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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.

Conservative Group's Agenda For Next Congress Includes Clean Air Act Repeal

Property-rights advocates who represent the far-right wing of conservatives have outlined an environmental agenda for Congress and regulators over the next four years, which includes market-based approaches to revising EPA ozone rules and repealing the federal Clean Air Act in favor of state-level initiatives. The recommendations are unlikely to be adopted by policymakers at face value regardless of the outcome of this week's election. But the proposals may help set the tone for debate next year by defining the conservative...

Coal Industry Document Reveals Strategy For Opposing Air Quality Initiatives

An industry group that represents coal producers and suppliers has been carrying out an ambitious strategy for defeating or scaling back a host of ongoing congressional and state initiatives to limit greenhouse gases, mercury and other air pollutants, according to a recent internal letter obtained by Inside EPA . The letter , sent between governing officers of the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED), boasts about the group's ties with Republican officials and provides an unusual window into CEED's...

Bush Administration Weighs Exempting Minnesota From Air Transport Rule

High-level EPA and White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials are considering a Minnesota power company's request -- supported by key members of the state's congressional delegation -- to exempt Minnesota from regulation under the agency's pending interstate air pollution rule. The company, Minnesota Power, is arguing that a proposed threshold for tracking whether a state is sending pollution downwind is too low to be modeled effectively, that Minnesota is already complying with clean air standards and that...

SOUTH COAST ADVANCES DISTRIBUTED GENERATION EMISSION CAPS

Makers of distributed generation (DG) technology plan to step up efforts to dissuade the South Coast air district from advancing a set of emission limits for new DG that some critics say would essentially ban all technology other than solar-based units. After delaying the plan earlier this summer, district officials recently rejected one company's proposed intermediate nitrogen oxide (NOx) limit and is now moving forward with the controversial caps. The proposal is strongly supported by environmental groups. The proposed South...

ACTIVISTS REVIEW LEGAL GROUNDS TO CHALLENGE NOAA CALFED DECISION

Environmental attorneys have labeled as "political science" the findings of a federal fisheries agency that maintains several planned CALFED projects will not harm salmon runs. Environmentalists and sportfishing groups are analyzing these findings to determine whether they have grounds for legal action to postpone the projects. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration-National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) "biological opinion" asserts that CALFED's Operating Criteria & Plan (OCAP) will not jeopardize five species of spawning salmon. It gives an apparent green...

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BRACES FOR ARB OFF-ROAD DIESEL PM RULES

Construction and other industries that use heavy-duty diesel off-road vehicles are bracing for a forthcoming air board regulatory proposal to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions from these fleets, which may include idling limits, accelerated fleet turnover or installation of best available control technology (BACT). Industry representatives say that if the board imposes compliance deadlines that are too strict, it may cost the state thousands of jobs and give national and international companies a significant advantage over state businesses. But air...

ARB AGAIN DELAYS GAS-PUMP RULES BASED ON INADEQUATE TECHNOLOGY

For the second time in two years, the air board is expected to delay compliance with a sweeping regulation requiring gas station owners to reduce emissions from various fueling components, based on inadequate technology advancement. The delay, supported by petroleum companies, pushes back the hydrocarbon emission reductions the board has previously anticipated and incorporated into air plans and emission inventories. Because the board is the only regulatory agency that certifies gas pump equipment, the delay is expected to have national...

RULING MAY BLOCK FUTURE CHALLENGES TO FEDERAL AIR PERMIT PROGRAMS

A federal appeals court has set what could be a decisive precedent blocking court challenges to state implementation of federal air permitting requirements by ruling that EPA decisions on whether to sanction states for inadequate program implementation are not subject to judicial review. Environmentalists are alarmed by the decision, saying it could pave the way for future legal arguments to prevent judicial review of other EPA actions. The decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit affirms...

ADMINISTRATION WEIGHS EXEMPTING MINNESOTA FROM AIR TRANSPORT RULE

High-level EPA and White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) officials are considering a Minnesota power company's request -- supported by key members of the state's congressional delegation -- to exempt Minnesota from regulation under the agency's pending interstate air pollution rule. The company, Minnesota Power, is arguing that a proposed threshold for tracking whether a state is sending pollution downwind is too low to be modeled effectively, that Minnesota is already complying with clean air standards and that...

COAL-GASIFICATION BACKERS EYE NOVEL PROJECT FOR METHANE PRODUCTION

Energy industry officials are poised to submit a permit application to Illinois for a new power plant that would produce synthetic natural gas from coal and generate electricity -- the first facility of its kind in over two decades and a project that is drawing the attention of coal-state lawmakers seeking to boost the fuel's use. Sources say the project's backers recently met with members of the Illinois congressional delegation to inform them of the proposed facility, but add that...

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