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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.

ACTIVIST REPORT OFFERS FIRST-TIME COMPARISON OF MULTI-POLLUTANT BILLS

A high-profile study released by environmentalists earlier this month is the first analysis to compare the health impacts of three major multi-pollutant bills pending in Congress, likely providing ammunition to opponents of the Bush administration's Clear Skies initiative. But electric utilities are blasting the report, saying it offers no proof that the power plants are the cause of the premature deaths. The report also comes just after government analysts released a new study finding that Clear Skies is the only...

DEMOCRATS USE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES TO REACH RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

Democratic activists seeking to narrow the Republican advantage among religious voters are promoting environmental issues as a way to reach voters who supported President Bush in the last election. At the same time, a key left-leaning group is launching a multi-year effort to court religious communities on issues that include the environment, noting recent interest from Christian, Jewish and other faith groups in mercury pollution and global warming. "These are not Democratic issues, not Republican issues. There is a majority...

UAW WON'T SUPPORT BUSH, DESPITE KERRY PLAN TO HIKE CAFE STANDARDS

The United Autoworkers Union (UAW) will not support the re-election of President Bush in part because of the loss of autoworker jobs under his administration, a United Autoworkers union lobbyist says. The union instead is supporting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, despite the Massachusetts senator's uncertain views on raising mandatory fuel economy standards. UAW has historically opposed any mandatory rise in corporate average fuel economy (CAFE), but does not seem to be concerned that Kerry campaign literature supports almost...

COURT RULING MAY ELEVATE SNOWMOBILE ISSUE FOR NEXT WHITE HOUSE

A recent federal court ruling questioning EPA regulations for snowmobile engines may give environmental groups a new opportunity to push for stronger standards, though some environmentalists say a major change could depend on the presidential election. At the same time, however, the June 1 ruling dealt a major blow to environmentalists' push to require emissions catalyst technology for the engines, rebuffing a claim that EPA improperly failed to require the technology. The ruling also vacated an emissions standard EPA set...

EPA TO UNVEIL SCIENTIFIC REVIEW THAT MAY PROMPT TOUGHER AIR PARTICLE CONTROLS

An EPA scientific panel is expected within the next few days to release the latest version of its scientific document on the health effects of pollution from fine particles (PM2.5), which could lead to recommendations for stricter limits on the air pollutant. An agency source says EPA will soon unveil revised chapters of its "criteria document" for the pollutant, which aims to summarize relevant scientific findings. The agency's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee's particulate matter review panel will consider the...

EPA TO INCLUDE CLIMATE CHANGE IN NEXT STATE-OF-ENVIRONMENT REPORT

EPA is planning to address global climate change in its next report on the state of the environment, a key agency official says, after removing a section on the topic from the inaugural version of the document. EPA's top science official, Paul Gilman, told reporters June 2 that the agency had omitted climate change from its report last year because it did not have time to review relevant comments from the White House and other parties. But, "This time we'll...

DEMOCRATS CHARGE ADMINISTRATION PLANS $150 MILLION CUT TO EPA'S FY06 BUDGET

House Democrats are citing a recently issued White House guidance to charge that the Bush administration plans to slash EPA's fiscal year 2006 budget $150 million from spending levels the administration requested for the agency in FY05. The charge comes as EPA officials have begun meeting to develop the agency's proposed FY06 budget request. Agencies generally submit their proposed budgets to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) shortly after Labor Day. Relevant documents are available on InsideEPA.com...

STUDY ON '03 BLACKOUT MAY PROMPT SCRUTINY OF EPA AIR MODELS

A soon-to-be-published study by the University of Maryland on the short-term air quality benefits resulting from last year's massive blackout along the East Coast may force regulators to reexamine the methods used for predicting emission reductions from environmental regulations. The study found air improvements following the blackout were greater than experts might have expected based upon the current understanding of the relative contribution of power plant emissions to air quality problems. While a source involved with the study says more...

METALS GUIDANCE MAY BOLSTER INDUSTRY PUSH FOR LESS TOXICS REPORTING

EPA officials say an upcoming guidance document on assessing public health risks from metals, including lead, will reiterate preliminary agency findings about scientific data gaps, a conclusion that is likely to bolster long-standing arguments by industry for eased reporting requirements. Sources say EPA's metals guidance will echo several "white papers" commissioned by the agency last year that highlighted problems in current agency methods for measuring "bioaccumulation," or how metals accumulate in the body, in setting appropriate reporting requirements for businesses...

EPA DECISION TO LIMIT TRI DATA REVISIONS SPARKS INDUSTRY CONCERN

EPA's decision to restrict industry's ability to revise data that has been submitted to the agency's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) has prompted industry claims that EPA will release flawed information that could undermine the reliability and credibility of the program. The agency's decision is laid out in a May 19 letter to industry groups that report to the TRI, in which EPA information chief Kim Nelson describes efforts to streamline the program. Those measures include increased use of Internet reporting...

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