Oct 17, 2018

First Vapor Intrusion Superfund Sites Listed by EPA

In 2017, EPA finalized a rule that updated its Hazard Ranking System (HRS), used to determine when to add contaminated sites to the National Priorities List (NPL), to allow ranking of sites based on subsurface intrusion, including both vapor and water seepage from underground contamination.  EPA has now added the first two sites to the… Read more

Oct 10, 2018

Congress Approves America’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Act


On September 13, 2018 the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the America’s Water Infrastructure Act.  The legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate and is expected to be approved.  When approved, the Act will increase funding allocated for EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which provides financial support to state drinking water systems.  The… Read more

Oct 3, 2018

EPA Seeks to Revamp NSR Test

The EPA has proposed easing the emission test for triggering new source review (“NSR”) requirements for installation of modern pollution controls as part of its power sector climate rule. The proposal is contained in the August 21st “Affordable Clean Energy” (“ACE”) which would replace the Obama-Era Clean Power Plan.  Under the existing NSR program, facilities… Read more

Sep 26, 2018

Federal Appellate Court Rules That Coal Ash Ponds Not Subject to CWA

On September 12, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (which covers federal courts in South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) issued a decision concluding that the migration of arsenic from coal ash stored in settling ponds and a landfill was not subject to the federal Clean Water Act… Read more

Sep 19, 2018

EPA Proposes Changes to Regulations on Methane Emissions

Methane Emissions

On September 11, the EPA proposed changes to an Obama-era rule on methane emissions to give oil and gas companies more time between inspections of drilling equipment and to repair methane gas leaks. Industry groups opposed the 2016 rule, which required energy companies to conduct leak inspections on their drilling equipment as regularly as every… Read more

Sep 5, 2018

Trump Administration Continues to Ease Regulations on Coal Plants

On Wednesday, August 29th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was reconsidering an Obama-era rule on emissions of mercury from coal-fired plants. The 2011 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS” ) rule requires certain power plants to reduce mercury emissions. 81 Fed. Reg. 20172 (April 6, 2016). According to the U.S. EPA, “[i]n 2000,… Read more

Aug 29, 2018

ConocoPhillips Settles with Venezuela’s PDVSA to Recover $2 Billion

Arbitration Agreement

U.S. producer ConocoPhillips on Monday said Venezuela’s PDVSA agreed to pay $2 billion to settle an arbitration award, suspending a dispute that blocked the state-run oil firm from exporting crude from most of its key Caribbean facilities. To read the full article, click here. For more information on the ruling, contact Phillip Hoover.

Aug 22, 2018

“Exceptional Events” Exemption Under the Clean Air Act Upheld by D.C. Circuit

Man Made Pollution

EPA’s “exceptional events” rule allows air pollution caused by “exceptional events” to be discounted by States in determining their compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”).  Environmental groups challenged the rule as overbroad, contending that it would allow an exemption for man-made pollution.  The three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District… Read more

Aug 15, 2018

U.S. EPA Sued Over Missed Air Pollution Reviews

Toxic Air

A nonprofit foundation has sued the U.S. EPA for missing deadlines to review and potentially revise pollution limits for toxic air and emissions from a variety of air emission sources. Those sources include furnaces used in steel plants and large terminals to store and transport gasoline. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required… Read more

Aug 8, 2018

Trump Administration Proposes Nationwide Cuts to Vehicle Fuel Efficiency and Emission Standards

Vehicle Emissions 157313230

On August 2, 2018, the Trump administration proposed significant cuts to vehicle fuel efficiency and emission standards, and challenged the right of states, particularly California, to set more stringent tailpipe pollution standards. The proposed rule is called the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE)” Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026.”  (Click here to read the proposed rule… Read more