The Biden administration just announced draft regulations that would require most coal-fired and gas power plants to capture and sequester up to 90 percent of their carbon emissions by the middle of the next decade, a move with the potential to transform the U.S. electricity sector and perhaps offer a boost to the fledgling domestic
The UK Government has opened a consultation on a proposed UK carbon emissions tax with public submissions due by 29 September 2020.
The UK will no longer be participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), as of 31 December 2020. To enable the UK to meet its carbon reduction targets from 1 January 2021, the Government has proposed the establishment of a UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS), which would be preferably linked to the current EU ETS (as has, eventually, been done by Switzerland’s greenhouse gas emissions trading system). Subject to the success of negotiations on a linked UK/EU ETS, the UK has proposed an unlinked UK ETS or a proposed UK carbon emissions tax, by way of an alternative.
The carbon emissions tax would be intended to align with the EU ETS in regards to emissions monitoring, reporting and verification and apply to regulated installations currently participating in the EU ETS that exceed their annual tax emission allowance.Continue Reading Consultation now open for proposed UK Carbon Emissions Tax
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will conduct a public Board hearing later this month as it continues its efforts to expand the state’s existing Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation to further reduce air emissions from ships docked in California. As earlier reported, CARB recently released further modifications to the at-berth rulemaking documents (15-day change).…
The explosive growth of ridesharing companies has left states facing a potential, albeit unintended, increase in greenhouse gas emissions (for example, carbon dioxide generated by fuel combustion). As a result, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing the Clean Miles Standard, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ridesharing companies.
Continue Reading Hailing all rideshare: The California Clean Miles Standard is set to hit the road this year
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has shown some flexibility in enforcement of environmental regulatory obligations during the outbreak of COVID-19, at this stage in the pandemic, California will not typically excuse noncompliance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 26, 2020, the EPA issued a memorandum implementing a temporary enforcement discretion policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the policy, the EPA will not seek penalties for certain missed environmental obligations (see our related blog post). On April 10, 2020, the EPA issued follow-up interim guidance that offers some factors to consider for response actions related to cleanup and emergency response sites where the EPA is the lead agency or has direct oversight of or responsibility for the work being performed (see our related blog post). As evidenced below, California and its environmental, safety, and health agencies have shown less flexibility in their enforcement positions.Continue Reading California environmental agencies less flexible than U.S. EPA re enforcement policy in response to COVID-19
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I or Department) recently released two documents related to its development of a refinery-specific process safety management (PSM) rule. First, L&I released a revised draft of its proposed refinery-specific PSM rule language; the Department, however, will not be accepting comments on this language until formal rulemaking begins…
The end of the current Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) compliance period (and associated notification by the end date of 5 December 2019) is fast approaching in the UK. The next ESOS compliance period commences on 6 December 2019 and will require companies to assess if they are within scope of the ESOS.
Introduced under the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme Regulations 2014, the ESOS transposes the energy audit requirements from the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) into national law, and prescribes mandatory assessment and auditing requirements for large companies (or small or medium-sized companies where they are in a corporate group with a large company).Continue Reading Next ESOS compliance period commencing
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a reconsideration rule rescinding many of the agency’s changes and additions made during the Obama administration to strengthen the Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations that address facilities using highly hazardous chemicals. This rulemaking follows the D.C. Circuit’s decision in 2018 that the EPA’s previous effort to rescind the new RMP elements was not justified by sufficient rationale, and so includes additional information regarding the basis for the agency’s decision. The new reconsideration rule specifically rescinds requirements relating to root cause analysis incident investigations, third-party audits, safer technology and alternatives analysis (STAA), and public availability of information, but retains certain requirements relating to emergency response and coordination.
Continue Reading EPA again rolls back Obama Administration RMP regulations
The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a collaboration of 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. The TCI’s goal is to increase the use of clean transportation and energy, and reduce carbon emissions, in the transportation sector. TCI jurisdictions are in the process of developing a plan to lower carbon emissions from transportation through a cap-and-invest program. Under the TCI plan, states would 1) put a cap on vehicle carbon emissions, which would decrease annually, 2) require large fuel suppliers to purchase allowances for the pollution resulting from their sales, and 3) use the proceeds from the allowances to fund programs that increase clean energy, for example, encouraging the use of bikes and electric vehicles.
Continue Reading Northeast’s plan to cap vehicle carbon emissions: reducing emissions or reducing jobs?
In May 2019, we blogged about the UK government’s consultation on which direction UK carbon emissions policy should take post Brexit, with the preferred course being a UK-only ETS (emissions trading scheme) that is formally linked with the EU ETS. Please click here to read more. The government is due to publish its full response to that consultation shortly and we will report on its response in due course. In the meantime, the government has had to publicly address the ongoing uncertainty for UK emitters created by the recent Brexit ‘flextension’, and take steps to implement Phase IV of the EU ETS into UK law.
Continue Reading Continued Brexit uncertainty for UK carbon emitters in EU ETS