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.”
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.
EPA Updates Rules on Stormwater Discharges from Logging Roads as Supreme Court Hears CaseDecember 12, 2012
In an interesting turn of events there has been much action toward resolving the confusion caused last year when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that logging roads required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. On the Friday before the Monday the U.S. Supreme Court was to hear oral arguments on the permit issue the EPA issued rules making the case virtually moot.
Fishy FederalismOctober 17, 2012
Regulatory CalendarAugust 10, 2012
Administrative agencies continuously promulgate new rules and often do so quickly. Tracking the various proposed rules can be time-intensive and complicated. The Foundation’s Regulatory Calendar includes the dates of important steps in the rulemaking process for various rules we are following at the state and federal level.
Stormwater Discharges From Logging RoadsJune 5, 2012
The EPA has announced that it intends to revise its stormwater regulations to specify that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required for stormwater discharge from logging roads. The EPA’s action is the result of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown, 640 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2011), for which a petition for certiorari is pending in the United States Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Sides With Property Owners Over EPAMarch 21, 2012
The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision on March 21, ruling that property owners can sue to void compliance orders issued by the EPA immediately, rather than having to wait until the EPA decides to take the property owner to court for noncompliance. The decision makes clear access to courts is a proper response to “the strong-arming of regulated parties” by government agencies.
Supreme Court Hears Wetlands Case Sackett v. EPAJanuary 9, 2012
The Clean Water Act turns 40 this year, but despite its age, its implementation continues to raise controversial issues. Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an important wetlands case, Sackett v. EPA. The issue in the case is two-fold: 1. May petitioners seek pre-enforcement judicial review of an administrative compliance order pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 704; and 2. If not, does petitioner's inability to seek pre-enforcement judicial review of the administrative compliance order violate their rights under the Due Process Clause?
Supreme Court Issues Big End of Session OpinionsJune 20, 2011
This morning the United States Supreme Court issued four decisions, including the global warming standing case American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut and the class action certification case Wal-Mart v. Dukes.
American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut
This is the Court’s first opinion on climate change since it ruled in 2007 in Massachusetts v. EPA that greenhouse gases are “pollutants” subject to Clean Air Act regulation.
Wisconsin (before it dropped out of the case) was one of eight states that sued defendant utilities, American Electric Power Co., Southern Co., Xcel Energy Inc., the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Cinergy Corp., for their alleged contribution to global warming. The states were asking the court to impose stricter greenhouse-gas regulations than those currently imposed by the EPA by declaring CO2 a nuisance.