Petition Challenging EPA's New Source Performance Standards for Steam Generating Boiler Units Dismissed
The D.C. Circuit denied petitions for review challenging EPA's new source performance standards for steam generating units. The standards exempt all units using particulate matter continuous emissions monitoring systems from all opacity standards and monitoring requirements, conditioned on their compliance with an emission standard for filterable particulate matter of 0.03 lb/MMBtu or less. Otherwise, it remains subject to the opacity standard and must install a continuous opacity monitoring system or perform periodic visual opacity inspections.
EPA Determines Atlanta Not Subject to the Federal RFG Program
EPA determined that the Atlanta metro area should not be classified as a federal reformulated gasoline (RFG) covered area. The CAA imposes the obligation to use RFG on areas one year after they are reclassified as a severe nonattainment area, but Atlanta is the only RFG covered area formerly classified as a severe ozone nonattainment area under the one-hour ozone NAAQS that was redesignated to attainment for that standard before its revocation and it is ambiguous as to whether RFG is required in this situation. In addition, the air quality in Atlanta has since improved.
Motions to Dismiss CAA Citizen Suit Against Coal-Fired Power Plant Granted in Part
A district court granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss an environmental group's citizen suit against a utility company for alleged CAA violations at a coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The group alleged that the company failed to obtain a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit before it made certain modifications at the plant. But the PSD claim is time barred because it was brought more than five years after the project commenced. But the group alleged sufficient facts to go forward with its claim that the company exceeded its opacity and total suspended particulate permit limits at the plant.
The March issue of ELR's News & Analysis features a variety of issues, including climate change legislative efforts in China, the siting of shale gas development here in the states, and regulating air emissions from new heavy-duty road vehicles under the Clean Air Act. The issue also looks at cooperative federalism and the Clean Water Act, takings liability for rails-to-trails conversions, and reimagining environmental regulation for the 21st century.