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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.

EPA Eyes New Risk Approach To Address Facilities' Air Toxics Emissions

EPA may craft a new rule that would overhaul its air toxics program by requiring individual pollution reduction plans for facilities that pose a high risk to public health, and exempting low-risk facilities from compliance with any future standards. The rule could replace a host of pending standards under the agency's "residual risk" program, which sets air toxics requirements for industrial sources that still pose a health risk after the agency issues maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rules for the...

DOE Role In Energy Law Air Toxics Study Draws Widespread Skepticism

Environmentalists and industry sources claim a new study the energy law requires Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct on the health impacts of refinery air toxics may have little value, because DOE has limited experience in the area compared to EPA. A provision in the new law asks the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress within six months on the "direct and significant health impacts" on people who live near refineries and petrochemical plants. The provision directs DOE to...

PENNSYLVANIA SBCT CREATION POSES MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

A proposal to transform the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's (PAARNG) 56th Brigade into a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) would create significant and unaddressable harm to air quality, farmland and forested land, according to a recently released environmental impact analysis on the project. The proposal -- which is aimed at giving the Army a lighter, more efficient combat force -- would also restrict land uses, harm water and cultural resources and create hazardous and toxic materials and wastes, but these...

COUNTIES FEAR LINGERING MTBE CONCERNS MAY DIVERT TANK CLEANUP FUNDS

County officials are mounting a lobbying campaign to ensure Congress lives up to its pledge outlined in recently approved energy legislation to increase cleanup funding for contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. At the same time, the officials are raising concerns that the funds could be diverted to clean up the controversial gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which the officials say may not necessarily leak from underground tanks. The local officials are responding to energy legislation Congress approved...

Environmentalists Dismiss Impact Of Court Order On EPA Mercury Rule

Environmentalists are downplaying the impact of a court decision to reject suspending EPA regulation of mercury emissions from power plants pending further judicial review of the rule sought by states and environmentalists. The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Aug. 4 rejected a motion by the plaintiffs in State of New Jersey et al. v EPA, seeking to stay the rule pending its review by the court. In its decision on the motion, the court found...

NG VEHICLE INDUSTRY RIPS ARB CREDIBILITY IN BUS RULE RELAXATION

California's natural gas vehicle industry is strongly questioning the air board's credibility in light of a proposal by staff to relax a transit bus rule for diesel engines. But air board officials say if the rule change is not made, many transit agencies may simply wait longer to buy new buses, thereby delaying any emission reductions that may be gained earlier. The bus regulation is one of the board's key diesel risk reduction measures to help achieve attainment of federal...

FLOREZ EYES NOVEL FEE ON VALLEY RESIDENTS TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION

Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter), who has authored crackdowns on the agriculture and building industries to mitigate air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley, is now considering a novel plan to charge residents a fee to offset pollution caused mostly by vehicle travel. Florez is convinced that residents in the highly polluted valley must bear some of the burden of improving air quality, rather than forcing developers and industrial stationary sources to fully carry the load. Such a plan is considered...

MAJOR INDUSTRY GROUPS QUESTION CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVE

Major California industry organizations expressed doubt and concern about the direction of Cal/EPA and administration officials on the state's landmark climate change initiative, especially potential proposals for a carbon pollution cap-and-trade program. Other stakeholders -- including environmentalists, clean energy advocates and Silicon Valley businesses -- were more optimistic that significant strides can be made to meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets set in June by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The initiative is considered important by a variety of interests...

A.G., ARB PONDER ENERGY BILL IMPLICATIONS ON ETHANOL WAIVER APPEAL

Attorney General (AG) and air board lawyers are expected to discuss whether their new appeal of U.S. EPA's latest rejection of California's gasoline oxygenate waiver request will be made moot when the federal energy bill is signed. While it is expected the president will soon sign the energy bill, which contains elimination of the oxygenate requirement in favor of a national ethanol mandate, the complexity of the legislation is leading air board and AG officials to more fully review its...

EPA STUDY OF AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS COULD SPUR FUTURE REG ACTION

U.S. EPA and other federal and state agencies are launching major new studies in California on aircraft emissions, which could ultimately lead to regulatory action by EPA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), several sources said. But aircraft industry sources caution that the emissions testing may not lead to any new regulations because the technology does not exist for modern aircraft to install extensive pollution controls without jeopardizing engine safety. EPA also cannot finalize any aircraft regulations without FAA approval...

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