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EPA Proposes New and Differing Carbon Emission Limits for Future Natural Gas-Fired and Coal-Fired Power Plants

On September 20, 2013, U.S. EPA rescinded its first attempt and proposed new rules to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), i.e. , national emission limits, for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emitted from new electric power plants. EPA's proposed approach is to set different limits, and different...

Modern Agriculture's Big Five Issues (and How the Law is Reacting to Them)

For this next year, I’m serving as the chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Agricultural Management Committee . The Committee is part of the wider ABA Section on the Environment, Energy and Resources and focuses on cutting-edge issues involving agriculture and the environment, including...

Utah Gov. Herbert Names 'Action Team' To Fight Dirty Air

HERBERT NAMES 'ACTION TEAM' TO FIGHT DIRTY AIR: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced the creation last week of a new working group tasked with devising solutions to the Beehive State's persistent air pollution problems. The 38-member panel, dubbed the Clean Air Action Team, will have until...

Virginia Environmental Regulatory Developments

BY: LYNNE C. RHODE, JOHN W. DANIEL II & CHANNING J. MARTIN STATE AIR POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD A. Final Regulations 1. Existing Stationary Sources (Rev. J07) (amending 9VAC5-40-6970, 9VAC5-40-7050; adding 9VAC5-40-6975). 9VAC5-45. Consumer and Commercial Products (Rev. J07) (amending 9VAC5...

New CO2 Performance Standard Proposal for New Electric Generators Issued by EPA

On September 20, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a new proposal to limit carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions from new coal-fueled and natural gas-fueled electric generating units. The proposal replaces a proposal EPA made last year. For new coal-fueled...

Does Preemption Prevent Redress For Homeowners Impacted By Polluters' Air Emissions?

On April 23, 2012, residents of rural Muscatine, Iowa filed a class action lawsuit titled, Laurie Freeman et al. v. Grain Processing Corporation (case no. LACV 021232), in the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County. The defendant, Grain Processing Corporation, is an Iowa manufacturer of corn syrup...

Northeastern States Seek to Force Upwind States to Join the Ozone Transport Region

BY: LYNNE C. RHODE Stating that they “face pervasive ozone nonattainment problems,” eight Northeastern states on December 9, 2013 petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to add nine upwind states to the Ozone Transport Region (“OTR”). Delaware...

Environmental Alert: Requirements for Existing Area Source Boilers

This is a reminder that you may be required to file an initial notification with the U.S. EPA and Pennsylvania DEP if you operate an industrial boiler. The finalized U.S. EPA National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants ("NESHAP") "Boiler MACT" area source rule (40 CFR...

EPA Finalizes Rule Tightening Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a final rule that establishes stricter standards for motor vehicle exhaust emissions and the sulfur content of gasoline. The new “Tier 3” standards represent a holistic approach to reducing motor vehicle emissions: they require auto...

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 Power Plan Will Spur Innovation and Strengthen the Economy

Yesterday was an important day. At the direction of President Obama and after an unprecedented outreach effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the Clean Power Plan proposal, which for the first time cuts carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon...

Supreme Court Affirms In Part, Reverses In Part Clean Air Act Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court today reversed in part and affirmed in part a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling as to whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could require companies emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) to obtain permits for...

Federal Government Proposes New Air Pollution Regulations

The federal government has proposed a major set of new air pollution regulations to reduce industrial-source air pollution, starting with performance standards for the cement sector and two equipment types: gaseous-fuel-fired non-utility boilers/ heaters and stationary spark-ignition gaseous-fuel-fired...

EPA Appears to Have Green Light to Develop Regulations on Utility Power Plant Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions just cleared a significant hurdle through a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, which appears to give the agency a green light to move forward with its development of a regulatory regime concerning utility...

State Impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan Rule

By Teresa Kim Schmittberger The Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") has proposed the new Clean Power Plan Rule, which has been touted as President Obama's most significant environmental proposal to date. The main goal of the Clean Power Plan Rule is to cut carbon dioxide emissions...

Ohio’s Fugitive Emissions Regulations

By Zahava Bennett and Eli Humphries Many energy prospectors, including the T. Boone Pickens, have viewed natural gas as a bridge fuel leading to a more sustainable future. Although natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, there is concern that a valuable resource is being wasted and additional...

US EPA Urban Air Toxics Report to Congress

By Joyce A. Gentry The US EPA has released the Second Integrated Urban Air Toxics Report to Congress. This is the final of two reports required by the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) to inform Congress on the process in reducing public health risks from urban air toxics. A copy of the complete report...

Oklahoma Attorney General Opposes EPA Power Plant Rule in Comment Letter

Oklahoma, 16 Other States Comment on Proposed EPA Guidelines Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt along with attorneys general from 16 other states filed a comment letter with the EPA opposing the agency’s unlawful plan to regulate power plants. “The EPA’s proposed power plant...

States Should Think Twice Before Refusing Any Response to EPA’s Clean Power Rules

The date is approaching for EPA to finalize its rules for controlling carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, and states are contemplating their responses to those rules. A number of commentators have recommended that states “just say no” to EPA and refuse to prepare state plans...

A View from the FERC - Part III - Time to Keep the Lights On

By Tricia Caliguire Last week, FERC held the eastern regional technical conference on “Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure.” The purpose was for the commissioners to hear the specific issues created by EPA’s...

The Clean Power Plan: A View from FERC, Part IV - Economic v. Environmental Dispatch, Please

By J. Wylie Donald It’s been a long winter in my neck of the woods and not because Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Pipes froze. Twice. Furnace was out overnight. Broke three shovels. So I had a particular interest this past Wednesday, March 11, in FERC’s Eastern Regional Technical Conference...

In re Murray Energy - the First Clean Power Plan Donnybrook

By J. Wylie Donald This morning found us at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington, hoping to take in the oral argument before the DC Circuit in the first (of what is certain to be many) challenge to the Clean Power Plan: In re Murray Energy Corp. Murray Energy is the largest privately...

Texas Changes the Goal(s)

By Tricia Caliguire Some say you can't go back, but last week, I did go back -- to Austin, Texas, where I went to law school. Things changed -- the east side has been gentrified, the traffic is horrendous, and Molly Ivins is gone – and are much the same – including that having the...

PA Court Declines to Aggregate Separate Compressor Stations

A Pennsylvania Court recently considered whether a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the air contamination sources are “adjacent”, thereby rendering a natural gas operators compressor facilities ineligible for GP-5 (minor source) air permits and requiring the natural gas...

NERC's Polite Review of the Clean Power Plan: A "Challenge"

By J. Wylie Donald When the draft of EPA's Clean Power Plan was promulgated in the Federal Register last June, one of the critical questions raised by those in the electricity space was: what about reliability? If you shut down all those coal plants, will you have enough generation from other...