Pollution Control

News & Analysis as of

EPA Finalizes Reconsideration of Boiler MACT; Compliance Deadline Approaches

As major sources gear up to meet the January 31, 2016, compliance deadline for the Boiler MACT regulation, EPA has finalized a number of revisions to the rule that might affect your facility’s compliance plans. On November...more

Perhaps the Clean Air Act Really Doesn’t Preempt State Common Law Remedies

This week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held, in Merrick v. Diageo Americas Supply, that the Clean Air Act does not preempt source state common law remedies seeking to control air pollution – even where the defendant is...more

Electronic Reporting to be the NPDES Rule

After a lengthy public notice and comment period, the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) Electronic Reporting Rule was published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2015, and will become...more

Brave New World: SB 350 Increases CA’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Goals

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 350, the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015” on October 7, 2015. SB 350 reflects some of Governor Brown’s bold commitments from his inaugural speech...more

Hydrocarbon Exposure Dismissal Affirmed

You might recall previous entries discussing Parr v. Aruba – a suit for personal injuries from oilfield pollution (and a $2.9MM verdict for the plaintiffs). Not all similar suits have the same result....more

UK government introduces enhanced enforcement powers for environmental permitting breaches

Earlier this month the government published its response to a consultation on proposals to enhance regulators’ enforcement powers to deal with environmental permitting breaches. Simultaneously, the government has published...more

EPA’s New Refinery Rule—Next Generation Compliance in Action

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a new air pollution rule in September that illustrates how EPA is implementing its next generation compliance ideas. The rule governs hazardous air emissions from...more

Can Air Emissions Lead to CERCLA Liability?

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and...more

UK courts get tough on environmental crime: sentencing of environmental offences committed by large companies

There is a widely held belief that environmental laws in the UK are toothless in practice because enforcement authorities are under resourced and typical levels of fines and penalties imposed are far too low. This view...more

SEP Right for You? EPA Updates its Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently updated its Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Policy. Most federal actions for failure to comply with the environmental laws are resolved through settlement...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Nationwide stay of EPA/Army Corps "Waters of the U.S." rule issued by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: Allen Matkins - Oct 9: The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a nationwide...more

Sixth Circuit Issues Nationwide Stay of Clean Water Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay of the controversial EPA/Corps of Engineers Clean Water Rule which was effective August 28, 2015. Some 30 states, industry and environmental groups had...more

Updates on Environmental, Administrative and Regulatory Law: EARL e-News: EPA Strengthens Power Plant Water Discharge Regulations

On September 30, 2015, the EPA finalized a revision to its wastewater effluent standards for power plants. The new regulation (which takes effect sixty days after Federal Register publication of the revision) updates a 1982...more

EPA Issues Stringent Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Steam Electric Power Plants

The final rule, touted by EPA as eliminating environmental impacts and cancer risks, substantively changes longstanding regulations regarding steam electric power plants. On September 30, the US Environmental Protection...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

Development Update: Maine DEP Proposes Site Development Rule Changes

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a hearing on October 15th to receive comments on three rulemaking changes to the state’s site location of development rules (“Site Laws”).  Additional public...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

From Playa Lakes To Prairie Potholes: Four Things Energy Companies Need to Know About the WOTUS Rule

Have one or several playa lakes on or near a well pad in the Permian Basin? An access road nearby an ephemeral tributary of the Green River in the Uintah Basin? A pipeline that traverses lands dotted with prairie potholes in...more

EPA Finalizes Significant Changes to the Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration’s landmark effort to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants...more

President Obama Implements Sweeping New Rules to Control Climate Change

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) utilized executive action to call for a major societal shift on climate change policy. The new rules, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, are intended...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

Environmental Protection Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (2015 Draft)

June 10, 2015 marked the day that the Chinese government released a new draft law for public comment. China’s increased awareness of the long lasting effects of pollution on the country’s land, water, and people is reflected...more

Gov. Dayton Signs 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law

On Saturday, June 13, Governor Dayton signed the 2015 Jobs and Energy Bill into Law. The following amendments were made after the Governor’s veto: - New definitions for “propane,” “propane storage facility,” and...more

Minnesota Session Ends With Governor Threatening Veto

The Minnesota legislature concluded its business last evening with Governor Mark Dayton threatening to veto a $17 billion public education funding bill – a threat he carried through with earlier today. The governor issued the...more

D.C. Circuit Vacates 100-Hour Exemption for Emergency Generators

On May 1, 2015, the D.C. Circuit in Delaware v. EPA vacated a portion of EPA’s National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Reciprocating Internal...more

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