Clean Air Act

News & Analysis as of

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

Environmental Issues and The Republican Majority

Expectations are running high among some that the incoming Republican majority in both Houses of Congress will act to change or eliminate various environmental regulations and statutory provisions that they claim harm the...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

WVDEP Files Proposed Legislative Rule Implementing AST Act

In the latest development relating to West Virginia’s new aboveground storage tank (“AST”) legislation, on December 22, 2014, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) filed with the West Virginia...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

Supreme Court's Petition Denial in Clean Air Act Pre-emption Case Reinforces Threat From Common Law Claims

The United States Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari earlier this month after the Iowa Supreme Court held in June that the plaintiffs' nuisance claims were not pre-empted by the Clean Air Act (CAA) in Freeman v....more

More Regulatory Stability and Incentives for Biogas and Biomass Projects

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a host of new incentives to encourage the use of fuels derived from biomass—including biogas that replaces traditional natural gas in the form of compressed...more

Proof and Causation Matter: District Court Declines to Penalize ExxonMobil in Texas Citizen Suit

On Wednesday, Judge David Hittner, of the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in a decision long enough to require two separate pdfs, declined to impose an injunction or penalties (plaintiffs sought...more

Aviation & Aerospace and Surface Transportation Quarterly Newsletter

In This Issue: - Update on Developments in California Drone Law - One Community Gets Relief from Aircraft Noise - California Once Again Relinquishes Clean Air Act Enforcement Responsibility to the...more

When Is a Solid Waste Not a Solid Waste? An Eternal Question

This year, EPA has proposed a rule to regulate GHG emissions from existing sources, the legality of which turns, in significant part, on the definition of a “source” under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. It has also...more

Salem power plant wins market deferral

Federal regulators have granted a request by the developer of a power plant in Salem, Massachusetts, to defer its commitment to provide power to the New England market. The process reflects challenges inherent to developing...more

The Space Between Draft and Final

EPA has a lot to consider in finalizing its rule directing states to create programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel fired electric generating units. The public comment period on a recently proposed...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

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