Tagged: Air Pollution

Split Ninth Circuit Grants Government’s Interlocutory Appeal in Youths’ Climate Change Suit

Split Ninth Circuit Grants Government’s Interlocutory Appeal in Youths’ Climate Change Suit

In 2015, 21 youth plaintiffs, ranging in age from eight to 19 at the time of filing, brought a constitutional climate-change lawsuit against the United States alleging that the United States and various executive branch agencies discriminate against younger generations with policies that contribute to and exacerbate climate change in violation of their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. The plaintiffs seek an order enjoining current governmental policies and adopting a plan to curb excessive carbon dioxide emissions. The government unsuccessfully sought to have the case dismissed, and when that failed, sought mandamus from the Ninth Circuit directing the district court to dismiss the suit. Recently, after a trip up to the United States Supreme Court and back down to the Oregon District Court, the Ninth Circuit ultimately agreed by a 2-1 majority to allow the defendants’ mandamus petition to proceed. The majority noted that interlocutory appeals under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) are generally only authorized when a district court order “involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion” and found “an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.” The plaintiffs allege that...

Executive Order Spells Uncertainty for Pending EPA Rules

Executive Order Spells Uncertainty for Pending EPA Rules

On January 30, 2017, as promised during his campaign, President Trump signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to identify two regulations to be repealed for every new regulation that is created. The order comes on the heels of a January 20, 2017 memorandum from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus directing agency heads to freeze new or pending regulations including those that had been finalized but not yet published in the Federal Register. The “one in, two out” rule and regulatory freeze spell uncertainty for regulations currently in the pipeline for adoption by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), including the proposed financial assurances rules for the hardrock mining industry we have previously covered here. Other impacted EPA rule proposals include a stormwater general permit designed to reduce polluted runoff from construction sites and a rule which would include vapor intrusion as a method of evaluating contamination levels at potential Superfund sites. At present, it is unclear how the administration’s actions will ultimately impact any pending EPA regulations (or those of other federal agencies). The environmental attorneys at Gibbons P.C. will be closely monitoring any further executive action impacting proposed EPA rules and report on any important developments.

Governor Christie Vetoes Offshore Wind Bill 0

Governor Christie Vetoes Offshore Wind Bill

Recently, Governor Christie vetoed legislation designed to allow additional applications for offshore wind projects seeking approval from state regulators. The now-defunct bill, S988, sponsored by Senators Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), sought to allow the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) to open a 30-day period for the submission of offshore wind project applications. More specifically, the bill would have allowed BPU to accept and approve “a qualified wind energy project that is located in territorial waters offshore of [a] municipality in which casino gaming is authorized,” i.e. a wind project offshore from Atlantic City.

U.S. Supreme Court Gives Downwind States Breathing Room Under the Clean Air Act 0

U.S. Supreme Court Gives Downwind States Breathing Room Under the Clean Air Act

On April 29, 2014, in EPA, et al v. EME Homer City Generation, LP, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and its controversial “Transport Rule” which curbed nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions in 27 upwind states. The Supreme Court held it was appropriate to defer to EPA’s expertise in crafting a method of implementing the Clean Air Act’s (“CAA”) “Good Neighbor” provision to reduce pollution from upwind states onto their downwind neighbors.

NJDEP Holds Its 12th Annual Regulatory Update Conference 0

NJDEP Holds Its 12th Annual Regulatory Update Conference

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) held its 12th Annual Regulatory Update Conference on November 22, 2013. The conference provided brief regulatory updates from a number of NJDEP departments and programs. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) held its 12th Annual Regulatory Update Conference on November 22, 2013. The conference provided brief regulatory updates from a number of NJDEP departments and programs including: The Environmental Management Program; The Site Remediation Program; ; The Bureau of Air Quality Planning; The Office of Environmental Justice; The Bureau of Environmental Evaluation & Risk Assessment; The Emission Statement Program; and The Office of Science.

US EPA Issues National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants 0

US EPA Issues National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants

On December 21, 2011, the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had issued the first ever national standards for mercury emissions and other air pollutants from power plants. The regulations were mandated by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. EPA estimates that the new standards will make a major contribution to public health by preventing 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks annually, as well as 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 cases of acute bronchitis among children each year.

Nissan Leaf EV Expected to be Available Nationwide in Early 2012 0

Nissan Leaf EV Expected to be Available Nationwide in Early 2012

The all electric Nissan Leaf is now available in seven new states, bringing the total to 30, including New Jersey, where it is sold. The additional states are Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. This is good news for Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, which are members of the Transportation and Climate Initiative planning for an Electric Vehicle (EV) Network across the Northeast.

NJ Charges Forward with Electric Vehicle Network 0

NJ Charges Forward with Electric Vehicle Network

On October 20, 2011, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced that New Jersey signed an agreement with other states and the District of Columbia to develop a Northeast Electric Vehicle Network and promote alternative transportation fuels. This announcement comes less than one month after New Jersey, along with the other members of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, received a federal grant of nearly $1 million to start planning a network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs). The goal of the Network is to bolster economic growth, maintain the region’s leadership in the clean energy economy and reduce the area’s dependence on oil and its emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Electric Vehicles Get a Jump Start in the Northeast 0

Electric Vehicles Get a Jump Start in the Northeast

Today New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced that New Jersey, along with the other members of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, have received a federal grant of nearly $1 million to start planning a network of charging stations for electric vehicles. The initiative is expected to spur job creation and the use of electric vehicles (EVs).