September 14, 2005
Clean Air Update
Over the course of the summer of 2005, courts handed down several important Clean Air Act decisions. The DC Circuit largely rejected challenges to EPA’s 2002 New Source Review rulemaking, while the Fourth Circuit rejected EPA’s claim that Duke Energy’s modifications to its plant triggered Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit requirements. Taken together, these developments have important ramifications for the long-standing debate over which facility modifications or maintenance actions trigger additional regulatory requirements.
Meanwhile, the controversy over control of greenhouse gases moved into the courts. A split DC Circuit rebuffed Massachusetts’ attempt to force EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, just as EPA sought to squelch California’s attempt to do the same.
What do these developments mean? Professor Arnold Reitze, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the Clean Air Act, moderated a discussion with several distinguished attorneys involved in these issues about the ramifications of these cases and what’s ahead in the air arena for the remainder of 2005.
Professor Arnold Reitze, George Washington University Law School
F. William Brownell, Partner, Hunton & Williams
J. Blanding Holman IV, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
William Wehrum, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Officer of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency