A new registry regulation for Phase IV of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) has been published recently, and will replace the current registry regulation from 1 January 2021. Among other changes, the new registry regulation will accommodate allowances originating from the Swiss Emissions Trading Scheme, recognise EU allowances as financial instruments, and make administrative
On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army issued a pre-publication draft of the final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), which amended existing Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations. According to the EPA, the agencies’ goal is to “implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations nationwide as informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court decisions and longstanding agency practice.”
The WOTUS Rule built on the existing regulatory scheme and defined the geographic scope of the CWA by placing waters into three categories: (1) waters that are categorically “jurisdictional by rule” in all instances; (2) waters that are subject to case-specific analysis to determine whether they are jurisdictional; and (3) waters that are categorically excluded from jurisdiction.Continue Reading EPA repeals 2015 WOTUS rule amid broader environmental regulatory rollbacks
On 13 August 2019, the EA published its response to a recent consultation on proposals to revise the standard rules for an environmental permit for a tranche B specified generator that is also a new MCP.
The original consultation and the EA’s response and conclusions can be found at: gov.ukContinue Reading UK Environment Agency (EA) announces changes to standard rules for environmental permits for tranche B specified generators that are also new medium combustion plants (MCPs)
This blog post provides a brief summary on the commencement of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting regime which has introduced mandatory corporate reporting obligations for relevant UK companies.
Introduced by the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018, the SECR regime is a complex and comprehensive new corporate reporting regime that requires relevant UK organisations to report on their annual energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency measures and other associated information. While some companies that fall under the scope of the SECR regime may already report on emissions, a number of the reporting requirements will be completely new. It is therefore important that companies take the time to understand whether the SECR regime will apply and ensure the appropriate internal frameworks are in place for compliance.Continue Reading Will the SECR regime apply to your organisation under the new corporate reporting regime in the UK?
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in its first formal publication on the subject of the Chinese emissions trading scheme since taking over the responsibility for its development from the National Development and Reform Commission, published draft ‘Interim Regulations’ in April 2019 setting out the overarching legislative framework proposed for the scheme.
Whilst this publication is very welcome and long-overdue, its sparsity highlights how much work still remains to be carried out and publicised before the scheme can be fully made operational. This client paper assesses the ‘Interim Regulations’ and considers some of the known-unknowns that follow from its publication.Continue Reading Chinese National Emissions Trading Scheme Update – some progress but more questions than answers
The UK government is currently consulting on the future policy options for the regulation and pricing of carbon emissions once the UK has left the EU. The government’s preferred option is to establish a UK-only emissions trading scheme (UK ETS) and to secure a formal link with the EU ETS in order to have renewed access to the EU carbon market. Several alternative options have also been tabled by the government in recognition that establishing a UK-EU linked ETS would be politically fraught and could take considerable time. The consultation will be of particular interest to companies, industry bodies and other stakeholders in the industrial, power and aviation sectors, as well as carbon traders.
Continue Reading The future of UK carbon emissions policy
The ICAO CORSIA initiative has commenced monitoring, reporting and verification obligations imposed on aircraft operators with effect from 1 January 2019. Data collected will form the baseline to determine subsequent offsetting requirements. Aircraft operators attributed to a country likely to be participating in the voluntary compliance phase from 2021 to 2023 should also take note of the various deadlines for compliance and monitor for updates from the ICAO Council on the offset credits that would qualify under CORSIA.
Continue Reading The year it becomes real – ICAO CORSIA: 2019
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) intends to expand its existing Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation (the Regulation) in order to reduce further air emissions from ships docked in California. Proposed changes include:
- Increasing the number of ports and facilities subject to the Regulation;
- Expanding the types of vessels covered by the Regulation; and
- Changing the threshold for when emission control requirements are triggered.
Clean Air Council v. Department of Environmental Protection and Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals, L.P., EHB Dkt. No. 2016073L (Adjudication Jan. 9, 2019)
On January 9, 2019, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board issued its adjudication in an appeal by Clean Air Council of a plan approval issued to Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals, L.P. The Board ultimately remanded the plan approval to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for further consideration. The Board’s discussion of why it remanded the plan approval provides in-depth insight into what it considers to be indicia of project aggregation for purposes of New Source Review (NSR) and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) under the Clean Air Act.Continue Reading What does the Pennsylvania EHB aggregation decision and opinion mean for your business?
The past year has been a busy one in environmental law and policy. While a look ahead could include topics such as likely impacts from continuing efforts by the current U.S. administration to bolster use of coal-fired energy or the myriad lawsuits facing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2019 from environmental groups and state attorneys general, from a business perspective, developments in air and
water related litigation and regulation are likely to have the most immediate domestic consequences in the coming year.
Examining environmental areas of interest in the macro, climate change lawsuits and policy will continue to factor into everything from investing and insurance, to energy sector decision making.Continue Reading Environmental Areas of Interest in 2019 – A look ahead