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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.

Oil companies ask high court to stay climate nuisance ruling

Oil companies seeking to halt a climate nuisance trial in Maryland state court, which would require their officials to be deposed about their knowledge of climate change risks, are asking the Supreme Court to pause Baltimore’s lawsuit while they appeal the ruling sending the case to state court. The companies in an Oct. 1 stay request ask Chief Justice John Roberts to grant a temporary stay of a federal district court’s order in BP PLC, et al. v. Mayor and...

OMB begins review of EPA HFC ‘Management’ Plan

The White House has started inter-agency review of EPA’s draft final regulation rescinding Obama-era rules extending refrigerant management and leak guidelines to appliances that use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent short-term greenhouse gases. The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) says on its website that it received the rule Oct. 4 for review, the last major stage in the regulatory process before EPA can sign and publish the rule in the Federal Register . Democratic-led states and environmental groups oppose...

D.C. Circuit urged to rehear suit over scrapped EPA ‘once in’ air policy

California and several environmental groups are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to rehear its divided decision that rejected a suit over EPA’s memo scrapping a long-running policy permanently subjecting “major” air toxics sources to stringent emissions controls. The court’s 2-1 ruling issued Aug. 20 dismissing the suit is flawed for several reasons, the petitioners argue in an Oct. 4 request for rehearing , including that it conflicts with prior D.C. Circuit rulings; that...

Administration Pursues Narrow NEPA GHG Reviews In Fossil Leasing Suits

The Trump administration is continuing to pursue its narrow approach to considering climate change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, defending the strategy in courts even as it has been ordered to consider broader, cumulative climate effects of its fossil fuel lease approvals. Environmental groups in a slew of related cases are seeking to force agencies to broaden how they assess greenhouse gas emissions that result from such leasing and include mandatory mitigation, such as requiring coal mine methane...

EPA urges D.C. Circuit to reject requests to pause ACE litigation

EPA is urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reject environmentalist and state requests to pause litigation over the agency’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) coal plant climate rule until the agency finishes a related rule easing new source review (NSR) requirements and acts on administrative reconsideration petitions for ACE. State and environmentalists challenging the narrow power sector greenhouse gas rule asked the court Sept. 20 to pause the case , American Lung Association, et...

EPA’s RFS Boost Prompts Tough Questions Over Future Of Fuels Program

The Trump administration’s plan to boost biofuel blending targets under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) to compensate for small refiner RFS waivers is prompting tough questions about the future of the program, because the hike appears to be a long-term commitment that will constrain RFS policy changes under consideration. In an Oct. 4 announcement , EPA said it will take comment on a proposal to increase biofuel blending volumes to offset volumes lost to small refiner exemptions (SREs). The goal...

NAS Urges ‘Interim’ Review Of EPA, DOT Heavy Truck GHG Standards

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is urging EPA and the Transportation Department (DOT) to conduct an “interim evaluation” of the agencies’ Phase 2 greenhouse gas and fuel economy rules for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDV), while also floating an array of suggestions for a subsequent round of standards. Overall, an Oct. 4 report from an NAS panel envisions “ambitious” and “substantial” reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from the sector in the coming decades in order to meet future climate...


Feinstein, Harris seek new EPA IG probe of California dispute

California’s Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris are asking EPA’s Inspector General (IG) to investigate the White House’s role in the agency’s decision to cite the state for alleged water quality violations shortly after President Donald Trump blamed San Francisco’s homeless population for polluting the city’s water. The senators’ Oct. 3 letter asks the IG to look into the politicization of the issue, including whether EPA and White House staff communicated ahead of agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s Sept. 26...

EPA Prepares To Defend ‘Significant Impact Level’ Air Permit Screening

EPA at Oct. 7 appellate court oral argument will defend its use of “significant impact levels” (SILs) to ease Clean Air Act permitting for local regulators against environmentalists’ claim that the screening tools allow unlawful air pollution, while major industry groups are intervening to support the agency’s policy. In Sierra Club v. EPA, et al ., environmentalists are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to scrap EPA’s guidance on how state regulators can use...

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