According to environmental advocates who are challenging the
Environmental Protection Agency's regional haze rule, in 2015 a
federal appeals court ruled that the EPA's cross-state air
pollution rule "eviscerated" the agency's
justification for a related visibility regulation. At issue
in the case is a 2012 EPA regulation (
RIN:2060-AR05) which allowed states to use emissions trading
under the cross-state rule to fulfill the Clean Air Act's best
available retrofit technology requirements under the regional haze
program. The program requires power plants to install
pollution controls in order to improve visibility in national parks
and other federally protected areas.
Environmental groups have argued that the EPA's rule no
longer has a "rational basis" due to a 2015 ruling by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on the
cross-state rule. The court held that the EPA impermissibly
over-controlled power plant emissions and remanded those emission
budgets back to the EPA. According to environmental groups,
the 2015 ruling eviscerated the EPA's rationale for applying
best available retrofit technology exemptions to the regional haze
rules invalidated state emission budgets upon which the rules
relied. The court's disapproval of those emission budgets
left the regional haze rule "without a rational basis"
because of a fundamental premise of the rule is the existence of
valid emissions budgets in the cross-state.
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n Tuesday, January 31, President Trump nominated Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court. This advisory reviews several of Judge Gorsuch's opinions related to environmental and administrative law issues.
Days before President Trump was sworn in, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published amendments to the Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule, which implements Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act.
Last Monday, in a comprehensive, 189-page opinion, Judge Rodney Sippel ruled that Ameren Missouri had violated EPA's PSD regulations by failing to get permits for upgrades in 2007 and 2010 at its Rush Island facility.
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