EPA Declines to Regulate Greenhouse Gases From Ships, Off-Road EnginesJune 19, 2012
The EPA has turned down a demand from U.S. environmental groups that it curb greenhouse-gas emissions from aircraft, ships, or other off-highway vehicles. The agency’s decision not to regulate nonroad engines, and its indefinite delay in regulating aircraft, comes in response to a 2010 lawsuit from an environmental coalition asking the EPA to address these types of pollution.
Federal Judge Orders EPA to Issue Particulate Matter Proposed RuleJune 18, 2012
As part of a settlement agreement, the EPA has issued proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particle pollution (PM). These revisions would strengthen the annual "primary" fine particle (PM2.5) standard to protect public health and would establish a separate "secondary" fine particle standard to protect visibility in urban areas. The EPA is required to issue a final rule by December 14, 2012.
Study Finds Compliance With Utility MACT Will be Challenging in the MidwestJune 14, 2012
A new study prepared by the Brattle Group for the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO), finds that “meeting MATS will be a major challenge for the industry, states, and MISO for a number of reasons. The industry will need to install retrofits at a pace and scale that exceeds the historical demonstrated capability, while the system operator is likely to experience a substantial operational challenge in the transition.”
EPA Designates Part of Kenosha County as Nonattainment for OzoneJune 13, 2012
The EPA has revised its proposed designation for Kenosha County, and designated parts of the county nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard.
While nonattainment designations carry with them substantial regulatory and related economic burdens, the EPA’s decision to designate only two Kenosha County townships, as opposed to six Wisconsin counties, as nonattainment is a welcome policy change.
FERC’s Role in Utility MACT ImplementationJune 13, 2012
On May 17, 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Policy Statement explaining how it will advise the EPA on requests by generators for EPA to extend the deadline for compliance with EPA’s mercury emission standards for utilities.
EPA Updates CAA Requirements for Gas StationsJune 13, 2012
The EPA has determined that the systems used at gas station pumps to capture harmful gasoline vapors while refueling cars can be phased out. Modern vehicles are equipped to capture those emissions.
EPA Incorporates CSAPR into the Regional Haze RuleJune 12, 2012
On May 30, the EPA issued a final rule as part of its regional haze program that will allow a number of states to use the emissions trading program under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to reduce regional haze as an alternative to requiring best available retrofit technology (BART) for power plants.
EPA Accepting Additional Comments on New Data Related to Cooling Water Intake StructuresJune 11, 2012
The EPA has issued a notice of data availability (NODA) as a step toward a final rule governing cooling water intake structures for thermal power plants.
Stormwater Discharges From Logging RoadsJune 5, 2012
The EPA has announced that it intends to revise its stormwater regulations to specify that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required for stormwater discharge from logging roads. The EPA’s action is the result of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown, 640 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2011), for which a petition for certiorari is pending in the United States Supreme Court.
White House Begins Review of Revised Boiler MACTJune 1, 2012
The EPA has completed its work on a final reconsideration of emission standards for hazardous air pollutants from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers, and the rule is now undergoing review at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - the final procedural hurdle that remains before the rule can be promulgated.
EPA Withdraws CSAPR Direct Final RuleJune 1, 2012
In a May 16, 2012 notice in the Federal Register, the EPA withdrew a direct final rule that would have revised emissions budgets and new unit set-asides for various states under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).
Environmental Groups Press EPA to Regulate Carbon Dioxide From Existing Power PlantsJune 1, 2012
On May 24 the EPA held public hearings on its proposed rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Bloomberg BNA's coverage of the event, written by Andrew Childers, provides insight into the wide-ranging opinions represented at the hearings in Washington DC and Chicago.
Study Finds New Facilities Will Not Achieve Proposed CO2 StandardJune 1, 2012
A new study by the University of California Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (UCE3) examining the stringency of the EPA’s proposed CO2 performance standard for new electric generating units (EGUs) found that nearly 30 percent of the natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) facilities planned to be built through 2017 would fail to achieve the proposed standard despite the fact that these facilities employ the latest technology and are not burning coal.
EPA Forms Advisory Board On Great Lakes IssuesMay 31, 2012
The EPA has announced the creation of an advisory board to support federal agencies with the implementation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the updated Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
EPA Administrator Who Compared Enforcement Strategy to Crucifixion ResignsMay 11, 2012
Al Armendariz, the EPA’s Regional Administrator for Region 6, has resigned amidst Congressional outcry over remarks that Armendariz made at a 2010 town hall comparing his enforcement strategy to the Roman practice of crucifixion.
Sheboygan Officially Designated NonattainmentMay 8, 2012
The EPA has determined that 45 areas across the country, including Sheboygan County, are not meeting the 2008 8-hour ozone standards based on the most recent certified air quality data. It is possible the number of Wisconsin counties with nonattainment status will increase by the end of the month as the EPA has yet to designate Kenosha County.
Lawsuits Filed Seeking Deadline on Final Coal Ash RuleMay 7, 2012
The EPA continues to drag its feet in issuing the final coal ash residuals rules, but some groups have filed lawsuits to speed the process. The EPA has said it would finalize the rule in 2012, and the lawsuits seek to hold EPA to that promise with a court-ordered deadline.
EPA Releases Mapping Tool to the PublicMay 4, 2012
The EPA has released to the public a web-based mapping tool developed for Federal agencies to facilitate more efficient and effective environmental reviews and project planning. The tool, NEPAssist, draws information from publicly available federal, state, and local datasets, allowing NEPA practitioners, stakeholders and the public to view information about environmental conditions within the area of a proposed project quickly and easily at early stages of project development.
Have Your Say: DNR & EPA Currently Accepting CommentsApril 20, 2012
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency are both accepting comments on a multitude of issues impacting Wisconsin businesses. The agencies are accepting comments on various air, water, and waste rules; and in addition, the DNR is also asking for help identifying burdensome and outdated rules.
EPA Finalizes Court-Ordered 'Fracking' RulesApril 18, 2012
In response to a court deadline, the EPA has finalized its long-awaited rules regulating air pollution from hydraulic fracturing. According to the EPA, the standards rely on technologies already in use at about half of the nation’s natural-gas wells, and these technologies will trap 95 percent of the harmful emissions from these wells.