order to address whether locomotive idling rules issued by the South Coast...more

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Authority to Amend the Renewable Fuel Standard

In this article: - Introduction - EPA’s Underlying Authority to Interpret the CAA - RFS Volume Mandate Reduction Authority under the CAA - Analysis of EPA’s Authority to Amend the RFS Regulatory...more

February Closes with Significant Activity Relating to EPA's Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

Last week saw two developments regarding EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases. On February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. the Environmental Protection...more

NSR Emissions Projections — Finally, An Area Where It is the Regulated Entity Which Is Entitled to Deference

Last spring, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that when power plant owners compare actual emissions to projected future actual emissions for the purpose of determining whether a project is subject to the Clean Air Act’s...more

Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

Law Prof: The Clean Air Act Needs a Reboot  [Video]

Feb. 24, 2014 -- Professor David Schoenbrod talks about some of the inadequacies of The Clean Air Act along with potential solutions to the problem....more

Texas Environmental Update - February 28, 2014

We are pleased to provide you with this issue of Bracewell's Texas Environmental Update, offering the latest news about permitting, enforcement, regulatory developments, and other matters of interest to the regulated...more

US Supreme Court Briefing of Greenhouse Gas Cases Completed — Oral Argument Scheduled for February 24, 2014

Briefing has just concluded in a matter before the US Supreme Court involving challenges to the suite of greenhouse gas (GHG) cases decided by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in June 2012. In...more

The States Lose Another NSR (and NSPS) Enforcement Case: I Think I Detect A Trend

As I have previously noted, the government’s record in NSR enforcement cases has been going downhill, particularly with important defeats before the 3rd and 7th Circuits’ Courts of Appeals. The latest governmental defeat...more

EPA Proposes Approval of TCEQ's Greenhouse Gas Permitting Program

On February 5, 2014, several news outlets reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") handed over permitting authority for greenhouse gases ("GHGs") to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality...more

"US Supreme Court Cases to Watch in 2014"

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on numerous significant cases in 2014, involving such issues as presidential power, affirmative action, campaign contributions, environmental regulations, intellectual property, commercial...more

Do I Have to Think About Environmental Compliance?

Electric utilities, pulp and paper mills, and manufacturers of all types are subject to a wide range of environmental requirements. Other businesses—like retail facilities, warehouses, and property management companies—are...more

D.C. Circuit Grants Rehearing in Clean Air Act Case

On December 11, a D.C. Circuit panel (Tatel, Brown, Griffith) granted in part environmental and state petitions for rehearing in Mississippi v. EPA (Nos. 08-1200 et al.), revising key language describing the court’s review of...more

EPA Reissues Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for New Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has re-proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for new fossil-fuel power plants, exercising existing authority under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act. Proposed rule...more

Regulatory Utility Commissioners Seek Role In Development Of EPA Climate Rules

In June, President Obama directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to propose standards regulating greenhouse gas emissions (“GHG”) from existing power plants. The requirements would be imposed under Section 111(d) of...more

New Legislation Would Vacate Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants

Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee, introduced a bill on October 28, 2013 that would void the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)...more

Whatever Happened To State Law Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims? Still No Music After Bell

“Therefore, the Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

ML Strategies Weekly Energy and Environment Update – Week of October 21, 2013

Despite coming to an agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling last week, Congress will continue to address these issues over the next three months through the fiscal year 2014 appropriations and yet...more

SCOTUS Review of GHG Regulations – Opportunity for the Oil and Gas Sector?

The Supreme Court announced this week that it would review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act. While the Court accepted six petitions for...more

Supreme Court Accepts Appeal Challenging EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Rules

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States granted? six separate petitions for ?certiorari from a decision of the Federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia upholding ?EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas...more

EPA Proposes Strict Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards On New Electric Utilities

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that would set carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limits for certain new fossil-fueled electric utility generating units...more

EPA Proposes Another Rule To Limit New Power Plant CO2 Emissions

Background - Section 111 of the Clean Air Act authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to set “new source performance standards” (NSPS) for selected categories of air pollution sources. These standards must...more

Whistleblowers Blow their Whistles While They Work

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Pilgrim Pride Corp. reached a $50,000 settlement in a 2012 whistleblower case. The case began when a manager for water reclamation at...more

The Third Circuit Reinstates Nuisance Claims Against Cheswick Generating: Bad Idea

On Wednesday, in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals revived class action nuisance claims brought by residential property owners living within one mile of GenOn’s Cheswick Generating Station....more

Second Circuit Affirms Exxon Judgment, Rejects Clean Air Act Preemption Argument

Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay up, so said a three judge panel of the Second Circuit late last month. Opening the door to a flood of litigation concerning the gasoline additive MTBE, the Second Circuit affirmed a jury verdict...more

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