2/15/2017 82 FR 10,711 Notice of Data Availability. EPA has completed its final calculations for the second round of new unit set-aside allowance allocations (NUSA) for the 2016 compliance year for the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) NOx, Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 Trading Programs. EPA has posted spreadsheets showing these allocations, as well as the allocations to existing units of the remaining CSAPR NOx Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 allowances not allocated to new units in either round of the 2017 NUSA allocation process. EPA recorded the allocated CSAPR NOx Annual, SO2 Group 1, and SO2 Group 2 allowances in sources’ Allowance Management System accounts by February 15, 2017. The spreadsheets are available here: https://www.epa.gov/csapr/csapr-compliance-year-2016-nusa-nodas.
2/9/2017 D.C. Circuit Court Decision. On February 9, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a per curiam order denying requests from states and utilities opposed to EPA’s power plant air toxics rules to delay briefing in two cases, ARIPPA v. EPA and Murray Energy v. EPA, over the regulation. ARIPPA v. EPA involves challenges to EPA’s rejection of petitions for reconsideration of some provisions of the rule. Murray Energy contests the agency’s review of costs for the rule as part of its updated finding that the rule was “appropriate and necessary” under the Clean Air Act. The court rejected the argument that the delay was necessary because the Trump administration could potentially rescind the rule.
3/13/2017 D.C. District Court Decision. On March 13, 2017, Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered EPA to complete reviews of existing air toxics rules for 20 industrial sectors within three years and determine whether to revise them. The environmental groups who brought the suit wanted an order compelling EPA to complete these reviews within two years while EPA wanted five years to complete the reviews. The 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act directed EPA to initially set technology based standards (MACT) for HAP source categories. Under the Act, EPA has eight years after the issuance of the initial MACT standard to conduct the review. EPA has fallen behind this eight-year schedule in several industrial sectors. The 20 industrial sectors affected are: Solvent Extraction for Vegetable Oil; Boat Manufacturing; Surface Coating of Metal Coil; Cellulose Products Manufacturing; Ethylene Production; Paper and Other Web Coating; Municipal Solid Waste Landfills; Hydrochloric Acid Production; Reinforced Plastic Composites Production; Asphalt Processing & Roofing Manufacturing; Integrated Iron & Steel Manufacturing; Engine Test Cells/Stands; Site Remediation; Miscellaneous Organic Chemical Manufacturing; Surface Coating of Metal Cans; Surface Coating of Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products; Organic Liquids Distribution; Stationary Combustion Turbines; Surface Coating of Plastic Parts and Products; and Surface Coating of Automobiles & Light Duty Trucks.
3/15/2017 EPA Notice. EPA released a formal notice announcing its intent to issue a new determination on whether to retain or change its greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles. Prior to President Trump taking office, the Obama EPA decided in January 2017 to retain its light-duty greenhouse gas standards for model years 2022-2025. In the notice, EPA justified its decision by arguing that the Obama EPA did not consult with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in making its decision. EPA intends to make a determination on the appropriateness of the model year 2022-2025 greenhouse gas standards no later than April 1, 2018.