Archives: Air

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EPA Delays Clean Air Act RMP Rule Amendments

EPA recently proposed a rule to delay the effective date of amendments to its Risk Management Plan (“RMP”) rule under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act. If finalized, the proposed rule would push the effective date to Feb. 19, 2019, nearly two years later than the original effective date. In accordance with its decision … Continue Reading

$115,000 in Restitution and Guilty Plea to Resolve Asbestos Charges

2013 Investors LLC and two individuals recently pled guilty in Spokane County Superior Court to multiple violations of the Washington Clean Air Act. Another employee pled guilty in August and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. The charges relate to renovations at the former 89-room Spokane House Hotel. Despite the presence of asbestos in … Continue Reading

EPA’s Environmental Justice 2020 Agenda Reflects the “Flint Effect”

EPA released its Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda on Oct. 27. The Agenda details EPA’s strategic plan for 2016-2020 to further implement and integrate “environmental justice” considerations into all of EPA’s programs. Much of EPA’s proposed Agenda appears tailored to respond to the recent drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich. The regulated community should take … Continue Reading

EPA Committed to Preserving Formaldehyde Focus

On July 27, 2016, the EPA issued the pre-publication version of its Final Rule on Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products. The EPA worked closely with the California Air Resources Board to ensure consistency with CARB’s existing requirements for composite wood products. Under the Final Rule, in August 2017, composite wood products sold, supplied, manufactured … Continue Reading

Taft Environmental Attorney Gardner Publishes Article in the Indiana Lawyer

Taft environmental attorney Will Gardner’s article “Judicial deference and the Clean Power Plan” was published in the Indiana Lawyer on March 9. The article discusses seminal administrative law cases during Justice Scalia’s career and the potential future of the Clean Power Plan. Will is a frequent contributor to Taft’s Environmental Law Insight Blog and has … Continue Reading

EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives Review Process is Underway

EPA recently solicited public comments and recommendations regarding its National Enforcement Initiatives (NEI) for fiscal years 2017–2019. Selected by EPA every three years, the NEI are designed to focus federal enforcement resources on the most important areas of environmental non-compliance. The current NEI for fiscal years 2014–2016 are: Reducing air pollution from the largest sources; … Continue Reading

Indiana Adopts USEPA’s New Vapor Intrusion Attenuation Factors

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has approved the use of the vapor intrusion attenuation factors set forth in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Technical Guide for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Vapor Sources to Indoor Air and Addressing Petroleum Vapor Intrusion at Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites.  The EPA … Continue Reading

Court Rules Electric Utility Settlement Costs Recoverable from Liability Insurer

In Louisiana Generating LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., a federal district court ruled that costs incurred by an electric utility under a settlement with the EPA for measures in lieu of work to bring the utility into compliance with the Clean Air Act were recoverable from the utility’s liability insurer. The case arose after … Continue Reading

Portions of EPA’s Emergency Generator Rule Vacated by DC Circuit

Earlier this summer, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision granting in part and denying in part petitions for review of a final rule promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that set operating parameters for emergency generators. Del. Dep’t of Natural Res. & Envtl. … Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Issues New Vapor Intrusion Technical Guides: Highlights for Experienced Environmental Professionals

More than 12 years in the making, U.S. EPA recently issued two new technical guides for assessing and mitigating the vapor intrusion pathway: Technical Guide for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Vapor Sources to Indoor Air and Technical Guide for Addressing Petroleum Contamination at Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites.  You can read … Continue Reading

High Court Agrees to Review EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Rule

On October 15, 2013, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case reviewing EPA’s greenhouse gas rule for stationary sources. Following the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), where the court found that greenhouse gases could be an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act, EPA promulgated a greenhouse … Continue Reading

Preemption Argument Asserted by Power Generator Rejected by Third Circuit

The Third Circuit recently held that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt state common law actions against polluters. In Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, GenOn Power Midwest, L.P., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 17283 (3rd Cir. 2013) (“Bell”), a class of residents living near a coal-fired electrical facility alleged that contaminants were settling on … Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Review Decision Invalidating CSPAR

EPA’s petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the D.C. Circuit’s decision invalidating the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”) was granted on June 24.  The Court consolidated EPA’s petition with the American Lung Association’s petition regarding CSAPR, but limited its review to the questions presented in EPA’s petition. Specifically, the Court will … Continue Reading

EPA Publishes Final Amendments to Emissions Standards for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) to Allow More Meaningful Participation in Regional Demand Response Programs

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) finalized amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”) for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (“RICE”) on January 14, 2013 (the “2013 RICE NESHAP amendments”). To understand the significance of the 2013 RICE NESHAP amendments with respect to participation in demand response programs, background … Continue Reading

Challenge to EPA’s Non-Road Engine Emissions Rules Denied as Time-Barred

On January 15, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s (“American”) challenge to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) approval of California’s State Implementation Plan (“SIP”). The court’s ruling underscores both the difficulty of effectively challenging rules promulgated by administrative … Continue Reading

Clean Air Act Environmental Crime Victims Seek $30 Million

Victims of federally-prosecuted environmental crimes have the right to full and timely restitution under the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Acts (the “Act”). A recent case raises the issue of what specific damages are recoverable under the Act. In United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., et al., Case No. 2:06-00563, pending in the Southern District of … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Finds That, Under Title V of Clean Air Act, Adjacent Means Adjacent

In a broadly reasoned opinion, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of Summit Petroleum and determined that the USEPA could not aggregate emissions from a natural gas processing plant and an associated complex of production wells covering forty-three square miles into a stationary source under Title V of the Clean Air Act.  … Continue Reading

EPA Issues EPCRA Revised Tier II Reporting Rule

USEPA issued revisions to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Tier II inventory reporting requirements.  See Final Rule, 77 Fed.Reg. 41300 (July 13, 2012), effective January 1, 2014.  Under the revised rule issued to implement EPCRA §§ 311-312, those required to report under either Tier I or II must report the facility latitude … Continue Reading