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.

ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION AIMS TO SPUR NATIONAL ACTION FOR SHIP FUEL CONTROLS

Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla (D-Pittsburg) is carrying a joint resolution calling on Congress and U.S. EPA to take action to establish a sulfur emission control area (SECA) in North America that proponents believe will reduce ship exhaust pollution in California and elsewhere, and keep California competitive with other ports. The measure, AJR 8, which is scheduled to be considered March 29 by the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee, directs Congress to ratify an international treaty called "MARPOL 73/78 Convention,"...

INDUSTRY MAKES PUSH ON CAPITOL HILL FOR MORE FLEXIBLE HAZE MODELING

Industry groups have begun a congressional lobbying effort to win additional flexibility -- perhaps in the form of an appropriations rider -- under U.S. EPA and Department of Interior (DOI) rules for calculating whether emissions from proposed new power plants or other industrial sources will reduce visibility. The effort includes discussions with Capitol Hill offices on whether to require a new EPA rulemaking on the issue and recent testimony in the Senate energy committee claiming that a newly issued EPA...

ARB PURSUES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST OZONE-EMITTING INDOOR CLEANERS

Air board officials are requesting the attorney general's (AG) office take legal action against manufacturers of indoor air cleaning devices that emit allegedly unhealthful amounts of ozone, after skewering the products in a landmark report adopted last week. If pursued, the legal action may be the first shot in a state battle against dozens of currently unregulated products for indoor air pollution impacts. Air Resources Board legal officials recently sent a letter to the AG asking for "action to address...

INDUSTRY MAKES PUSH ON CAPITOL HILL FOR MORE FLEXIBLE HAZE MODELING

Industry groups have begun a congressional lobbying effort to win additional flexibility -- perhaps in the form of an appropriations rider -- under EPA and Department of Interior (DOI) rules for calculating whether emissions from proposed new power plants or other industrial sources will reduce visibility. The effort includes discussions with Capitol Hill offices on whether to require a new EPA rulemaking on the issue and recent testimony in the Senate energy committee claiming that a newly issued EPA regional...

EPA REJECTS GRANTING SO2 ALLOWANCES FOR WASTE COAL PLANTS IN CAIR

EPA's new clean air interstate rule (CAIR) rejects a request by Pennsylvania and industry for eased sulfur dioxide (SO2) requirements on facilities that burn coal mining wastes to produce electricity, a rejection that could prompt a lawsuit by critics of the rule. Coal mining waste is plentiful in Pennsylvania, and the state has encouraged burning it to produce electricity as a useful way to reduce piles of the potential groundwater and soil pollutant. But proponents of burning coal mining waste...

EPA BACKS UTAH HIGHWAY, BUT RETAINS VETO FOR UNSOUND ALTERNATIVES

EPA has issued preliminary approval of a controversial Utah highway project that will affect thousands of acres of wetlands, but is retaining its authority to block the project if the state moves forward with an environmentally harmful construction plan, EPA sources say. In March 17 comments on the Legacy Parkway Project -- a proposed highway that stretches 14 miles through thousands of acres of wetlands considered internationally important to migratory birds -- EPA signed off on two of four proposed...

RESEARCH GROUP POISED TO BEGIN MAJOR NEW INQUIRY OF PM RISK DRIVERS

The Health Effects Institute (HEI), a joint EPA-industry research group that focuses on health effects of mobile source and other pollutants, is launching a major new study to identify the most toxic components of fine particles (PM) that may indicate what industry sectors EPA and states should target in current and future air regulations, sources say. The plan is moving ahead at a time when an electric utility research group recently unveiled preliminary study results that suggest PM from automobiles...

DIOXIN RULE CHANGE MAY SET PRECEDENT FOR RISK DATA IN OTHER TRI REPORTS

EPA's plans to require risk-related data on dioxin releases, in addition to volume-based totals, should open the door to similar changes for other chemical compounds regulated under the agency's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), industry sources say. In a March 7 Federal Register notice, the agency proposed revising TRI rules by requiring that manufacturers report releases of substances in the dioxin category in terms of their toxicity, instead of just disclosing the total mass of the releases as a single group,...

STATES EYE STRICTER MERCURY POLICIES AS EPA ISSUES LONG-AWAITED RULE

Officials in numerous states are considering tough new legislative or regulatory proposals to control mercury emissions from power plants, after EPA issued a controversial rulemaking that many state officials criticized as insufficiently stringent. Starting this year, proposals for strict mercury requirements are expected to come up in states with a major coal industry presence, such as Pennsylvania and Indiana. And other states may seek to get around existing policies that prevent them from issuing any environmental requirements stronger than those...

EPA STUDY BACKS REJECTED HARVARD EFFORT ON MERCURY CONTROL BENEFITS

A study of the cardiovascular benefits of utility mercury controls conducted for EPA's water office backs similar findings in a Harvard study that the agency rejected when it developed its controversial rule regulating power plant emissions, according to a copy of the study obtained by Inside EPA . The EPA study has emerged at a time when agency officials are under fire from Democratic lawmakers for rejecting the Harvard study, with the critics saying the agency's failure to consider cardiovascular...

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