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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.

NCSL ENVIRONMENT PANEL CHIEF FACES OPPOSITION TO CLEAN AIR PLANS

State Del. Jim Hubbard (D-MD), the recently appointed chairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures's (NCSL) environment committee, is facing tough industry opposition to his plans for the group to formally oppose the Bush administration's air quality initiatives. Hubbard -- whose recent appointment drew opposition from the utility industry -- is taking the helm amid growing industry efforts to block NCSL and other state groups from adopting positions supporting strict environmental requirements, particularly on air quality issues. "There is...

OPPONENTS MULL LEGAL CHALLENGE TO CALIFORNIA AIR QUALITY FEE BILL

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) reportedly intends to sign a landmark state measure creating dedicated funding for certain air quality programs through new fees, leading opponents to consider drafting an argument that the fees are actually illegal taxes. The complaints center on a tire fee in the state legislature, introduced by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh (D). The bill calls for a 75-cent increase to an existing $1 tire fee, with the extra revenue going to fund incentive-based air quality programs targeting...

PORT POLLUTION BILL SEEN AS ENVIRONMENTAL TEST FOR SCHWARZENEGGER

The California Legislature's just-passed bill that seeks to freeze air emissions from two ports presents Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) with a stark choice between siding with environmentalists who support the measure, or with a long list of business groups that oppose it. Some Schwarzenegger administration officials have voiced opposition to the bill, but sources say the governor has not yet indicated his stance on the legislation. The bill, AB 2042, requires the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to...

Petroleum Industry Seeks EPA Help To Meet Upcoming Clean-Diesel Standard

Petroleum industry groups are engaged in discussions with EPA about overcoming what the groups say are technical obstacles to transporting fuel that complies with an upcoming standard for cleaner burning highway diesel fuel. Sources say the industry may urge EPA to offer incentives or use its enforcement discretion if fuel suppliers fall short of the new requirements. Industry officials say the biggest unknown in meeting the new requirements is how to avoid downstream contamination of the fuel. The product has...

States Say Short Comment Period Hurt Study Of Air Rule's Modeling Changes

States are continuing to criticize EPA for allegedly providing inadequate time to review and comment on new modeling techniques for the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which addresses transported air pollution. Both the Northeast States For Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the Ozone Transport Commission suspect there are technical inaccuracies in the new modeling methods that could make the CAIR rule appear more effective than states believe it actually is. However, both groups say they could not verify their...

Environmentalists Say Utility Proposal Will Boost Calls For Coal-Gasification Plants

Environmentalists say a pledge by American Electric Power (AEP) that it will build at least one coal gasification power plant within the next decade may provide critics of proposed traditional coal-fired plants ammunition in pressing regulators to require the utility industry to consider the newer technology. An August announcement by the company suggested the cost of building gasification projects could be less than the estimated costs of one such plan rejected last year by Wisconsin regulators on cost grounds, one...

DOD OBJECTS TO STRINGENT COLORADO INDOOR AIR STANDARDS FOR TCE

The Defense Department is calling Colorado's decision to adopt a stringent indoor air policy for trichloroethylene (TCE) premature, pointing to the unresolved controversy over the scientific values on which the state bases its screening and remediation policy. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) Aug. 20 finalized an interim policy that sets 0.016 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m 3 ) of TCE in air as a screening level -- the first test to determine whether cleanup should be...

ARMY SAYS ANNISTON INCINERATOR PERMIT VIOLATIONS BEING ADDRESSED

The Army says it has already corrected most of the permit violations cited in an Aug. 26 notice from Alabama regulators, and is working to resolve the remaining issues. This is the second time this year the state has issued a notice of violation to the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF). "We have cleared up most of these issues. It is our goal to ensure that they do not occur again," ANCDF site project manager Timothy Garrett said in...

FEDERAL, STATE OFFICIALS EYE REGULATORY IMPACTS OF CO2 STORAGE

Federal and state officials are beginning to address the regulatory implications of storing, or sequestering, carbon dioxide (CO2) underground to address global warming, with EPA forming a new workgroup on the issue and energy-producing states developing recommendations on potential state regulatory changes, according to government sources. Although research on storing CO2 is at an early stage, government-sponsored projects are moving toward injecting small quantities of CO2 underground to study its effects and scientists' ability to track the materials, federal officials...

ACTIVISTS SAY SENATORS' REMARKS SHOW MOMENTUM FOR CLIMATE BILL

Environmentalists say recent remarks by two Republican senators who had voted against legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions may show increasing support for such measures, after the lawmakers cited the need to address global warming while on a fact-finding trip to Norway on climate change. "I voted against it, but I am more open to voting differently now," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the lawmakers on the trip, according to a translation of an Aug. 23 Norwegian press...

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