CSAPR to Take Effect January 1stDecember 29, 2011
Though still in flux, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule is going into effect on January 1, 2012. This post provides a brief discussion of the rule’s history, its expansion, the status of proposed modifications to state emission budgets, and an update on the main legal challenge to the rule.
EPA’s Priorities for 2012December 29, 2011
The EPA’s most recent Action Initiation List provides a hint as to EPA’s priorities for 2012. There are several notable items on the list including phase three of the EPA’s tailoring rule and amendments to the particulate matter standards.
CLE Event: Impact of New EPA Regulations on Electric UtilitiesDecember 29, 2011
The State Bar’s Energy & Telecommunications Law and Environmental Law Sections and the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) at UW-Madison are sponsoring a CLE event focusing on Proposed Federal Regulations and Their Potential Impacts on Wisconsin's Electric Utilities, Their Ratepayers, and Reliability.
Keynote speakers will include Susan Hedman, EPA’s Administrator in its District 5 Chicago office, and Ellen Nowak, recently-appointed as a Commissioner of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.
Revised Emission Standards for the Pulp and Paper IndustryDecember 28, 2011
As required by the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA must set industry air pollution standards that are up-to-date, ensuring that the standards reflect the newest available technology and provide protection for human health and the environment. As such, the EPA is proposing new National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) categorized under Subpart S. Subpart S controls hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from the pulp and paper production areas of mills using the kraft, sulfite, semi-chemical, and soda pulp processes (MACT I) and HAP emissions from pulp and paper production areas of mills using mechanical, secondary fiber, and non-wood pulping, and papermaking systems at all mills (MACT III).
EPA Proposes to Designate Sheboygan County Nonattainment for 2008 Ozone StandardDecember 27, 2011
The EPA is currently implementing the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone, 0.075 parts per million. On December 20th, the EPA published its proposed determinations in the Federal Register. The EPA intends to designate 43 areas as being in nonattainment of the 2008 ozone standard, including Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.
Public Response to Final Utility MACT RuleDecember 22, 2011
Industry representatives and lawmakers say the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)/Utility MACT rule will force power plant shutdowns and raise electric rates, while health and environmental advocates hail the regulation as a long-overdue victory. GLLF provides a summary of the biggest stories from the Wisconsin and national media.
EPA Issues $9.6 Billion Utility MACT RegulationsDecember 21, 2011
The EPA has finalized the court-ordered Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for power plants. Commonly called the Utility MACT (maximum achievable control technology) rules, they are the first ever standards limiting mercury, acid gases, and other toxic pollution from power plants. The standards were originally ordered to be completed by November 16, 2011, but the court-ordered deadline was extended by a month to accommodate the extended comment period and the volume of comments the EPA received on the proposed rule.
The EPA-projected total national annual cost of this rule is $9.6 billion. The EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to reduce pollution from power plants, the American public will see up to $9 in health benefits. The total health and economic benefits of this standard are estimated to be as much as $90 billion annually.
DNR Accepting Comments on Draft Watershed Plans & Impaired Waters ListDecember 20, 2011
The Department of Natural Resources is currently accepting comments on Wisconsin's proposed list of waters that do not meet water quality standards and a group of plans for maintaining or improving water quality in 24 of 330 watersheds across the state. An online web presentation is scheduled for January 5, and public comments will be accepted through February 20, 2012.
EPA Poised to Issue Utility MACT RulesDecember 19, 2011
December 16th was the court-ordered deadline for EPA to issue the first ever standards limiting mercury, acid gases, and other toxic pollution from power plants, known as the Utility MACT (MACT stands for maximum achievable control technology) rules. The rules are not yet available, however, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said during an address at Duke University on December 6 that the rules would be issued within days.
Additional information about the proposed rules is available on the Great Lakes Legal Foundation Utility MACT webpage, which will be updated with the final rules as soon as they are released.
Support the Great Lakes Legal FoundationDecember 16, 2011
The Great Lakes Legal Foundation is a non-profit legal foundation providing legal and policy expertise to advance economic growth and increase job opportunities in the upper Midwest. All of the Foundation’s funding comes from donations from like-minded individuals, organizations, and foundations. The Foundation does not collect attorney fees or accept money from the government. We invite you to read through the details of our projects, and if you agree with our mission, to make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation.