FERC chair does not expect to need more time to act on DOE NOPR
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre does not expect to have to ask U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry for more time to act on DOE's proposal for shoring up financially struggling coal-fired generation and nuclear units, he told reporters following the commission's Dec. 21 open meeting.
Court demands EPA plan for ozone designations 'with precision and specificity'
A federal appeals court has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to explain by Jan. 12, 2018, its plan to issue the remaining ozone designations that were due in October. In a one-page order issued Dec. 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the EPA to file a status report by that date identifying "with precision and specificity" when the EPA will issue ozone designations for the areas of the country that are not currently meeting the standard. The EPA missed the deadline to do so in October, later issuing a rulemaking only addressing regions that are already meeting the standard.
EPA surprises with complex queries on Clean Power Plan replacement
To some, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's request for information on replacing the Clean Power Plan was surprisingly detailed, asking for feedback on complex regulatory issues ranging from whether state trading programs should be allowed, to what power plant modifications might trigger more stringent standards under the Clean Air Act. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking, as it is formally known, was officially issued late Dec. 18. The agency in a release called it the next step in repealing the Clean Power Plan, which was promulgated by the Obama administration to regulate emissions of carbon from existing fossil fuel power plants. The rule never went into effect and has been the bane of power industry stakeholders since its announcement.
Indiana permits approved for Alliance, Sunrise mines
Extensions and renewals have been approved for some of Indiana's largest underground coal mines, a state mining official said Dec. 19. Colleen Baughman, permit supervisor for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Reclamation office, said she recently approved a 1,098-acre shadow area for Alliance Resource Partners LP's Gibson South mine near Princeton in Gibson County. The permit will be officially issued Jan. 15. Earlier this month, Baughman renewed Sunrise Coal LLC's Oaktown Nos. 1 and 2 underground mines in Knox County for another five years. Oaktown 1 produced nearly 2.8 million tons and Oaktown 2 almost 2 million tons in the first nine months of 2017, U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration figures show.