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.


As Rollback Plan Advances, EPA To Meet With California On Vehicle GHGs

EPA's top air official says he plans to meet with California regulators next week regarding the Trump administration's pending plan to roll back vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, amid reports that officials may not be as committed to working out a deal with the state before issuing their plan as some had previously believed. The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump officials won't give any “special treatment or outreach” to California before issuing the proposal, and another...

Wehrum Backs House Bill To Reform NSR Program Despite Dim Prospects

EPA air chief William Wehrum is offering strong support for pending House legislation to overhaul and ease the Clean Air Act new source review (NSR) permitting program by claiming it would provide long-sought regulatory clarity, but the bill appears to face dim prospects as Democrats expressed uniform opposition to the measure. Even if the discussion draft bill by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) can clear the House, Democrats' objections mean it would likely fail to gain the 60 votes needed to...


Top Advisors Pan Pruitt's Science Transparency Rule, Seek SAB Review

Top EPA science advisors, including Administrator Scott Pruitt's hand-picked chair of the agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB), are strongly criticizing the administrator's controversial plan to require only publicly available research to justify its regulations, charging it will undermine rules' integrity and was developed without adequate review. “The proposed rule does not include any assessment of the impact of data restrictions on existing or future regulatory programs. Without access to the restricted data, regulatory programs could become more or less stringent...

EPA sends proposed SO2 NAAQS review for OMB review

EPA has sent its proposed review of the existing sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) review, a rule that is expected to either propose leaving the current standards in place or potentially float a slight softening of the SO2 limit. Under a legal deadline, EPA must propose a new SO2 NAAQS rule by May 25, and sign a final rule by Jan. 28. EPA sent the rule for...

IG finds EPA improved fraud detection since VW scandal

A new report from EPA's inspector general (IG) finds that EPA now has procedures in place offering a “reasonable assurance” of detecting emissions fraud in vehicles, after the agency made improvements in the wake of the Volkswagen (VW) diesel emissions scandal. The May 15 report comes after EPA itself did not discover VW's emissions cheating, but was alerted to massive emissions from light-duty vehicles by third parties, sparking a determination by the agency in 2015 that the company had installed...

California, Industry Call To Boost EV Credits Spurs Environmentalist Unease

A suggestion by California and auto industry officials to extend current favorable “zero emission” treatment for electric vehicles (EVs) in federal light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas rules is sparking heartburn among environmentalists that the provision could be just one of many compliance “flexibilities” that could significantly weaken the standards. The concerns point to one of several ways in which EPA and Transportation Department regulators could accommodate auto sector calls to soften the program without formally changing its emissions targets, by adding...


Final EPA staff documents reiterate call to retain SO2 NAAQS

EPA staff has released final versions of risk and policy assessment documents to support its review of sulfur dioxide (SO2) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), reiterating earlier recommendations to leave the standards unchanged ahead of a looming deadline later this month for the agency to propose whether to revise the NAAQS. Under a court-mandated schedule, EPA must propose a new SO2 NAAQS rule by May 25, and a final rule by Jan. 18. In its final risk and exposure...

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