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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.

Automakers Issue 11th-Hour Pitch To ‘Resurrect’ Vehicle GHG Talks

Nearly all major auto manufacturers in a late-hour pitch are urging the White House and California to “resurrect” negotiations toward a “compromise” vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas plan, despite widespread doubts that policymakers can forge such a deal that averts a legal war over the rules. The pitch is contained in separate June 6 letters to President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) , whose state has unique Clean Air Act authority to enforce its own vehicle...


EPA plans to publish E15 waiver June 10, starting clock for litigation

EPA plans to publish its waiver allowing year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol fuel (E15) in the June 10 Federal Register , starting a 60-day clock for the rule’s many critics to file legal challenges. The rule lifts a ban on E15 use during the summer driving season, from June 1 until September 15, which previously applied because of federal fuel volatility limits designed to protect air quality. It fulfills a longstanding wish of biofuels groups, but is strongly opposed...

EPA floats legal pact to decide on Alaska PM2.5 air quality plan

EPA has reached a proposed settlement with environmentalists setting a legally binding July 7 deadline for the agency to take overdue action to curb fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution in Fairbanks, AK, an area with stubbornly high air pollution levels caused by extensive use of wood-burning appliances. The proposed consent decree announced in a June 4 Federal Register notice would commit EPA to make a final determination on whether Alaska has made a “complete” state implementation plan (SIP) submission...

UARG Starts To Withdraw From EPA Lawsuits As It Begins ‘Unwinding’

The Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) is beginning to formally withdraw as a party in dozens of lawsuits -- the first public step in the industry group’s “unwinding” activities that were announced last month when it said it would disband in the midst of high-profile scrutiny over its ties with EPA air chief Bill Wehrum and other matters. One environmentalist calls the lawsuit withdrawal notices significant because they are the first formal public sign that the group is disbanding. The...

Final EPA Guidance For States’ PM2.5 Air Planning Might Prompt Lawsuits

EPA’s final guidance on how states can exclude calculations of air pollution precursor impacts from plans and permits for attaining federal fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standards retains several provisions from the proposed version that environmentalists said were too weak, which might prompt critics to file suit over the guide. But the agency’s guidance released May 30 responds to other groups’ concerns, including claims from states and the petroleum industry that the draft version was too conservative. In response EPA appears...

SAB Plans To Seek Review Of Major Trump EPA Deregulatory Measures

EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) has formally decided to seek review of several major deregulatory measures listed in the agency’s Spring regulatory agenda, suggesting continuing scrutiny of the pending proposals either before or after they go final. During the June 5 meeting, the board decided to review the proposed rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas requirements, aspects of the planned reversal of Obama-era mercury rules for power plants, and its proposed science data transparency rule. Their decision in some cases highlight...

Advisors Raise Concerns With Wheeler's New Approach To Utilizing SAB

Several members of EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) are raising concerns with Administrator Andrew Wheeler's push for planning office staff to create a new process for agency interactions with the board when advisors review the science underlying pending regulations. During the board’s June 5-6 meeting in Washington, D.C., they asked about the plan’s adherence to SAB's authorizing statute and whether it will allow for robust SAB review. EPA’s proposal “provides SAB with little opportunity to provide anything other than the...

Biden Climate Plan Signals Bid For Support Across Political Spectrum

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s climate platform signals an effort to achieve broad support for his 2020 presidential bid by endorsing technologies backed by key unions, adopting a tough line against China to woo Trump voters, and touting his experience by embracing and pledging to “go well beyond” Obama-era policies. The agenda joins several other Democratic plans in mapping out climate policy priorities for a post-Trump era, though Biden’s long-awaited plan is notable given his status as the consensus early...

EPA Rule Exempts Farms From EPCRA Reporting, Teeing Up New Suit

EPA June 4 issued its final rule exempting animal feeding operations (AFOs) from air emissions reporting requirements under emergency response and community right-to-know law, a policy that will tee up fresh litigation from environmentalists who are already suing over the agency’s informal guidance on the issue. “EPA is allowing meat factories to avoid reporting their toxic air emissions despite a clear statutory mandate to do so. The rule is illegal, and an affront to rural communities that have every right...

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