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.

FINDINGS MAY SUPPORT AIR POLLUTION CUTS TO REDUCE HEART DISEASE RISKS

A forthcoming study suggesting that exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is as much a contributor to heart disease as poor diet, stress and lack of exercise could help policymakers justify further reductions in the acceptable level of the pollutant, according to sources familiar with PM research. Researchers for the first time tested humans to examine what impact PM2.5 has on atherosclerosis -- a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. It found...

ARB AUDIT OF EMBATTLED SAN JOAQUIN DISTRICT MAY GO EASY ON OFFICIALS

Environmentalists say that a forthcoming air board audit of the San Joaquin Valley air district is unlikely to deliver any lighting bolts of criticism that may force new enforcement on polluters or more rules to meet the district's state implementation plan (SIP) requirements. Some activists charge that the agriculture industry's influence over district board members, combined with the state air board's historical reluctance to substantially hammer sister regulatory agencies, may prevent any significant recommendations for change at the district. San...

EPA WEIGHS OVERHAULING OZONE RULES FOR VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS

EPA will soon seek comment on a proposed overhaul of the way it regulates ozone-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may seek to replace the current emphasis on reducing overall VOC content in the atmosphere with a more flexible system that distinguishes between each compound based on its potential to form ozone, EPA and other sources say. The effort could result in a major reorganization of a key policy that has changed little since 1977, which EPA hopes will produce...

STATES VOICE GROWING CONCERN OVER PREEMPTION OF ENVIRONMENT RULES

Key state officials are raising concern over the growing number of congressional and Bush administration efforts to preempt state environmental and other rules, and are pushing a series of measures to raise awareness of the issue, state sources and other observers say. The National Governors Association (NGA) has asked the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to develop a report on recent and anticipated efforts in Congress to broaden federal authority by preempting state environmental and other regulations, state sources...

ANALYSIS SHOWS COAL PLANTS PROFITABLE DESPITE ENVIRONMENTAL RULES

A new analysis by an international consulting firm finds that future environmental requirements -- including many possible policies for curbing greenhouse gases -- are unlikely to erode the competitiveness of most coal-fired power plants and could even make many facilities more competitive as they install pollution controls. "The value of efficient large coal fired power plants can actually increase rather than decrease with stringent environmental control programs," says an executive summary provided to Inside EPA by Cambridge Energy Research Associates...

EPA Delays Deregulating Popular Chemical Based On Cancer Risk Data

EPA air officials have postponed for now the planned deregulation of a widely used solvent because of recent data on what they say is a closely related chemical that raises cancer risk concerns. But a chemical industry source says the substances are different enough to merit separate risk evaluations. Sources say the information prompted EPA air officials to hold off on including methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) in a group of seven other air toxins that the agency delisted from regulatory...

PAVLEY, ARB HOPE GHG PITCH TO CANADA WILL TRIGGER 'CONTINENTAL SHIFT'

Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and a high-level air board staffer this week pitched to Canadian officials her landmark legislation requiring new regulations on automakers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Pavley and air board officials hope her visit will help trigger a "continental shift" in regulating GHG emissions, combined with the expectation that several key Northeast states will adopt the air board regulation. Chuck Shulock, the chief Air Resources Board staffer on the GHG regulation, was scheduled to accompany...

EPA Delays Deregulating Popular Chemical Based On Cancer Risk Data

EPA air officials have postponed for now the planned deregulation of a widely used solvent because of recent data on what they say is a closely related chemical that raises cancer risk concerns. But a chemical industry source says the substances are different enough to merit separate risk evaluations. Sources say the information prompted EPA air officials to hold off on including methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) in a group of seven other air toxins that the agency delisted from regulatory...

GAO Nearing Completion Of Key Audit On Mercury Emission Controls

Congressional investigators are moving forward with a study of mercury-emission control technologies at electric utilities in a report they expect to issue in early 2005, just prior to EPA's release of its controversial mercury rule that is due by March 15. Nine senators, led by James Jeffords (I-VT), last spring asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, to provide information on "the availability, cost, effectiveness and use of technologies that power plants might install to limit...

AUTOMAKERS PRESS ARB FOR SECOND HEARING ON VEHICLE GHG RULE

Automakers are seeking a second air board hearing on its controversial regulation requiring greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in future vehicles, charging multiple administrative law violations. But air board officials are declining these requests and intend soon to send the rule to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for final approval. It is widely expected that automakers will sue the state over the regulation once OAL approves the rule. Air Resources Board officials were scheduled this week to meet privately...

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