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Panel Concludes Carbon Capture and Storage Part of the Answer to California’s GHG Emissions

In a final report released last week, a review panel consisting of experts from industry, trade groups, academia and an environmental organization concluded that there was a public benefit to utilizing carbon capture and storage (CCS) for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California. CCS refers to the capture, or removal, of CO2...

Court Upholds Pay to Pollute Rule

Last week, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the federal Clean Air Act does not preempt the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Air District) from requiring certain developers to either reduce their polluting emissions from their construction activities or pay a fee. The case (National Association of Home Builders v. San Joaquin...

Happy 30th Superfund

30 years ago tomorrow, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which is commonly known as the Superfund law. CERCLA, which Congress amended in 1986, was created to address the most contaminated properties in the United States and to provide federal authority to respond to releases or threatened...

The Clean Air Act Turns 40

Today is the 40th year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Air Act. This landmark legislation, which Congress revised and expanded in 1990, provides the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to regulate air pollutant emissions. EPA is celebrating the Clean Air Act’s anniversary today, by touting the health and environmental benefits achieved under...

Logging Road Stormwater Runoff Subject to the Clean Water Act

In a long-anticipated decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that stormwater – largely rainwater – that runs off of logging roads into streams and rivers must be permitted under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This decision (Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Brown) will have far-ranging impacts that...

There’s a “Canary” in My Water – EPA Software Detects Hazardous Contaminants in Drinking Water Systems

Bringing to mind the old adage “canary in a coalmine,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week its innovative water quality software aptly named “Canary.” Developed by EPA scientists in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE), the Canary software can help detect chemical and biological contaminants including pesticides, metals...

EPA Refuses to Reconsider its Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Findings

As we previously reported, in December of last year, EPA determined that climate change caused by emissions from greenhouse gases endangered the public welfare and the environment. These so-called “endangerment findings,” while not directly imposing requirements on industry or other entities, paved the way for future EPA action to address climate change...

What’s Coming Down the River – How EPA’s Designation of the Los Angeles River as a “Navigable Waterway” May Impact Future Development

As reported by the  Los Angeles Times , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the entire 51-mile, concrete lined Los Angeles River a “traditional navigable water,” under the Clean Water Act on Wednesday. Although it may be hard to picture the Los Angeles River as a navigable waterway on par...

It’s Not Over Yet – Parties Can Join in Litigation to Oppose EPA Settlements, Court Says

The Ninth Circuit recently joined the Eighth and Tenth Circuits in finding that non-settling parties can intervene in litigation to oppose settlements between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other settling responsible parties under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act or CERCLA. This decision is significant because...

The Race to Regulate Greenhouse Gases

It has been an interesting week for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions with the unveiling of Senator Kerry and Lieberman’s energy and climate change legislation and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plans to regulate greenhouse gases. However, Congress’s emergence in the regulation of greenhouse gases may preempt the...

EPA Proposes to Require Petroleum and Natural Gas Facilities To Report GHG Emissions

On March 22, 2010, EPA signed a proposed rulemaking that would require petroleum and natural gas facilities emitting 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or more to report GHG emissions including methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The proposed rule amends the GHG Mandatory Reporting Rule that was...