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.

Engine Makers Warn Against Oil Industry Efforts To Delay Diesel Rule

Engine manufacturers are ramping up efforts to forestall a possible delay in EPA enforcement of landmark clean diesel rules, in response to oil industry claims that EPA should offer flexibility allowing the industry more time to minimize fuel contamination during transport. While the oil industry is stopping short of demanding wholesale changes to EPA's standard, industry and congressional sources say officials appear to be outlining a possible basis for EPA or Congress to allow some fuel that exceeds the agency's...

Clear Skies Supporters Eye House Strategy To Push For New Senate Vote

Following the tied vote in the Senate environment committee, Republican supporters of Clear Skies legislation are now hoping to pass the bill through the House to put pressure on the Senate to take action on the bill, but opponents -- including a key Senate Republican opponent of the legislation-- say the strategy is unlikely to work. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on the bill, originally scheduled for March 17 but delayed until April 21, should be seen as...

EPA Weakens Emissions Limits In Final Mercury Rule

EPA's final mercury rule includes less stringent caps for new and existing power plants in the first phase of reductions for the toxic air pollutant, compared to the agency's initial proposal. The agency is justifying the change based on a new analysis of the "co-benefits" achieved by the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) released last week, according to sections of the mercury regulation obtained by Inside EPA. Under the rule , which is expected to be released March 15, EPA...

States Eye Bills To Protect 'Green' Purchases From Trade Pacts

Backed by environmental and labor groups, lawmakers in a slew of states are seeking to limit governors' ability to back procurement provisions in international trade pacts, in part because of concerns that the treaties limit states' ability to set environmental conditions in their procurement policies, sources say. The effort comes after the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) last month rejected a call by state legislators to include them in consultations on future trade agreements. Lawmakers in California, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Vermont...

BUILDERS, OIL INDUSTRY ATTACK NEW ARB LOCAL LAND-USE GUIDANCE

Building, petroleum and other industry representatives are ripping a revised air board draft guidance for local land use planners that recommends specific buffers between new residential and other "sensitive" development and major roadways and polluting facilities, arguing the document could stifle much-needed urban infill development and affordable housing, which lawmakers and the administration are trying to promote. Air board officials are acknowledging that the recent revisions depart from past practices of establishing risk-reduction measures, but say that cumulative impacts in...

AIR OFFICIALS, STAKEHOLDERS ADVANCE NEW CREDIT GENERATION EFFORT

State and federal air officials, industry representatives and environmentalists are meeting to craft a methodology and protocol to create significantly more emission reduction credits (ERCs) in the coming years, focusing on mobile, off-road and federal sources of pollution, according to sources. This effort is considered crucial to allow for industrial growth in the state in nonattainment areas, which suffer from a very low supply of ERCs that are also very expensive. ERCs may also be needed soon if the state...

ARB RE-PROPOSES CONTROVERSIAL ENGINE-IDLING RULE FOR NEW DIESELS

Air board staff is again proposing a regulation requiring engine makers to begin in 2008 equipping heavy-duty diesels with idling shutoff systems, a year after shelving a similar proposal due to manufacturer opposition. The new plan, which faces the same strong opposition from engine makers, includes several compliance options, including meeting a new nitrogen oxide (NOx) idling-emissions standard. Under the Air Resources Board's draft proposal, engine manufacturers must equip 2008 and subsequent model year heavy-duty diesel engines for sale in...

OFF-ROAD ENGINE INDUSTRY STEPS UP CHALLENGE TO ARB FORKLIFT RULE

Agriculture industry representatives and a group of engine makers and small businesses are challenging a proposed air board rule to establish new emission standards on non-diesel, off-road equipment, such as forklifts and generators. Despite recent revisions to provide more flexibility, the groups maintain the proposal needlessly goes beyond federal requirements and imposes overly burdensome and costly compliance standards. The draft Air Resources Board proposal aims to reduce hydrocarbon (HC) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from off-road equipment with large spark...

SENATE GOP SIGNALS DEATH OF CLEAR SKIES AFTER COMMITTEE DEADLOCK

U.S. Senate Republicans say Clear Skies legislation is dead for this year, after the environment committee deadlocked in a 9-9 vote on the bill. The committee's seven Democrats were joined by Sens. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and James Jeffords (I-VT) in rejecting the bill, which the president has touted as an effective plan for reducing power plant emissions. Republicans wasted no time in blaming Democrats for the failure of the bill. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), who led the committee's negotiations before...

WEST COAST CLIMATE PLAN LOSING STEAM; ACTIVISTS EYE STATE LAWS

Activists in at least one West Coast state are beginning to propose climate change legislation as an alternative to a languishing regional strategy. Environmentalists and state sources say California, Washington and Oregon have made little progress in recent months in advancing the multi-state climate change plan. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) appears unlikely to make the West Coast Governors' Global Warming Initiative a priority in her administration because of a fear of backlash from industry, activists say, adding that the...

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