National Ambient Air Quality Standards

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

Half a Loaf May Not Be Too Bad: The 9th Circuit Affirms Most of EPA’s Approval of the San Joaquin Valley SIP

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted part of a petition challenging EPA’s approval of California’s SIP for ozone and PM 2.5 in the San Joaquin Valley.  While the trade press has been focusing on the...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria - EPA has announced an extension of the public comment period for the second external review draft of a document titled, “Second External Draft...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Nothing to report STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES COMPLIANCE DEADLINES For more information, see our mobile-friendly ENViromation Center, an online...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

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

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 Proposes Eliminating State Regulations as to Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Emissions

Operating conditions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) are not normal and often result in unrepresentative emissions that exceed permitted limitations. Originally published in The Natural Gas &...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

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead, 40 C.F.R. Part 50 EPA is proposing to retain the current national ambient air quality standards for lead without revision....more

Energy & Environment Update - January 2015

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Environmental...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 1/5/2015

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - Congress returns for the 114th session January 6, and efforts are underway to prepare for an eventful two years on Capitol Hill as well as the final two years of the Obama Administration....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

EPA Proposes to Revise Ozone NAAQS

On November 25, 2014, EPA issued a proposal to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for ozone. The Federal Register will publish the proposed rule in the coming days, and interested parties will be able...more

EPA Issues Proposal for More Stringent Ozone Standard … Get Your Project Applications in ASAP

While many Americans were already on the road toward their Thanksgiving destination on November 26, driving cars emitting hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides that form ozone in the atmosphere, the United States Environmental...more

EPA Proposes Stricter Ozone NAAQS

On November 25, 2014, EPA proposed to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. The rule is available online and should be published soon in the Federal Register....more

EPA Does Not Have a Nondiscretionary Duty to Revise PSD Regulations When It Amends a NAAQS

On Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA does not have an obligation to amend PSD regulations for a criteria pollutant within two years of revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for that...more

How Low Will They Go? A Lower Ozone NAAQS Begins to Have An Air of Inevitability

On Friday, EPA released its “Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.” EPA staff concluded: that it is appropriate in this review to consider a revised primary O3 standard level...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

House Subcommittee To Review EPA Emissions Plan

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power announced that it will hold a hearing to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power...more

EPA Proposes Unprecedented Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program

We analyze EPA’s novel proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants as it will shape its regulation of other industry sectors. On June 2, 2014, EPA released its long-anticipated proposal to...more

EPA Regulation of Power Plant Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Draft Rule for Existing Power Plants Released

On June 2, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft of its proposed rule that will, for the first time, limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at existing fossil-fuel fired electric utility generating...more

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