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.

OREGON TO TAKE NEXT STEP IN WEST COAST GREENHOUSE GAS STRATEGY

An Oregon strategy to reduce the state's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the electric and transportation sectors, setting emissions targets and developing a carbon dioxide allowance system, is the next step in a regional approach to address climate change developed by the three West Coast governors, informed state government sources say. The recently-unveiled strategy recommends setting GHG emissions targets for the state, establishing a task force to develop a CO2 emissions allowance system and developing ways to improve energy efficiency...

CALIFORNIA EYES GAS TAX TO FUND HYDROGEN VEHICLE INITIATIVE

A California panel of experts formed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to advise the state on accelerating the commercialization of hydrogen-powered vehicles is expected to recommend a new gasoline tax to pay for the project. The proposal is likely to be controversial but could end up in legislation being developed for introduction next year by the California Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to funding, another key issue being considered to promote widespread use of hydrogen vehicles is standardizing the environmental...

EPA Delays Release Of Mercury Rule Reassessment Until After Election

EPA is delaying until after the presidential election the release of its highly anticipated and politically charged reanalysis of the Bush administration's mercury emissions proposal, agency sources say. EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt this summer pledged the agency would release additional research on the mercury rule in late September, including new modeling data on the effects of the mercury proposal combined with its pending Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). But according to one EPA spokesman, the agency will now release the...

EPA Cites High-Court Tobacco Ruling In Argument Against CO2 Controls

In a recent court filing arguing against carbon dioxide (CO2) emission controls, the Bush administration is citing a Supreme Court decision that found the Food and Drug Administration lacked the authority to regulate tobacco, arguing that EPA's broad statutory mandate does not allow the agency to regulate CO2. An Oct. 12 legal brief , filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in International Center for Technology Assessment et al. v. Whitman , asks the U.S. District Court for the District...

Industry Raises Data Quality Concerns Over 'Residual Risk' Air Rule

Industry groups are questioning the scientific analyses EPA used in proposing its first "residual risk" air toxics standard, saying the agency may have violated data guidelines under the Information Quality Act. The proposed rule addresses air emissions from coke oven batteries, and could set a precedent for the way EPA develops similar requirements for a host of major industries. At the same time, state air officials are raising separate concerns that the rule is not strict enough and sets a...

Pennsylvania To Be First To Include Coal Waste In Renewable Energy Plan

The Pennsylvania legislature is poised to pass the nation's first renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that would include electricity generated by fossil fuels including coal waste. Gov. Edward Rendell (D) strongly supports using coal waste as a renewable fuel and is unlikely to sign such a measure unless it is included, sources tracking the issue say. The plan to promote the use of coal waste-fueled electricity has attracted the opposition of some state environmental groups, which say there is no data...

Delayed EPA Action Sparks Industry Fears Over Use Of Ozone-Safe Chemical

Industry says EPA's approval of a safe alternative to chemicals that pose a risk to the stratospheric ozone could be of limited benefit because the agency has failed to move quickly on delisting the substitute substance from regulation as a volatile organic compound (VOC). EPA officials say the agency has determined that the substitute chemical should not be regulated as a VOC because it has been shown to have a "negligible" impact on smog, which is the focus of the...

GAS TAX HIKE FLOATED TO FUND HYDROGEN VEHICLE COMMERCIALIZATION

A gasoline tax increase to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is likely to be included in recommendations to the governor and Legislature at year's end by Cal/EPA's hydrogen highways project team. This controversial recommendation could potentially make it into a Cal/EPA-sponsored bill next year, according to sources. Standardizing the permitting process to build hydrogen fueling stations is also a top priority of the effort, according to project reports. A commercialization subgroup of the project sees a gas tax...

PG&E CITES GOVERNOR'S BUSINESS AGENDA IN RIPPING ARB FLEET RULE

espite relaxation PG&E CITES GOVERNOR'S BUSINESS AGENDA IN RIPPING ARB FLEET RULE Rural public agencies and major utilities are continuing to blast a draft air board rule to crack down on heavy-duty diesel vehicle emissions, despite board staff's relaxation of the regulation since it was first floated in May. A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) official told air board staffers that the rule clashes with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to improve the business climate in the state "From the...

UTILITIES TELL GOVERNOR SOLAR COST, PERFORMANCE KEY IN NEW BILLS

Utility and industry representatives are laying out several guiding principles they want the administration to consider when potentially drafting legislation requiring solar units on new homes, including that the systems be proven to be cost-effective and meet performance standards. Environmentalists are concerned some of the principles may complicate future legislation and the governor's "million homes" initiative that failed to pass this year. The industry's "principles" to guide future discussion of solar system mandates were laid out in a Sept. 29...

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