The fate of scores of new coal-burning power plants is now in limbo. A US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) decision published Nov 13, 2008 rejected a federal permit for Deseret Power's Utah coal plant at Bonanza, UT. The EAB cited the May 2007 US Supreme Court ruling that said that EPA had the authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act if it endangers public health and welfare. In the months since then, the EPA under the Bush Administration has refused to regulate CO2. Environmentalists and lawyers for industry groups said the ruling affects permits for about 100 coal plants.
459 Enviromation Reprinted from the Environment@Gowlings newsletter global warming as a means towards achieving California’s dated December 12, 2008, Volume 5, No. 5, published goal to cut carbon emissions to 30 per cent below pro- by the Gowlings Environmental Law Group, which consists jected business-as-usual levels by 2020. Among the mea- of environmental law specialists and practioners in sures detailed in the plan are a requirement that 33 per Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and B.C. (www.gowlings.com/ cent of electricity be from renewable sources, regional environment). transportation emissions targets, and a cap-and-trade system for cutting industrial pollution. The move has been described by James Duran, Cali- Quebec fornia Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Legislative Affairs Chairman, as ‘‘an economic train wreck waiting to Regulation Respecting the Mandatory happen’’ — a view supported by some economists who Declaration of Water Withdrawals claim that the analysis is full of rosy assumptions and ignores potential problems. However many others, Notice of the draft Regualtion was published in the including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, believe that ´ Gazette Officielle Du Quebec, November 5, 2008. The the plan will provide ‘‘a road map for the rest of the nation draft Regulation deals with the mandatory declaration of to follow’’ and will spur action on climate from the United water withdrawals pursuant to Section 124 of the Environ- States Congress. mental Quality Act. The draft Regulation requires the main water with- U.S. EPA’s Decision Delays Coal Plants drawers in Quebec such as industries, business, institutions that are not supplied by water supply works in municipali- The fate of scores of new coal-burning power plants is ties to send to the Minister of Sustainable Development, now in limbo. A US Environmental Protection Agency Environment and Parks a declaration on their withdrawal (‘‘EPA’’) Environmental Appeals Board (‘‘EAB’’) decision activities. Specifically they are required to identify the published 13 November 2008 rejected a federal permit for number of withdrawal sites that are operated, and the spe- Deseret Power’s Utah coal plant at Bonanza, Utah (USA). cific location of the nature of withdrawals. Those subject to The panel sided with the Sierra Club, saying EPA’s Denver the regulation will be required to measure volume of with- office failed to adequately support its decision to issue the drawals. The purpose of the Regulation is to seek to permit without requiring best available control technology achieve more responsible water use through withdrawal (‘‘BACT’’) to control emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). It accountability mechanisms. remanded the case to the Denver office to ‘‘reconsider whether or not to impose a . . . limit [on CO2]’’. For further information please see: Gazette Officelle ´ du Quebec, November 5, 2008, Vol. 140, No. 45, page 5079. The EAB is the final EPA decision-maker on administra- tive appeals under all major environmental statutes that Reprinte
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