Monday, July 28, 2014
NARUC Meeting

Pending Appeal Of FERC Suit Could Mark Key Test For EPA's GHG Deference

DALLAS -- Environmentalists' efforts to appeal a ruling that vacated energy regulators' push to encourage demand response programs could provide judges with the first opportunity to apply a key high court ruling on when EPA and other agencies have deference in determining their own jurisdiction, one environmentalist says, a key legal question the agency faces as it crafts its greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for power plants.

Related Stories:
McCarthy Seeks Early State Input To Address Possible Revisions To ESPS
EPA Encourages States To Form Regional Climate ESPS Compliance Plans
New Report Finds States Have Tools To Limit ESPS Compliance Costs

The Week Ahead

Lawmakers Weigh ESPS, Water Infrastructure; CSAPR Suit Nears Deadline

The Senate environment panel is set to consider EPA's newly proposed greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants. In the House, lawmakers will consider EPA's framework for integrating Clean Water Act permits for stormwater and wastewater. And industry and states are set to submit new arguments on whether courts should allow EPA to set a new timetable for implementing its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).

The Insider

GHG Rules Face Legal Questions

Legal experts are questioning whether EPA's plan for limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at power plants that undergo modifications can serve as a "backstop" for its GHG regulatory program.

Read the Insider

EPA At Odds With IG Plan To Reduce Gas Pipeline Methane Leaks

EPA is rejecting calls by its Office of Inspector General (OIG) to pursue more stringent action to reduce leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane from natural gas pipelines, including rejecting OIG's recommendation for a performance goal specifically for distribution.

Absent EPA Rules, Citizens Sue To Strengthen Industry Stormwater Permits

Environmentalists appear to be increasingly suing industrial facilities in Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits over their stormwater releases in an effort to strengthen their permit requirements after EPA shelved its rulemaking that had been expected to set numeric stormwater retention standards for all new construction and redevelopment projects.

Environmentalists Seek TSCA Fracking Rule As Alternative To FracFocus

Echoing administration advisors, environmentalists are urging EPA to ensure that its pending Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rulemaking for obtaining data on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing processes creates a stricter -- and mandatory -- alternative to FracFocus, the controversial voluntary disclosure system created by states and industry.

Amid Uncertainty EPA Sends Rule Banning SSM Exemptions To OMB

Lawmakers Eye Technology Advances To Streamline Environmental Regulation

IG Pushes EPA To Strengthen Program For Speeding State SRF Spending

EPA's Legal Justification For Modified Power Plant GHG Rule Questioned