Air

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.

Topic Subtitle
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 Settlement Delays Release Of Mobile Source Air Toxics Rule

EPA has delayed earlier plans to issue an air toxics rule for mobile sources by the end of this year, after reaching an agreement with environmentalists to propose the rule next year. The agency published in the Federal Register Aug. 9 a proposed settlement with the Sierra Club and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which had sued the agency in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for failing to meet statutory obligations to release a mobile...

Status Of Farm Emissions Study Uncertain Despite High Participation

EPA's pending study of agriculture emissions faces an uncertain future, despite a late enrollment surge in the controversial consent decree that exempts industry from clean air enforcement in exchange for taking part in the study. Agency officials say about 2,200 companies in 37 states are participating in the consent agreement, representing as many as 4,000 individual farms, but it remains unclear whether significant numbers of key agricultural sectors will take part. The study can only apply to particular types of...

Environmentalists Question EPA Review Of Risk-Based Air Toxics Rules

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is warning that EPA has to initiate a new air toxics rulemaking process because the agency's administrative reconsideration of its controversial risk-based exemptions for industrial boilers and process heaters unlawfully broadens the universe of emissions sources eligible for the waiver. "Extending the risk-based exemptions beyond the large solid-fuel subcategory [of industrial boilers and process heaters] is not simply a 'clarif[ication]' of the final rule but a fundamental change that requires a separate notice and...

Energy Law Study Could Back Use Of Cross-Source Emissions Trading

The new national energy law requires EPA to evaluate the idea of allowing companies to trade air emissions credits between mobile and stationary sources of pollution, a mandate that environmentalists fear is the first step towards authorizing widespread use of the controversial practice. Such a practice could allow power plants and other stationary sources to offset emissions increases by purchasing credits from vehicles that cut pollution, thereby expanding traditional cap-and-trade programs that have focused on reducing emissions of individual pollutants...

DPR MANIPULATED VOC EMISSIONS DATA, ACTIVISTS CLAIM IN NEW FILING

The pesticides department manipulated data to lessen its obligation to reduce volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, according to a new claim by environmentalists and community groups in an ongoing lawsuit. The case is significant because the department could be required to draft and enforce new regulations on pesticide users in some regions to reduce the ozone-forming compounds. The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) intends to add the new claim at an Aug. 29 hearing in the case...

CRITICS CHARGE CNG SPEC RELAXATION POSES POLLUTION, ENGINE PROBLEMS

Southern California air officials and national engine makers are warning that an air board proposal to relax its compressed natural gas (CNG) motor vehicle specifications to accommodate hotter burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies is likely to hike pollution from older heavy-duty vehicles and damage other CNG models. But the rule changes are considered crucial for gas suppliers and utilities, which otherwise would face daunting economic impacts if forced to "clean up" vast quantities of future natural gas supplies before...

NEW PAVLEY BILL MAY REQUIRE GHG RULES FOR STATIONARY SOURCES

Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), who authored landmark 2002 legislation requiring greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from new vehicles, intends soon to float a bill that may direct Cal/EPA to draft rules for certain stationary sources to reduce GHG emissions, according to sources. The legislation, however, is not expected to be advanced this year, but is intended to serve as a discussion-starter in the Capitol, sources said. Pavley was scheduled this week in Santa Monica to chair a special legislative...

REPORT SUPPORTING LIMITED RENEWABLE CREDIT TRADING MAY SPUR LEGISLATION

A new state report that supports short-term inter-utility swapping of renewable energy credits (RECs) and limited trading among utilities and independent power companies may serve as the basis for revised legislation that could be pursued this year or next. REC trading is considered critical for some utilities and energy companies that do not have easy access to renewable sources or face other difficulties in meeting the state's accelerated renewable portfolio standard (RPS). However, the report does warn that measures must...

ENERGY LAW STUDY COULD BACK USE OF CROSS-SOURCE EMISSIONS TRADING

The new national energy law requires EPA to evaluate the idea of allowing companies to trade air emissions credits between mobile and stationary sources of pollution, a mandate that environmentalists fear is the first step towards authorizing widespread use of the controversial practice. Such a practice could allow power plants and other stationary sources to offset emissions increases by purchasing credits from vehicles that cut pollution, thereby expanding traditional cap-and-trade programs that have focused on reducing emissions of individual pollutants...

EPA FACES 'LOSE-LOSE' DECISION ON MASSACHUSETTS' MERCURY CLEANUP PLAN

EPA's pending decision on Massachusetts' novel plan for addressing mercury-impaired waters is creating a lose-lose scenario for the agency, which is likely to face criticism over its mercury policies whether it approves or rejects the state's proposal, state and agency sources say. Agency approval of the plan could draw criticism because it would allow the state to bypass Clean Water Act (CWA) rules for developing discharge limits for impaired waters. However, rejection of the plan could draw criticism over the...

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