U.S. FERC Issues Two Orders Clarifying the Scope of its Natural Gas Act Jurisdiction

On September 22, 2022, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) denied two separate complaints against natural gas pipelines located entirely within one state that turned on whether FERC had jurisdiction over the facilities under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). (more…)

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United States Ratifies the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment Six Years After Amendment’s Introduction

On September 21, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the Kigali Amendment, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that addresses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), six years after the Kigali Amendment was officially adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on October 15, 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda. While the Montreal Protocol originally sought only to phase out the consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, the Kigali Amendment established plans to reduce the production and consumption of HFCs — greenhouse gases with high global warming potential — by more than 80% over the next few decades. (more…)

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U.S. FERC Announces Scoping Period for Liquid Natural Gas Export Terminal’s Proposed Carbon Capture and Sequestration Systems

On September 9, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Notice of Scoping Period Requesting Comments on Environmental Issues for the Proposed Carbon Capture and Sequestration System Amendment, and Notice of Public Scoping Sessions (Notice) requesting public comment on the environmental effects of a proposed carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) systems addition to the Rio Grande Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal (Terminal). This marks the first time FERC has requested public comment on the potential environmental effects, environmental mitigation measures, and reasonable alternatives related to CCS technology as part of National Environmental Policy Act review for an LNG terminal facility.

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U.S. EPA Takes Additional Steps to Evaluate and Restrict PFAS in Pesticides

On September 13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice proposing to remove 12 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its list of inert ingredients approved for use in regulated pesticide products. The 12 PFAS are listed below. According to EPA’s review, none of the 12 PFAS are being used as inert ingredients in any registered pesticide products; however, removing chemicals from EPA’s list of approved inert ingredients ensures that any future proposed use of these PFAS as inert ingredients would require substantiation with data (including, among other things, studies evaluating potential carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, adverse reproductive effects) and approval by EPA.

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How the Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling Complicates Climate Action and What Companies Can Do

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in West Virginia v. EPA clips the EPA’s ability to address climate change and may fundamentally alter the administrative authority of other federal agencies to tackle big problems.

As state and local governments find ways to fill the void, shareholders are demanding a response from Corporate America. How seismic is the ruling? Will it doom our efforts to address climate change? And what impact will the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act have on the ruling? Join The Sidley Podcast host and Sidley partner, Sam Gandhi, as he speaks with two of the firm’s thought leaders on these subjects — Justin Savage and Simone Jones.

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Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Completes Gas “Mega Rule”

On August 24, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published in the Federal Register a final rule entitled Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission Pipelines: Repair Criterial, Integrity Management Improvements, Cathodic Protection, Management of Change, and Other Related Amendments (Final Rule). (more…)

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U.S. District Court Enjoins Biden Administration’s Nationwide Oil and Gas Leasing “Pause” Following Fifth Circuit’s Remand

On August 18, 2022, the federal district court for the Western District of Louisiana (the District Court) enjoined the nationwide pause of oil and gas leasing by the Biden administration (the Government). The District Court issued a permanent injunction just one day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (the Fifth Circuit) vacated and remanded the District Court’s order by which the District Court had previously issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the pause.

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U.S. EPA Proposes New Risk Management Program Standards for Stationary Sources

On August 19, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to revise Risk Management Program (RMP) standards for stationary sources using certain regulated substances under the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA’s proposal marks the latest reconsideration of a rule issued under the prior administration, as directed by Executive Order 13990. The proposed changes include more stringent requirements for accident prevention, emergency preparedness, and public availability of information as well as regulatory clarifications, with climate change and environmental justice featured prominently as a basis for many proposed changes.  Interested parties will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule following publication in the Federal Register.

(more…)

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