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.


White House NEPA overhaul clears OMB review

The Trump administration’s sweeping overhaul of implementing rules for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has cleared White House review, suggesting imminent issuance of the controversial regulation that will limit agencies’ requirements to analyze the environmental impacts of their major actions. According to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB), it concluded inter-agency review June 30 of a draft final rule by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) that significantly updates long-standing NEPA rules for federal agencies. The...

EPA schedules public hearing on Tier 3 test fuel proposal

EPA will hold a virtual public hearing July 13 on its proposal to adjust test fuel rules to reflect the use of modern fuels containing ethanol, a plan that some observers say contains an option that could negate federal requirements to cut greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources. The agency announced the hearing in a Federal Register notice slated for publication July 2, while it continues to take written comment on the plan through an Aug. 11 deadline. The...

SAB Says Draft EPA Lead Model ‘Major Step Forward’ But Cites Weaknesses

EPA advisors reviewing the agency’s draft model for predicting lead concentrations across all ages are generally praising the agency’s effort as a major technical and public policy step forward, although some are cautioning there are significant weaknesses in the model’s software and structure and are calling for other improvements to the model. EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) June 23 critiqued a June 2 draft report developed by an SAB peer review panel that reviewed EPA’s All Ages Lead Model (AALM)...

Suit Over Wood Heaters Air Rule Resumes As EPA Pauses Enforcement

A long-dormant lawsuit filed by wood heater manufacturers in a bid to weaken Obama EPA air standards for the devices is resuming in federal appeals court, weeks after the agency issued a proposal to delay enforcement of the stricter limits because of the economic harm stove makers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its June 25 opening brief in Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA), et al. v. EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals...

EPA Floats Ambitious OAR Agenda, Hinting At Trump Second Term Plans

Correction Appended EPA is floating an ambitious agenda for its Office of Air & Radiation (OAR) in its just-updated schedule of pending rules that includes steps to ease industry permitting and potentially remove some toxic substances from regulation, hinting at OAR’s plans for future years if President Donald Trump wins his reelection bid in November. In the updated Spring Unified Agenda of pending rules, EPA also suggests it might reconsider the stringency of later-year greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty...

Democrats Unveil Wide-Ranging Climate Plan With Major EPA, EJ Focus

House Democrats have unveiled a long-awaited series of climate policy proposals that combine long-term decarbonization goals with hundreds of specific measures to enable them, including a key focus on environmental justice (EJ), investments in infrastructure and climate resilience, and a range of new EPA responsibilities. Based on more than 100 pieces of legislation, the June 30 plan serves as both a rallying point for the Nov. 3 general election and a menu of options for a 2021 climate agenda should...

State AGs urge Trump to revoke NEPA executive order

Maryland Attorney General (AG) Brian Frosh (D) is leading a coalition of 16 AGs urging President Donald Trump to drop his controversial executive order instructing agencies to use emergency provisions to exempt major infrastructure projects from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws when possible. In a June 29 letter to Trump, Frosh says that the emergency exemption provisions in NEPA, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act were never intended for economic issues, such...

Updated Regulatory Agenda Says EPA Might Review Truck GHG Rules

EPA is suggesting it might reconsider the stringency of later-year greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty trucks issued by the Obama administration in the 2016, a notable new item in its newly updated regulatory agenda that outlines the agency’s goals for this year and a potential second term for the Trump administration. The agency’s update to its plans for trucking rules comes as it has completed work -- or is poised to do so -- on a number of high-profile rollbacks...

EPA sends ‘plantwide’ NSR permit guidance to OMB

EPA has sent for White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pre-publication review its final guidance recommending that industry air permit applicants consider using “plantwide applicability limits” (PALs) to ease their Clean Air Act compliance obligations and avoid strict new source review (NSR) requirements. PALs are plant-wide emissions caps that allow industrial facilities to increase emissions from one source without triggering onerous NSR permit review, so long as the plant’s emissions remain within the overall cap. NSR is expensive...

Pages

Not a subscriber? Sign up for 30 days free access to exclusive environmental policy reporting.