Supreme Court Strikes EPA Rule Limiting HAPS from Power Plants
The U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded EPA's rule limiting hazardous air pollutant emissions from power plants, holding that the Agency interpreted CAA §112(n)(1)(A) unreasonably when it deemed cost irrelevant to the decision to regulate power plants. EPA issued the rule under CAA §112(n)(1), which directs the Agency to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants from power plants if the Agency finds regulation "appropriate and necessary." EPA chose not to consider cost when making its decision to regulate power plants, deeming it irrelevant. By a 5-to-4 vote, the Supreme Court disagreed, concluding that EPA strayed well beyond the "bounds of reasonable interpretation."
EPA revised the NESHAPs for the ferroalloys production source category, including particulate matter standards, opacity limits and monitoring, and emissions standards for four previously unregulated hazardous air pollutants; the revisions, based on the Agency's residual risk and technology review, are intended to achieve significant reductions of process fugitive emissions, especially manganese.
The Ninth Circuit upheld a 2010 FWS rule designating critical habitat for the threatened Santa Ana sucker, a small freshwater fish native to several California rivers and streams. Several municipalities and water districts claimed that FWS failed to cooperate with state and local agencies on water resource issues in violation of ESA §2(c)(2), that the critical habitat designation was arbitrary and capricious, and that FWS failed to prepare an EIS in violation of NEPA. But the court agreed with the Service.
The June 2015 issue of ELR's News & Analysis features four pieces based on presentations at the Association of American Law Schools’ Natural Resources and Energy Section 2015 annual conference. The issue also looks at United States v. DTE Energy Co. and its implications for the future enforceability of new source review, the “navigable waters” element of the CWA offense, and Article III standing in lawsuits to combat climate change. Also included is the transcript to a recent ELI seminar on green infrastructure.