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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.

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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.

Environmentalists Urge Stronger SAB Criticism Of EPA’s MATS Rollback

Environmental groups are urging EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) to strengthen its critique of the agency’s plan to undo the cost review underpinning the legal basis for the Obama-era utility air toxics rule, praising SAB’s criticism of flaws in the rule but seeking the board’s push-back on its approach to cost-benefit reviews. “While the SAB’s Draft Report identifies some of the key shortcomings, it does not identify all of the flaws and fully grapple with problems concerning EPA’s treatment of...

House GOP weighs response to Democrats’ climate agenda

House Republicans are developing a legislative response to Democrats’ sweeping climate change agenda, with the GOP plan unlikely to include comprehensive solutions such as carbon pricing, but instead focus on research or other incentive-based approaches to the issue. The House Republican conference held a Jan. 16 meeting where they discussed issues to push in response to detailed legislative language from Democrats expected in the coming weeks. The event featured presentations by House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Greg Walden...

NRDC Seeks Speedy Ruling On Vehicle GHG Model, Citing OMB Review

Environmentalists are urging an appellate court to rule quickly in their already expedited case seeking release of an EPA computer model they hope will show that current vehicle greenhouse gas rules are lower than the administration claims, citing the formal start of the White House’s review of rules rolling back the current standards. In a Jan. 15 letter , issued one day after oral argument in their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case seeking the model, environmentalists alerted the U.S...

9th Circuit ‘Reluctantly’ Scraps Youth Case Seeking Federal Climate Plan

Update Appended A divided appellate court panel is “reluctantly” dismissing youth plaintiffs’ litigation seeking to force the federal government to develop a plan significantly limiting carbon emissions that cause climate change, finding that the plaintiffs’ “impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government.” It is beyond the power of courts to “order, design, supervise, or implement the plaintiffs’ requested remedial plan,” the panel majority says in its Jan. 17 ruling . “As the opinions...


EPA’s EtO Risk Approach In MON Proposal Sparks Competing Criticisms

Industry and environmental groups clashed at a Jan. 16 public hearing over EPA’s use of its conservative cancer risk value for ethylene oxide (EtO) and related modifications in its proposal to update its air toxics rule on miscellaneous organic chemical manufacturing (MON) facilities. Chemical industry representatives reiterated their longstanding arguments that EPA’s use of its 2016 Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of EtO overstates the ubiquitous chemical’s cancer risk, by inappropriately using epidemiology studies of workers and choosing an...


Judges Doubt EPA Bid To Downplay Ozone Ruling’s Impact In Petition Suit

Appellate judges at Jan. 16 oral argument appeared skeptical of EPA’s attempt to downplay the impact of a 2019 ruling faulting its interstate emissions policy in separate litigation two states are pursuing over the agency’s denial of Clean Air Act petitions urging the agency to directly regulate air pollution from sources in upwind states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in September 2019 in State of Wisconsin v. EPA to remand the agency’s...

New York, Connecticut Sue EPA Seeking Plans To Reduce Interstate Ozone

New York and Connecticut are suing EPA in an attempt to force agency-crafted plans for reducing interstate transport of ozone-forming pollutants from sources in upwind states, the latest step in a growing number of lawsuits over EPA’s interstate air policy that includes challenges to denials of petitions seeking upwind air pollution cuts. In the suit , filed Jan. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the states ask the court to compel EPA to...

Final Efficiency Standard ‘Process’ Update Raises Bar For New Rules

The Trump administration has completed a broad overhaul its “process” for setting appliance energy efficiency standards, significantly raising the bar for officials in future administrations to set new or updated standards that in the past have been a major driver of greenhouse gas emission cuts. The final rule , released by the Department of Energy (DOE) Jan. 15, is part of a more wholesale deregulatory agenda the administration is advancing that seeks to curb the ability of future administrations to...

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