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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 Testing Program May Prompt Relaxed Diesel Rule Enforcement

EPA is launching a testing program to assess the accuracy of procedures for measuring the sulfur content of diesel fuel, which could spur additional enforcement flexibility that the oil industry is seeking under a major rule requiring cleaner fuel in highway vehicles beginning in 2006. EPA has also asked the industry to suggest options for addressing concerns that contamination of the low-sulfur fuel could prevent compliance with the rule's requirements, according to industry and agency sources. At issue are two...

Senators Eye Technology Incentives To Boost Climate Change Legislation

In an attempt to broaden support for mandatory climate control legislation, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are poised to introduce a revised version of their cap-and-trade climate change bill to include new incentives for developing low-emitting technologies. McCain told Inside EPA , "As we learn, we know that we want to make technologies attractive to business so that they will be more involved" in efforts to combat climate change. McCain and Lieberman are the lead sponsors of...

Science Advisers Question EPA Pledge To Monitor Mercury 'Hot Spots'

EPA science advisers are challenging the agency's recent pledge to monitor for potential concentrations of mercury emissions as part of EPA's mercury air rule issued last month, arguing that the agency has no scientific means to track so-called "hot spots" of the contaminant. The finding is significant because critics have charged that the Bush administration's proposed cap-and-trade system for mercury emissions may cause residents of certain areas to be exposed to levels of mercury that surpass EPA safety limits. In...

CHEMICAL RISKS PROMPT EPA TO EYE STRICTER AIR RULES FOR DRY-CLEANERS

EPA concerns about the risks posed by a dry-cleaning chemical are likely to result in stricter rules for major emitters and thousands of smaller businesses and may result in a ban on certain uses of the compound as part of an upcoming air toxics rule, agency sources say. The restrictions under consideration may be included in a proposed residual risk rule for tetrachloroethylene (perc) emitters following preliminary EPA risk determinations that existing control technologies are not adequately managing risks. Agency...

Energy Cost Concerns Seen Stalling California Global Warming Initiative

Concerns within the Schwarzenegger administration about the effect of greenhouse gas controls on energy prices are holding up a California EPA (Cal/EPA) proposal to establish statewide emission reduction targets, according to government sources. Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd last week told lawmakers that the proposal has been sent to the governor for final review, but declined to provide details of the emission targets or any reduction efforts that may be recommended. Advocates of establishing greenhouse gas targets, including former Cal/EPA secretary...

California Plan For Water Conservation Draws From Stalled EPA Effort

California water officials are considering a program to encourage the development and purchase of water efficient products that is based on an apparently stalled EPA effort that is modeled after the agency's highly touted EnergyStar program. State officials are expected to decide whether to offer initial funding for the project within the next few months. The California Urban Water Conservation Council and the East Bay Municipal Utility District submitted a proposal , known as the California WaterStar Initiative, to the...

CABINET CONCERNS MAY BE DELAYING CAL/EPA GHG REDUCTION TARGETS

Schwarzenegger Administration fears about potential energy price impacts may be holding up a Cal/EPA proposal to establish state greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, according to sources. Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd this week told lawmakers that the proposal has been sent to the governor, but declined to provide details of the targets or any emission reduction efforts that may be recommended. Advocates of the establishment of GHG emission reduction targets, including former Cal/EPA secretary and current cabinet secretary Terry Tamminen,...

ARB BEEFS UP BORDER TRUCK INSPECTIONS AS BACKSTOP FOR SHAKY LAW

Based on doubts about the legality of a 2004 state law, air board officials plan to beef up inspections of trucks entering California from Mexico through the enforcement of state emission standards at several key locations. Officials believe this step is critical to help mitigate expected air pollution increases from Mexico trucks when they are given full access to U.S. roads under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Air Resources Board's action is based, in part, on the...

SOUTH COAST BOLSTERS LEGAL ARGUMENT TO CHARGE RAILROAD FEES

South Coast air district officials are bolstering legal arguments to convince legislators to back a bill enabling the district to assess fees on railroads to mitigate locomotive emissions. The legislation is considered critical for the district to overcome regulatory blockades for federal sources of pollution, but is being strongly opposed by the railroads, which argue the district is preempted by federal law from charging the fees. SB 459 (Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles), which contains the South Coast air district's...

PLAN FOR WESTERN STATES POWER LINE DRAWS CLEAN-ENERGY CRITICISM

A pact between California and three Western states to build a major power transmission line to bring significant amounts of conventional and renewable energy mostly to California through expedited permitting is drawing criticism from some clean-energy advocates, who argue the movement of dirtier coal-generated power should not be paid for by California ratepayers. The governors of California, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah this week signed an agreement to build a transmission line running through each state, to bring more power mostly...

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