3 Ways the EPA Is Celebrating the New Year

Some celebrate the New Year with lavish parties, others with introspective resolutions… The Environmental Protection Agency appears to be taking a different approach.

For your reference, here’s a look at three new EPA regulations that will affect a broad range of businesses and industries in the new year – and beyond:

1. Updated greenhouse gas limits for new power plants:

“The proposed rule would limit new coal plants to 1,100 pounds of CO2 emissions per megawatt-hour (lbs/MWh) of electricity produced, with compliance measured on a rolling average basis during each 12-operating month period.  The proposal would also require new small natural gas plants to meet a 1,100 lbs/MWh emission limit, while requiring larger, more efficient natural gas plants to meet a limit of 1,000 lbs/MWh.  The proposed rule will not regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing or modified power plants.” (Bethany Hatef and Jacob Hollinger of McDermott Will & Emery)

2. A new environmental diligence standard:

“Prospective landowners whose goal is to qualify for CERCLA landowner liability defenses should use the updated ASTM E1527-13 standard to avoid raising questions regarding compliance with the [“all appropriate inquiries” (AAI)] component of the defense. In all events, environmental assessments based on the ASTM standard are frequently used in the lending and acquisition markets and participants in such markets should anticipate that ASTM E1527-13-compliant Phase I assessments will become the market standard with this Final Rule.” (Kegan Brown, David Langer, and Deepa Sarkar of Latham & Watkins)

3. A revised definition of hazardous waste:

“… the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule revising the definition of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), to conditionally exclude carbon dioxide streams from the definition of hazardous waste, provided that the CO2 streams are captured from emission sources, are injected underground via Underground Injection Control Class VI wells approved for the purpose of geologic sequestration under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and meet certain other conditions.” (Ali Abazari, Jacob Arechiga, and Mike Nasi of Jackson Walker)

The updates:

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