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.
Court Hears Oral Argument on Cross-State Air Pollution RuleApril 16, 2012
On April 13, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument on EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Court watchers who attended the arguments think the case could go either way based on the judges’ questioning.
EPA to Approve SIP Changes Related to Forest County Potawatomi Community Class I AreaApril 11, 2012
On May 12, 2011, the DNR submitted provisions affecting the Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) Class I Area for inclusion in Wisconsin’s State Implementation Plan (SIP). The EPA has released a draft rule incorporating the FCPC Class I Area rules, and is now accepting comments on the proposal.
EPA Delays Fracking Air RulesApril 5, 2012
The EPA is again delaying the release of final air pollution standards for the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of natural gas wells. The agency requested the additional time to fully address the 156,000 public comments it received on the proposed rules.
EPA Rejects Wisconsin BACT AnalysisMarch 30, 2012
Bloomberg BNA recently published an article, EPA Tells Wisconsin Officials to Consider More Efficient Turbines in BACT Analysis, that draws attention to the EPA’s rejection of the DNR’s BACT analysis for Wisconsin's Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility.
Public Response to Proposed Power Plant GHG RulesMarch 28, 2012
Supporters and detractors of the recently proposed rule to limit greenhouse gas emission from existing power plants all agree that the rule will limit the construction and use of coal-burning power plants. GLLF provides a summary of the biggest stories from the Wisconsin and national media.
EPA Proposes GHG Limits for Power PlantsMarch 28, 2012
On March 27, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first ever Clean Air Act standard for carbon emissions from future power plants. The rules have the potential to end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.
Secondary Standards for NO2 and SO2 Under ReviewMarch 12, 2012
The EPA has completed a final rule setting secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), and has submitted it to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This is the last step before the rules become final.
EPA Defends CSAPR in CourtMarch 5, 2012
The EPA recently filed its reply brief in EME Homer City Generation LP v. EPA, the case challenging the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.
EPA Proposes Phase 3 of GHG Tailoring RuleFebruary 28, 2012
The Environmental Protection Agency will not lower the existing thresholds in its tailoring rule for stationary emissions sources to obtain greenhouse gas permits, the agency said in a proposed rule released February 27, 2012.
EPA Finalizes New Mercury Air Toxics StandardsFebruary 22, 2012
On February 16, 2012, the EPA published the final Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) in the Federal Register. The purpose of these standards, according to the EPA’s website, is to reduce pollution created by coal and oil power plants.
EPA Accepting Comments on Proposed 1997 Ozone Standard RedesignationFebruary 15, 2012
The EPA is currently accepting comments on its proposal to redesignate the Milwaukee- Racine and Sheboygan areas to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard.
CSAPR UpdateFebruary 9, 2012
Although the underlying rule has been stayed by the courts, the EPA has released revisions to the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. Meanwhile, the court has set an expedited briefing schedule and announced the date of oral arguments.
Several Major Rules at OMB for ReviewFebruary 6, 2012
The EPA has submitted several major environmental regulations that are part of the EPA’s train wreck of rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, one of the last steps before a rule is released to the public.
EPA Will Designate Kenosha County as Nonattainment for OzoneFebruary 3, 2012
Citing data from the state of Illinois, the EPA has announced it intends to revise its proposed designation for Kenosha County, and recommend it be designated nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard. This decision by the EPA is unwelcome, as nonattainment designations carry with them substantial regulatory and related economic burdens.
Boiler MACT Status UpdateJanuary 30, 2012
The EPA’s Boiler MACT rules were reconsidered and stayed after their publication in March 2011. This article provides analysis of the federal court case that overturned the stay, and details on the EPA’s reconsidered rules which are now available for comment.
CSAPR Stay May Affect Regional Haze RequirementsJanuary 24, 2012
The stay of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit casts uncertainty over an EPA proposal to allow states to rely on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule to meet the Clean Air Act’s regional haze requirements. The regional haze program modifications, announced the same day as the stay, are now uncertain.
First Data from Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule ReleasedJanuary 18, 2012
Mandated by the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the EPA launched the GHG Reporting Program in October 2009, requiring the reporting of GHG data from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors, as well as suppliers of products that would emit GHGs if released or combusted. The first data reported under that rule has now been released to the public in an easy to use database.
The EPA’s online data publication tool allows users to view and sort GHG data for calendar year 2010, the first year data was collected under the mandatory rule, from over 6,700 facilities in a variety of ways—including by facility, location, industrial sector, and the type of GHG emitted. For example, the data set includes information on 136 GHG emitters in the state of Wisconsin.
Court Delays CSAPRJanuary 2, 2012
On December 30th, a federal appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must delay implementation of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule pending the outcome of legal challenges to the case.
CSAPR to Take Effect January 1stDecember 29, 2011
Though still in flux, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule is going into effect on January 1, 2012. This post provides a brief discussion of the rule’s history, its expansion, the status of proposed modifications to state emission budgets, and an update on the main legal challenge to the rule.