Energy Sector

Energy Sector

Energy projects are almost always high-profile, time sensitive, and complicated.

Among the many threads that energy project developers must pull together, understand and schedule are an array of environmental siting, permitting and compliance issues.

lignite power plant
ELC lawyers have broad experience representing power sector clients, from obtaining new source air permits for traditional coal-fired and natural gas projects to obtaining renewable portfolio registrations for biomass plants. We closely follow developments at the intersection of energy and environmental law and advise clients on programs ranging from the Department of Treasury’s renewable energy tax credit and “Grant In Lieu” programs, State Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, biomass and alternative fuels regulation, USEPA’s cross-state air pollution transport programs (CAIR and CSAPR), Electric Utility MACT regulations, and Greenhouse Gas reporting and permitting regulations.

Representative Matters

Our notable experience in the energy sector includes the following:

  • Prevailed against challenge brought by the Sierra Club in PSD permit appeal before the USEPA Environmental Appeals Board, allowing construction of a new coal gasification plant to proceed and obtaining a finding that Greenhouse Gases were not regulated at the time under either state or federal law.
  • Obtained North Carolina Utility Commission Renewable Energy Facility registrations for two power plants which had been modified to allow the firing of a fuel mix of coal, wood pellets and tire-derived fuel, including obtaining a first-in-the-nation agency ruling on the percentage of biogenic content in tire-derived fuel.
  • Obtained all environmental permits for construction of a new peaker power plant on a “greenfield” site, including a Clean Air Act Construction Permit, a Low NOx technology exemption from the NOx SIP Call program, and a US Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 permit for filling a wetland on the site.
  • Represented investor contesting USEPA Region 8’s proposed finding that two distinct and distantly located power plants must be permitted and regulated as a “single source” under the Clean Air Act.
  • Advised on permitting of co-generation systems located at Title V major source facilities, including systems generating power that is sold to the grid.
  • Directed environmental due diligence for Global Fortune 500 company’s successful 2007 bid to acquire 50% interest in 13 power plants in six states, including valuation of future impact of California’s new SB1368 and AB32 greenhouse gas legislation on two coal-fired plants, of new Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative requirements on plants in the Northeast, and of anticipated federal greenhouse gas legislation.
  • Represented landfill gas-to-energy company in making voluntary non-compliance disclosures to USEPA and responding to USEPA Clean Air Act permit compliance inquiry.
  • Negotiated contracts for operation of landfill gas-to energy systems on two closed landfills where landfill gas extraction was a key element of State-approved groundwater remediation programs.