Author Archives: Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Team

EPA Administrator Testifies Before Senate Committee

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EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) regarding EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. McCarthy wrote in her testimony that, “The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction are clear.” McCarthy stated the proposed plan “will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of other harmful air pollutants from existing power plants.” She continued on to say that these reductions will provide health benefits to the most vulnerable citizens, including children. [...]Read more

Sentate to Hold Hearing on Clean Power Rule

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Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing at 9:30AM in the Dirksen Building to discuss EPA’s Clean Power Rule, which was published last month. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is scheduled to testify at the hearing. The hearing is entitled, “Oversight Hearing: EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants.” More information, including the testimony once published, can be found at the EPW’s website. [...]Read more

Vote For Us For Best Legal Blog

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The American Bar Association (ABA) is accepting entries for their 100 best legal blogs. If you enjoy the content we produce, we ask that you please take the time to submit our blog for consideration. You can do so by visiting their site: http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit/. Thank you!

Maine DEP Proposes Regulations to Designate Four Classes of Phthalates as Priority Chemicals

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Four classes of phthalates would be designated as priority chemicals under newly issued proposed regulations by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Di92-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) would all be listed as priority chemicals and reporting requirements would be put in place on manufacturers of household cleaning products that contain one or more of the phthalates. The DEP will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule on July 29, and comments are due on September 29, 2014. In March, the DEP proposed [...]Read more

Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule

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The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 overturning part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPAs) permitting program for greenhouse gas emissions. The opinion in the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA determined that EPA had gone beyond its limits in requiring stationary sources to obtain air pollution permits and install pollution controls. The court also determined that part of the regulation does not comply with the Clean Air Act (CAA), as EPA revised numeric thresholds for greenhouse gases that forced power plants, industrial facilities, and factories to obtain a permit. [...]Read more

Clean Power Rule Published, Comment Period Begins

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The EPA’s Clean Power Rule, which we blogged and issued and advisory on, has been published in the Federal Register. With its publication, the public comment period has begun and will remain open until October 16, 2014. If commenters want their comments to be considered by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), they should submit them by July 18, 2014. As part of the comment period there will be four public hearings. They will be held on July 29, in Atlanta, Georgia and Denver, CO; July 30, in Washington, DC; and July 31 in Pittsburgh, PA. Follow us on Twitter [...]Read more

Vermont Governor Signs Toxics Bill to Protect Children

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed S. 239, paired down from its original version, which gives the Vermont Department of Health the authority to require manufactures of products with toxic chemicals to disclose chemicals that are present in children’s products that can cause harmful health effects. The law provides a list of 66 chemicals of high concern to children, and manufacturers must notify the health department if any of those chemicals are in their products by July 1, 2016 and submit disclosures biennially. The health commissioner must also provide a detailed description [...]Read more

Senators Not Pleased with Proposed EPA Clean Power Plan Rule

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It did not take long for senators from both parties to voice their displeasure with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule, which we blogged abouthere. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) are among those that have spoken out against the rule. Sen. Manchin said that he plans to examine every option Congress has in order to get legislation to the Senate floor because the proposed rule needs to be stopped. Sen. Landrieu voiced her displeasure as well but has yet to offer a proposal to prevent the rule from moving forward. The issue in [...]Read more

EPA Releases Proposed Clean Power Rule for Existing Power Plants

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its Clean Power Plan proposal as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The proposal aims to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants to 30 percent below 2005 carbon emission levels by 2030. On top of reducing carbon emissions, the proposed rule also aims to cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent by 2030. The proposed rule would “maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment now and for future generations,” [...]Read more

White House Set to Release Carbon Rules for Existing Power Plants

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President Barack Obama is expected to release rules that will put a cap on carbon emissions from existing power plants on June 2. The rules will likely provide many contentious issues. One to keep an eye on is how states handle the rules as they will likely be tasked with developing and implementing programs that comply with EPA guidelines. Another potential issue is how far the rules actually go to cap the greenhouse gas emissions. Will the owners of the power plants keep them open, retrofit them or close them based on how far the emissions limits go. Legal and congressional challenges will [...]Read more