September 24, 2020

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September 24, 2020

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September 23, 2020

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September 22, 2020

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Citizens Petition EPA for Review of Clean Air Act (CAA) Emissions Factors

A group of Texas and Louisiana environmental groups have filed a citizens suit in the D.C. Circuit of Appeals to demand that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") review emissions factors used to estimate emissions of volatile organic compounds and certain toxic air pollutants from flares, tanks and wastewater treatment systems. The group alleges that EPA has failed to review AP-42 (Compilation of Air Pollutant Emissions Factors Volume I: Stationary Point and Air Sources) since 1991, and has not reviewed the EPA Locating and Estimating Air Toxics Emissions Series since at least 2006. 

The groups point to numerous studies that suggest these emissions factors are out of date, inconsistent with EPA’s own science, and underestimate actual emissions from refineries and petrochemical plants. They go on to request that the Court order EPA to review the emissions factors and revise them, as necessary. Any ratcheting down of emissions factors would have significant implications on compliance. An interesting aspect of the petition is that the environmental groups may agree with industry on one point at least – that existing flare rules assume 98%-99% destruction removal efficiency. Flaring issues are currently a significant enforcement initiative for EPA and the subject of significant enforcement actions being issued by EPA Region VI. See Air Alliance Houston v. EPA, D.C. Cir, Case No.______.

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume III, Number 152


About this Author

Karen M. Hansen Water Regulation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Austin, TX

Karen Hanson’s practice focuses on the Clean Water Act and state programs for regulating and permitting water discharges and water supply/use, and on environmental, health, and safety audit review and implementation. 

She has extensive experience assisting industrial and municipal clients in preparing strategies for and pursuing water permits for ongoing operations, expansions and new operations, including permit challenges. Karen also represents clients that must defend CWA and state water law enforcement actions, including claims pursued by governmental as well as third party...

Madeleine Boyer Environmental Attorney Beveridge Diamond

Maddie brings 25 years of experience providing strategic and solutions-oriented counseling and representation on a broad range of US and Latin American environmental, health and safety standards.

Her portfolio includes environmental regulatory counseling; audit oversight and support; supply chain and product stewardship advocacy and compliance; and high-stakes enforcement matters. Her domestic caseload currently includes air and waste matters before the US Department of Justice, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas, the US Environmental...

Laura L. LaValle Clean Air Act Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Austin, TX
Office Managing Principal

Laura's practice has focused on Clean Air Act matters for over 20 years.

Laura's air quality experience includes advising and representing entities on a broad range of permitting, compliance, and policy issues. She has represented chemical manufacturing operations, electric utilities, petroleum refineries, oil and gas pipelines and terminal facilities, alternative/renewable energy operations including solar energy projects, landfills and waste combustors, steel manufacturing facilities, mining operations, and other facility types regarding federal and state permitting and compliance...