Tag Archives: U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court to Decide Jurisdiction of the Clean Water Rule Challenges

By Max E. Bridges

clear water 2665027MediumLast week, the United States Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is the proper venue for challenges to the “Clean Water Rule.” As previously detailed on this blog, the Clean Water Rule was promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to clarify and expand the reach of the Clean Water Act which is controlled by the phrase “waters of the United States.” At least 30 states and multiple industry groups challenged the rule in federal courts across the country. In February 2016, the Sixth Circuit ruled that it, not the federal district courts, has jurisdiction to decide challenges to the rule. That appeals court ruling led to the consolidation of more than 100 challenges in the Sixth Circuit.

The United States Supreme Court will now decide whether the Sixth Circuit erred when it held that it had jurisdiction to review challenges to the Clean Water Rule. Note, the Supreme Court will not decide the merits or validity of the rule at this time. A decision in this case is expected by July of this year.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to MATS Rule

By Max E. Bridges

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal from 20 states seeking to block the MATS rule from taking effect while the EPA undertakes a second determination whether regulating power plant mercury emissions is appropriate and necessary.  As previously discussed on this blog, the MATS rule was promulgated pursuant to Section 112 of the Clean Air Act to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal-  and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units. To regulate hazardous air pollutants from electric utility steam generating units, Section 112 of the Act requires the EPA to evaluate hazards reasonably anticipated to occur from emissions occurring after other Clean Air Act mandates are in place, and determine whether regulating the emissions with a Section 112-based standard is appropriate and necessary. In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA failed to comply with the Clear Air Act when it made its “appropriate and necessary” determination without considering compliance costs. However, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the Continue reading Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to MATS Rule

Supreme Court Stays the Clean Power Plan

By Max E. Bridges

Supreme Court 2Yesterday, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of the Obama Administration’s “Clean Power Plan,” regulations promulgated to limit CO2 emissions from the electric power sector.  A coalition of 27 states is challenging the regulations in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; this is the first time the Supreme Court has stayed a regulation before the Court of Appeals completed its review.  The Supreme Court’s Order issuing the stay says it will remain in effect until the Court of Appeals has ruled on the coalition’s challenge, and if the coalition subsequently petitions the Supreme Court to consider the regulations, when the Supreme Court has either denied that petition or granted the petition and issued its own decision.  As a result, the regulations likely will not become effective, if ever, before the President leaves office. As previously discussed on this blog, the Clean Power Plan is designed to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and each state has individual emission goals.