White House and other administration officials are downplaying concerns that pending lawsuits challenging EPA's greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for power plants will succeed and undercut U.S. plans, just submitted to the United Nations, to cut emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, which rely heavily on the agency's regulations.
Ethanol producers and supportive states are pursuing a data quality challenge claiming EPA's latest mobile source emissions model vastly overstates the ozone-forming emissions associated with the fuel, saying the agency's approach could discourage use of the fuel and ignores its ability to lead to lower air pollution levels than gasoline.
If the Supreme Court decides to overturn EPA's air toxics rule for power plants, the court's conservative wing would likely write a broad opinion seeking to rein in the agency's clean air programs, including its upcoming greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for power plants, a former top Obama administration official says, although it is still far from clear which way the court will rule.
Appellate judges at oral arguments focused on procedural questions about whether a lower court erred in dismissing a suit testing when a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit can “shield” dischargers from separate Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) mandates, which could lead to a limited ruling avoiding the merits of the claim.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is slated to hear arguments this week in Iowa residents' lawsuit seeking to force EPA to develop Clean Air Act regulations for animal feeding operations.
The Obama administration has announced it is backing a plan to dispose of high-level radioactive defense waste in a repository separate from the large volume of spent nuclear waste stemming from commercial reactors, reversing a plan that has been in place for 30 years to commingle the waste in a long-stalled permanent repository.
The legal question of whether EPA wrongly failed to consider costs when crafting an air toxics rule for utilities appears to hang on Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
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