Sep 9, 2020

EPA Relaxes Limits on Toxic Waste from Coal Power Plants

toxic waste

On Monday, the U.S. EPA issued a new rule relaxing the Obama era requirements for treating waste produced by coal-fired power plants.  Under the new rule, companies would have more time and flexibility to treat power plant wastewater that contains mercury, arsenic, and other toxic heavy metals.  The new rule achieves this by allowing plants that are reducing, or eliminating the use of coal to continue to use outdated water treatment technology to cleanup emission control equipment inside the coal-fired plant’s smoke stakes.  The byproduct of this process is water that is contaminated with heavy metals which has historically been… Read more

Oct 11, 2013

Tort Lawsuits Filed Against Power Plants in Wake of 3rd Circuit Ruling

On August 20, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania that had dismissed a private tort lawsuit against a coal-fired power plant, alleging state tort law claims in negligence, nuisance and trespass.  The Third Circuit held that under a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court case, International Paper Co. v. Oullette, allowing private tort suits against facilities holding Clean Water Act permits, such suits against facilities holding Clean Air Act permits are not preempted by the Clean Air Act.  The court distinguished the 2011 Supreme Court case of… Read more

Oct 1, 2012

U.S. EPA Extends Deadline for Compliance with Area Source Rule

On July 18, 2012, the U.S. EPA issued a No Action Assurance (“NAA”) extension memo regarding the Area Source Boiler Rule extending the deadline for facilities subject to the Boiler MACT Rule to file notification of an initial tune-up.  The original rule called for affected boilers to comply with the tune-up requirement by July 19, 2012, or until the effective date of a final rule, whichever came first.  Citing a lack of qualified individuals to prepare boilers for tune-ups, the EPA has once again extended the Rule to give affected boiler owners time to comply.  Area Source facilities subject to the tune-up… Read more