EPA

Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian is a complicated case raising three legal issues which the Supreme Court has agreed to decide. To summarize the case in one sentence, the owners of a Superfund site object to having to take remedial action not required by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to benefit landowners located within the bounds of the site.   

The Anaconda Smelter, now owned by ARCO, processed copper ore from Butte for nearly one hundred years before shutting down in 1980. That same year Congress enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund law. The purpose of this law is to “foster the cleanup of sites contaminated by hazardous waste, and to protect human health and the environment.”

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In a case involving management of a watershed hundreds of miles east of his state’s border, and that will be decided by a U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has taken much more than a passing interest.
He is leading a coalition of states that have filed an amicus brief asking the federal court to reject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to require states in the Chesapeake Bay region to develop processes to reduce nutrient runoff (nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment).

Today, the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA announced in a blog post that the agencies were jointly sending a draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) intended to clarify where the jurisdictional oversight of the federal Clean Water Act begins and ends. At issue, is the draft rule's attempt to define the "waters of the United States" and the application of federal law.

On July 25 the EPA issued non-attainment designations for 29 locations in 16 states that exceeded its sulfur dioxide standard set under the National Air Quality Standard. In its announcement the agency stated the determinations were based on observed data form air emissions stations and weather patterns that contributed to the monitored levels.

Today, President Obama announced broad and expansive plans to use executive authority to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the nation's electric utilities.  The proposal would be the first ever for existing power plants, directing the EPA to issue new rules by June 2014 to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

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