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.

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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.

ARMY SAYS ANNISTON INCINERATOR PERMIT VIOLATIONS BEING ADDRESSED

The Army says it has already corrected most of the permit violations cited in an Aug. 26 notice from Alabama regulators, and is working to resolve the remaining issues. This is the second time this year the state has issued a notice of violation to the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF). "We have cleared up most of these issues. It is our goal to ensure that they do not occur again," ANCDF site project manager Timothy Garrett said in...

FEDERAL, STATE OFFICIALS EYE REGULATORY IMPACTS OF CO2 STORAGE

Federal and state officials are beginning to address the regulatory implications of storing, or sequestering, carbon dioxide (CO2) underground to address global warming, with EPA forming a new workgroup on the issue and energy-producing states developing recommendations on potential state regulatory changes, according to government sources. Although research on storing CO2 is at an early stage, government-sponsored projects are moving toward injecting small quantities of CO2 underground to study its effects and scientists' ability to track the materials, federal officials...

ACTIVISTS SAY SENATORS' REMARKS SHOW MOMENTUM FOR CLIMATE BILL

Environmentalists say recent remarks by two Republican senators who had voted against legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions may show increasing support for such measures, after the lawmakers cited the need to address global warming while on a fact-finding trip to Norway on climate change. "I voted against it, but I am more open to voting differently now," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the lawmakers on the trip, according to a translation of an Aug. 23 Norwegian press...

EPA MODELING CITES BENEFITS OF MERCURY TRADING IN INTERSTATE AIR RULE

EPA will soon unveil long-awaited modeling data on the combined impact of the administration's controversial mercury emissions plan and the "co-benefits" resulting from the agency's rule regulating transported pollution across states, according to a top air program official. High-level agency officials promised several months ago that the agency would conduct additional research on the mercury rule, but until now they have not elaborated on what that research might entail. But states and other outside groups, who have already analyzed the...

CHEMICAL MAKERS CITE COURT RULING IN PUSH TO DELAY EPA AIR RULE

A group of chemical companies is citing a recent appellate ruling in urging EPA to delay implementing part of a major air toxics rule and to conduct an administrative review of the measure even as the agency continues settlement talks with industry over the rule. The Aug. 11 petition, filed by Clariant America, Eastman Chemical Co. and Rohm & Haas Co., asks EPA to stay the application of the leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements of the miscellaneous organic national...

STATES SAY SHORT COMMENT PERIOD HURT STUDY OF CAIR MODEL CHANGES

States are continuing to criticize EPA for allegedly providing inadequate time to review and comment on new modeling techniques for the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which addresses transported air pollution. Both the Northeast States For Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Ozone Transport Commission suspect there are technical inaccuracies in the new modeling methods that could make the CAIR rule appear more effective than states believe it actually is. However, both groups say they could not verify their...

PACT WITH OIL COMPANY MAY HELP EPA DEVELOP GUIDE ON 'UPSET' EMISSIONS

EPA and the petrochemical company Flint Hills Resources (FHR) have agreed to develop and evaluate strategies for curtailing so-called "upset" emissions, in what agency and company sources say could lead to guidance to minimize such emissions from petroleum refineries and other industrial facilities. Both agency and industry sources say the Aug. 6 agreement builds upon significant progress the company has made over the past several years in reducing upset emissions from flaring, or combustion of gases often released during startup,...

Federal, State Officials Eye Regulatory Implications Of Disposing CO2

Federal and state officials are beginning to address the regulatory implications of capturing and disposing, or sequestering, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by placing them underground to prevent global warming, with EPA forming a new workgroup on the issue and energy-producing states developing recommendations on potential state regulatory changes, according to government sources. Although research on storing CO2 is at an early stage, government-sponsored projects are moving toward injecting small quantities of CO2 underground to study its effects and scientists' ability...

GOP Platform Avoids Criticizing Congress Over Clean Air Legislation

The Republican Party platform approved this week by delegates at the national convention in New York City lauds President Bush's Clear Skies legislation to address pollution from electric utilities, but makes no mention of an alternative regulatory approach that the administration has touted as necessary because the president's bill has languished for years in Congress. The platform's omission of the clean air interstate rule (CAIR) is strategic, designed to not offend Republican congressional leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Bill...

Chemical Makers Cite Court Ruling In Push To Delay EPA Air Rule

A group of chemical companies is citing an appeals court ruling last year in urging EPA to delay implementation of part of a major air toxics rule and conduct an administrative review of the measure even as the agency continues settlement talks with the industry over the rule. The Aug. 11 petition , filed by Clariant America, Eastman Chemical Company and Rohm & Haas Company, asks EPA to stay the application of the leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements of...

EPA Region Poised To Finalize Landmark Clean Air Rule For Tribal Lands

The White House is reviewing a final EPA Region 10 regulation that would for the first time implement clean air rules for all tribal lands in an entire EPA region, but the rule is facing fierce opposition from non-tribal residents who fear the measure does not guarantee them due process rights. Agency sources say they have addressed the due process concerns raised by non-tribal members by having federal, not tribal, entities take responsibility for implementing the requirements to preserve non-tribal...

California To Enact Fees Funding Host Of Air Quality Programs

The California legislature late on Aug. 27 approved a bill, pushed by a broad coalition of government and industry officials and environmentalists, seeking to generate about $80 million annually through fees to fund a host of air quality programs. California EPA is a major backer of the measure and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is expected to sign it into state law. But automobile dealers and rubber manufacturers are questioning whether the new fees contained in the proposal are actually taxes...

REGION X POISED TO FINALIZE LANDMARK CLEAN AIR RULE FOR TRIBAL LANDS

The White House is reviewing a final EPA Region X regulation that would for the first time implement clean air rules for all tribal lands in an entire EPA region, but the rule is facing fierce opposition from non-tribal residents who fear the measure does not guarantee them due process rights. Agency sources say they have addressed the due process concerns raised by non-tribal members by having federal, not tribal, entities take responsibility for implementing the requirements to preserve non-tribal...

California Legislature Approves Carpool Lane Incentives For Hybrids

Despite a late lobbying push by the Ford Motor Co., the California legislature approved a measure that will allow some hybrid vehicle drivers to access the state's "carpool lanes," even when driving alone, as an incentive to purchase ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles. Ford's lobbying effort fell short of stopping the bill with one Republican senator calling the company's chairman a "billionaire crybaby," and accusing him of "unmitigated gall." Because the Schwarzenegger Administration backed the bill with state Treasurer Phil Angelides (D), the...

Pact With Oil Company May Help EPA Develop Guide On 'Upset' Emissions

EPA and the petrochemical company Flint Hills Resources (FHR) have agreed to cooperate on development and evaluation of strategies for curtailing so-called "upset" emissions, in what agency and company sources say could lead to guidance to minimize such emissions from petroleum refineries and other industrial facilities. Both agency and industry sources say the Aug. 6 agreement builds upon significant progress the company has made in reducing upset emissions from flaring, or combustion of gases often released during startup, shutdown and...

AGREEMENT ON FUNDING AIR QUALITY PROGRAMS MAY FACE TAX CHALLENGE

A broad coalition of government officials, industry and environmentalists has reached consensus on an initiative that would generate about $90 million a year to fund a variety of air quality programs. But questions are being raised over whether the new fees contained in the proposal are taxes that require a super-majority vote in the Legislature, an argument that opponents may make in challenging the initiative if it is signed into law. The proposal, which is contained in a recently amended...

LATE POLITICAL MOVES CLOUD GOVERNOR'S SOLAR HOMES INITIATIVE

With only days left in the legislative session, the fate of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's solar energy initiative is uncertain with the bill getting mixed up in the politics surrounding the Assembly speaker's controversial electricity restructuring bill. The speaker is backing an alternative solar energy bill, recently introduced in the Assembly, in an apparent attempt to pressure Schwarzenegger to support his sweeping electricity restructuring legislation, which the governor has indicated he intends to veto. An environmental source said Assembly Speaker Fabian...

INDUSTRIES URGE ARB TO TONE DOWN INDOOR POLLUTION REPORT

Industry groups are pressing air board staff to tone down key elements of a draft indoor air pollution report, arguing that cancer-risk estimates and general negativity contained in the report toward a variety of home products and building materials are misleading, will likely alarm the public and could lead to unnecessary regulations. One of industry's primary fears is that lawmakers -- who requested the report in 2002 legislation -- will focus on the negative aspects of the report to justify...

SENATE APPROVES OPENING CARPOOL LANES TO HYBRID VEHICLES

Despite a late lobbying push by the Ford Motor Co., the Senate this week easily approved a measure that will allow some hybrid vehicle drivers to access the state's "carpool lanes" even when driving alone. The legislation is intended to encourage the purchase of the ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles. Ford's lobbying effort appeared to have little effect on slowing the bill with one Republican senator calling the company's chairman a "billionaire crybaby," and accusing him of "unmitigated gall." The bill, AB 2628...

ACTIVISTS PRESS RENEWABLE SOURCE PLAN FOR 'HYDROGEN HIGHWAYS'

Environmentalists involved in Cal/EPA's "Hydrogen Highways" initiative will press officials to craft a strategy to increase the amount of hydrogen tapped from renewable energy sources in carrying out the expected transportation energy transition, in an effort to ensure environmental benefits. While natural gas is a decent starting point, environmentalists say that upping the amount of hydrogen from geothermal, biomass and solar sources is crucial to making the campaign a bona fide success in improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas...

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