Today's Supreme Court Decision in AEP v. Connecticut

Here is my instant analysis of the decision just issued by the Supreme Court in American Electric Power v. Connecticut , the case in which several states and others sought a court order requiring several large electric utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions because they were a public nuisance...

Podcast - Legal News - Supreme Court Holds Clean Air Act and EPA Trump State Nuisance Lawsuits - AEP v. Connecticut

The U.S. Supreme Court reverses a 2nd Circuit ruling allowing states' lawsuits over greenhouse gas emissions, and the high court reverses certification of a WalMart gender class. Listen to the third story on the podcast for this historic greenhouse gas emissions decision, and also hear other stories...

Marten Law on American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut--U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Climate Change Nuisance Claims

By Steven Jones, Partner, Marten Law PLLC "In an 8-0 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held on June 20 in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut (AEP) that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear federal common law nuisance claims relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, because...

U.S. EPA Proposes Revisions to Clean Air Act Regulations Impacting the Oil and Gas Industry

On August 23rd, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a package of proposed rules governing air emissions from the oil and natural gas industry, which includes the EPA's first air standards targeting emissions from gas wells drilled by hydraulic fracturing. 76 Fed. Reg...

Let a thousand lawsuits bloom: The CAA is this week's favorite target

As noted in prior posts, EPA has proposed national standards for mercury and other toxic pollutant emissions from power plants. See http://www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/ . Now Guam and 25 states have filed a challenge to the regulations. The EPA is under court order to finalize the so-called...

Keller and Heckman LLP: EPA Proposes Amendments to Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to amend the Tier I and Tier II Inventory Forms required under section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to Know Act (EPCRA), 42 U.S.C. § 11022 .[1] EPCRA § 312 requires the owner or operator of a facility who is required...

Marten Law Launches San Francisco Office

Former Orrick Environmental Partner to Anchor Firm's Expansion to California Robert Lawrence , former chair of Orrick's environmental transactions group, will anchor Marten Law's new San Francisco office - making it one of the largest environmental and energy law firms on the West...

U.S. EPA Considering Limiting Self-Disclosure Incentives

By Steven M. Siros, Partner, Jenner & Block Under U.S. EPA's current audit policy, companies that self-disclose environmental violations may be entitled to the elimination or reduction of penalties for non-compliance. However, U.S. EPA recently announced that it is considering limiting the...

Obama Administration Finalizes Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standards

Consumer Savings Comparable to Lowering Price of Gasoline by $1 Per Gallon by 2025 WASHINGTON, DC - The Obama Administration has finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. When combined with previous...

Keller and Heckman LLP Environmental Business Alert: Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Clean Air Act Flexible Permit Program

Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Clean Air Act Flexible Permit Program On August 13, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Fifth Circuit) issued its opinion upholding the Texas Flexible Permit Program. For now, the decision in Texas v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), settles...

Steptoe & Johnson: Uncertainty in Appalachia Created By U.S. EPA Air Quality Permitting Memorandum

By Armando F. Benincasa In the face of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in late 2012 which struck down United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) use of "functional relatedness" in determining whether sources of air emissions should be aggregated for purposes...

Jenner & Block: Another Federal Circuit Adopts Five-Year Limit On NSR Enforcement Actions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently joined the Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits in finding that U.S. EPA is required to bring New Source Review (NSR) enforcement proceedings within five years of the alleged violation. On August 21, 2013, in United States of America, et al....

Federal Appellate Court Rules That The Clean Air Act Does Not Preempt State Common Law Claims

On August, 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a ruling reversing dismissal of common law claims brought by a group of residents who live near a coal-fired power plant in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station , No. 12-4216 (Aug. 20, 2013). The residents...

Compliance With the Clean Air Act May Not Be Enough

A recent Third Circuit decision indicates that compliance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) may not be sufficient to protect an owner or operator from state common law tort claims. In Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station (Aug. 20, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers...

RGGI Outlines Its 111(d) Vision to EPA

by Shelley Welton, Deputy Director On December 2 nd , commissioners, secretaries and directors of environmental and energy agencies from states within the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) filed comments to EPA on the agency’s forthcoming regulations for greenhouse gases from existing...

Five Agricultural Legal Issues to Watch in 2014

What will be the hot topics in ag law for 2014? Here are some predictions for the coming year: 1. Clean Air Act Targets Farmers . Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970 to clean up the nation’s air. The low hanging fruit of air pollution—power plants, industrial factories, trucks and automobiles...

CAA Settlement Requires Violator to Invest in Improving Energy Efficiency of Other Buildings

By Marc Karell, P.E., CEM, Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC In September of 2013, HA Industries of Oregon, IL, a manufacturer of coatings and resin-coated sands, settled charges that it violated the Clean Air Act. No big deal here. This happens all the time. Like many such settlements...

What Price For Clean Air? The EPA’s Golden Rule: No Good Neighbor Goes Unpunished

By Brian H. Potts Have you ever wondered what all those additional charges are on your electric bill? This month my bill lists a “Customer Charge,” a “2013 Fuel Adjustment” and a “State-Wide Low-Income Assistance Fee,” which add up to about $10, or $120 a year...

Clean Air Court Win For US Environmental Protection Agency

The US Environmental Protection Agency has won an important court victory that may help clean the air in Ontario. About half of the air pollution in southern Ontario blows in from the US, mostly from coal-fired power generation stations. The EPA has been trying, for many years, to force those stations...

State Coalition Sues EPA For Failing To Adequately Limit Pollution From Residential Wood Heaters

Despite Clean Air Act Requirements, Agency's Existing Limits Haven't Been Updated in 25 Years; Ignore Outdoor Wood Boilers, One Of The Most Common And Polluting Devices. Smoke From Residential Wood-Burning Heaters Poses A Serious Public Health Threat In New York Communities. Leading...

Supreme Court Reinstates Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

On April 29, 2014, in a decision that may impact electric prices and service reliability for McNees clients in the region, the United States Supreme Court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], reinstated EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), [ enhanced version available...

Marten Law on EPA v. EME Homer City Generation: Clean Air Act--Supreme Court Defers To EPA on Cross-State Air Pollution, Putting More Pressure on Aging Coal-Fired Power Plants

By Svend Brandt-Erichsen, Partner, Marten Law PLLC In this article, Svend Brandt-Erichsen of Marten Law PLLC examines the Supreme Court's decision in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], upholding EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule...

Significant Upwind Impact: The Supreme Court Upholds Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“ EPA ”) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“ CSAPR ”). EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., No. 12-1182, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In a 6...

EPA Proposes First Carbon Emissions Limits for Power Plants

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its Clean Power Plan, which would impose the first federal limits on carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from power plants in the United States.[1] The proposed rules, which the EPA published pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air...

Contractor Sentenced To Prison For Contaminating Beach With Asbestos From Condo Renovation

As a result of beach contamination that occurred from illegally pressure washing siding on a high rise condo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, David Braswell has been sentenced in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for violation of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7412, [ enhanced version available...