Air

Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

Topic Subtitle
Tracking the latest agency and congressional debates over rules to cut emissions of traditional pollutants, and a broad range of novel EPA policies including the agency's shift to a "multipollutant" regulatory approach for individual sectors.

Judges Doubt Truckers’ Appeal Of EPA Waiver For CARB Off-Road Rules

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit at Jan. 22 oral arguments appeared skeptical of a trucking and construction industry challenge to an Obama-era EPA Clean Air Act (CAA) waiver of federal preemption authorizing California to issue stricter emission regulations for “non-road” diesel engines. The judges also appeared disinclined to address the question of whether EPA used the appropriate test for evaluating the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) waiver request under the CAA because...

Biden EO Might Signal Two-Track Plan For Vehicle GHG Rulemaking

President Joe Biden’s recent climate executive order (EO) might signal EPA will pursue a two-track plan for regulating vehicle greenhouse gases, with one track a swift reversal of the Trump administration’s rollback of GHG rules through model year (MY) 2026 but a longer track pursuing stricter GHG rules for later years, sources say. The EO that Biden signed Jan. 20 includes an array of preliminary deadlines for revisiting numerous Trump administration policies, including a July timeframe for initial action on...

Volkswagen asks Supreme Court to hear Clean Air Act preemption suit

Volkswagen Group of America is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit allowing local governments to sue the automaker for installing defeat devices in millions of vehicles, even after the company paid $20 billion in a landmark settlement with EPA over Clean Air Act violations. The company notified the 9th Circuit in a Jan. 21 letter that it asked the high court to grant its petition for a writ...

EPA Pulls Biogenic GHG Emissions Rule, Air Modeling Guide From OMB

The Biden EPA has withdrawn from White House pre-publication review a long-pending Trump administration proposal to exempt some biogenic greenhouse gas emissions from Clean Air Act permitting mandates, and it has also pulled a separate proposed guidance on modeling ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions. The two withdrawals took place Jan. 21 one day after President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ronald Klain issued a memo to EPA and all other agencies announcing a “freeze” of all pending regulations...

As Biden EPA Reviews Texas Air Plan, State Wages Fight On Court Venue

The Biden administration is reviewing and might reverse the Trump EPA’s approvals of Dallas- and Houston-area air quality plans that drop protections against increases in air pollution known as “backsliding,” while Texas and its industry supporters fight the agency to keep litigation over the approvals in a regional federal appeals court. A list of Trump EPA actions the new administration intends to review, released just ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20, includes the agency’s April 6 approval of...


Refiners seek to exclude biofuels groups from RFS waiver suit

Small refiners suing EPA over its 2020 denial of their petitions for waivers from renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance mandates are seeking to block biofuels advocacy groups from intervening in the case to defend the agency’s decisions, as legal battles ramp up that might determine the fate of EPA’s RFS waiver policy. In a Jan. 21 filing in the consolidated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit suit Kern Oil and Refining Co., v. EPA , small...

EPA opts against tightening cyanide air toxics limits

In one of its final actions before leaving office, the Trump EPA proposed to leave air toxics emissions standards for cyanide chemicals manufacturing plants essentially unchanged, an action that echoes a lengthy list of air toxics rule reviews during the Trump administration but that could face reversal by the Biden EPA. The Jan. 15 proposal is the result of a Clean Air Act-mandated risk and technology review (RTR). The law requires the agency to review its sector-specific national emissions standards...


Industry sets condition for direct EPA methane rules for oil & gas

Major industry groups say they support EPA directly regulating the potent greenhouse gas methane from new and existing oil and gas operations, though they say the agency must first make a threshold risk finding that the sector’s emissions are “significant” enough to merit regulation. Revised statements on EPA regulation from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- floated in updated press releases and comments to news outlets -- come as the Biden administration is promising...

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