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.

Environmentalists Cite New Study In Push To Revise Mercury MACT

Environmentalists say new findings on mercury emissions at chlorine manufacturing plants could force EPA to impose new technology standards that would phase out certain industrial processes. The environmentalists are planning to submit the new findings to EPA as part of an ongoing review of maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for chlor-alkali plants. The report , released Jan. 26, by the environmental group Oceana, claims chlorine manufacturing plants release more mercury than the average power plant. Electric utility plants are...

Transportation Planners Seek Flexibility From EPA Emissions Modeling

Transportation planners in small cities and rural areas are urging EPA to drop its requirement that modeling for highway air emissions must use the agency's latest, preferred method. The planners say many local authorities do not have the money or staff to run the more sophisticated modeling method, and should be free to test alternatives. These officials say EPA's newest on-road emissions model, known as MOBILE6, can increase estimates of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by as much as 30 percent...

Industry Study May Allow EPA To Limit Air Act Controls For Agribusiness

The results of an industry-funded study that EPA is conducting under its recently announced enforcement initiative on agricultural air pollution could help the agency determine whether animal feeding operations (AFOs) produce "fugitive" emissions that are excluded from Clean Air Act permitting requirements. The study could resolve a protracted dispute between the agriculture industry and EPA over what types of emissions are subject to regulation under the air act. Fugitive emissions, which are not funneled through smokestacks or other types of...

Sen. Voinovich's Call For Deadline On Clear Skies Deal Prompts Doubts

Sen. George Voinovich's (R-OH) vow to give competing sides six months to negotiate a compromise deal on President Bush's controversial Clear Skies proposal is being rejected by a wide range of observers, who say competing groups are unlikely to narrow their long-standing differences over carbon dioxide (CO2) controls, as well as contentious provisions in the bill. Voinovich, the chairman of the Senate clean air subcommittee, is vowing to abandon President Bush's controversial Clear Skies proposal unless opponents and supporters of...

Local Governments Decline To Back New Senate Clear Skies Bill

Senate Republicans have so far failed to allay concerns from state and local governments that the recently-introduced version of the Bush administration's Clear Skies legislation would undercut their ability to attain EPA's new air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), despite lobbying by GOP staff and a key lawmaker. State officials say they do not believe the bill will help them attain EPA's new standards and so far, no local government group has formally endorsed the bill...

Wisconsin Law Granting Regulatory Flexibility Seen As National Model

State officials from across the country are meeting this month in Wisconsin to examine a new state law that rewards companies that are good environmental actors with relaxed enforcement and granting them flexibility in meeting regulatory requirements. The Wisconsin program, which is being touted as a national model, expands on similar initiatives by EPA, such as Performance Track and Project XL, but which have failed to attract strong support from industry and the Bush administration. The University of Wisconsin-Madison's La...

COURT NARROWS PRECEDENT-SETTING DECISION 'VACATING' CLEAN AIR RULE

A federal appellate court has narrowed its landmark decision that vacated an EPA air rule it considered unlawful, rather than allowing it to remain in place while the agency revises it. The new ruling rejects a Bush administration request to reconsider the case. The ruling, which backs an industry challenge to an EPA-approved list of alternatives to an ozone-depleting chemical, allows courts to decide whether rejected rules can remain in place while the agency revises them. The decision may quell...

EPA Official Urges Utilities To Limit Push For Emissions Trading Flexibility

TUCSON, AZ -- A top EPA air official is urging the electric utility industry to use discretion in pushing for greater flexibility under Clear Skies legislation and the agency's clean air interstate rule, telling the industry that support for successful cap-and-trade approaches in both plans depends on them being environmentally credible and economically sustainable. "The success of cap-and-trade rests on its credibility -- its credibility environmentally and its credibility financially," said Brian McLean, director of EPA's office of atmospheric programs...

ARB EJ PILOT TARGETS CHILDREN'S HEALTH IN THREE TOWNS

As part of Cal/EPA's environmental justice (EJ) action plan, the air board is proposing to focus a pilot project to reduce pollution on three mostly Latino communities in southern California affected by diesel emissions from refineries, ports, trucks, metal plating and auto-body facilities and locomotives. All the facilities are related to goods movement, which is the subject of a separate agency project to control pollution while still stimulating job creation and improving the state's economy. Air Resources Board officials are...

ACTIVISTS' SUIT ACCUSES DPR OF VIOLATING TOXIC AIR CONTAMINANT ACT

Environmentalists are suing the pesticides department, alleging it has not submitted nearly enough chemicals for consideration as toxic air contaminants (TACs) and has failed to develop regulatory controls for the few chemicals it has sent through the TAC process. Environmentalists also allege in the suit that a new risk assessment process developed by the department is an underground regulation that should be set aside. A department spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit's specific allegations, but noted that the department...

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