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.

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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.

Free-market energy group launches anti-carbon tax initiative

The American Energy Alliance (AEA), a free-market advocacy group, is launching an initiative to oppose a carbon tax bill recently unveiled by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). The bill, which Curbelo called a “template” for further discussion when he formally unveiled it July 23, is noteworthy for being the first major legislative climate mitigation proposal from a House Republican since 2009. The plan, H.R. 6463, is cosponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and proposes a “moratorium” on EPA climate rules in...

IG launches review of EPA, Texas handling of hurricane air data

EPA's Office of Inspector General (IG) is launching an investigation of how EPA and Texas handled air quality monitoring during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, after the storm prompted temporary shutdowns of monitoring and a slew of temporary exemptions from environmental regulations issued by the state and EPA. The IG “plans to begin preliminary research to determine whether the EPA's and the state of Texas' air quality monitoring and related activities after Hurricane Harvey (1) addressed potential high-risk areas, (2) indicated...

EPA Air Official Predicts Push For Strict PM NAAQS But Doubts Feasibility

AUSTIN, TX -- A top EPA air official is predicting some stakeholders will push for significantly ramping down the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) ambient air standard from the current limit of 12 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) to as low as 5 ug/m3 as part of EPA's ongoing review of the limit, but is suggesting such a standard might be technically impossible. Clint Woods, deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air & Radiation, told the Texas Environmental Superconference here...

Auto sector urges negotiations to resolve EPA vehicle rule rollback

Auto industry groups are urging that the federal government and states immediately launch negotiations to resolve concerns over the Trump administration's proposal to roll back federal vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, in order to reach a compromise to avoid a legal fight over the plan. “It's time for substantive negotiations to begin,” the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in its Aug. 2 statement reacting to the plan which calls for freezing the stringency of the program after model...

Environmentalists Pursue EAB Case Over EPA's Air Permits For Utah Gas

Environmentalists are pursuing an EPA Environmentalists Appeal Board (EAB) case challenging Clean Air Act “synthetic” minor source permits that the agency's Region 8 issued for gas production operations on tribal land in Utah, part of a broader legal strategy to challenge drilling in the state that they warn is harming air quality. In the appeal filed last month , WildEarth Guardians targets six Clean Air Act “minor source” new source review (NSR) for natural gas compressor stations operated by Anadarko...


Vehicle GHG Rule Rollback Triggers Fight Over Agencies' Safety, Cost Data

The Trump administration's proposal to freeze vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards after model year 2020 is triggering a fight over the safety and cost assumptions EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) use to justify the plan, which could be central to any legal fight over a final version of the plan. “What we have concluded is things have changed” since issuance of the original regulations, EPA air chief William Wehrum said during a joint Aug...

Environmentalists fight EPA bid to undo ozone 'backsliding' ruling

Environmental groups are opposing EPA's bid to scrap elements of a complex appeals court ruling that vacated several pieces of the agency's rule for states' implementation of the 2008 federal ozone standard, pushing instead for a limited stay of the court's ruling with respect to the affected “anti-backsliding” protections. EPA petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit April 23 for panel rehearing of the court's Feb. 16 ruling on the agency's 2015 rule that sets...


DOJ plans to challenge kids' climate suit at every opportunity

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is signaling to a federal district court judge that it plans to use every opportunity to fight a suit from 21 youth plaintiffs that claims the government is violating the Constitution by not protecting them from climate change, with DOJ aiming to avoid having to share what it knew when on climate science during discovery and a high-publicity trial. DOJ submitted an Aug. 1 filing to Judge Ann Aiken of the U.S. District Court for...

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