On October 27, 2020, in a succinct order, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“the Court” or “D.C. Circuit”) denied motions for stay and for summary vacatur filed by several environmental advocacy groups, including the Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club, as well as states and local governments, with leadership from the States of New York and California in litigation challenging EPA’s Oil and Natural Gas Sector:  Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Review, 85 Fed. Reg. 57,018 (Sept. 14, 2020) (“Methane Repeal Rule,” or the “Rule”).  Order at 1, California, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-1357 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 27, 2020).  In addition to an opposition filed by EPA, regulated industry trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute (“API”), weighed in with the Court on EPA’s behalf to oppose the stay.
Continue Reading U.S. Court of Appeals Refuses to Put EPA’s Rescission of Obama-Era Methane Regulations on Hold and Sets Expedited Briefing Schedule

Hunton Andrews Kurth’s environmental practice launches its video series, Inside Look, focusing on recent events and trends impacting regulated industries through discussions with our top attorneys and thought leaders.  Our inaugural video focuses on recent changes in the composition of the US Supreme Court and the potential impact on industry.  Partners F. William Brownell and Elbert Lin discuss the effect of the appointments of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on administrative law, voting patterns at the Court and the importance of originalism-type arguments in constitutional cases.
Continue Reading Inside Look at Changes to the Supreme Court

On February 7, 2018, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule to establish user fees to defray EPA’s costs of administering its responsibilities under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the 2016 Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act). EPA estimates in the proposed rule that it will collect about $20.05 million per year in user fees, not counting any user fees associated with manufacturer-requested risk evaluations, which would range from $1.3 million to $2.6 million per evaluation.
Continue Reading EPA’s Proposed TSCA Fees Rule – Key Issues