Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include

  • Trump executive order directs agencies to reduce federal advisory committees
  • D.C. Circuit dismisses Clean Air Act Title V challenge
  • Michigan AG office drops pending Flint water crisis criminal charges
  • EPA updates FY2020-23 National Compliance Initiatives
  • Department of the Interior restores federal mineral lease fees to Obama-era levels
  • TVA agrees to close coal ash pit at Gallatin Fossil Plant

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Birckhead v. FERC – A FERC Pipeline Win That Could Lead to Future Pipeline Losses

On June 4, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) offered non-binding advice to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) on how it should perform environmental reviews of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions when it considers new natural gas pipeline projects.  While the opinion in Birckhead v. FERC ultimately upheld FERC’s order permitting a new natural gas compressor station near Nashville, Tennessee, the court devoted several pages of dicta on what upstream and downstream GHG emissions data FERC should be gathering to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).

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Sidley Environmental Trends

Topics discussed this week include:

  • U.S. House and Senate hold hearings on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • D.C. Circuit issued two decisions related to small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
  • California Department of Pesticide Regulation moves to ban chlorpyrifos in California
  • Carbon capture and storage technology receives greater political support with new bill in the U.S. Senate

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Energy Enforcement Update

This update covers:

  • FERC rescinds policy on Notices of Alleged Violations.
  • Judge denies motion for new trial for first trader convicted of spoofing.
  • CFTC charges former natural gas trader with fraudulently mismarking trades.
  • CFTC’s Division of Enforcement issues first Public Enforcement Manual.
  • FERC approves settlement with Dominion Energy.
  • DOJ publishes new guidance on evaluating corporate compliance programs.
  • CFTC staff issues research report on impact of automated orders in futures markets.
  • CFTC settles case against Kraft Heinz and Mondelez International.
  • Powhatan and FERC file appellate briefs on statute of limitations.

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