Marten Law: Challenges to EPA's Controversial Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Move Forward

Marten Law: Challenges to EPA's Controversial Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Move Forward

By Dustin Till

In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Dustin Till reviews the EPA's attempt to regulate emissions from power plants in "upwind" states based upon allegations that air quality in "downwind" states is affected.  The EPA's controversial Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) is also discussed. 

"EPA's latest attempt to regulate emissions from power plants in "upwind" states that allegedly contribute to air quality degradation in "downwind" states has come under blistering attack from dozens of petitioners, who filed a consolidated opening brief in February 2012. EPA's controversial Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) would require significant reductions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from fossil fuel-fired power plants in 27 states.

"CSAPR replaces EPA's 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which was struck down by the D.C. Circuit in 2008. The court kept CAIR in place temporarily while EPA developed a new rule addressing the interstate transport of air pollution. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed CSAPR late last year, pending resolution of the legal challenges. Pursuant to the D.C. Circuit's stay, EPA must continue to administer CAIR while challenges to CSAPR are pending. Those challenges have been placed on an expedited briefing schedule, with oral arguments scheduled in mid-April.

"CSAPR is one of several Obama administration Clean Air Act rulemakings targeting the utility sector. In mid-February 2012, EPA published its final Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) rule that requires power plants to cut emissions of mercury, acid gases, and several other volatile organic compounds.  Also looming on the horizon is EPA's pending New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from power plants."

As a lawyer with the Marten Law PLLC, Dustin Till practices environmental and land use litigation with a special focus on climate change issues, permitting, and environmental review in the Pacific Northwest. Dustin represents clients in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska on a broad range of environmental matters, including permitting and energy infrastructure siting. Dustin shares his climate change expertise on behalf of Marten Law writing ongoing articles for LexisNexis' Environmental Law and Climate Change Center.

Dustin has appeared before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, federal district court and the Washington State Court of Appeals.

Areas of Practice:
Climate Change/Sustainability
Environmental Litigation
Endangered Species & Natural Resources
Permitting & Environmental Review
Water Resources

History:
Marten Law PLLC, Seattle, WA (2005 -- Present)
Extern to the Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (Fall 2004)

Education:
J.D., summa cum laude, Seattle University School of Law (2005)
Research & Technical Editor, Seattle University Law Review
Member, Environmental Law Society
B.A., magna cum laude, Western Washington University (2002)

Marten Law PLLC is an environmental law firm advising companies and public agencies on some of the most challenging aspects of environmental, land use and natural resource legal matters. With experience in nearly every aspect of environmental law, the firm strives to help clients navigate the maze of federal, state, and local regulations in order to resolve disputes and grow their business. Marten Law is a leading legal expert on climate change policy, lending content and ongoing commentary to LexisNexis' Environmental Law and Climate Change Center.

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