In early January 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) decided to halt previous proposals to stay methane rules for new and existing landfills.  The Obama Administration’s EPA issued the final New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) and Emissions Guidelines (“EG”) for municipal solid waste landfills on August 29, 2016 (jointly “Methane Rules”).  These updates to the NSPS were promulgated to reduce emissions of methane-rich landfill gas from new, modified and reconstructed municipal solid waste (“MSW”) landfills.  EPA’s current announcement to desert plans for an administrative stay comes after the EPA announced a 90-day administrative stay for the Methane Rules, which went into effect on May 31, 2017.
Continue Reading Trump EPA Will Not Stay Landfill Methane Rules

Newton’s Third Law apparently not only applies in physics, but in politics as well.  Last week, the California Senate leadership unveiled the “Preserve California” legislative package to oppose the rollback of federal environmental protections by President Trump and the GOP-controlled U.S. Congress.  The package included California State Senate Bill 49, aka the “California Environmental Defense Act,” which would adopt pre-Trump federal environmental and safety regulations as the minimum standards under California law.

Specifically, Senate Bill 49 would apply to the pre-Trump federal regulations issued under the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Mine Safety and Health Act.  The bill was introduced because Trump and the GOP have “signaled a series of direct challenges to these federal laws and the protections they provide ….”  Right on cue, President Trump released his plan yesterday to significantly limit the definition of waters of the United States protected by the Clean Water Act.
Continue Reading California to Thwart Trump’s Rollback of Federal Environmental Protections, Including Waters of US Deregulation

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a surprising decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  The Supreme Court has held that EPA cannot regulate stationary sources under the CAA Prevention of Significant

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, upholding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to the regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against claims from a variety of interests.  The opinion addressed challenges to three EPA rulemakings:  (1) the agency’s “Endangerment Finding,” where it

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced the latest proposed settlement in EPA’s Clean Air Act enforcement initiative against petroleum refiners. Hess Corporation will pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million on new pollution controls at its Port Reading, New Jersey refinery to resolve alleged