Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Air Quality and Climate Change

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Why EPA’s Proposed CO2 Standards for New Power Plants Matter

EPA’s proposed standards have important implications, even though few coal plants are slated for development. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Background On December 6, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a proposed rule to establish new source performance standards (NSPS) under Clean Air Act Section 111(b) for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions … Continue Reading

EPA Announces “Cleaner Trucks Initiative” to Reduce NOx Emissions

The announcement signals EPA’s intent to publish a proposed rule in 2020. By Arthur F. Foerster On November 13, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its “Cleaner Trucks Initiative” (CTI) to further decrease oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from on-highway trucks and engines. EPA intends to publish a proposed rule in early 2020, … Continue Reading

Webcast – California’s 100% Zero Carbon Future: How SB 100 and EO B-55-18 Will Impact Businesses and Projects

Latham lawyers discuss the business implications of the new legislation. By Tommy P. Beaudreau, Marc T. Campopiano, Michael J. Gergen, Joshua T. Bledsoe, and Jennifer K. Roy Senate Bill 100, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 10, 2018, aims to raise California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030, with an ultimate … Continue Reading

Insurance Coverage: US State Courts Rule for Insureds in Three Recent Policyholder Decisions

Companies facing products or environmental liability claims should immediately consider insurance coverage from current and historical policies in light of applicable state law. By Christine G. Rolph and Laura J. Glickman In recent months, the highest courts of several US states have issued important pro-policyholder decisions on insurance coverage issues. The following three cases illustrate … Continue Reading

7 Takeaways From California’s Extension of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kimberly D. Farbota On September 27, 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed Resolution 18-34, extending the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program to 2030 and making significant changes to the design and implementation of the Program. This blog outlines seven takeaways for market participants and stakeholders. 1. CARB … Continue Reading

China’s Global Supergrid to Enable Free Flow of Electricity Internationally

The proposed initiative will allow the provision of clean energy on a global scale by 2050. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) initiative, originally developed by Liu Zhenya, the chairman of the Chinese State Grid Corporation, is dedicated to promoting global energy interconnections in a sustainable manner. The … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Overturns Specific Plan EIR for Inadequate Air Quality Impact Mitigation

By Christopher H. Norton, Lucas I. Quass, and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] In an unpublished opinion issued July 10, 2018, Sierra Club v. County of Kern, Case No. F071133, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded for the issuance of a new writ … Continue Reading

China Reinforces Renewable Energy Commitment With Significant European Wind Investments

Chinese investors continue to build knowledge of the wind sector through European investment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has traditionally focused more on developing coal and hydroelectric power, which provide relatively constant output, instead of wind and solar, which depend on whether conditions. However, recently, government-owned power producers have begun making … Continue Reading

Viewpoints Video Examines California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

Harvard professor Robert Stavins joins Latham partner Bob Wyman to review key climate change mitigation policies. California’s climate change mitigation program is widely viewed as one of the most comprehensive of its kind — encompassing a cap-and-trade component and a series of complementary measures with specific performance targets for important sectors such as motor vehicles, … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down EPA Coal Ash Rule Provisions

Decision may significantly impact active and inactive unlined and clay-lined coal ash impoundments, likely requiring closure or retrofit. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stijn van Osch The D.C. Circuit this week struck down parts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule for not being sufficiently protective of the environment. The decision … Continue Reading

European General Court Accepts Landmark Climate Change Litigation

Individuals join growing global trend of citizens bringing climate change litigation in a bid to hold governments to account. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European General Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to EU climate legislation for inadequate targets for reducing climate change. Ten families from around the world … Continue Reading

China’s “War Against Pollution” Intensifies in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

Approximately 1,000 manufacturing firms in Beijing will close by 2020. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s anti-pollution efforts have intensified in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is known for its problems with smog. In fact, Premier Li Keqiang has identified Beijing and Hebei as key areas in the “war against pollution.” The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei … Continue Reading

China Targets Company Polluters and Officials Who Fall Short of Their Duties

The Chinese government and legislature are increasing pressure on local government officials and companies to reduce pollution in China. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s legislature is targeting companies responsible for pollution, and has ordered local judiciaries and lawmakers to implement revised rules and enforce penalties against those who break them. Air … Continue Reading

UK Government to Abolish CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme

Relief from the mandatory scheme will reduce the administrative burden on non-energy intensive companies. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) — which first came into operation on 1 April 2010 — will be abolished at the end of the 2018-19 compliance year, pursuant to the CRC Energy Efficiency … Continue Reading

The Chinese Government Announced Measures to Assist With ETS Implementation

Updates underscore China’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions despite government agency reshuffling. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Climate Change Department (CCD) of the newly formed Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) has announced its official updates in relation to China’s low carbon-development strategy generally and the National Emissions Trading System (ETS) … Continue Reading

China Releases 2020 Air Pollution Action Plan

The plan’s stricter and more targeted requirements will impact a broader range of provinces, including the Fen-Wei Plains. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has released a new three-year action plan for 2018 to 2020 to combat air pollution. The previous air pollution action plan, published in 2013, has played a significant … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court: Statewide Emissions Goals May Inform Mitigation Measures

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Diego Enrique Flores, and Samantha K. Seikkula In an unpublished opinion issued May 18, 2018, Responsible Development for Water Tank Hill v. County of San Mateo, Case No. A150883, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment … Continue Reading

California Legislature Eyes 100% Clean Energy Target

The California Assembly is expected to vote this summer to establish increased renewable energy targets and set a target of 100% clean energy by 2045. By Marc T. Campopiano, Jennifer K. Roy, Diego Enrique Flores SB 100, Senator Kevin De Leon’s renewable energy bill, would increase California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030 with … Continue Reading

EU Aims to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Europe’s Buildings with New Directive

Building owners and developers will need to provide energy performance certificates for buildings. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Union has published a directive aimed at improving building energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. EU Member States are required to transpose the directive (Directive (EU) 2018/844) by March 10, 2020. The … Continue Reading

Protecting the Environment Under the French Constitution: The Story Continues

Lawmakers will debate an amendment to include the country’s environmental commitments in Article 1 of France’s Constitution. By Fabrice Fages MPs in France have adopted an amendment to include a new paragraph in Article 1 of the French Constitution. The amendment reads: “France acts towards the preservation of the environment and biological diversity, and against … Continue Reading

EU Increases Renewable Energy Target in Preparation for Renewable Energy Directive

The EU has agreed that one third of energy use should be from renewable sources and encourages the use of renewable electricity or biofuels sourced from waste rather than crops. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green After 18 months of negotiations, the EU has increased its renewable energy target from 27% to 32% … Continue Reading

Investing in the Environment — European Commission Announces Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund will promote advanced low-carbon technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote decarbonisation. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green By the end of 2018, the European Commission will set up an Innovation Fund (the Fund) to aid decarbonisation. To achieve this, the European Commission will amend the EU Emissions Trading … Continue Reading
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