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Litigation

EPA Adopts Risky Legal Stance In ACE To Limit Air Act GHG Authority

EPA’s just-issued Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which seeks to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), adopts a risky legal interpretation arguing that the agency is prohibited from issuing the types of broad greenhouse gas standards that were included in the CPP in a bid to block a future administration from re-imposing similarly expansive requirements.

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EPA defends limited EJ review of UIC permits

EPA says its finding that an underground oil and gas injection well poses no threat to drinking water supplies should remove any need for an environmental-justice review of the well permit.

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CBD sues EPA, seeking data over dropped NEPA grades

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is suing EPA for failing to release information about why it stopped issuing grades for other agencies’ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews last fall.

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Environmentalists move to intervene in methylene chloride suit

The industry challenge to EPA’s rule will likely be transferred to the 2nd Circuit and consolidated with environmentalists’ suits because under federal law, the court of first filing has jurisdiction, attorneys say.

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EAB Backing Of EPA’s Deferral To States Raises Bar For CWA Permit Suits

A new ruling from EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) sets a high bar for litigants to overcome deference to a state’s interpretation of ambiguities in its own Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting rules, holding that Idaho environmentalists fell far short of the standard in their challenge to a CWA discharge permit.

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Trump Critics See Co-Benefit Double Standard In MATS, Vehicle Rollbacks

Environmentalists and other critics of the Trump EPA’s deregulatory agenda are citing plans to roll back vehicle greenhouse gas and power plant mercury rules as high-profile examples of a double standard in which officials ignore “co-benefits” that strengthen rules but embrace them when they help justify weaker standards.

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States Warn EPA’s ACE Rule Could Make Them Vulnerable To Lawsuits

State air regulators are warning that EPA’s imminent Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) power plant greenhouse gas rule will, if finalized as proposed, leave them vulnerable to suits from regulated utilities, their competitors and environmentalists because it does not set an GHG reduction target against which their plans would be assessed.

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EPA Approval Of State SSM Waivers Seen As Bid To Evade D.C. Circuit Bar

Environmentalists say EPA’s issuance of state-specific waivers for industry emissions spikes during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) events in lieu of issuing a final national rule approving such waivers appears to be a bid to evade a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit case that could block such a policy.

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EPA Defends Vapor Intrusion Site Listing Against Legal Challenge

The Justice Department is defending the scoring method EPA used to justify one of the agency’s first listings of a site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) based solely on the presence of vapor intrusion, rejecting a lawsuit by industry groups that could determine the parameters for such listings.

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Industries Back EPA ‘Significant Impact Levels’ Air Permit Screening Tools

Major industry groups are backing EPA’s issuance of “significant impact levels” (SILs) that states can use to exempt industry air permit applicants from extensive permit review, backing the agency’s defense of the screening tools against environmentalists’ lawsuit that claims SILs allow unlawful violations of federal air quality standards.

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