EPA Proposes Revisions to Public Petition Process for Title V Permits

On August 24, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed revisions to the federal Title V operating permit rules, which govern pollutants at major sources under the Clean Air Act. The proposed revisions aim to streamline and clarify the processes related to the submittal and review of Title V petitions. Petitions are a key element of the public participation process under the Title V program. The federal rules at 40 CFR Part 70 and equivalent state provisions allow members of the public to petition EPA to object to a state-issued Title V operating permit, if EPA...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - July 2016

ICE 2014-033 & 2015-085 Disruptive Trading; Spoofing Violation of Rule 4.02(e)(i), 4.02(e)(iv) [Current Rule 4.02(l)(2)], Rule 4.02(h) [Current Rule 4.02(l)(1)(C), and 4.02(k)(2)(C) – Trade Practice Violations and Rule 4.01 – Duty to Supervise. On January 23, 2014, a trader allegedly engaged in a pattern of trading activity where he created order book imbalances in the Cotton No. 2 futures market (“CT”) by entering multiple 500-lot March 2014 (“H14) CT orders at different price levels at the same time he was entering smaller orders on the opposite side of the H14 CT market, creating...

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Texas Hornshell Mussel as Endangered

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will publish its proposal to list the Texas hornshell, a freshwater mussel species from New Mexico and Texas, as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service will accept comments on the proposed listing until October 11, 2016. The Service requests certain information, including information regarding the mussel, its habitat and requirements for its conservation and notes that, since the determination whether a species is an endangered or threatened species must be made solely on the basis of the best...

U.S. Drops $562 Million Alternative Fines Act Allegation Against PG&E

Today, the United States requested permission to dismiss its Alternative Fines Act sentencing allegation against PG&E. Under the AFA, a court can impose a criminal fine equal to twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the pecuniary loss suffered by victims. Last September, the court dismissed the government’s loss-based allegations, finding that proving those allegations would be unduly complicated. Today, the government gave up on the “twice the gain” allegation. The result is a significant decrease in the potential fine faced by PG&E—down from $562 million to $5.5 million...

Court Rejects FERC’s Attempt to Limit Defendant’s Rights

On July 21, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued an order finding that Maxim Power Corp. and several affiliates and an employee (collectively, the “Maxim Respondents”) were entitled to a full trial on the merits and discovery rights. The ruling came in an action by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) seeking an order affirming FERC’s assessment of significant civil penalties against Maxim for alleged violations of the Federal Power Act’s (“FPA”) prohibition on market manipulation and related FERC rules. The court’s order is significant both for...

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