U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

As mentioned in a prior blog post, the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin (“Tribe”) sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) over the proposed Aquila Resources Back Forty Mine (“Mine”) located in Michigan, arguing that EPA and Corps have failed to take responsibility under the Clean Water Act

Electric power stationPower plants in 22 states will be required to further reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions under a new regulation finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 7. The final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Update establishes new statewide emissions budgets intended to address pollution that affects the ability of downwind states to meet and maintain the 2008 ozone standard of 75 parts per billion. This is the first time that the EPA has updated an existing program to address interstate transport of air pollution under a new air quality standard. The rule takes effect in May 2017.
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In the latest high-profile legal challenge to President Obama’s efforts to combat climate change, a coalition of 14 states and state agencies has filed a legal challenge to the final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rule seeking to curb methane emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells. The petition for review, filed in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals on August 2, was brought by West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin, along with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. A coalition of 19 independent oil and gas trade groups also filed a challenge to the methane rule on August 2. The rule had already been challenged in federal court by North Dakota and Texas. In response, this week nine states and six environmental advocacy groups filed motions to intervene in the lawsuits in support of the new emissions standards.
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Drilling rig at dawnIn the wake of several state court decisions ruling that municipal bans or moratoria on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are preempted by state laws, anti-fracking activists are now turning to state ballot initiatives in an attempt to ban or restrict the practice. Fracking refers to the process by which water, sand and a small amount of chemicals are injected at high pressure deep underground to create fractures in dense rock, thereby increasing reservoir permeability to allow oil and gas to more easily flow to the wellbore. The process, in combination with horizontal drilling, has dramatically increased oil and gas production in the U.S. over the past decade.
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