Air

Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

Topic Subtitle
Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

EPA Joins Calls For FERC To More Closely Scrutinize Amended Pipeline

EPA Region 3 is joining environmentalists and state officials in urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to more closely scrutinize the environmental effects of a developer’s plan to bifurcate a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Mid-Atlantic region. The proposal is an attempt to keep construction of the $1 billion PennEast pipeline moving while the portion of the project located in New Jersey is held up by an adverse appellate ruling regarding eminent domain that the company is urging...

Pandemic slows suit over state vehicle GHG programs

The coronavirus pandemic is slowing high-profile appeals court litigation challenging the Trump administration’s decision to block state vehicle greenhouse gas programs, with parties seeking to delay a deadline for filing their opening briefs in the case until at least June 12. The preliminary timeline, laid out in a supplemental filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from petitioners in Union of Concerned Scientists, et al. v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, et al. ,...

Refiners, Barrasso Urge 10th Circuit Rehearing Of RFS Waivers Ruling

The refining sector, backed by the state of Wyoming and Senate environment committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), is urging a federal appeals court to grant rehearing of its landmark decision striking down compliance waivers granted to small refiners for renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations. After EPA declined to petition the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit for rehearing in Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) v. EPA , some refiners nonetheless asked the full court for rehearing the...

Environmentalists threaten to sue EPA over Denver ozone SIP

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and Center for Environmental Health are threatening to sue EPA over its failure to ensure several required elements of Colorado’s plan to fight harmful ozone are in place, as environmentalists continue their pressure to drive down ozone in the Denver metropolitan region. In an April 2 letter to Administrator Andrew Wheeler, CBD on behalf of both groups gives 60 days’ notice of its intent to sue the agency over its failure to approve or...

UARG attorneys join new law firm

Three attorneys that represented the now-defunct Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) are leaving the law firm that long represented the group, Hunton Andrews Kurth, and moving to the firm McGuireWoods. Allison Wood, Makram Jaber and Aaron Flynn left Hunton and started working for McGuireWoods as of April 1, according to a press release from the law firm. “McGuireWoods is expanding its significant regulatory and compliance capabilities with the addition of highly accomplished environmental lawyers,” it says, noting their national prominence...

Vehicle GHG Rule Sees Lost Auto Jobs, Complicating Economic Pitch

The Trump administration’s own analysis for its final rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas standards estimates that the policy will actually reduce up to 20,000 auto sector jobs, a finding that complicates President Donald Trump’s claims that the rule keeps a promise to boost the auto industry and the broader economy. The projections provide another opening for critics to rebut arguments that the rule balances economic and the environmental priorities, amid wide-spread attacks on the rule for boosting emissions of both...

House Lawmakers Launch Early Push For PFAS Measures In Defense Bill

House lawmakers are launching an early push to try to attach stalled policy measures to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to next year’s defense authorization bill, seeking to build on efforts late last year that added a host of PFAS measures to the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). A bipartisan group of 22 House lawmakers led by Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) sent an April 2 letter to leaders of the House Armed Services Committee outlining PFAS...


EPA, Sierra Club Defend Injunctive Relief In Key NSR Air Permit Appeal

EPA and environmentalists in new legal briefs are defending a federal district court’s requirement that electric utility Ameren Missouri install tougher emissions controls on two power plants, in an appeal testing the limits of EPA’s enforcement authority under the new source review (NSR) air permit program. In their March 30 briefs filed in USA and Sierra Club v. Ameren Missouri , pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, EPA and Sierra Club reject industry arguments that...

OIG stands behind EtO alert despite Wheeler’s call for withdrawal

EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is standing behind its management alert to the agency finding an “urgent” need to bolster outreach to communities subject to air emissions of the carcinogen ethylene oxide (EtO) despite Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s call to withdraw the document, teeing up a formal dispute-resolution process. “The OIG’s ethylene oxide management alert is an example of the seriousness we take our responsibility to alert the EPA, Congress, and the public to urgent concerns about human health and...

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