Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

EPA Issues Final Residual Risk Rule for Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued substantial new regulations to control hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from petroleum refineries. The final rule arises from the “residual...more

EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary...more

EPA Finalizes Tougher Ozone Standards

On October 1, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule lowering the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb nationwide (2015 Ozone...more

EPA Denies Petition to Regulate Carbon to Address Ocean Acidification under TSCA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promptly rejected a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) requesting that the agency undertake a novel expansion of its authority under the Toxic Substances...more

Volkswagen Defeated?

Last week, on September 18, 2015, the EPA issued a News Release revealing that Volkswagen Group of America (“Volkswagen”) sold cars incorporating a “defeat device” as defined in the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) to purposefully evade...more

Pre-enforcement Review? Not Enough. How About Pre-issuance Review?

In Sackett, the Supreme Court ruled that EPA could not issue enforcement orders under the Clean Water Act without allowing the subjects of the order the right to bring a pre-enforcement challenge to such orders under the...more

EPA Decreases Limit for Ground-Level Ozone

In an updated rule released October 1, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set tighter limits on ozone – a compound regarded as a precursor to smog. In setting the new standard at 70 parts per billion (ppb) for...more

EPA Tightens Ozone Standard…Again

On October 1, 2015, EPA announced that the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone would be 70 ppb, a 6.7% reduction of the current 75 ppb standard. On November 25, 2014, EPA had proposed to...more

EPA Proposes New Methane and VOC Emissions Limits

Proposed new limits, intended to combat global warming, potentially affect numerous oil and gas operations. On September 18, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new limits on emissions...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

"EPA Issues Clean Power Plan to Reduce Power Plant Carbon Emissions (Updated)"

On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its final regulation, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), establishing carbon dioxide emission guidelines for existing affected electric utility generating...more

EPA Poised to Elevate Clean Air Act 112(r) Enforcement

Overview - In the wake of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent $5.6 million settlement with Bayer CropScience under Clean Air Act Section 112(r), companies should expect more from EPA in 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

Energy Technology Connections Newsletter: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - July 2015

A Note from the Editors - Our July edition of Energy Technology Connections brings you recent industry highlights, the latest news from Capitol Hill, and a list of upcoming energy industry events. In Leaders in the...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

EPA Issues Notice Of Proposed Settlement For Wyoming Refineries

On September 14, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Proposed Settlement Agreement; Request for Public Comment in the Federal Register. The notice is to settle lawsuits filed by Sinclair...more

EPA Publishes Regulatory Proposals that Would Further Curb Methane and VOC Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a suite of regulatory actions aimed at reducing methane and volatile organic compound (“VOC”) emissions from the oil and gas sector....more

EPA Seeks Comment on National Enforcement Initiatives

On September 15, 2015, EPA solicited public comment on its upcoming cycle of National Enforcement Initiatives (NEI) for fiscal years (FY) 2017-2019. EPA is proposing to adopt three new enforcement initiatives and is...more

Citgo Prevails Over EPA at the Fifth Circuit

USA v. Citgo Petroleum highlights the excruciating degree of detail in federal regulations and the gymnastics the EPA will employ justify a prosecution. The Fifth Circuit has reversed Citgo Petroleum’s conviction for...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, September 2015

EPA Releases TSCA Assessment Documents For Flame Retardant Chemicals: On August 18, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment three Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment documents...more

Fifth Circuit Decision in Citgo Case May Place Limits on Criminal Liability Under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

On September 4, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed convictions of CITGO Petroleum Corporation and CITGO Refining and Chemical Company, L.P. (collectively "Citgo"), and in so doing placed potentially...more

EPA Requests Comment On Fiscal Year 2017 – 2019 Enforcement Priorities

EPA on September 15, 2015, announced its National Enforcement Initiatives (NEIs) for its Fiscal Years (FY) 2017 – 2019 and requested comment on them. 80 Fed. Reg. 55352. EPA selects enforcement initiatives every three years...more

D.C. Circuit Denies Motion of 15 States to Stay Deadlines for CPP Compliance

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied an emergency petition filed by 15 states that sought an immediate stay of certain deadlines in the Environmental Protection Agency’s...more

Fifth Circuit Spurns Second and Tenth Circuits, Sides with Eighth and Ninth Circuits on Interpretation of MBTA “Take” Prohibition

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), it is unlawful to “pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill . . . any migratory bird” protected by the Act. 16 U.S.C. 703(a) & 704(a). In a recent...more

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