PRINT

GREENberg bLAWg Posts

Visit the Full Blog

Where the Law and the Environment Connect.

Life in the Green Lane – Carpool Privileges to be Given to Qualifying Cars

At the start of the year, California began offering green clean air vehicle decals to purchasers or lessees of cars meeting California’s Enhanced Advanced Partial Zero Emission Vehicle requirements.  These decals enable a single driver to drive in the carpool lane. California is limiting the number of stickers to 40,000.  The...
Go

Quebec Joins California In Adopting a Cap-and-Trade Program

 As our readers know, we have been following the cap-and-trade regulations both domestically and abroad. Quebec recently joined California in adopting a cap-and-trade regulation for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances based on the rules established by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). WCI is a collaboration of independent jurisdictions, including California, working together to “identify, evaluate and implement emissions trading policies...
Go

San Francisco Superior Court Clears the Way for Cap-and-Trade Enforcement in 2013

On Tuesday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith, issued an order that removes one more obstacle from the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) efforts to implement its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through an unprecedented cap-and-trade program adopted by the agency in October and slated for enforcement in 2013. The court’s...
Go

Cali Leads Clean Car Revolution Again: Comprehensive Advanced Clean Car Rules Announced

The car-obsessed culture in California has  driven (ha ha!) agencies to address the issues of climate change and air quality in more frequent, increasingly stringent and multi-faceted ways. In the latest round of regulation aimed at tackling these ever-present issues, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced a package of proposed...
Go

A Park with a View: EPA Sets Schedule to Improve Visibility at National Parks

Last week the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in an effort to resolve ongoing litigation under the Clean Air Act with environmental groups over dozens of past due state implementation plans (SIP), agreed to a schedule for taking action on more than 40 state plans aimed at lowering haze in national parks...
Go

Breathing Room: EPA Given More Time For Greenhouse Gas Power Plant Rules

In a letter to the Department of Justice late last week, California and 10 other states, the cites of New York and D.C., as well as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council agreed to give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an extension until November 30th of this year to create regulations limiting the emission...
Go

CARB Adopts Pioneering Cap-and-Trade Regulation

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), in an unanimous vote, adopted the final regulation for its controversial cap-and-trade program, which serves as the centerpiece of the state’s landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Assembly Bill AB 32 (AB 32).The program, which has had to overcome hurdles...
Go

Supersized “Green” Projects May Now Enter the CEQA Litigation Fast Lane

Stating that it was “time for big thinking and big projects that put Californians back to work,” Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law two bills, AB 900 and SB 292, aimed at streamlining the judicial review process for large-scale development projects. Introduced in the final days of the legislative session, AB...
Go

California Supreme Says Stay: Cap and Trade Work Allowed to Continue Pending Appeal

Last week, the California Supreme Court ruled to allow the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to continue to work on the cap and trade regulations contained within AB32’s Scoping Plan. We have brought you the blow-by-blow action in this case, and as we blogged, CARB’s implementation of the Scoping Plan was temporarily halted earlier...
Go

EPA Says 2008 Ozone Standard Back In Play

Testifying before a House subcommittee on Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson said her agency would move forward with enforcing the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards(NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, which, thus far, has been held in abeyance as EPA worked to introduce a more...
Go

SMOG Standard On Hold: Obama Orders Withdrawal of Proposed Rules On Ground-Level Ozone

Last week, the White House announced that it would ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw the proposed rule which would revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, the main component in smog. The proposed rule would have strengthened the 8-hour “primary” ozone standard to a level within the range of 0.060-0.070...
Go

Building Energy Benchmarking: Are We There Yet?

In a classic case of “the devil’s in the details,” Assembly Bill 1103 (“AB 1103”), which mandated the disclosure of energy-usage data of commercial buildings in certain transactions, has yet to be implemented nearly four years after it was first enacted. The legislation set a deadline of January 1, 2010 for...
Go

CARB Greenlights AB 32 Scoping Plan…Again

On Wednesday the California Air Resources Control Board (CARB) unanimously adopted a supplemental environmental analysis of its 2008 Scoping Plan and reapproved the controversial plan itself. The Scoping Plan is a blueprint for how the State will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 as called for in...
Go

Heavy Duty Greening: Obama Administration Announces New Fuel Efficiency and Pollution Standards

On Tuesday, the Obama administration, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) announced new standards aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing fuel efficiency for buses, big rig trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. This comes on the heels of last week’s similar announcement for cars and light-duty trucks. The program covers vehicles built...
Go

What’s in that Stuff?: EPA Issues Final Chemical Data Reporting Rule

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the issuance of the final Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule will increase the amount and kind of information required to be reported by chemical manufacturers, including increasing the range of chemicals to which the reporting requirements apply, as...
Go

We’ll All Be Driving Cleaner By 2025

President Obama announced today an agreement with thirteen major automakers to commence the next phase of the Administration’s program to increase fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. EPA and the Department of Transportation worked with auto manufacturers, the state of...
Go

No Longer Running On Fumes: Air Board Approves $40 Million in Additional Funding for Clean Vehicles

As my colleague posted last month, California’s popular Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) was in jeopardy of running out of funds by this month. The program, funded by California’s Air Resources Board (ARB), provides vouchers or rebates on a first-come, first-served basis toward the purchase of zero-emission or plug-in hybrid cars, and zero-emission or...
Go

LA + EPA + SMOG = LAWSUIT: Environmental Groups Sue EPA for Missing Smog-Related Deadline

On Monday, environmental groups, including Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Desert Citizens Against Pollution, Communities for a Better Environment and the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The suit alleges that EPA ran afoul of the Clean Air Act (CAA) by missing a May deadline...
Go

Cleaning Up: Resolving Your Environmental Liabilities with other People’s Money

David E. Cranston, chair of the Environmental Law Group, was published in  Smart Business Magazine  regarding how clients can avoid being stuck with cleanup costs in environmental contamination cases. A client of ours faced significant costs in cleaning up property contaminated by the operations of its tenants many years...
Go

No [Global] Warming Up To A Nuisance: Supreme Court Finds Clean Air Act Preempts Federal Climate Change Nuisance Claim

On Monday, the highest court in the land held in American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut that federal common law nuisance claims relating to climate change are displaced (or “preempted” for you traditionalists out there) by the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action authorized by the CAA. The case began in 2004...
Go

CARB’S AB 32 Scoping Plan Environmental Analysis – Take Two

On Monday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a Supplement to the environmental analysis (known as the Functional Equivalent Document) of the 2008 AB 32 Scoping Plan. The Supplement provides CARB’s revised analysis of the alternatives to the greenhouse gas reduction measures proposed in the Scoping Plan, including alternatives to the cap-and-trade program. The Supplement comes...
Go

No Second Guessing EPA: CERCLA Citizen Suit Cannot Interfere With Ongoing Cleanup

This week, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) does not give a federal district court jurisdiction to adjudicate claims for past noncompliance with an order issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The decision, Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., affirms that CERCLA’s citizen suit provision...
Go