Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the United States federal government established in 1970 at the proposal of President Richard Nixon to combat environmental degradation and protect human... more +
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the United States federal government established in 1970 at the proposal of President Richard Nixon to combat environmental degradation and protect human health. As part of its mission, the EPA enforces regulations affecting a variety of environmental issues, including air and water quality, pesticide-use, fuel economy standards, and nuclear contamination.  less -
News & Analysis as of

The Latest Executive Order: Any Kind of Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Make no mistake, the Executive Order signed by President Trump at EPA yesterday is a big deal. Time will tell whether the Administration’s U-turn on the Obama rules currently in litigation, such as the Clean Power Plan and...more

Trump's Skinny EPA Budget Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts

President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2018 “skinny” budget, if enacted, would severely impact the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reducing its budget by nearly a third and cutting 20 percent of its staff. Indeed, the...more

Executive Order Reverses Key Aspects of Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Yesterday the White House released its highly anticipated Energy Independence Executive Order (EO). The EO signals the White House’s fulfillment of a campaign promise—to roll back the various elements of the Climate Action...more

Brief Overview of President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order

Section 1 of the Order sets forth various policy objectives, many of which (e.g., clean, reliable, affordable, safe energy) are goals that should garner bi-partisan support. How these policies are interpreted by the various...more

President Trump Holds Press Conference and Signs Energy Independence Executive Order

President Trump and four executives of his administration held a press conference this afternoon in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA’s”) Map Room. Rick Perry (Secretary of Energy), Ryan Zinke (Secretary of...more

New Executive Order Creates a Changed Climate for Climate Change and Energy

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” (EO). This latest EO aims to further incentivize domestic energy production, particularly coal, oil...more

National Farmers Union Passes Resolution On Higher Blended Fuels

On March 13, 2017, the South Dakota Farmers Union announced that the National Farmers Union had passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to higher blends of ethanol...more

EPA’s Budget was Cut How Much? Making Sense of the White House’s “Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again"

On March 16, the White House released its proposed fiscal year 2018 budget outline entitled “A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” Fully realizing one of the President’s priorities—to ease the burden of Federal...more

MassDEP Issues Draft Fact Sheet Guidance on PFAS, a Class of Emerging Contaminants

On January 26, 2017, MassDEP announced that it had developed and is seeking comment on a Fact Sheet entitled “Guidance on Sampling and Analysis for PFAS at Disposal Sites Regulated under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.”...more

Promulgation of TMDLs Does Not Create a Non-Discretionary Duty to Require NPDES Permits

When EPA approved total maximum daily loads for the Charles River, but failed to require NPDES permits for persons discharging stormwater to the Charles, CLF sued. CLF alleged that EPA violated a non-discretionary duty when...more

Trump’s Proposed EPA Budget Cuts Underscore the Role of Next Generation Enforcement

Proposal for dramatic reductions in EPA staff and budget could lead to uneven environmental enforcement as states, tribes and environmental groups fill the vacuum. Introduction - On March 16, Donald Trump’s...more

EPA Delays Effective Date of Certification of Pesticide Applicators Final Rule

On March 20, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice that it was delaying the effective date of five regulations, including the final rule on the certification of...more

Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint Calls For Significant Impacts to Environmental Programs

The Trump Administration unveiled significant rollbacks in funding for federal agencies when it released its Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again on March 16, 2017. The President's proposed budget priorities would...more

Court Orders EPA to Promulgate Air Toxics Standards: A Taste of What’s to Come?

On March 22, 2017, federal Judge Christopher Cooper ordered EPA to promulgate emissions standards for 13 sources of hazardous air pollutants by June 30, 2020. EPA admitted that it missed statutory deadlines to do so; the...more

National Academies Report Finds Future Biotechnology Products May Overwhelm Agencies

On March 9, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) published a report entitled Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology, prepared by the Committee on Future...more

Kern County Judge Grants Injunction, Blocking Blanket Enforcement of Oil Field Aquifer Exemption Regulations

A reported in a prior blog post, the Western States Petroleum Association (“WSPA”) sued the California Department of Conservation and the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (jointly, the “Department”) in Kern...more

The Conservative Case for Chevron Deference, Chapter 3 (Plus an Auer Bonus!)

The conservative cases in support of Chevron deference keep arriving. This week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s federal implementation plan for compliance with its regional haze regulations by the Navajo...more

What’s New in Washington: 10 Things You Need to Know

The Trump presidency is halfway through its first 100 days. The legislative and executive branches are under a unified Republican government for only the second time since the Eisenhower administration, and the GOP is seeking...more

President Trump Orders EPA Review of Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards

One of the more aggressive steps taken by the Obama administration to reduce carbon emissions was to have the EPA set an ambitious target for Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards: 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. In...more

[Webinar] The Trump Experience: How U.S. Law Will Change - April 11th, 12:30pm ET

Change is a given with every new presidential election. Under the Trump Administration, many questions have been raised that impact local and global organizations. Join LeClairRyan for an in-depth discussion on key regulatory...more

NY Moves from Retail Rate Net Metering to Value-Based Compensation for Distributed Generation

The New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) approved an order on March 9 that will shift the state’s mechanism for compensating distributed energy resources from retail rate net metering to value-based compensation. The...more

Has EPA Region I Lost Its Treasured Independence?

Earlier this month, Trump transition team member David Schnare sent a memorandum to EPA Assistant Administrators and Regional Administrators. The one-paragraph memo directs AAs and RAs...more

Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Reform RFS Program

On March 2, 2017, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) reintroduced the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act, which aims to guide the debate and reform of the ethanol mandate. According to Goodlatte, the RFS program failed...more

EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) Facility Safety Rule Delayed Again

EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) Facility Safety Rule continues to face an uncertain future, particularly given EPA Administrator Pruitt’s historical opposition. On March 16, EPA again stayed the effective date of the Rule...more

Executive Order That Seeks to Undo Obama Administration's "Waters of the United States" Rule Has More Limited Immediate Impacts

Debate and uncertainty regarding the extent of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act will continue under the Executive Order. On February 28, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order entitled “Restoring...more

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