Red Tape RisingMay 7, 2013
The Heritage Foundation has released a new white paper, “Red Tape Rising: Regulations in Obama’s First Term,” which analyzes the number and cost of regulations enacted during Pres. Obama’s first term.
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.
Is Sue to Settle the New Rulemaking Paradigm?April 25, 2013
A new blog post by Will Haun on the Federalist Society's Executive Branch Review, Suing, Settling, and the Separation of Powers, outlines the path some federal agencies are taking to avoid the formal rulemaking process and Congressional oversight. The blog takes an academic look at "'sue to settle' – an effort led by activist groups and some state governments to sue federal agencies in the hope of a settlement to enact rules favorable to the plaintiff’s goals. These settlements, some assert, sometimes exceed the underlying legal authority of the involved federal agency."
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.
OMB Report to Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Regulations issued in FY 2012April 23, 2013
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released its draft 2013 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Regulations, covering regulatory activity through the end of fiscal year 2012. Susan E. Dudley, Director of the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University, questions some of the report’s methodology.
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.”
Documenting & Discussing Executive OverreachApril 18, 2013
The Federalist Society has unveiled a new website aimed at sparking debate on executive overreach.
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.
Sen. Johnson Announces Victims of Government ProjectApril 2, 2013
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has been a critic of government over-reach since taking office in 2011, now he is taking on excessive regulation as a specific target for reform with his new Victims of Government Project.
Environmental Decisions in the Face of UncertaintyMarch 27, 2013
Possible Executive Action on Climate ChangeFebruary 25, 2013
In his State of the Union address, Pres. Obama exhorted Congress to adopt a “bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change” and warned that if “Congress won’t act soon” he will direct his Cabinet to come up with “executive actions.” Various analyses of what the President's options might be are now being released.
Study Finds Obama Administration Added $236 Billion in Regulations in 2012February 11, 2013
The Obama administration issued $236 billion worth of new regulations last year, according to a report from American Action Forum.
EPA Files Response Brief in Utility MATS CaseFebruary 1, 2013
The EPA has filed its response brief in White Stallion Energy Center, LLC v. EPA, defending its Utility Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (Utility MATS) Rule from challenges from both industry and environmental groups that charge it is too strict and not strict enough, respectively.
Power Plant Effluent Guidelines Headed to White House for ReviewFebruary 1, 2013
The EPA has sent its draft proposal for effluent guidelines for power plants to the OMB. The guidelines will regulate wastewater discharges from steam electric generation power plants – including using coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear fuels. The agency is subject to an April 19 court deadline to issue a proposed rule.
Additional information on effluent guidelines for power plants is available on this Great Lakes Legal Foundation webpage.
D.C. Circuit Denies Requests to Rehear CSAPR CaseFebruary 1, 2013
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has declined to rehear EME Homer City Generation LP v. EPA, the case in which the court vacated the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).
EPA Plans to Issue Additional Notice of Data Availability for Coal Ash RuleFebruary 1, 2013
EPA officials have announced that the agency will issue another notice of data availability before it can promulgate a final rule addressing coal combustion residuals from coal-fired power plants.
Although no timeline has been announced, BNA Bloomberg is reporting that Mathy Stanislaus, EPA assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response, has said that the EPA will attempt to align the coal ash regulations with upcoming effluent guidelines for coal-fired power plants to the “greatest extent possible.” Environmental groups agreed in December to extend a court-ordered deadline to April 19, 2013, for the effluent guidelines proposed rule.
Court Rejects EPA Implementation Plan for PM StandardFebruary 1, 2013
In Natural Resource Defense Council v. EPA (D.C. Cir. No. 08-1250 et al.), the D.C. Circuit ordered EPA to revise its rules governing how states implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
EPA Publishes Final RICE RuleFebruary 1, 2013
On January 15, in compliance with settlement agreements, the EPA released its final rule amending the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) and revising the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines (SI). The final RICE and SI rule applies to diesel backup generator engines that are primarily used by hospitals, industrial facilities, data centers, water and sewage plants, oil and gas producers, and other large facilities in response to grid emergencies or as an alternative to grid-based electricity during periods of high demand.