Residents' Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act Lawsuit Dismissed
A Massachusetts court dismissed residents' lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that the state's environmental agency failed to comply with §3(d) of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). GWSA §3(d) required the agency to "promulgate regulations establishing a desired level of declining annual aggregate emission limits for sources or categories of sources that emit greenhouse gas emission" by January 1, 2012. When the agency failed to do so, the residents petitioned it to issue regulations. But the agency denied the petition, concluding that it had already complied with all requirements of the GWSA, including those set forth in §3(d). The court agreed.
Settling CAA Defendant to Pay $1.2 Million Under Proposed DOJ Consent Decree
A settling CAA defendant that sold 895 non-road engines without valid certificates of conformity must pay a $1.2 million civil penalty, must conduct three annual audits of its compliance with the CAA's Title II requirements, and must remedy any noncompliance revealed by the audits.
The Eleventh Circuit remanded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' conclusion that Nationwide Permit 21 (NWP 21), a general permit that allows surface coal mining operations to discharge dredged or fill materials into navigable waters, would have no more than minimal environmental effects under NEPA and the CWA. On the eve of oral argument before the appellate court, the Corps admitted that it had underestimated the acreage of waters that would be affected by projects authorized under NWP 21. In light of this error, the Corps conceded that the lower court's decision must be reversed and the matter remanded for further consideration based on a more accurate assessment of the potential impacts.
The March 2015 issue of ELR's News & Analysis features excerpts from three of the seven books published by ELI Press in 2014. In the first excerpt, Cynthia Giles, a contributing author to LeRoy Paddock's and Jessica Wentz's Next Generation Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, discusses key elements of EPA's “Next Gen” compliance initiative. The second excerpt, from John Nolon's Protecting the Environment Through Land Use Law: Standing Ground, presents a comprehensive framework for applying traditional land use authority to preserve natural resources and the environment. And an excerpt from Barry Hill's Environmental Justice: Legal Theory and Practice introduces readers to the concept of environmental justice and its relationship to sustainable development. The issue also includes the transcript to an ELI seminar on key issues in setting water quality standards.