Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Analyzing the critical energy and environmental issues of the day

Tag Archives: Clean Air Act

The (much!) Higher Cost of Non-Compliance: Federal Civil Penalties Increase

Posted in EPA, Federal
EPA has released an interim final rule with penalty adjustments mandated by a new law (“Interim Rule” or “Rule”). Most importantly, the “catch up” adjustments under the Interim Rule carry quite a wallop for those subject to any of a wide variety of violations (rule available here). For example, the maximum daily penalty for violating… Continue Reading

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Narrowly Interpreted: the Fifth Circuit Joins the Eighth and Ninth Circuits

Posted in Federal, Litigation, Natural Resources, Rulemakings
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court decision holding CITGO liable for three misdemeanors under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) for bird deaths (the opinion lists 35 birds, including “twenty (regular old) ducks”) resulting from uncovered equalization tanks at its Corpus Christi refinery. The court also reversed two Clean Air Act (CAA)… Continue Reading

The Space Between Draft and Final

Posted in Climate Change, EPA, Rulemakings
EPA has a lot to consider in finalizing its rule directing states to create programs to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel fired electric generating units.  The public comment period on a recently proposed rule generated 1.6 million comments from companies, governmental agencies and members of the public. EPA targets June 2015 for… Continue Reading

EPA Fixes Due Date for Comments on Its Proposed Regulations of Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants

Posted in Climate Change, EPA, Federal
Today, the EPA has published in the Federal Register the official version of its proposed regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. 79 Fed. Reg. 34830. You can find the official version here. Public comments on the proposed regulations will now be due on… Continue Reading

EPA Proposed Regulation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Posted in Climate Change, EPA, Federal, Rulemakings
On June 2, President Obama is expected to unveil EPA’s proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.  The regulations, among the most momentous ever issued by the EPA, will be issued under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act and implemented by each of the fifty states.  Complex legal, economic, and… Continue Reading

Is Carbon Capture and Sequestration the Best or Even an Achievable Control Technology To Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants?

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal, Rulemakings
EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas emission standards for new power plants rest on the agency’s finding that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies are “achievable” and the “best system” for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.  This finding is highly debatable and will likely be the focal point of political and legal… Continue Reading

EPA Reissues Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for New Power Plants

Posted in Climate Change, EPA, Federal, Renewables, Rulemakings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has re-proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for new fossil-fuel power plants, exercising existing authority under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act.  Proposed rule re Electric Utility Generating Units.  The key proposal is an emission standard for new coal-fired power plants that would require the incorporation of substantial… Continue Reading

It Is Easy to Lose the Privilege Protecting Audit Documents

Posted in Environmental Quality, Natural Resources
In a recent case, documents related to an audit which was described in internal correspondence as being done to assess general compliance were not privileged in later civil litigation since the Court found: (1) the audit was conducted as a regular business activity; and (2) defendants could not establish that litigation was the “driving force”… Continue Reading

9th Circuit: Alaska Natives Cannot Seek Damages for Climate Change from U.S. Energy Producers Based on Federal Common Law

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Quality, Northwest
Legal Disputes Related to Climate Change Will Continue for a Century is the title of a recently published legal paper authored by Richard J. Pierce, Jr., a professor of Public Law at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.  He said he was confident that his current law students would be working on climate… Continue Reading

Finding the Balance: FERC Carves Out Its Role on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal, FERC
The following post by Margaret Claybour is in response to an advisory by Brian Gish of our DC office titled, “FERC Seeks Comments on How to Advise EPA Regarding the Reliability Impact of Clean Air Act Rules”. Last month, FERC gave us a glimpse into its ongoing efforts to monitor the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards… Continue Reading

American Electric Power v. Connecticut: U.S. Supreme Court holds Clean Air Act displaces federal common law public nuisance actions

Posted in Federal, Uncategorized
From DWT attorney Kerry Shea: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in American Electric Power v. Connecticut, holding that the Clean Air Act displaces federal common law public nuisance actions to force greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from fossil-based power plants, even though EPA has not yet set standards to limit those emissions.  The opinion (an 8-0 decision) reverses a 2009 Second Circuit… Continue Reading