Jan 15, 2020

Coal Ash Permit Rule to Target “High Hazard” Sites

The EPA has proposed a rule that would require only “high hazard” coal ash disposal sites to seek permits immediately under its Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) rule establishing a nationwide permit program for disposal facilities.  Other, less high priority sites will have permitting requirements deferred to an unspecified point in the future.  The EPA’s program will apply in all states other than those authorized to administer their own programs.  So far, only two states have received approval from the EPA to administer the programs – Oklahoma and Georgia.  Under the nationwide rule, there will be three types of… Read more

Jan 25, 2017

Water Transfer Rule Upheld


In a split 2-1 decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed EPA’s 2008 “Water Transfer Rule” which exempted water management facilities from obtaining Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. The Water Transfer Rule was an outgrowth of the 2004 Supreme Court decision in South Florida Water Management District v. Miccosukee Tribe, and is important for flood control projects, water supply particularly in arid areas, dams and hydropower generation, and related activities involving the necessary movement of water. Several environmental organizations and governments challenged the rule in the District Court for the Southern District of New York… Read more

Jan 18, 2017

U.S. EPA has determined Clean Air Act permit granted to Georgia Cellulosic Biomass Plant to be Inadequate

Boilers & Clean Biomass

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has concluded that the Clean Air Act (“Act”) operating permit for the Piedmont Green Power facility issued by the Georgia EPD in 2015 is inadequate for failure to include sufficient monitoring, record keeping, and reporting requirements to ensure that biomass burned in the plant’s boiler qualifies as clean, cellulosic biomass. Title V operating permits are issued by state and local permitting authorities, which must submit the permits to the EPA for review and approval. The operating permit includes annual hazardous air pollution remnants that the EPA determined are legally and practically unenforceable. Based on this… Read more

Jul 18, 2013

US Supreme Court Declares Denial of Permit and Unconstitutional Taking

A sharply divided Court has declared that the denial of a permit for the development of a Florida wetland constituted an unconstitutional taking without just compensation. Justice Alito writing for the majority found that the denial of a land-use permit by the St. Johns River Management District violated the “essential nexus test” used by the court to determine when permit conditions, whether monetary or tangible property requirements, are justified. Under the terms of the proposed permit, the District required the developer to either, reduce the scale of its project and give up control of some of his property, or finance… Read more