Dec 19, 2016

EPA Raises Defense of Power Plant Carbon Rule in Federal Court

Smoke Stacks and Coal Ash

The US EPA has argued that carbon dioxide limits for newly constructed power plants fall squarely within the EPA’s Clean Air Act authority, thereby making arguments in a Federal Court which President-Elect Donald Trump’s Administrator nominee has already rejected.  The incoming Trump Administration will be tasked with defending the new source performance standards for new and modified power plants which the President-Elect has vowed to repeal. The case is set for argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on April 17th unless the Administration chooses to seek an abeyance of the lawsuit or possibly a… Read more

Jul 26, 2016

New Threshold Requirements for Methane Emissions from Landfills

On July 15, 2016, the U.S. EPA released its new source performance standard (RIN2060-AM08) for landfills built or modified after July 17, 2014, for methane emissions.  The emissions guidelines, which are designed to curb the greenhouse gas methane, lowered the emissions threshold from 50 metric tons of methane to 34 metric tons.  This is the same standard set by the EPA applicable to new landfills.  New and updated control technologies will need to be installed within 30 months at each landfill meeting the 34 metric tons emission threshold. For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.

Jul 18, 2016

U.S. EPA Sued Over Denial of New Power Plant Rule Reconsideration

On July 1, nearly half of the States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the U.S. EPA’s denial of their petition to rehear the new power plant rule regulating carbon dioxide emissions.  The challenge is expected to be consolidated with ongoing litigation over the EPA’s new source performance standards for new power plants (RIN:2060-AQ91).  The lawsuit was filed in response to the EPA’s, May 6, denial of five petitions seeking reconsideration of various aspects of the new performance standard for power plants.  In its denial, the EPA asserted that carbon capture… Read more

Jun 27, 2016

U.S. EPA Prepares to Defend White House Clean Power Plan

Within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision halting the Carbon Dioxide Standards implementation under the Clean Air Act (the “Act”), the U.S. EPA began to prepare their public defense of the plan.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a February e-mail to all staff, the day after the Supreme Court issued its stay, that “the rule fits squarely within the four corners of the Clean Air Act – a statute we have been successfully implementing for 45 years.”  Other internal e-mails from senior EPA officials have expressed surprise at the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, but have quickly emphasized that… Read more

Jun 13, 2016

The DOJ states that the EPA Assistance to States with Clean Power Plan Implementation Complies with Law

The U.S. EPA’s (“EPA”) ongoing assistance to states implementing the Clean Power Plan under the new EPA rule has been reviewed by the DOJ for compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay the rule. Under the stay issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, the EPA is enjoined from implementing the Clean Power Plan. The DOJ has determined that states are not enjoined by the Supreme Court’s decision, and, therefore voluntary request from individual states for assistance in implementation. Clean Power Plans do not rule afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay on implementing the rule. The EPA’s Clean… Read more

Apr 26, 2016

EPA Issues Guidance on Remediation at Mining Sites

The U.S. EPA has issued guidance for the safe removal and remedial actions associated with hard rock mining.  The action by the U.S. EPA was taken in response to the 3 million gallon spill at the Gold King Mine in Colorado which was triggered by the US EPA’s remedial activities at the site.  The U.S. EPA has stated that the guidance document’s purpose is to assist its regional offices in physical year 2016 to plan for clean-up activities at hard rock and mineral processing sites which have fluid hazards such as the Gold King Mine.  The 12-page guidance document states… Read more

Sep 29, 2015

U.S. EPA Sends Notice of Violation to Volkswagen

On Friday, September 25, the U.S. EPA released a letter sent to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. asserting that the companies were in violation of the Clean Air Act for model years 2009-2015 for certain four-cylinder Audi and Volkswagen diesel cars.  The allegations in the letter state that the cars were equipped with software that circumvented the EPA’s emission standards.  The software, known as a “defeat device” was designed to turn off emission controls under normal operating condition, and to turn them on when the car is undergoing emissions test.  The software allowed the cars… Read more