SCOTUS Takes Up Major Greenhouse Gas CaseOctober 24, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an important case challenging the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified major stationary sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
EPA Proposes Rule to Bring Clean Water Act Reporting Into the 21st CenturyAugust 5, 2013
The EPA has proposed a rule that would modernize Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting processes for hundreds of thousands of municipalities, industries, and other facilities by converting to an electronic data reporting system. The proposed e-reporting rule would make facility-specific information, such as inspection and enforcement history, pollutant monitoring results, and other data required by permits accessible to the public through EPA’s website.
McCarthy Confirmed as EPA AdministratorAugust 5, 2013
On July 19, the Senate voted 59 to 40 to confirm the nomination of Gina McCarthy as EPA Administrator. McCarthy previously served as the EPA’s chief air pollution regulator.
Republicans had been filibustering her nomination, but agreed to hold an up-or-down vote on the nominee as part of a deal to avoid Senate rule changes limiting such filibusters.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules There’s no “Off Site” Exception to Fifth Amendment’s Takings ClauseJuly 16, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District gives property owners assurances that government bureaucrats cannot use the land use permitting process as a way to get extra money for government projects as that is an unconstitutional taking.
OMB Report Estimates Costs and Benefits of Regulatory StateJuly 15, 2013
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has released a draft of its annual Report to Congress on the Benefit and Costs of Federal Regulation, which is required by the Regulatory-Right-To-Know Act.
Pres. Obama Unveils Climate Change PlanJune 25, 2013
Pres. Obama has laid out a sweeping new climate change plan. The plan, which would cut carbon emissions in the United States and encourage other countries to do so as well, bypasses Congress, opting to achieve the president’s policy goals via executive action.
Foundation Testifies on Mercury EmissionsMay 21, 2013
The Great Lakes Legal Foundation testified at the May 21 meeting of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board on Board Agenda Item 2.A.1. – Approval of the Department’s recommendation contained in the report to the Board on Wisconsin’s State Mercury Air Emission Rule.
The Foundation supported the Department’s recommendation to modify the state mercury rule to begin second phase emissions reductions on April 16, 2016, rather than the current January 1, 2015 compliance date. However, the Foundation testified that this recommendation is unnecessary and based on a flawed reading of the law.
EPA Proposes Standards for Vehicle Emissions and FuelsApril 26, 2013
EPA has proposed to significantly reduce emissions of conventional air pollutants from cars and trucks while at the same time reducing the amount of sulfur in the nation’s gasoline supply. The new rules, which are known as “Tier 3” emissions and fuel standards, attempt to harmonize federal emissions requirements with California state requirements, creating one national market for automobiles.
EPA Accepting Comments on Stormwater ProposalApril 26, 2013
The EPA has formally proposed revisions to its effluent guidelines for stormwater discharges from construction and development point sources. The proposed rule would make several revisions to the non-numeric requirements of the existing rule, as well as withdraw the numeric discharge standards.
EPA Revises Utility MATS Limits for New Power PlantsApril 26, 2013
On March 28, EPA finalized revisions to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS (also known as “Utility MACT”) for new power plants, which were originally promulgated in February 2012.
EPA Proposes Water Pollution Rules for New and Existing Power PlantsApril 24, 2013
The EPA has released its long-awaited proposed rule for regulating pollution discharges into waters of the United States from 1,200 power plants nationwide, as well as from any new plants.
Settlement Shutters More Wisconsin Coal PlantsApril 22, 2013
The EPA, Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), and various co-defendants and co-plaintiffs, have entered into a settlement agreement which will significantly alter Wisconsin’s energy generation portfolio and cost over a billion dollars. This action is part of a larger EPA plan to “eliminate or minimize emissions from coal-fired power plants, cement plants, glass plants and acid plants, which have been shown to seriously affect human health and the environment, by ensuring that there are no under-controlled coal-fired electric generating units, cement, acid, or glass plants.”
Retrospective Review at the Federal Level Adding BurdensApril 18, 2013
Sofie E. Miller, a policy analyst at George Washington University's Regulatory Studies Center, exposes the failure of the federal retrospective review of rules to generate benefits for the regulated community. Miller's analysis, summarized in Reducing Burdens? Tier 3 Tells Another Story, found that agencies may be adding new regulatory hurdles under the cover of the review program.
Environmental Decisions in the Face of UncertaintyMarch 27, 2013
New Factsheet Available for Local Water PlantsMarch 27, 2013
Depending on the type of equipment they use and the air pollutants emitted from that equipment, some local wastewater treatment plants and water supply systems in Wisconsin may be required to get an air pollution control permit from Wisconsin DNR.
A new factsheet, WWTP and Water Supply Systems – Do I Need an Air Pollution Permit?, has been developed to help operators of wastewater treatment plants and water supply systems determine whether they need to get an air pollution permit, as well as the requirements for emergency engines or generators used at these facilities.
Obama Administration Announces Nominees to Head EPA & DOEMarch 27, 2013
Federal cabinet secretaries rarely serve for the entire time the President who appointed them is in office, such is the case with the U.S. EPA and the Dept. of Energy.
EPA Survey Finds More Than Half of the Nation’s River and Stream Miles in Poor ConditionMarch 27, 2013
Using data from the 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment, the EPA has determined that 55% of the nation’s streams and rivers are in poor condition for aquatic life.
Independent Panel to Peer Review EPA’s Fracking ResearchMarch 27, 2013
The EPA’s independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) has announced the formation of a Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory panel. This panel of independent experts will peer review EPA’s 2014 draft report of results for its national study on any potential health and environmental impacts of fracking on drinking water resources.
S.S. Badger Coal Ash Discharge to Lake Michigan to Cease by End of 2014 Sailing SeasonMarch 27, 2013
The EPA and DOJ have announced the lodging of a proposed consent decree that requires Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Inc. (LMC) of Ludington, Michigan, to eliminate the discharge of coal ash into Lake Michigan by the S.S. Badger by the end of the 2014 sailing season.
Supreme Court Clarifies Logging Roads Runoff RulesMarch 27, 2013
In Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, the Supreme Court ruled that runoff from logging roads does not constitute a discharge from a point source that requires an NPDES permit. The decision upholds EPA’s interpretation of its own regulations and overturns a 9th Circuit decision which had held that permits were necessary for logging runoff.