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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.

COKE PLANTS' RESURGENCE PROMPTS MIDWESTERN MERCURY CONCERNS

An apparent resurgence of the coal coking industry in the United States is prompting concerns by EPA and environmental groups over new mercury emissions and other pollution at pending new plants in Midwestern states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Coke made from burning coal at high temperatures -- a key component of steel -- is considered a viable industry in this country again after years of decline, informed sources say. The most notable reason is that China, which had...

NORTHEAST CLIMATE PLAN FACES CHALLENGES IN SITING GAS, WIND PROJECTS

NEW YORK -- A pending Northeast initiative to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will face significant challenges in its implementation, due in part to expected local opposition to siting low-emitting natural gas or renewable energy sources, officials familiar with the initiative say. Northeast state officials have conducted modeling that predicts the region will face increased reliance on natural gas power plants in the coming years, even without any caps on CO2 emissions expected under the regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI)...

ACTIVISTS, STATES QUESTION EPA MERCURY ANALYSIS IN PETITIONS ON RULE

Environmentalists and states are raising major questions about a new EPA analysis that forms much of the basis of its controversial new mercury rule, arguing the agency used a faulty methodology to avoid issuing a more stringent standard limiting emissions from power plants. The groups are raising these objections as part of two new regulatory petitions to the agency, which follow several recent lawsuits on the mercury rule and related EPA actions. At issue is a new analysis EPA released...

WASHINGTON-AREA LEADERS FORM NEW PANEL TO ADDRESS AIR QUALITY

The governors of Maryland and Virginia and the mayor of Washington, D.C., have formed a new, cabinet-level interstate air quality council designed to address transported pollution, and to improve air quality in one of the most polluted regions of the country. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed May 31 by Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R-MD), Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) and D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (D) creates the new council to work with the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (MWAQC) which has...

ADVISERS TO PREPARE NEW, BROAD-RANGING REPORT ON COAL'S FUTURE

The National Coal Council will produce a broad report on the future of coal at the request of Energy Secretary Sam Bodman. The report will investigate potential barriers to future coal production and use, and offer solutions such as the development of zero-emissions technology using coal as a fuel source. The coal council, a group comprised mainly of industry officials that advises the energy secretary, agreed to conduct the study at its June 9 semi-annual meeting. One of the council's...

GROUP SUES EPA OVER FAILURE TO UPDATE NITROGEN DIOXIDE STANDARD

The Center for Biological Diversity is suing EPA over its failure to update the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The group sent a June 1 letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson notifying the agency that it will file suit in 60 days unless the agency follows its mandatory duty to review the standard. This is the second such suit filed against EPA for its failure to update a NAAQS standard. Last summer, Missouri Attorney General...

Coke Plants' Resurgence Prompts Midwestern Mercury Concerns

An apparent resurgence of the coal coking industry in the United States is prompting concerns by EPA and environmental groups over new mercury emissions and other pollution at pending new plants in Midwestern states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Coke made from burning coal at high temperatures -- a key component of steel -- is considered a viable industry in this country again after years of decline, informed sources say. The most notable reason is that China, which had...

EPA Eyes Major Review Of Method To Calculate Paint VOC Reductions

EPA is planning to develop a new standard for how to calculate credits for states seeking to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from paint and coatings in their ozone plans in a move that could help deflate tensions between states and industry, agency and other sources say. EPA will soon publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) calling for data, information and comment on the best approach for calculating emission reductions from architectural, industrial and maintenance (AIM) coatings,...

EPA CLEAR SKIES ANALYSIS PLEDGE MAY NOT RESOLVE DEMOCRATS' CONCERNS

EPA Administrator Steve Johnson's recent pledge to conduct long-sought analysis of the Bush administration's Clear Skies bill and other multi-pollutant legislation appears unlikely to satisfy Democratic concerns about the adequacy of EPA data on the proposals' benefits. House Democrats and Senate sources say Johnson's latest offer, which expands on a pledge he made in April, still falls short of what they are seeking, suggesting that EPA's proposal is unlikely to bring the debate back to the merits of the legislation,...

SENATE SUPPORT GROWS FOR MODEST CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATIVE PLAN

Proponents and opponents of mandatory greenhouse gas programs say there is growing Senate support for creating a modest climate change program as part of upcoming Senate energy legislation. Some observers say there may even be enough support for creating a modest permit program for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions along the lines of an amendment likely to be offered by ranking energy committee Democrat Jeff Bingaman (NM), although they caution the issue is still fluid. While the sources say creating mandatory...

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