Air Quality

San Francisco and Oakland Declare War on Oil Companies (Again)

San Francisco and Oakland have renewed their fight to try and make Big Oil pay for climate-change related infrastructure damage, asking a federal appeals court earlier this week to reconsider their previously dismissed lawsuits against five oil companies. San Francisco and Oakland argue that a federal judge wrongly kept their cases out of state court […]

EPA Air Pollution Rule Ends “Once In” Policy

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) formalized its rescission of a 1995 policy that states that any facility that is considered to be a “major” polluter under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) could never be categorized as a smaller polluter. The proposed rule was sent to the White House on February 25, 2019 for […]

Trump administration ends fuel-efficiency negotiations with California

In a joint statement released on Thursday, the White House, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Trump administration has ended negotiations with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) over vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. Until Thursday, the EPA, CARB, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had been engaged in talks […]

CARB Zero-Emission Bus Mandate

The transportation sector in California accounts for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. To combat this, on December 14, 2018, California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) adopted a regulation that sets a statewide goal for public transit agencies to transition to fully zero-emission bus fleets by 2040. There are currently 150 zero-emission buses operating in California. Under […]

Supreme Court Overturns EIR for the Friant Ranch Project

The California Supreme Court released its long-pending opinion in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (No. S219783) on December 24, 2018. The County of Fresno certified an Environmental Impact Report for the 942-acre, 2,500 unit project known as Friant Ranch. Project opponents challenged the project on numerous grounds. The California Supreme Court granted review from […]

Natural Resources Agency Discussion Draft of Climate Change Advisory

The Natural Resources Agency released a “discussion draft” titled CEQA and Climate Change Advisory, on December 28, 2018. This discussion draft contains “initial thoughts” on updating the June 2008 climate change advisory. The update is intended to provide more guidance to lead agencies for evaluating and mitigating potential project impacts on climate change. Comments addressing […]

EPA Announces Rollback of Obama Era Carbon Rule

Last Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a proposed rollback of a 2015 Obama administration rule setting CO2 emissions standards for new or modified coal-fired steam generating units. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that the Obama era standards were set too high and that carbon capture and sequestration is not the best […]

PG&E Sued for Camp Fire, Gov. Brown Also Under Fire

Pacific Gas and Electric (“PG&E”) recently closed a $25 million deal to end a lawsuit over a 2015 wildfire in northern California (finalized 11/13/18). On the same day, victims of the Camp Fire in Butte County sued accusing the utility of negligence and blaming it for the fire. Victims stated that the company’s failure to […]

California Going it Alone: Keeping GHG Emissions Standards High

On Friday, September 28, 2018 the California Air Resources Board (“ARB”) stated that automakers that wish to sell vehicles in California still need to comply with the state’s stricter fuel economy rules. The ARB voted to affirm the “deemed to comply” provision of a key greenhouse gas regulation adopted in California in 2012 to ensure […]

Rollback of Federal Laws on Methane Leak Inspections and Repairs

On September 11th the U.S. EPA released a proposal that relaxes requirements for how energy companies monitor and repair methane leaks. This proposal is among the many proposed rollbacks of Obama-era regulations. The draft proposal has not yet been published in the Federal Register. Under the proposal, companies would perform a leak inspection at least […]

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