Climate Change Hero

Climate Change Blog

  • 18
  • August
  • 2016

Authors:

Share on:

Additional Legal Challenges to EPA’s New Methane Emissions Regulations

Legal challenges to EPA’s recently finalized methane and VOC emissions regulations for the oil and gas sector (“Quad Oa”) continue to gain traction as additional states and affected industry groups file suit. On August 2, 2016, a coalition of 14 states and a collection of oil and gas industry groups each filed petitions asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the new standards. The American Petroleum Institute (“API”) and the Western Energy Alliance have also filed individual challenges to the rules. North Dakota and Texas filed similar petitions for review in July.

Read More

CEQ Issues Final Guidance on How Federal Agencies Should Assess Climate Change Under NEPA: What Has Changed?

On August 2, 2016, the Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) released guidance on the assessment of climate change impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) (“the Guidance”). The Guidance is the culmination of a long process: the Obama Administration first proposed draft NEPA climate change guidance in 2010, and published subsequent draft guidance in 2014, before taking action to issue the final Guidance. While this Guidance does not purport to create any new obligations for federal agencies under NEPA, it nonetheless has the potential to significantly expand the scope of climate impacts considered in prior NEPA documents for “major federal actions.” This is the first in a series of posts discussing the new Guidance.

Read More
  • 03
  • August
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

Up in the Air: EPA Issues Aircraft GHG Endangerment Finding

On July 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its endangerment and cause or contribute finding that six greenhouses gases (GHGs) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride) in the atmosphere endanger the public health and welfare and that GHG emissions from aircraft contribute to this air pollution. EPA first proposed the endangerment finding back in July 2015.

Read More
  • 27
  • July
  • 2016

Authors:

Share on:

EPA Finalizes Rule on Methane for New and Existing Landfills That Could Have Broader Implications for Climate Regulations Under the Clean Air Act

As part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan and methane strategy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a package of rules on July 14, 2016, to reduce methane emissions at new and existing landfills. In a public statement, EPA noted that municipal solid waste landfills are the second-largest industrial source of methane emissions in the United States. EPA is regulating methane because it is considered a potent greenhouse gas (“GHG”). The rules, therefore, aim to cut methane (and other gases) from landfills by lowering the emissions threshold at which landfills must install pollution controls by roughly a third.

Read More
  • 19
  • July
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

U.S., Canada, and Mexico Agree to Use Similar Measures for the Social Cost of Carbon to Value GHG Reductions

On June 29, 2016, President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto made a trilateral energy and climate announcement during the North American Leadership Summit in Ottawa. The announcement included an Action Plan of “deliverables,” such as striving “to achieve a goal for North America of 50% clean power generation by 2025.”

Read More

EPA Continues to Aggressively Target Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector

On May 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued three final rules, all related to the regulation of air emissions from oil and gas operations. The most significant of these regulations was a set of new requirements to limit Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and methane emissions from certain new, modified, and reconstructed upstream and midstream sources in oil and gas production.

Read More
  • 06
  • July
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

EPA Finalizes Oil and Gas Source Definition: The Evolution of EPA’s Source Determination Rule

On May 12, 2016, EPA issued the final version of its source determination rule, defining when activities will be considered “adjacent” for purposes of major source air permitting in the upstream oil and gas sector. Under the new rule, new or modified equipment or activities are “adjacent” if they are on the same surface site or on sites that share equipment and are within one-quarter mile of each other.

Read More
  • 28
  • June
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

EPA’s Cost Analysis for the New Methane Rules for the Oil and Gas Sector

On August 2, 2016, EPA’s first-ever rule to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector will go into effect. EPA is regulating methane as a greenhouse gas (“GHG”), which it considers to be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (“CO2”). The way that EPA values the reduction in these emissions resulted in the agency concluding that the rule would have a net economic benefit.

Read More
  • 13
  • June
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

Preparing for the New Rules for Fugitive Emissions at Well Sites

On June 3, 2016 EPA published a final New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for methane and VOC emissions from the oil and gas sector (known as “Quad Oa”). This is the second in a series of posts discussing the new requirements. This post outlines steps that upstream companies may want to consider now that Quad Oa is taking effect. More information about the requirements is available here.

Read More
  • 01
  • June
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds the State’s Regulations Do Not Satisfy Requirements of Global Warming Solutions Act

On May 17, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in Kain v. Department of Environmental Protection that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) had not fulfilled its statutory obligations under the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (“GWSA”). The decision may significantly alter the DEP’s regulation of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.

Read More
  • 24
  • May
  • 2016

Author:

Share on:

Preparing for the New Methane Quad Oa: LDAR Requirements for Compressor Stations

On May 12, 2016, EPA finalized its proposed rule to regulate methane and volatile organic compound emissions from new and modified sources in the oil and gas sector (known as “Quad Oa”).  This is the first in a series of posts discussing steps that upstream and midstream companies may want to consider as they prepare for Quad Oa.  More information about the requirements is available here.

Read More

Sign Up for Updates

Receive email news and alerts about Climate Change from V&E

Follow Us On Linkedin

Contributors

Margaret E. Peloso

Margaret E. Peloso Senior Associate

Eric Groten

Eric Groten Partner

George C. Hopkins

George C. Hopkins Partner

Michael B. Wigmore

Michael B. Wigmore Partner

Tingting Yin

Tingting Yin Senior Associate

Mattew T. Dobbins

Matthew Dobbins Associate

Yun Ji Senior Associate

Tyler E. Robinson

Tyler E. Robinson Associate

Theresa Romanosky

Theresa Romanosky Associate

Corinne Snow

Corinne Snow Associate

Brandon M. Tuck

Brandon M. Tuck Senior Associate