The Ninth Circuit vacated and remanded EPA's decision to issue a PSD permit allowing a power company to build and operate a 600 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant. EPA missed the one-year deadline to grant or deny the permit. EPA argued that under narrow circumstances, it has the authority to grandfather certain permit applications and that its decision is entitled to deference. But the CAA unambiguously requires the permit-seeking company to demonstrate that the project complies with the regulations in effect at the time the permit was issued. Because Congress has directly spoken on the issue, EPA may not waive this requirement.
Michigan Court Upholds Permits for Proposed Underground Mine
A Michigan appellate court upheld the state environmental agency's decision to grant mining and discharge permits to a mining company to develop an underground mine to extract nickel and copper from the sulfide ores beneath the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River. Environmental groups opposed the permits on a number of grounds, but substantial evidence supported the agency's decision.
The August issue of ELR's News & Analysis features the annual Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), published in partnership with Vanderbilt University Law School. ELPAR provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the best law and policy-relevant ideas on the environment from the legal academic literature each year. ELI and Vanderbilt formed ELPAR to accomplish three principal goals: to provide a vehicle for the movement of ideas from the academy to the policymaking realm; to improve the quality of legal scholarship; and to provide a first-rate educational experience to law students interested in environmental law and policy.