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EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Understanding and Evaluating the Proposed Federal Plan and Model Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan was accompanied by model rules for states that provide both a mass-based and a rate-based approach. The model rules, once finalized, will give states a streamlined but...

State Implementation of the Clean Power Plan: Why It Matters to Industries Outside the Power Sector

On August 3, 2015, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which establishes guidelines that states must apply to achieve reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from the...

Fighting for Air in Indian Country: Clean Air Act Jurisdiction in Off-Reservation Tribal Land

Acting under its Clean Air Act (CAA) authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has attempted to regulate air quality on behalf of Native American tribes. However, the D.C. Circuit—in reviewing EPA’s tribal CAA rules—...

The Clean Power Plan and Statutory Interpretation: Is the "Building Block" Approach Permissible Under §111(d)?

In June 2014, EPA proposed an emission guideline for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs). This rulemaking--commonly known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP)--identifies as the “...

Charting an Uncertain Legal Climate: Article III Standing in Lawsuits to Combat Climate Change

In the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA, lower federal courts have been called upon to apply Article III standing rules in lawsuits featuring a variety of plaintiffs seeking to combat climate change in many different ways. In this...

United States v. DTE Energy Co.: A Flawed Decision With Implications for the Future Enforceability of New Source Review

In United States v. DTE Energy Co. (DTE), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that EPA may use Clean Air Act New Source Review (NSR) to challenge a source’s preconstruction emission projection on...

Does EPA’s §111(d) Proposal Rely on an Unprecedented and Legally Forbidden Approach to Emission Reduction?

In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed standards under §111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)1 for state plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs...

What’s Old Is New Again: State Common- Law Tort Actions Elude Clean Air Act Preemption

It usually takes at least three to start a trend, but two recent appellate-level decisions suggest a new air pollution enforcement trend is in the making: Environmental plaintiffs may be able to avoid Clean Air Act (CAA) preemption by...

Here Be Dragons: Legal Threats to EPA’s Proposed Existing Source Performance Standards for Electric Generating Units

A 104-page “Legal Memorandum” accompanying EPA’s proposal of §111(d) Existing Source Performance Standards for Electric Generating Units under the Clean Air Act charts the legal waters the Agency will have to traverse if it adopts rules...

2014 Supreme Court Review and Preview

On October 1, 2014, the Environmental Law Institute held its annual U.S. Supreme Court update for the 2014 term, again featuring the leading experts in the country. ELI President John Cruden led a discussion with two of the most...