Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Analyzing the critical energy and environmental issues of the day

Tag Archives: EPA

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

Science Advisory Board Finally Weighs In on Waters of the U.S.

Posted in EPA, Rulemakings, Water Law
The Science Advisory Board has at last released its peer review  of EPA’s draft report on Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis, the technical support for the proposed rule on definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.  The SAB paper is generally supportive of EPA’s… Continue Reading

ECOS Releases “Waters of the U.S.” Paper

Posted in EPA, Federal, Water Law
On September 15, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) released a paper produced by the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) on the new “waters of the U.S.” rules proposed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.  The new rules are intended to bring clarity as to the jurisdictional reach of the federal government… 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 Proposes to Amend All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to Remove References to 2005 ASTM Standard for Phase 1 Assessments

Posted in EPA
Earlier today  EPA published for comment notice of its intent to amend the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule,” 40 CFR part 312, to remove references to ASTM E1527-05 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments:  Phase 1 Environmental Assessment Process (“2005 ASTM Standard”).  The Rule currently recognizes compliance with the 2005 ASTM standard as satisfying the Rule. … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Extend Public Comment on Proposed Clean Water Act Rules

Posted in EPA, Federal, Water Law
Responding to numerous requests from stakeholders, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency will be accepting public comments for an additional three months on the agencies’ proposed definition of the scope of federal jurisdiction over the nation’s water bodies. The new deadline for public comments is October 20, 2014.  For more information… Continue Reading

Stringency and Flexibility – Two Sides of the Same Coin in EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations for Existing Power Plants

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal
EPA’s ground-breaking proposal to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants has been lauded by some for affording states considerable flexibility, while also being criticized by others for being stringent.  In fact, it’s both. Flexibility is provided in the proposed regulations by permitting emission reductions to be achieved within four “building block” policies. … 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

Opposition Builds to Proposed Federal Clean Water Act Rules

Posted in EPA, Federal, Rulemakings, Water Law
Federal agencies face growing opposition from members of Congress and industry regarding a proposed definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The scope of federal jurisdiction under the CWA has been one of the most intractable issues in environmental law over the past decade. Recently proposed rules by the… 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

Ecology to hold public meetings on updates to human health criteria in Washington’s water quality standards

Posted in Environmental Quality, Health and Safety, Natural Resources, Northwest, Water Law
On September 12 and 16, 2013, Ecology will hold public meetings at its headquarters in Lacey, Washington regarding its rulemaking to update Washington’s surface water quality standards.  The rule making will set new human health criteria and implement regulatory tools to help dischargers comply with water quality standards. … Continue Reading

Do We Really Have A Section 404 Permit?

Posted in EPA, Federal, Water Law
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion on April 23 in Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) invalidation of a discharge permit issued four years prior by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”).  The decision effectively… Continue Reading

City of Seattle and King County Agree to Major Upgrades to Settle Discharge Violations

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Northwest, Water Law
To settle an enforcement action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the State of Washington (“State”), King County and the City of Seattle have agreed to complete major upgrades to their local sewage and combined stormwater collection, piping and treatment systems to address allegedly illegal discharges.  In addition, the County and City have… Continue Reading

Logging Roads Get A Pass – At Least For Now

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal, Northwest, Water Law
Yesterday, in a 7-1 decision with Justice Scalia the lone dissenter, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory to the forest products industry.  As it does so often, the Court reversed a Ninth Circuit ruling that had required Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for sediment laden stormwater that runs off of logging roads.  The… Continue Reading

First Oregon, Now Washington Water Quality Standards Under Attack

Posted in EPA, Northwest, Water Law
On February 26, in a reprise of its partially successful assault on Oregon water quality standards, Northwest Environmental Advocates sent a Notice of Intent to Sue EPA for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.  The alleged violations relate to EPA approval or inaction on water quality standards promulgated by the Washington… Continue Reading

EPA Releases Proposed Cleanup Plan for Lower Duwamish Waterway

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal, Natural Resources
Yesterday, EPA released a proposed plan for cleanup of the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site.  The release kicks off the 105-day public comment period. EPA estimates that the cleanup will cost $305 million.  Approximately 156 acres of contaminated sediments will be addressed using a combination of dredging, capping and enhanced natural recovery.  The proposed cleanup… Continue Reading

Proposed EPA Rules to Help Smaller RIN Sellers

Posted in EPA, Federal, Renewables
On February 21st, EPA proposed new rules under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS) intended to improve market conditions for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).  The RFS allows producers and importers of renewable fuel to generate RINs to sell to petroleum refiners and importers, which the latter uses to show compliance with renewable fuel requirements.  Under the… Continue Reading

America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal, Health and Safety
Mother Jones has published an article that discusses the connection between damaging exposures to lead and increased crime rates, which, in turn, are linked to the adverse, toxic effects of lead, especially to developing male brains.  It posits that the benefits to society from crime reduction far outweigh the costs of further reductions in childhood… Continue Reading

EPA Revises Guidance Regarding Tenants As Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers

Posted in EPA, Federal
On December 5, 2012, EPA issued new guidance discussing the potential applicability of the bona fide prospective purchaser (BFPP) protection to tenants.  This guidance discusses when tenants who lease contaminated property are BFPPs and provides new information on when tenants can expect EPA to exercise its enforcement discretion under the BFPP provisions of the Federal… Continue Reading

EPA Extends the Deadline for Fiscal Year 2013 Brownfields Grant Proposals to December 3, 2012

Posted in Environmental Quality, EPA, Federal
The Environmental Protection Agency is extending the deadline for state, local, and tribal governments (and other governmental entities, and in some cases, non-profit organizations) to apply for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) Grants.  The general intent of the ARC Grants is to provide communities with funding needed to clean and redevelop contaminated… Continue Reading