National Emissions Standards

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The Psychology of Cheating and FCPA Compliance

In the movie Margin Call, Jeremy Irons intones that there are three ways to win in business: (1) be the smartest; (2) be the fastest; and (3) cheat. I am currently out at the SCCE 2015 Compliance and Ethics Institute and as...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015

Environmental and Policy Focus - Royal Dutch Shell suspends Arctic drilling indefinitely: Washington Post - Sep 28: Royal Dutch Shell announced early on September 28, 2015 that it will indefinitely suspend its Arctic...more

Record Review Means That EPA Must Refer To the Record: The Third Circuit Remands EPA’s Approval of the Pennsylvania Regional Haze...

On Tuesday, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals remanded EPA’s approval of Pennsylvania’s regional haze SIP. The decision is a must-read for practitioners. It decides some important issues and provides important reminders for...more

How Can the Automotive Industry Strengthen Its Regulatory Compliance Process and Reduce Its Compliance Risks?

Many Americans listened last week to the admissions by the now former President of Volkswagen that the company had been “dishonest” and had cheated on the U.S. emissions tests. How was this happening at the world’s #1...more

VW Emissions Testing Scandal – View from the Board

The Board of Directors role in the Volkswagen (VW) emissions test scandal is one that is only now being scrutinized. In an article in the New York Times (NYT), entitled “Problems at VW Start at the Boardroom”, James B....more

The VW Scandal: Insular Senior Management and Ethical Breakdowns

The Volkswagen scandal will be studied for years. One of many themes from the Volkswagen scandal will rest on the complete absence of any commitment to corporate governance. Volkswagen’s weird corporate structure (it is owned...more

Cancel My Reservation! Pennsylvania Sows Confusion Over Consent-to-Settle Clauses

This summer, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed an important question that has divided other courts: if an insurer defends a claim subject to a reservation of rights, may the insured settle the claim without the...more

Fifth Circuit Reverses Citgo Convictions Under Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 14-40128 (5th Cir. September 4, 2015), reversed the district court’s convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corp. (Citgo) for alleged...more

Vermonters Sue Volkswagen Over Emissions Testing Deceit

Vermont Volkswagen car owners headed by Charlotte resident Robert Turnau have sued Volkswagen companies in Germany and the United States over damages they suffered as a result of the company’s falsification of emissions...more

Aikens on Leadership and Culture

Ed. Note-The VW scandal is clearly much broader than simply corporate lying about environmental compliance. It is about an entire corporate culture that engaged in, tolerated or consciously disregarded the illegal behavior....more

Channeling Yogi Berra to Find Smart Risk in Compliance

Yogi Berra died yesterday. In addition to being one of the greatest catchers in baseball, he was a 3-time Most Valuable Player (MVP), a 15-time All Star, a Hall of Famer and member of the All-Century Team, a player on 10...more

The Defeat Device: Compliance and Ethics in the Auto Industry

Things are seriously bad when one of the world’s most respected business focused publications, the Financial Times (FT), asks if the auto “industry faces ‘Libor moment’”? Yet that was a headline yesterday in the lead article...more

Prompted by Independent Study, EPA Issues Notice of Violation to Volkswagen for Circumventing Federal Emissions Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of a notice of violation last week to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (collectively Volkswagen) appears to have further validated EPA’s and...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

EPA Proposes Major New Air Emissions Requirements for the Oil and Gas Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released today a suite of requirements that impose strict new limits on the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and methane by the oil and natural gas industry. The proposals...more

EPA Issues a Draft Methane Challenge Reduction Program for the Oil and Gas Sector

Comments on Program Due September 1 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a voluntary Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program, through which oil and natural gas companies can make and track...more

EPA Offers a Methane "Carrot" in Advance of its Regulatory "Stick"

On July 23, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its proposed framework for the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program. Intended to encourage voluntary "beyond (current) compliance" methane...more

Obama Administration Adopts Landmark Clean Power Plan

Citing “immediate risks” to national security, public health, and the economy, the Obama Administration adopted ambitious regulations and policies to implement its Clean Power Plan, establishing the first ever national...more

President Obama, EPA Unveil Final Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Rule

Although legal hurdles remain, EPA’s Clean Power Plan envisions sweeping changes to the electricity generation sector designed to mitigate climate change concerns through reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and it...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2015

Energy and Climate Debate - Energy and climate issues have had a big week, with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approving its bipartisan broad energy package and President Obama unveiling the final...more

Even With Changes To Its Final Clean Power Plan, More Litigation Is On the Horizon for EPA

Responding to over 4 million comments received on its June 2014 proposed rule, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made changes to its controversial plan to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from...more

The Obama Administration’s New Climate Plan to Increase Renewables

The Obama Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday unveiled the long-anticipated Clean Power Plan (the Plan), which is intended to reduce overall carbon output by, in part, promoting the...more

Obama Administration Unveils Clean Power Plan

President Obama unveiled the final Clean Power Plan (CPP) this past weekend – the first ever national standard to address CO2 pollution from power plants. The CPP sets strong standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by...more

EPA Finalizes Carbon Pollution Emissions Standards for Power Plants

Today EPA released its final Clean Power Plan, its first-ever regulations aimed at reducing carbon pollution from electric power plants. The final rule contains several significant changes from the proposed rule that was...more

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