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Environmental Impact Statements Addressing Resiliency and Adaptation

Ethan I. Strell, Associate Director & Fellow, Columbia Center for Climate Change Law In a subtle but meaningful shift, the environmental impact review process in New York City is beginning to more systematically consider the potential effects of a changing climate on proposed projects, not...

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...

Sustainability vs. Competitiveness in the EU

By Teresa Parejo Navajas, Associate Professor of Law (Carlos III University, Spain) Visiting Scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law The EU Strategy 2020, adopted in 2010, is about delivering growth for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with more effective investments in education...

Proposed Federal Strategies to Reduce Methane Emissions

While energy conservation, reducing fossil fuel combustion to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is important to combat climate change, another GHG of importance is methane (CH 4 ), which is 21 times more potent than CO 2. CH 4 emissions do not derive from combustion, but instead from natural decomposition...

New Ceres Report Tracks Corporate Sustainability Efforts

By E. Lynn Grayson . This report, Gaining Ground - Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability (report), evaluates how well 613 of the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies are integrating sustainability into their business systems and decision-making. The report – a collaboration...

Obama To Slash Emissions From Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its long awaited proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards to slash carbon emissions from existing power plants, the largest industrial source of GHG emissions in the US. The rule, if upheld by the Supreme Court, will require existing...

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...

Is RGGI in New Jersey's and Pennsylvania’s Future?

By John McAleese . With the release of EPA’s proposed regulation of CO2 from existing sources on June 2, there has been a lot of speculation that states will look to cap-and-trade schemes as a means of complying with EPA’s mandate that the states reduce CO2 emissions by 30% of 2005 levels...

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...

Supreme Court Ruling Means Some Facilities Will No Longer Trigger Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements

In a highly anticipated decision issued June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held that USEPA cannot require a stationary source to obtain a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) or Title V permit on the sole basis of its potential to emit greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, however,...

Supreme Court Rejects Premise For GHG Tailoring Rule, But Largely Maintains EPA’s Authority To Set GHG Emission Limits

By Deborah E. Jennings , Catherine B. Campbell , and Andrew B. Schatz In a split decision, the United States Supreme Court confirmed the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new and modified stationary sources that are required to obtain...

What Does Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Described by EPA in the “Tailoring Rule” Have to Do With the Clean Air Act?

UARG v. EPA (Tailoring Rule Litigation) This summer, Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs and the opinion for this case] on the question of whether EPA motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations necessarily automatically...

EPA Settles With Costco To Cut Ozone-Depleting And Greenhouse Gas Refrigerant Emissions Nationwide

Costco Wholesale Corporation, one of the nation’s largest retailers, has agreed to cut its emissions of ozone-depleting and greenhouse gases from leaking refrigeration equipment at more than half of its stores nationwide. In a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S...

Challenges to EPA’s Proposed Carbon Rules: What If They Succeed?

By Michael B. Gerrard The Clean Power Plan proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June is the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s efforts to fight climate change. Coal-fired power plants are by far the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and...

New SCCCL Report: Flag State Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has released a new white paper addressing state authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from ships. According to international law, all ships must have a nationality and must register with and fly the flag of that state. Flag state jurisdiction refers to...

California Appellate Court Holds that Regional Planning Agency Must Examine the Long-Term Impacts of Its Transportation Plan on Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

By: Daniel P. Selmi*, Visiting Scholar, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Fritz B. Burns Professor of Law, Loyola Law School In an emphatic opinion, a state appellate court has invalidated the environmental impact report for the first “sustainable communities strategy” prepared...

CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance on Addressing Climate Change under NEPA: Federal Agencies Should Analyze Both GHG Emissions and Impacts of Climate Change on Proposed Action

On December 24, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Revised Draft Guidance on how federal agencies should evaluate GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).[1] The revised guidance is significantly...

The Constitutional Foundation for the Clean Power Plan

As members of Congress wisely examine the legal basis for the Clean Power Plan, they should feel confident that the Environmental Protection Agency is acting with a solid constitutional foundation. At a Tuesday hearing of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce...

Possible Shift of Perspectives on Breadth of NEPA Review; CEQ's Draft Greenhouse Gas Guidance

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),[1] and the corresponding NEPA regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)[2] and the respective reviewing agencies, federal agencies are required to consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions— i.e...

Can and Should Greenhouse Gases be Regulated as Hazardous Air Pollutants under CAA § 112?

The Sabin Center has published a student paper by Mark Bond* which examines the legal and practical consequences of regulating greenhouse gas emissions as hazardous air pollutants under §112 of the Clean Air Act. To download the full paper, click here . This paper poses three questions: 1...

EPA Revises Its Regulatory Agenda, A Flurry of Activity Expected in the Next Few Months

Last week, the EPA-specific listing on the website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was updated with timelines on the EPA’s regulatory efforts. Of potential interest, in chronological order of expected release, are the following rules: • May 2015 (Final Rule). Clean Water...

FERC’s Reaction to CEQ’s Greenhouse Gas Guidance: For Now, Business as Usual

On June 23, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an Order Denying Rehearing, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this order: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], of its earlier April 6, 2015 order, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this order: lexis.com | Lexis Advance...

EPA Proposes Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Finding for Aircraft Emissions

In a rule signed on June 10, 2015, EPA proposed to find that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from engines used in certain types of aircraft contribute to air pollution that endangers health and welfare under section 231(a) of the Clean Air Act. Further, anticipating that the International Civil Aviation...

Pope Says No to Cap and Trade

By Tricia Caliguire "Pope Francis Stands Up to Climate Deniers," or so says the editorial board of the Newark Star Ledger . Yes, but the headline could have read, "Pope says No to Cap and Trade." In his ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR...