Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:50 pm by Tim Wilkins and Charles Nixon
On April 17, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations became effective, establishing the framework for a new GHG permitting program at TCEQ, which the agency hopes to begin implementing in the summer of 2014. Before this can happen, EPA must officially approve the rules and also rescind the Federal Implementation Plan under which it currently regulates GHGs in Texas.
The rules have immediate implications for a variety of facilities, however. Whereas the changes to the PSD program only involve new or modified facilities, the Title V aspects of the rules affect both new and existing facilities. Any existing facility with a “potential to emit” GHGs above EPA’s “major source” thresholds will have to either obtain a Title V permit or certify to TCEQ that its actual emissions are below the thresholds (found in 30 Tex. Admin. Code § 122.10(14)(H)). The timing of this certification depends on whether the facility currently has a Title V permit for non-GHG emissions. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Enforcement, Environmental, National Energy Law, Natural Gas/LNG, Power
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:22 pm by Sandra Snyder, Richard Alonso, Salo Zelermyer and Dee Martin
By way of update to last month’s client alert, on April 15, 2014, EPA released five white papers that discuss methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the oil and gas sector. The release of the white papers is part of the White House’s Climate Action Plan Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.
The white papers cover emissions from five types of emission sources:
- Well completions and production from hydraulically fractured wells
- Liquids unloading
- Pneumatic devices (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Enforcement, Environmental, Midstream, National Energy Law, Natural Gas/LNG, Shale Development, Upstream Energy
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 3:06 pm by Sandra Snyder
On Monday, April 7, the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in Monroe Energy v. EPA, No. 13-1265, which challenges the 2013 renewable fuels standards (RFS). Judges Rogers, Griffith, and Pillard presided over the argument. Monroe Energy, an independent refiner, and trade associations API and AFPM challenged the 2013 RFS. PBF Holding Company LLC intervened on behalf of Petitioners, and multiple parties intervened on behalf of EPA. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Courts, Enforcement, Environmental, Litigation, National Energy Law, Renewable Energy/Cleantech
Monday, March 31, 2014 11:27 am by Sandra Snyder, Richard Alonso and Tim Wilkins
As anticipated, on March 26, 2014, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted rules to implement House Bill 788, which required the Commission to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rules. The new rules will become effective on April 17, 2014.
This action is one more step in the process of transitioning GHG Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting authority from EPA to TCEQ. These regulations come on the heels of EPA publishing a proposal to approve the Texas GHG PSD revisions to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) in 79 Fed. Reg. 9,123 (Feb. 18, 2014). Two more steps remain: (1) EPA needs to approve TCEQ’s rules and (2) EPA must rescind the Federal Implementation Plan (FIP), the federal rules that currently authorize EPA to issue GHG permits for projects located in Texas. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Courts, Electric, Enforcement, Environmental, Litigation, Midstream, Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Regional Energy Law, Upstream Energy
Monday, March 10, 2014 9:41 am by George Felcyn
As the United States begins to enter a warming period leading up to the onset of Spring, Bracewell & Giuliani’s Scott Segal, head of the firm’s Policy Resolution Group, takes a look back on the Polar Vortex – the bouts of severe cold experienced by much of the country in early 2014. In this video interview, Scott discusses the impact of growing shale gas resources on the energy sector, the key role that coal-fired electric generation played during the Polar Vortex, and what this experience of severe cold tells us about future energy policy and prices.
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Electric, Environmental, Midstream, Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Reliability, Shale Development, Upstream Energy
Friday, February 7, 2014 12:34 pm by Sandra Snyder, Richard Alonso and Tim Wilkins
On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, EPA issued a pre-publication copy of a proposed rule that if adopted would transfer greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting in Texas from EPA Region 6 to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The proposed rule has yet to be published in the Federal Register. When it is published, the public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed rule. EPA must review and respond to those comments before it can adopt a final rule that would transfer authority to TCEQ. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Enforcement, Environmental, Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Regional Energy Law