Thursday, April 24, 2014
Featured Story

Eastern States Eye Air Pollution Pact In Lieu Of New EPA Transport Rule

Eastern states seeking to cut ozone pollution transported downwind are considering entering into a "memorandum of understanding" (MOU) with upwind states on a coordinated plan for reducing ozone-forming emissions, which state officials say could obviate the need for a new federal interstate air pollution rule that EPA is developing.
Related Story: Coal Utilities Fight OTC's Draft Plan For Short-Term NOx Emissions Limits

The Week Ahead

Supreme Court Hears Superfund Preemption Suit; McCarthy Touts Climate Change Policies

Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments April 23 in a case that will test whether the federal Superfund law preempts state law limits on plaintiffs' right to pursue "toxic tort" cases. A Senate field hearing in Miami Beach, FL, could highlight inconsistencies in the administration's effort to encourage local governments to prepare for potential effects of climate change.

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The Insider

EPA Backs Narrow CWA 'Shield'

EPA is supporting environmentalists' effort to narrow the "permit shield" that protects dischargers under a Clean Water Act general permit from citizen suits.

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Climate Policy Watch

EPA Floats GHG Plan For Modified Plants In Likely Bid To Ease CCS Mandate

EPA is floating a proposed rule for how modified power plants must comply with its pending new source performance standard (NSPS) for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a measure that appears aimed at shielding facilities that install more efficient technologies to lower emissions from having to install costly carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) systems as the agency's strict plan for new coal plants requires.
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Outlook 2014
Outlook 2014

Outlook 2014 is now available as a PDF document.

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Federal Facilities Watch

Environmentalists Sue CEQ To Force Delayed NEPA GHG Guide's Release

Environmentalists are suing the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in a bid to force release of the final version of its long-pending guidance, first proposed in 2010, on how federal agencies should consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change impacts as part of their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews of their actions.

Industry Renews Legal Warning On EPA's Proposed 'Solid Waste' Definition

The oil and chemical industries are reiterating charges that EPA's pending proposal redefining when discarded material is considered "solid waste" and exempted from strict disposal requirements is unlawful, and are urging White House officials to ease several provisions that would undermine the rule's goal of encouraging recycling.

Rejection Of Minnesota GHG Law May Aid EPA Rule To Protect State Plans

A federal judge's ruling finding that part of a Minnesota law requiring coal-fired utilities to offset their greenhouse gases (GHGs) violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause may boost a push for EPA's GHG rule for existing power plants, sources say, as the rule could provide federal protection against similar state climate policies.

EPA Weighs Group's Push For 'Life Cycle Thinking' In Facility Safety Advice

EPA waste chief Mathy Stanislaus says he is considering the use of "life-cycle thinking," the informal use of more complex life-cycle analysis principles, in a host of pending decisions, including eco-labeling standards for federal procurement and safety measures for industrial facilities.
Related Story: ACC Faults New Jersey's Model IST Rule, Opposing Federal Safety Mandate

High Court Justices Doubt Broad CERCLA Preemption Of State Tort Limits


Refiners Oppose Consent Decree For EPA To Review Emissions 'Factors'

Related Story: Industry Urges Administration Against Tightening EPA Refinery Air Rules

California Cites Air Act Power In High Court Bid To Uphold Landmark LCFS


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The Inside Story

D.C. Circuit Cancels Arguments In Climate 'Trust' Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has canceled oral arguments slated for next week in a novel suit filed by teenagers claiming EPA is violating the common law "public trust" . . .

Judge Vows To Reopen Suit If EPA Misses Cooling Rule Date

A federal judge has agreed with calls from environmentalists to reopen a suit forcing EPA to issue rules governing cooling water intake structures at power plants and other industrial facilities if the agency misses its . . .

Nebraska Fights EPA Bid To Dismiss Climate NSPS Suit

Nebraska is urging a federal district court to reject EPA's request to dismiss as premature the state's lawsuit over the agency's proposed climate new source performance standards (NSPS) for new utilities, saying while proposals usually . . .

CSB Faults EPCRA Waiver In West Findings

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is suggesting that local officials inappropriately exempted the West, TX, fertilizer facility from reporting its hazardous materials holdings to first responders under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know-Act (EPCRA) even . . .

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