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Litigation

9th Circuit Judges Grapple With Boundaries For Water Quality Variances

A three-judge appellate panel is grappling with whether a district court was correct in finding the terms of an EPA-approved variance to stringent numeric water quality standards (WQS) for nutrient in Montana violated the Clean Water Act (CWA), but gave little sign during March 4 oral arguments how it might rule.

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7th Circuit raises legal hurdle for suit over EPA utility ELG

A federal appeals court is warning Springfield, IL, that it might have missed the deadline for challenging the Trump EPA’s final power plant effluent limitation guidelines (ELG) rule.

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D.C. Circuit issues mandate effectively scrapping CPP

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is formally granting EPA’s request to effectively scrap the Obama-era Clean Power Plan utility greenhouse gas rule while it crafts a new GHG policy.

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Corps seeks more time to decide position in pipeline NEPA suit

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to extend from March 12 to April 12 the deadline for deciding whether to seek review of a key National Environmental Policy Act ruling on a controversial pipeline.

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D.C. Circuit Rejects New Jersey’s Suit Over EPA NSR Recordkeeping Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is rejecting New Jersey’s challenge to a years-old EPA rule limiting facilities’ Clean Air Act new source review (NSR) recordkeeping and reporting requirements, saying the agency was justified in setting a minimum threshold of emissions below which no reporting is required.

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9th Circuit Overturns CWA Criminal Conviction But Rejects WOTUS Claims

A federal appeals court has overturned a Clean Water Act (CWA) criminal conviction after finding the trial court jury received faulty instructions, but is rejecting the defendant’s claims that the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) definitions used in the suit are unconstitutionally vague and that a Trump-era definition should apply retroactively.

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Judges Weigh High Court ‘Finality’ Ruling In Methylene Chloride Rule Suit

Following oral argument in environmentalists’ and industry’s wide-ranging suit over EPA’s rule governing methylene chloride paint-strippers, judges ordered all sides to weigh in on a new Supreme Court decision on when agency actions are “final” for open-records purposes, signaling that they could hold that the TSCA rule is not ripe for review.

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Federal Judge Trims ExxonMobil’s Landmark Air Act Emissions Penalty

A federal district court judge has cut ExxonMobil’s landmark legal penalty for numerous Clean Air Act violations at its Baytown, TX, refinery from a $20 million down to $14.25 million, after an appeals court faulted the original penalty in a suit that had been seen as a major win for citizen enforcement of the air law.

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EPA asks D.C. Circuit to vacate Trump landfill methane air rule

The Biden administration says it plans to issue in May a replacement rule setting new deadlines for states to limit methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills.

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EPA seeks further court delay in radioactive byproduct case

EPA is asking a federal appeals court to further delay briefing in litigation brought by environmentalists over the Trump-era approval of reuse of a radioactive fertilizer byproduct in federal road construction.

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