technology-based standards

A Design Flaw in the Clean Air Act

Why have technology-based standards if you have air quality standards?

The Clean Air Act has two kinds of standards. It sounds like having two kinds of standards should improve air quality more than a single standard. But in reality, one type of standard can result in canceling out the benefits of the other type. If you understand the statute, this is actually pretty obvious once …


The Precarious Legality of Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit analysis has become a ubiquitous part of regulation, enforced by the Office of Management and Budget.  A weak cost-benefit analysis means that the regulation gets kicked back to the agency.  Yet there is no statute that provides for this; it’s entirely a matter of Presidential dictate.  And reliance on cost-benefit analysis often flies in …


The California Supreme Court examines technology-based air quality emissions standards

The California Supreme Court granted review last week in a potentially important environmental case, National Paint and Coatings Association v. South Coast Air Quality Management District. The opinion of the Court of Appeal – certainly among the most colorfully-written appellate opinions I’ve ever read, and worth checking out for that reason alone – held that the …