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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.

BIODIESEL MAY NOT INCREASE NITROGEN OXIDES EMISSIONS, DOE LAB FINDS

Extensive testing at an Energy Department laboratory contradicts the widely held belief that burning biodiesel produces more nitrogen oxide (NOx) air emissions than traditional diesel, a top lab official reported May 9 at a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conference in Washington, D.C. Air regulators and environmental groups have been slow to embrace biodiesel, a renewable fuel that substantially lowers hydrocarbon and particulate matter emissions, because of concern over increases in NOx emissions, a major contributor to ground-level ozone. An...

TRIBES EYE UPCOMING GAO STUDY AS LOBBYING TOOL FOR FUNDING BOOST

Indian tribes believe an upcoming Government Accountability Office (GAO) report examining the process that EPA uses to decide when tribes can be treated as states and take over authority for air and water programs could be a potent lobbying tool to pressure lawmakers to boost funding for tribes looking to take on such programs. Tribal and GAO sources agree that under-funding is one of the major issues being raised as GAO inspectors visit tribal authorities to ask them about the...

EPA REJECTS ENVIRONMENTALISTS' PETITION ON 8-HOUR OZONE IMPLEMENTATION

EPA has rejected a petition from environmentalists to reconsider several aspects of its 8-hour ozone implementation rule and has upheld the agency's original decision to phase out the older, 1-hour standard and allow states to focus on attaining the 8-hour standard. The rejection clears the way for Earthjustice to pursue separate legal action against the agency over the rule. "Provisions of the Clean Air Act triggered by failure to attain the 1-hour standard, including Section 185 fees imposed on emissions...

EPA CLEAN AIR ADVISERS QUESTION PROPOSED COST-BENEFIT STUDIES

An EPA advisory panel is raising concerns with two agency proposed projects intended to help determine the costs and benefits of reducing certain air emissions, while urging agency staff to continue discussing potential research on the ecological effects of the pollutants. The Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis agreed during a May 24 teleconference to finalize draft recommendations on proposed case studies to examine the effects of air pollution, particularly nitrogen oxides, on water bodies. Final recommendations by the...

EPA PLAN FOR 45-DAY CLEAN DIESEL EXTENSION DRAWS MUTED REACTION

Environmentalists and industry groups relying on upcoming clean fuel sulfur requirements are offering a reserved reaction to EPA's plan to allow diesel fuel distributors additional time to meet an upcoming deadline for clean diesel fuel, suggesting that the extension may not have a major effect unless EPA further delays the rule. One environmentalist says the move would not likely spark significant objections by environmental groups as long as it is not a prelude to an additional relaxation of the requirement...

Nuclear Provisions In Revised Climate Bill Jeopardize Environmentalist Support

Environmentalists are grappling with whether they should abandon their support for landmark climate change legislation by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), after the lawmakers included incentives for nuclear power in an apparent attempt to broaden congressional support for the measure. Greenhouse gas controls have been a top policy priority for environmentalists for some time, and the McCain-Lieberman bill has been a leading proposal in achieving that goal. But at the same time, a recent push by some...

Industry Push To Limit Ohio's Air Toxic Rules Could Set National Trend

A push by a number of industries in Ohio for passage of legislation that would strip the state environment agency of its power to regulate hundreds of air toxins could set a precedent for other industrial states, sources say. The Ohio plan would limit the authority of state regulators over the 188 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) listed under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), a move that would significantly pare back state efforts on the more than 700 air pollutants...

New York Proposes Greenhouse Gas Rules Despite Lingering Legal Questions

New York environment officials are moving forward with a proposal to regulate greenhouse gases from automobiles despite lingering legal questions surrounding the plan, which is modeled after a California law that the auto industry is challenging in federal court. Environmentalists say New York's willingness to be the first state after California to adopt greenhouse gas rules despite legal challenges should encourage other Northeastern states eyeing similar standards. The state of New York is pressing ahead with its plan despite another...

Interior Department To Issue Report That Could Set National Wind Energy Policy

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is poised to release a major evaluation of wind energy development on public lands, including an examination of environmental policies and considerations that might obstruct the emerging technology. The study will assess the impacts of wind energy development in 11 Western states, review government policies and suggest ways to minimize adverse environmental impacts of wind farms. Wind farm development has become a controversial issue, with the public hesitant to have huge turbines disrupting scenic...

EPA Delay Of Diesel Rule Gains Cautious Acceptance From Industry, Environmentalists

An EPA decision to delay the compliance deadline for reduced sulfur content in diesel fuel has attracted lukewarm acceptance from both vehicle manufacturers and environmentalists. The delay was requested by fuel suppliers to ease transition to the cleaner-burning diesel. But environmentalists and diesel engine makers have been counting on the cleaner fuel to achieve strict new emission standards, and are raising questions about how a delay might affect those efforts. One environmentalist says the move likely would not spark significant...

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