Mar 17, 2021

“Diesel Brothers” Clean Air Act Lawsuit Threatens to Greatly Expand Standing Under Citizen Suits

Truck Pollution

A Federal District Court in Utah ruled that a group of physicians had standing to sue the host of a popular television show, “Diesel Brothers,” for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act resulting from modifications to pollution control devices installed on trucks.  At issue on appeal, is whether the Utah physicians for a healthy environment (UPHE”) group can allege a justiciable harm and demonstrate “redressability and causation” both of which are required elements to establish standing.  The Diesel Brothers argue on appeal that the UPHE cannot demonstrate that they were injured by the excess emissions caused by the vehicle… Read more

Jul 29, 2020

EPA Proposes Carbon Limits for Airplanes

Airplane CO2 Emissions

On Wednesday, July 21, the EPA proposed a new rule to set greenhouse emission standards for certain types of aircraft under the Clean Air Act.  Under the proposal, the EPA will adopt domestic standards that conform with the International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines which require reduced carbon dioxide emissions from new aircraft starting in 2028.  The proposed rule is welcomed by most major commercial aircraft manufacturers who already comply with the ICAO standards. For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.

Feb 5, 2020

EPA Adds 160 PFAS for Toxics Release Reporting

EPA Releases New Toxic Report

One hundred sixty (160) polyfluoroalkyls (“PFAS”) have been added to the list of chemicals requiring reporting under the Toxics Release Inventory (“TRI”) by the EPA.  EPA gave official notice on December 31 to industry reporters that they must begin tracking and collecting data on PFAS starting on January 1, 2020.  Reporting for those chemicals now on the list will be due to the EPA by July 1, 2021.  The requirement mandating immediate additions to the TRI comes even as the EPA is continuing with its advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released last December announcing possible PFAS additions to the TRI. … Read more

Jul 24, 2019

EPA Expected to Release Proposal to Modify New Source Review

The EPA is expected to release a proposed rule or policy for public comment regarding changes to the Clean Air Act’s pollution permitting program known as New Source Review. On July 17, the White House Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the proposed rule (RIN:2060-AT89), which is typically the final step before EPA releases a proposal. Under the current permitting program, power plants, refineries, and other large industrial sites must implement updated pollution controls in the event a new facility is built or an existing one is amended in a way that increases emissions. Under the proposed… Read more

Mar 13, 2019

California Moves to Block U.S. EPA Air Pollution Standards for Auto Emissions

California Pollution Standards: Low Emission Zone

Representatives for the California Air Resources Board have stated that they will take all legal measures necessary to block the Trump administration’s efforts to freeze fuel economy limits at nationwide 2020 levels. Under the Clean Air Act (“Act”), California has special authority to enact stricter pollution standards for motor vehicles than the nationwide standards set by the federal government. Under the same provisions of the Act, other states may adopt the more stringent California standards if they find them to be more protective of public health.  Under the Trump administration, the EPA sought to impose more lenient emission requirements in… Read more

Nov 15, 2017

EPA Proposes Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

On October 16, 2017, EPA proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”), more formally known as the “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electrical Generating Units.” The CPP aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32 percent by 2030, relative to 2005 levels, through emissions standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants and corresponding emissions goals for each state. EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposed repeal on November 28-29, 2017 in Charleston, West Virginia. On November 8, 2017, EPA extended the deadline for public comment on the proposed repeal to January… Read more

Jan 2, 2017

NESHAP Revisions Regarding Generally Available Control Technology

Radon Element

On December 20, 2016, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a final rule that revised “National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings,” Subpart W of 40 CFR part 61. The revised standard requires the use of generally available control technology (GACT) to limit radon emissions from uranium tailings impoundments built after 1989. Specific control technologies would be required at conventional tailings impoundments, evaporation ponds, and heap leach piles. The revised standard also contains record-keeping and construction requirements. Existing radon emissions standards and monitoring requirements for impoundments built before 1989 remain in force. The rule becomes effective 60 days… Read more

Apr 7, 2015

EPA Sets Stricter NESHAP Standards for Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations

Effective immediately, a new EPA rule (RIN 2060-AR47) updates the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for off-site waste and recovery operations. This rule implements more stringent toxic air pollutant requirements for process vents and tanks at facilities which treat, recover and/or dispose waste, used solvents, or used oil. The EPA rule will also enforce more stringent leak detection and repair requirements for valves and pumps. The rule requires new and existing affected sources to comply with 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subpart H rather than 40 C.F.R. Part 61, Subpart V, including Subpart H requirements for connectors in… Read more

Mar 9, 2015

EPA Defends Standards for Air Toxics from Solid Waste Incinerators

The EPA is currently defending its process for establishing standards for emissions of hazardous air pollutants from solid waste incinerators before the D.C. Court of Appeals.[1] Historically, EPA takes a pollutant-by-pollutant approach when determining maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. Industry groups have attacked the EPA’s approach which resulted in standards that cannot actually be achieved by existing industrial incinerators. These groups argue that the Clean Air Act requires EPA to set MACT standards based on average overall industry emissions, rather than selecting the best performing units for each individual pollutant. Conversely,… Read more

Feb 16, 2015

New Draft Guidance Proposed by CEQ Encourages Climate Change Evaluation in Environmental Impact Statements

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on December 19 proposed updated guidance for assessing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). CEQ has responsibility for providing guidance to federal agencies on compliance with NEPA’s environmental assessment requirements. The new proposed guidance updates CEQ’s 2010 draft guidance on how agencies should assess projects’ GHG impacts. The draft guidance for the first time includes guidance on the so-called “reverse environmental impact” assessment of the impacts of climate change on proposed projects. The draft also details how federal agencies should analyze and mitigate… Read more