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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.

California Eyes Gas Tax To Fund Hydrogen Vehicle Initiative

A California panel of experts formed by the governor to advise the state on accelerating the commercialization of hydrogen-power 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 permitting process...

Justice Department Suit May Signal Increase In Air Act Criminal Prosecutions

The Justice Department's high-profile prosecution of a New Jersey pipe manufacturer for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other environmental laws could signal broader use of criminal prosecutions under the air law, industry and government attorneys say. The case , U.S. v. Atlantic States, et al., is pending in federal district court in New Jersey, where the department is seeking to impose criminal penalties for alleged violations of CAA Title V permit requirements for excess carbon...

Global Dispute Could Halt New Greenhouse Gas Guidelines For Ships

An emerging global dispute is threatening to derail the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) development of first-time guidelines for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from ships, leaving EPA and other U.S. officials concerned that the disagreement could also undermine a host of future IMO standards on the environment and other issues. Talks are taking place this week in London at a meeting of the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee, where developing countries including India and China are expected to argue that they...

Industry Study Finds EPA Interstate Air Rule Would Raise Electricity Prices

A new analysis by industry consultants of EPA's proposal to reduce interstate air pollution caused by power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides shows the rule would make electricity prices rise 25 percent by 2010 and an additional 10 percent by 2015. The energy-cost impacts of the proposal are surprising because EPA has touted the plan as striking a good balance between economic growth and environmental progress. The study, The Outlook for U.S. Steam Coal Long-Term Forecast...

EPA Revises Regulatory Reviews To Discount Long-Term Benefits

EPA science advisers are recommending a revised regulatory review process that would discount the long-term benefits of environmental controls in a way that would emphasize the projected costs of future regulations. The new approach, which expands on a preliminary analysis included in EPA's nonroad diesel rule released in May, will be used to assess controls on particulates in the agency's upcoming interstate air quality standard, and will eventually be adopted for all EPA air standards, a key agency air economist...

Corporate Tax Bill Provides Incentives For Complying With EPA Diesel Rule

Small oil refiners would be provided tax breaks to comply with EPA regulations capping the sulfur content of diesel fuel used by trucks, as part of a provision included in a major corporate tax bill that is expected to soon be signed into law. These tax credits have long been sought by petroleum refiners who say the costly new EPA rule is hurting small refiners' ability to compete in the market place. The provision, which was originally part of stalled...

Suit On EPA Air Toxics Rule Could Fuel Battle Over Mercury Plan

Environmentalists' litigation challenging EPA's air toxics rule for industrial boilers could help activists in any future challenge to provisions in the administration's controversial mercury rule that set different emissions standards for different coal types, environmentalists and industry sources say. Specifically, the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rules for industrial boilers and mercury both call for separate standards, or subcategories, based on the type of fuel being regulated. Environmentalists believe the Bush administration is establishing requirements that distinguish between coal or...

INDUSTRY ARGUES FOR ELIMINATING CALIFORNIA MOBILE SOURCE WAIVERS

Industry groups are mounting a push to eliminate California's ability to set mobile source emissions standards independently from EPA, as well as the option for other states to adopt California rules. Groups are making this case in front of an ongoing National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel looking at state mobile source standards, and they also anticipate future calls for legislation. The industry officials maintain that these special provisions for California, in place since the original 1970 Clean Air Act,...

CALIFORNIA MEXICAN TRUCK LAW MAY FACE ENFORCEMENT DIFFICULTIES

A new California law aimed at limiting increased air pollution from Mexican trucks may be difficult to enforce and also subject to legal challenge, sources say. Sources tracking the issue say the law appears to contain enforcement shortcomings that could severely limit the state's ability to mitigate even a fraction of the expected increase in pollution. And these sources say the law may be ripe for a challenge by U.S. parties under the Clean Air Act and federal commerce law,...

EPA SEEKS MORE SNOWMOBILE LIMITS IN YELLOWSTONE THAN NPS PROPOSES

EPA is urging the National Park Service (NPS) to better protect the environment than it is proposing to do in its new plan to allow 720 snowmobiles per day in Yellowstone National Park this coming winter. The agency submitted comments Sept. 20 on NPS' draft temporary winter use plan environmental assessment (EA), in which the park service identified a Clinton-era plan to replace snowmobiles with snowcoaches as the "environmentally preferred alternative" but then rejected that approach in favor of one...

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