By Megan Spencer

In our December 20, 2011 E-Newsletter, we reported on the status of: (1) EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule; and (2) the EPA Inspector General’s report, “EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement.” Some recent developments in those areas merit an update: 

(1) On December 30, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stayed EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The Court stayed CSAPR until it could resolve the petitions for review. In the meantime, EPA will continue to administer the Clean Air Interstate Rule. Click here for the complete ruling (PDF).

(2) Peggy Hatch, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), sent a response letter to the Inspector General of the EPA responding to the publication of EPA’s report, entitled “EPA Must Improve Oversight of State Enforcement.” The purpose of the response letter was to highlight some of the errors and omissions in the report criticizing Louisiana’s enforcement record. In her response, Secretary Hatch identified 14,454 enforcement actions that EPA did not take into account in evaluating the LDEQ’s enforcement record, and stated that Louisiana has seen tremendous improvement in ambient air and water quality in the recent past. Click here for the complete ruling (PDF).