Environmental Policies Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

Clean Power Plan has its day in court - Will the D.C. Circuit uphold EPA’s landmark CO2 regulations?

In a marathon day-long session before a packed courtroom (and a number of overflow rooms) on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the full US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard oral arguments in a litigation challenging the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown and lawmakers reach deal for California climate funds - San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 31 - California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a $900 million spending...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Incidental Take Statements Not Required for Plant Species

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting summary judgment to the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) on the issue...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

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

EPA Proposes Significant Expansions of Its Risk Management/Accidental Release Prevention Program

On March 14, 2016, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed revisionsto the Risk Management Program (RMP) (also known as Accidental Release Prevention) rule at 40 CFR Part 68, under Section 112(r) of the...more

Energy & Environment Update - March 2016 #2

Energy and Climate Debate - Despite stalling recently over a debate on how to respond to the Flint water crisis, the Senate bipartisan energy bill is still alive and could see action as soon as next week provided that...more

Will the Next Supreme Court Justice Reshape Environmental Law?

Yes, no, maybe so. With the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, many have already started to prognosticate about the sea change that will inevitably follow. While it is certainly possible that such a sea change will come to...more

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change Charts a Long-Term Plan for International Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

On December 12, the United States and other Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed the historic Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties. We expect the Agreement to...more

Compliance with the Clean Air Act Increasingly Unlikely to Protect Companies from Nuisance Suits

A recent decision out of the Sixth Circuit found that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt common law claims brought against an emitter based on the law of the state in which the emitter operates. This decision, Merrick...more

Clean Power Plan Formally Published – Full Steam Ahead for Challengers!

The U.S. EPA formally published the final version of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan on Friday, October 23, an action which starts a 60 day period within which to challenge the rule. On the same day, 26 challenges...more

Clean Power Plan: EPA Provides Guidance on Initial Submittals and Extension Process

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards has issued a memorandum providing direction to the states interested in seeking a two-year extension of time in which to develop and...more

Compliance at the Tipping Point, Part III – The VW Emissions-Testing Scandal

I continue my series on why I believe that compliance is at the ‘Tipping Point’ with a discussion of the Volkswagen (VW) emissions-testing scandal and its effect on the greater compliance world. Myself and many other...more

EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary...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 Tightens Ozone Standard…Again

On October 1, 2015, EPA announced that the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone would be 70 ppb, a 6.7% reduction of the current 75 ppb standard. On November 25, 2014, EPA had proposed to...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

Environmental Issues and The Republican Majority

Expectations are running high among some that the incoming Republican majority in both Houses of Congress will act to change or eliminate various environmental regulations and statutory provisions that they claim harm the...more

EPA Reinforces Standards to Use "Representative Data" After Sierra Club

On January 22, 2013, in Sierra Club v. EPA, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion that addressed some Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program issues. Following this...more

You Can’t Estop the Government — Even When It Wants to Be Estopped

Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that arguably explains everything from why the Tea Party exists to why otherwise calm and sane executives suddenly lose all their hair. Perhaps most astounding,...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Environmental Groups’ RCRA Claims Against Railyard Operators

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of claims by environmental groups attempting to characterize air emissions from California railyards as “disposal” of waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)....more

EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases

The United States Supreme Court ruled in June that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must reduce its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. The EPA tried to increase two of its permit...more

10th Circuit Limits ESA Consultation Obligations To Boundaries Of The Agency Action

This past week, the 10th Circuit held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had no obligation to engage in consultation pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) where the potential effects on...more

Only When a Permit is Required: The Supreme Court Caps the EPA’s Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Stationary...

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA et al. 573 U.S. ____ (2014) - On June 23, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act...more

The Fifth Circuit holds it lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear petitions for review of Clean Air Act notices of violation

“Final actions” of the EPA under the Clean Air Act are subject to direct review by a United States Court of Appeals. 42 U.S.C. § 7607(b)(1). In a decision issued on July 3, 2014, in Luminant Generation Company, LLC v....more

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