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:

  • EPA to allow sales of higher ethanol fuel in the summer
  • EPA finalizes guidance on PM2.5 requirements
  • Clean Water Rule remanded by one federal court, held in effect by another
  • EPA Administrator issues memo on cost-benefit analysis in rulemakings

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