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Energy

EPA finalizes rule limiting state CWA 401 reviews to water quality

The final rule stipulates that certifications apply only to discharges from a point source into a water of the United States and can only address water quality impacts.

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EPA Study Finds No Need To Mitigate Air Emission Increases Due To RFS

EPA in a new determination finds the renewable fuel standard (RFS) has a mixed impact on air quality but says there is no need for the agency to mitigate any emissions increases because its separate Tier 3 fuels and vehicles rule largely achieves the air pollution cuts that such mitigation would secure, and no additional air controls are available.

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Fuels Streamlining Rule Spurs Calls For EPA To Protect Refiners, Biofuels

EPA’s proposal to streamline its extensive suite of fuels rules is spurring calls for the agency to help biofuels makers by removing what they see as barriers in the rule that would hinder sales of higher ethanol blends, and a plea from refiners to scrap a plan that they fear could unlawfully force them to reveal confidential business information (CBI).

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9th Circuit Denies Stay Of NWP Ruling Barring New Pipeline Construction

In a major setback for the energy sector and Trump administration, an appellate court has denied an emergency request from the Justice Department (DOJ) and industry to stay a landmark district court ruling that vacated the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit for constructing new oil and gas pipelines.

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Supporters Eye ‘Creative Things’ To Sidestep DOJ’s Settlement Ban On SEPs

Supporters of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) believe they may still be able to include such projects in settlements despite the Justice Department’s (DOJ) prohibition because they see crossover with mitigation projects that are still allowed, along with state SEPs, that DOJ does not prohibit, and a high court ruling that might boost their ability to use SEPs.

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Judge Approves Consent Decree Backing Environmental Mitigation Project

A federal district court judge has approved a consent decree between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and a refiner that requires the company to perform two environmental mitigation projects, showing that courts will back such projects even as DOJ’s policy on them is hazy given its prohibition on similar supplemental environmental projects (SEPs).

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3rd Circuit Probe Of EPA-Approved State NOx Air Plan Might Set Precedent

Appellate judges at recent oral argument probed the legality of EPA’s approval of a Pennsylvania rule setting nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions limits for coal-fired power plants in the state, in a case that could set a precedent on the adequacy of state air plans in the region that has struggled with high levels of ozone-forming NOx.

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Mining Firm’s Suit Over MATS Cost Finding Creates Jeopardy For Air Rule

A coal mining firm is suing EPA over its just-published final rule scrapping the cost-benefit review underpinning the Obama administration’s landmark mercury and air toxics standards (MATS), a lawsuit that environmentalists and others predicted would be filed and that places the fate of the overall utility emissions regulation in jeopardy.

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Republican oil state senators urge EPA to issue 2020 RFS waiver

GOP senators from mostly oil-producing states are ramping up pressure on EPA to waive RFS biofuel blending obligations, but face strong opposition from corn-state biofuels advocates in Congress.

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DOJ, Energy Sector Seek To Stay Landmark Ruling Blocking Pipeline Permit

The Justice Department (DOJ) and the energy industry are asking an appellate court to stay the landmark district court ruling that vacated the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit for constructing pipelines, with DOJ and industry citing numerous alleged errors in the lower court’s ruling that they say are likely to be overturned on the merits.

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