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Air quality

Sierra Club v. FERC

The D.C. Circuit held that carbon emissions from gas-burning power plants should have been considered in federal regulators’ review of a Florida natural gas pipeline. Environmental groups and landowners challenged a FERC decision to...

Coalition for Competitive Electricity v. Zibelman

A district court held that New York's Zero-Emission Credit (ZEC) program is not preempted by federal law. In an effort to curb the effects of global warming, New York issued a Clean Energy Standard (CES) Order that created two programs...

Freeman v. Grain Processing Corp.

The Iowa Supreme Court held that neighbors of an Iowa corn processing plant were properly certified as a class to pursue pollution claims against the operator. The neighbors filed a suit under state nuisance, trespass, and negligence...

Waterkeeper Alliance v. EPA

The D.C. Circuit vacated an EPA final rule that exempted farms from reporting requirements for air releases from animal waste. In 2008 the EPA issued a final rule that generally exempts farms from CERCLA and EPCRA reporting requirements...

California Chamber of Commerce v. State Air Resources Board

A California Appeals Court upheld a state cap-and-trade regime against challenges from the state commerce board and affected industry players. In 2006, California passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which aims to reduce...

Virginia Electric and Power Co. v. Bransen Energy, Inc.

The Fourth Circuit upheld over $22 million in damages that an energy company was ordered to pay to a Virginia utility because the coal supplied to a new power plant was of such poor quality it couldn't initially be used. When the plant...

Drones and Environmental Monitoring

Aerial drones are emerging as an effective tool for environmental monitoring and enforcement because of their ability to reach areas that would be otherwise inaccessible or cost-prohibitive. However, the regulatory framework has not...

Great Basin Resource Watch v. Bureau of Land Management

The Ninth Circuit held that BLM violated NEPA when it approved a proposed molybdenum mining operation near Eureka, Nevada. Environmental groups filed suit against BLM, challenging the agency's analysis of the project's cumulative air...

China’s Air Pollution Rules: Compliance and Enforcement Lessons From Global Good Practices

In recent years, air pollution issues have received unprecedented public attention in China. Partly for this reason, the Chinese government has made significant efforts toward reducing air pollution. However, compliance and enforcement...

BCCA Appeal Group, Inc. v. City of Houston

The Supreme Court of Texas held that the Texas Clean Air Act and the Act’s enforcement mechanisms in the Texas Water Code preempt a Houston air-quality ordinance. The Houston ordinance’s enforcement provisions are inconsistent with the...