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MATS Corrections

By Laura M. Goldfarb , Member, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC. EPA is proposing to correct certain text of the final MATS Rule officially titled “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units and Standards of Performance...

New EPA Rule Regulates Coal Ash As Non-Hazardous

By E. Lynn Grayson The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the first national regulations to provide for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash) from coal-fired power plants which will be regulated under the nonhazardous waste provisions of RCRA. In developing...

The Keystone XL Pipeline Veto: Much Ado ...

By J. Wylie Donald When one talks of pipelines in recent days one hears nearly an incessant buzz about Keystone XL, as if that is where the real action is. But it isn't, notwithstanding the histrionics over President Obama's veto of S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. The real action...

Court Affirms Disclosure in NPDES Permitting Is Critical to Permit Shield

By Miranda Yost , Of Counsel, Troutman Sanders LLP A recent Sixth Circuit decision, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], on permit shield protection reinforces the importance of full disclosure to the permitting agency. The Sixth Circuit found a coal company was shielded from...

Peter Glaser Talks “Just Say No” Option for States on E&E TV

Should states opt to “just say no” to U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposal by either not submitting compliance plans or creating mechanisms that do not follow the agency’s building blocks? Peter Glaser in Troutman’s D.C. office discussed that question with E&E TV’s...

State Net Capitol Journal – May 4, 2015; Transportation Funding Crisis Breeds Self-Reliance In States

Budget & Taxes Transportation Funding Crisis Breeds Self-Reliance In States The transportation funding crisis in the states is continuing to worsen. At least six states -- Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Montana, Tennessee, and Wyoming -- have delayed roughly $2 billion in construction projects...

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...

Permit Shield Extended to General Permits by Sixth Circuit

In January 2015, the Sixth Circuit held that a defendant’s compliance with the terms of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) general permit would effectively “shield” that defendant from claims filed under the citizen suit enforcement provisions...

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...

State Net Capitol Journal: Renewable Energy Offsets Collapse Of Coal

The U.S. coal industry has endured a precipitous decline in recent years. A Duke University study indicated that the industry shed 49,530 jobs between 2008 and 2012. U.S. renewable energy, meanwhile, has surged. The Duke study found that wind and solar energy generation provided more than 79,000 direct...

There's Gold in Them Thar Coal Plants - You Just Have to Know How to Look For It

By J. Wylie Donald Last Tuesday night saw a few of us enjoying the charms of Virginia Beach as we recovered from a long day of coal plant demolition. (Lawyers in hard hats. Run from that.) Well, not exactly. We were attending a conference run by EUCI: Plant Retirement: Learning from Experience...

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...

"Capacious" Term Dooms MATS Rule - Does It Say Anything About the Clean Power Plan?

By J. Wylie Donald The Energy Information Agency predicted the retirement of up to 60 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generation by 2020. A significant contributor to that evolution was the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard or MATS Rule. Until now that is, because a 5-4 majority on the Supreme...

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates EPA’s Regulation of Mercury from Power Plants

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], and invalidated U.S. EPA's...

How the Supreme Court Just Delayed the Clean Power Plan

By Tricia Caliguire The Supreme Court’s decision in Michigan v. EPA , [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], holding that the Environmental Protection Agency should have considered costs when making the decision to regulate mercury emissions...

Supreme Court - EPA Must Consider Costs before Regulating Mercury Emissions from Power Plants

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Michigan v. EPA, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to properly consider compliance costs before promulgating the Mercury and Air Toxics...

Williams Mullen: Federal Government Continues to Target Big Coal

By: Jessica J.O. King The United States Department of Interior’s (DOI) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has proposed new regulations requiring coal mining companies to protect and restore streams impacted by nearby mining activities. DOI’s draft Stream Protection Rule...

Michigan v. EPA – Setting the Stage for The Clean Power Plan and WOTUS

On June 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court filed its 5-4 ruling on the challenge to US EPA Mercury Air Toxics (MATS) rule. Michigan, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 14-46 . http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-46_10n2.pdf . In short the decision reverses and remands the...

Obama’s Clean Power Plan: “There is such a thing as being too late”

In a passionate announcement last month (it’s worth watching ), President Barak Obama unveiled the United States’ plan for doing its part to combat climate change: the Clean Power Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan sets out to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from...

Demand-Side Energy Efficiency in the Final Clean Power Plan

By Jessica Wentz, Associate Director and Postdoctoral Fellow President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have unveiled the final version of the Clean Power Plan —the nation’s first ever federal regulatory standards to address carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from existing...