News & Analysis as of

EPA Lays Out Its Vision for the Future of the RCRA Regulatory Program

Enacted in the bicentennial year of 1976, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is approaching its 40th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, and to lay a path forward for the future of the RCRA program, EPA...more

Group Of Senators Weigh In On Biogenic Carbon Regulations

On August 7, 2014, a group of nine Democratic Senators led by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) sent a letter to the EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, on the treatment of biogenic carbon emissions from stationary sources. The other...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (August 2014)

IARC Classifies Dichloromethane, Other Substances As Human Carcinogens: In June, an expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that dichloromethane, a chemical substance used to make...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Environmental Protection Agency 111(d) Proposed Rule - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of...more

EPA Approves Maine's NOx Waiver Request – VOC Waiver Request Still Pending

Since the mid-1990s, Maine has had an EPA-approved waiver from the ozone nonattainment new source review (NNSR) requirements for NOx covering, at a minimum, areas of the state that attain the ozone standard. The NOx waiver...more

EPA Outlines Options Under Consideration for Risk Management Program Modernization – Will the "Safety Case" Model Cross the Pond?

On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a request for information (RFI) on changes the Agency is considering for its Risk Management Program (RMP) accident prevention regulations under section...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

EPA Guidance on Pesticide Drift Will Affect Product Registrations

How to address and manage potential risks posed by pesticide “drift” -- the unintentional movement of some level of pesticide outside of the intended area of application -- has long been a challenging, complex regulatory...more

How Much Deference Do States Get in Entering CERCLA Consent Decrees? Probably A Lot, But Perhaps Not As Much as You Thought

In Cannons Engineering, the First Circuit Court of Appeals famously stated that, when CERCLA consent decrees arrive at the courts of appeal for review, they do so “encased in a double layer of swaddling,” because both the EPA...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

Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate...more

The Slow Grind of Justice for EPA's Carbon Emissions Regulations

It was inevitable that EPA's Clean Power Plan, regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants was going to generate law suits. Even if the suits are ultimately unsuccessful, an injunction against the Plan's adoption...more

White House Launches Major Push To Shore Up Support for Proposed Clean Power Plan

This week the White House is launching a major effort to shore up support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The historic and ambitious rule, proposed by EPA on June 18, 2014, (79 Fed. Reg....more

FERC testifies on EPA carbon regulations and electric reliability

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan rule is projected to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, improve human health and save money -- but will it jeopardize the reliability of the...more

Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

Regulatory Activity - EPA TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON CLEAN POWER PLAN - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold public hearings in Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh to...more

EPA Is Holding Flare Users’ Feet To The Fire

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned industry using flaring for pollution control that it is targeting flaring violations nationwide to reduce the release of hazardous air pollutants. Originally...more

The EPA, H20, and Fracking: An EPA study of drinking water and hydraulic fracturing could have far-reaching implications for...

As many who work in the oil and gas industry are aware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing forward with a multiyear Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. On...more

EPA Re-gains “Green Light” to Regulate Permitting Procedures - D.C. Circuit overturns lower court decisions on EPA permitting...

Two district court orders declaring the federal Environmental Protection Agency acted illegally when it implemented certain permitting procedures for coal mining operations have been vacated by a federal court of appeals....more

The Clean Power Plan: State Implementation Plans Building Block 2 – The Re-dispatch Option

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced proposed regulations (the “Clean Power Plan” Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”)) to limit greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from existing...more

Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Proposed Rule Defining “Waters of the United States” Under the...

On April 21, 2014, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (collectively the “Agencies”) released a proposed rule to define the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act...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

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2014

Limited Space Still Available For Sustainable Futures Training Workshop: There are still spaces available for the Sustainable Futures Training workshop scheduled for August 5-7, 2014, at the George Washington University...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

The Clean Water Act - Is groundwater included?

There has been much controversy in the courts as to whether groundwater can be defined as “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. Courts are split on this decision, with equal numbers of rulings on both sides. One...more

EPA Wins Two Clean Water Cases in One Day: The Fourth Circuit Affirms a Narrow Construction of the Permit Shield Defense

Yesterday, I noted that the D.C. Circuit rejected challenges to EPA’s Enhanced Coordination Process and Final Guidance on Clean Water Act permitting for mining activities. It was not EPA’s only CWA victory. On the same day,...more

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