Friday, June 28, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The D.C. Circuit Court, which first considered AFPM's case, ruled that the refining industry lacked standing to challenge EPA's decision. The court reached this conclusion despite the fact that refiners are forced to produce new gasoline blendstocks, invest in the infrastructure necessary to carry two types of fuels, and face potential liabilities from engine damage because of EPA's decision. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit found EPA "ran roughshod over the relevant statutory limits." AFPM petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider the district court's ruling, arguing that the DC Circuit's decision incorrectly limits the ability of injured parties to seek judicial review of federal agency actions.
AFPM said it continues to assert that EPA overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act when it granted partial waivers to allow the use of E15 in certain engines, including vehicles model year 2001 and newer. Objective tests have shown that E15 may cause engine damage in vehicles and therefore should not be an approved fuel under the Clean Air Act that can be sold in the general gasoline supply.
Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) said, "The U.S. Supreme Court is likely taking this case in order to reverse the D.C. Circuit panel's decision that is contrary to law and would further delay long-needed clean air standards necessary to protect our public health. The Supreme Court has twice upheld EPA's statutory responsibility to reduce dangerous air pollution. The D.C. Circuit panel's ruling is contrary to consistent Supreme Court decisions and should be reversed. We believe that the Supreme Court will uphold the EPA's scientific and technical expertise in moving forward to clean up the air we breathe, reduce asthma and protect public health, especially for children and the elderly."
The American Lung Association (ALA) issued a brief statement saying it applauds the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. "This Rule follows the 'good neighbor' principle established in the Clean Air Act to cut pollution that spreads across the borders of 28 eastern states. For too long, ozone smog and particle pollution have traveled far from their sources, threatening lives and health across far away state borders. If the Court upholds the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, these protections would save up to 34,000 lives each year. We look forward to sharing with the Court information about the health benefits of this important decision."
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the American Lung Association, the Clean Air Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club. Other parties filed briefs in support of EPA's request, including numerous states and cities that are adversely affected by interstate pollution, and two major power companies. the Supreme Court decision means the High Court will hear an appeal of the lower court's decision during its next term, which begins in the fall. EDF general counsel Vickie Patton said, "This is welcome news for the millions of Americans afflicted by harmful air pollution from power plants."
Access the order (click here, page 6). Access the SupCt dockets (click here) and (click here). Access the SCOTUS blog for No. 12-1182 (click here). Access the SCOTUS blog for No. 12-1183 (click here). Access the ELPC statement (click here). Access the statement from ALA (click here). Access a release from EDF (click here). Access EPA's CSAPR website for background and further details (click here). [#Air]
Thursday, June 20, 2013
"ensure that polystyrene products will remain non-recyclable and without post-consumer content recycled material so that the Defendants' existing market shares will not be disrupted, the status quo will be maintained, and the Defendants will be able to offer higher-priced products such as paper, pulp, bio-plastics, R-PET, PLA, ceramic, bamboo, and others, without any low cost options for consumers."
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
On May 15, 2008, the Service published a rule listing the polar bear as a threatened species under the ESA.See Determination of Threatened Status for the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Throughout Its Range, 73 Fed. Reg. 28,212 (May 15, 2008). In the same rule, the Service also determined that the listing had the effect of designating the polar bear as "depleted" under the MMPA and that MMPA sections 101(a)(3)(B) and 102(b)(3) thus barred continued importation of sport-hunted polar bear trophies under that statute.
The Safari Club now appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment on the importation issue, raising both statutory and procedural challenges. Several conservation groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, have intervened on behalf of the Service. On one of the issues regarding bears taken before the designation as depleted, according to the Safari Club, this provision applies only to mammals taken from species that had alreadybeen designated as depleted at the time they were taken. The Appeals Court said, "The district court disagreed, as do we. See In re Polar Bear Endangered Species Act Listing, 818 F. Supp. 2d at 256 & n.11. The provision refers not to mammals taken from species the Secretary had designated as depleted but instead mammals taken from species the Secretary has so designated. If Congress intended section 102(b)(3) to apply only to mammals taken after the species became depleted, it would have replaced the verb 'has' with 'had.'" The Appeals Court noted further, "Reinforcing this conclusion, other provisions of section 102(b) are expressly limited by the phrase 'at the time of taking.'"
Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Wildlife, #CADC]
Monday, June 17, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
The High Court points out that absent an agreement among the States, disputes over the allocation of water are subject to equitable apportionment by the courts, Arizona v. California, 460 U. S. 605, 609 (1983), which often results in protracted and costly legal proceedings. In 1955, to forestall future disputes over the River and its water, Congress authorized the States of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas to negotiate a compact to apportion the water of the Red River basin among themselves. The negotiations lasted over 20 years and finally culminated in the signing of the Red River Compact in 1978. Congress approved the Compact in 1980, transforming it into federal law.