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...

Texas Federal Judge Imposes Maximum $2 Million Fine On Felony Pollution Counts

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — (Mealey’s) A Texas federal judge on Feb. 5 imposed fines totaling more than $2 million on convictions stemming from oil/water separation tanks that had been operated without the required covers for nearly 10 years, polluting the air and causing the deaths of migratory...

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...

High Court Hears Arguments On EPA’s Ability To Regulate Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 24 heard oral arguments on whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its bounds by regulating greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources such as power plants ( Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental...

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...

Supreme Court Reverses Ruling Giving States Second Chances At Emissions Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) In a 6-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 29 reversed a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision that states are excused from adopting implementation plans prohibiting emissions that “contribute significantly” to air pollution...

Judge Denies Monitoring, Future Medical Expenses In Criminal Pollution Case

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — (Mealey’s) Compensation for future medical expenses, court-ordered medical monitoring and relocation from allegedly polluted properties is not justified by the evidence, the Texas federal judge sentencing CITGO Petroleum Corp. for criminal pollution violations said...

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...

DLA Piper Climate Change Alert: EPA Announces Carbon Regulations For Existing Power Plants

By Deborah E. Jennings , Andrew B. Schatz and Catherine B. Campbell The Environmental Protection Agency has announced long-awaited regulations to reduce carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from existing power plants pursuant to the Clean Air Act. EPA's Clean Power Plan would for the first time establish...

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...

Federal Court Rejects USEPA’s Attempt to Limit Summit Ruling to Sixth Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has vacated a USEPA memorandum aimed at limiting the reach of S ummit Petroleum Corp. v. USEPA , (6th Cir. Aug 7, 2012), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], a case which condemned USEPA’s use of a functional interrelationship...

The D.C. Circuit Court Rejects EPA Guidance on Source Aggregation

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], ruled upon a petition filed by an industry coalition which objected to the manner in which USEPA intended to implement the 6 th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Summit Petroleum Corp. v. EPA , [ enhanced version...

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...

Clean Power Plan Proposal Includes Incentives For States To Focus On Controversial Nuclear Energy

There has been a lot of discussion and press around the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan , which is intended to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA proposed this plan on June 2nd under its Clean Air Act §111(d) authority, which “requires...

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...

Babst Calland: Environmental Advocacy Groups Call for National Methane Emission Standards

By Holly A. Pisanelli On September 18, 2014, sixteen of the nation’s largest environmental advocacy groups joined forces in a letter to President Barack Obama calling for national standards aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The letter urged the U.S. Environmental...

Sierra Club Ordered to Pay $6.4M in Attorneys Fees For Filing Frivolous CAA Lawsuit

By Steven M. Siros On September 2, 2014, a United States District Court for the Western District of Texas ordered that the Sierra Club reimburse Energy Future Holdings Corporation and Luminant Generation Company $6.4 million in attorneys fees for filing what the court described as a "frivolous"...

Waste Hauler Illegally Demolished Building Filled With Asbestos and 14,500 Tons of Trash

A federal indictment has been filed charging three businessman, including the owner of several garbage-hauling businesses, with violating the Clean Air Act by failing to remove asbestos prior to demolishing a former factory filled with trash. Related charges for illegally dumping garbage at the factory...