Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

When Does a Judge Refuse an Unopposed Motion to Enter a Consent Decree?

Last week, Judge John Copenhaver refused to allow a motion by the United States to enter a consent decree that would have resolved government claims against DuPont concerning alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, CERCLA,...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

Recent Settlement Under EPA’s Energy Extraction Initiative Provides Insight For Future Enforcement in the Oil and Gas Industry

Given its patchwork of regulatory authority over operations in the oil and natural gas industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a national enforcement initiative to focus its efforts. Through its...more

Opponents of EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan Face Tough Questions From the Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument on the first legal challenges to EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” on April 16, 2015. The plan is a proposed rule under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air...more

BLM Announces New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules for Oil and Gas Wells on Federal Lands; Industry Trade Associations and the State of...

On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final rule setting new standards for hydraulic fracturing on onshore federal and Indian lands. The final rule, as published in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - EPA emissions rules face Supreme Court test: NPR - Mar 25: On April 1, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Obama Administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in...more

MATS in the Supreme Court–Toxic to EPA?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unreasonably decided not to consider the cost of regulation when the EPA determined it was “appropriate and necessary” to...more

New Source Review Update: Courts Limit Aggregation for Major Source Determination and Challenges to NSR Pre-Project Emissions...

Pennsylvania Court Limits NSR Permit Aggregation - In February, the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down an environmental group’s challenge that Ultra Resources should have aggregated eight compressor stations...more

Source Aggregation: Recent Court Decision Addresses Whether Certain Facilities are "Adjacent"

On February 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a decision finding eight compressor stations to be "separate sources" under the Clean Air Act and State of Pennsylvania regulations....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2015 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus: California renewable energy zone plan gets revamp after criticism: Reuters - Mar 10: An ambitious plan to put California's renewable energy projects in areas where the environment will...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

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

No Competitors In My Backyard?

In Paradise Lost, John Milton wrote that “easy is the descent into Hell, for it is paved with good intentions.” A modern environmental lawyer might say that the road to waste, inefficiency, and obstruction is paved with good...more

Court Finds Certain PA Compressor Stations Not ‘Adjacent’ for Purpose of Aggregating Emissions

On February 23, 2015, the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a decision in Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future v. Ultra Resources, Inc., holding that eight compressor stations owned by Ultra...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

When Bad Things Happen at Good Facilities (Hazardous Air Pollutant Edition)

Malfunctions happen, even at a well-managed facility. When they happen, they can cause a facility to deviate from emission limits or other standards regarding (among other things) hazardous air pollutants. Furthermore,...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

"Ambitious EPA Plan Would Require States to Reduce CO2 Emissions at Existing Power Plants"

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to issue in final form three proposed regulations for limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions pursuant to Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The proposed...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: EPA Stakes Out Approach to Address GHG Permitting for Authorized Sources Affected

On December 19, 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two memoranda outlining the Agency’s planned response to the Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. Environmental...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

Recent Cases on Clean Air Act Preemption of Common Law Torts Upend Conventional Wisdom

Two recent appellate-level decisions allowing state common law tort claims against an intrastate emitting source to avoid Clean Air Act (CAA) preemption have surprised many CAA litigators. The outcome in both Bell v....more

EPA Seeks Additional Comment on NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule, and Other Recent CWA Developments

EPA Seeks Additional Comment On NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule: On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested additional comment on the proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System...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

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