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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 OPENS DOOR TO FINALIZING CAFO AIR PACT WITHOUT PUBLIC INPUT

EPA officials may bar the public from commenting on a controversial agreement temporarily exempting agriculture facilities from Superfund and Clean Air Act enforcement, despite a commitment to a key Democratic senator last year that the agency would seek public comment on a draft version of the agreement before it is finalized. One EPA source would not discuss specific plans on the agreement, but says the agency has made no final decisions on its release. "We're still considering how to proceed...

USDA Proposes Extending Methyl Bromide 'Quarantine Exemption' To Domestic Use

The Bush administration is proposing to expand the so-called "quarantine exemption" for the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol to allow its use in domestic agriculture shipments. Until now, the exemption has only been used to allow the pesticide to be sprayed on international shipments of nursery plants and crops. The move comes as House Republicans and pesticide industry groups are pressing the administration to seek increased allowances for the pesticide under the protocol's "critical use exemption" ahead...

West Coast To Seek Funding For Early Implementation Of EPA Diesel Rules

California, Washington, Oregon and Alaska are seeking $100 million from EPA and other federal agencies to help pay for early implementation of EPA's diesel rules for vehicles -- including trucks, buses, trains, boats, and farm and construction equipment, EPA sources and environmentalists say. Additionally, staff in EPA regions 9 and 10 along with staff from the four states' environment departments are drafting a letter that will outline the major goals of the West Coast Diesel Emission Reduction Collaborative and seek...

JUDGES REJECT ACTIVISTS' EFFORT TO BROADEN SCOPE OF BUSH NSR REFORM

In one of the first legal decisions on the issue, EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) has rebuffed an environmental group's effort to use a revised definition of what constitutes an "emissions unit" under the Bush administration's 2002 new source review (NSR) reforms to seek upgraded pollution controls at a power plant. The board's Aug. 3 decision in In re: Rochester Public Utilities is one of the first interpreting the new definition of what constitutes an "emissions unit" subject to NSR,...

WEST COAST TO SEEK FUNDING FOR EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF DIESEL RULES

California, Washington, Oregon and Alaska are seeking $100 million from EPA and other federal agencies to help pay for early implementation of EPA's diesel rules for vehicles -- including trucks, buses, trains, boats, and farm and construction equipment, EPA sources and environmentalists say. Additionally, staff in EPA regions IX and X along with staff from the four states' environment departments are drafting a letter that will outline the major goals of the West Coast Diesel Emission Reduction Collaborative and seek...

DOUBTS RAISED ON EPA PACT TO REVIEW BATON ROUGE RFG REQUIREMENTS

EPA has agreed to reconsider Baton Rouge's request to waive a federal reformulated gasoline (RFG) requirement even though the Clean Air Act bars such waivers for "severe" ozone nonattainment areas like the Louisiana city, prompting EPA and some oil industry officials to question whether the agency can waive the requirement. An EPA Region VI source says the agreement takes the agency into "uncharted territory. To my knowledge, no process exists" to consider waiving a program that is required by the...

EPA OPENS DOOR TO FINALIZING CAFO AIR PACT WITHOUT PUBLIC INPUT

EPA officials may bar the public from commenting on a controversial agreement temporarily exempting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from enforcement, despite a commitment to a key Democratic senator last year that the agency would seek public comment on a draft version of the agreement before it was finalized. One EPA source would not discuss specific plans on the agreement, but said the agency has made no final decisions on its release. "We're still considering how to proceed with this,"...

ACTIVISTS TO SEEK HIGH COURT REVIEW OF IDAHO CROP BURNING DECISION

Idaho environmentalists are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court a case that unsuccessfully challenged a state law blocking the right to file nuisance lawsuits over crop residue burning, a practice they argue creates devastating short-term air quality impacts. The move comes after the state's high court rejected their argument that the law violated their rights under the Idaho and U.S. constitutions. The Idaho Supreme Court ruled against the groups Aug. 2 in the case Lawrence "Bud" Moon Jr. et...

WEST COAST TO SEEK FUNDING FOR EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF DIESEL RULES

California, Washington and Oregon are seeking $100 million from EPA to fund early implementation of the agency's diesel rules for vehicles -- including trucks, buses, trains, boats, and farm and construction equipment, EPA sources and environmentalists say. Additionally, staff in EPA regions IX and X along with staff at the three states' environment departments are drafting a letter that will be sent to the entire West Coast congressional delegation seeking even more federal funding, one EPA source says. The letter...

MANUFACTURERS PUSH PLAN TO LIMIT SCOPE OF EPA TRANSPORT RULES

Large industrial emission sources such as industrial boilers, chemical plants and paper companies are urging EPA to apply an unusual benchmark in order to limit the types of facilities covered by the clean air interstate rule (CAIR) and future initiatives to restrict interstate transport of air pollution. The manufacturing groups are seeking to restrict these rules to sources they believe contribute the bulk of emissions, most notably power plants. To this end, the groups are backing a proposal in EPA's...

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