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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.

EPA Unveils Trump Plan To Hike RFS Targets To Compensate For Waivers

EPA is moving to boost renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending targets to compensate for dozens of RFS compliance waivers issued by the agency to small refiners, part of President Donald Trump’s promised “giant package” of aid to farmers and biofuel producers who claim the waivers damage their livelihoods. In a joint Oct. 4 announcement with the Department of Agriculture (USDA), EPA announced plans to release a supplemental proposal to raise statutory biofuel blending volumes, starting in 2020, to compensate...

EPA Faces Tough Policy Choices After D.C. Circuit Interstate Ozone Rulings

EPA faces tough choices on how to proceed with its policy on reducing interstate emissions transport following recent rulings by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that require the agency to revise its cross-border regulations within the restrictions and flexibilities that the court outlined in its decisions. Options that the agency could consider include conceding to East Coast states’ call for new short-term emission limits on ozone sources, or eyeing sectors beyond power plants to...

Ameren quickly appeals NSR remedy ruling to 8th Circuit

Power company Ameren is pursuing a speedy appeal of a federal district court judge’s ruling requiring it to install scrubbers to capture sulfur dioxide (SO2) at a coal-fired plant in Missouri because it violated Clean Air Act new source review (NSR) requirements., and asking the judge to stay his order during the utility’s appeal. The utility tells Judge Rodney Sippel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in an Oct. 1 notice that it will file...


In Procedural ‘Snafu,’ OMB Spurns Meeting Asks Over Auto GHG Rule

Underscoring the Trump administration’s chaotic process for scuttling Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas standards, the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has rejected several groups’ requests for meetings on the draft final policy, including a national group representing state and local air regulators. Several sources describe the move as a lingering procedural consequence of the administration’s decision to split the rollback of the standards, which the administration calls the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule, off from the recently...

Former EPA General Counsel Argues Agency Can Impose Carbon ‘Fee’

Former George H. W. Bush EPA General Counsel E. Donald Elliott is pushing a novel argument that the agency can impose a carbon “fee” under existing authority, suggesting it could be attractive to companies looking to head off stricter limits on fossil fuel extraction that major Democratic presidential candidates are considering. The claim by Elliott, now a Yale University law professor and co-chair of Covington and Burling’s environmental practice, appears in a new article in Environmental Law Reporter . It...

States Eye Adopting CARB Truck NOx Standards Due To EPA Rule Delay

Several East Coast states say they might adopt the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) planned low-nitrogen oxide (NOx) standards for heavy-duty trucks starting in model year 2024-26, given uncertainty over the effectiveness of EPA’s plan to adopt new national standards starting in MY27. The states’ declarations may ramp up pressure on EPA and truck engine manufacturers to reach a compromise with CARB on one set of national standards to avoid a patchwork of emissions regulations. But truck makers are continuing...

Experts Claim Attack On California Auto GHG Rules Legally Vulnerable

Environmental law experts are underscoring multiple legal obstacles the Trump administration faces when defending its rule preempting California’s vehicle greenhouse gas and zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) rules, including statutory history and EPA’s unprecedented withdrawal of permission for the programs years after approving them. The critiques surface in venues such as a recent webinar sponsored by several major law schools, and two prepublication papers authored by Greg Dotson, a longtime aide to former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and now a University...

TCI releases framework for regional transport carbon program

The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), a multi-state effort developing a transportation cap-and-trade plan in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, is releasing a draft framework of the policy that includes some operational details but is scant on the stringency or cost of the effort. Participating states are planning an ambitious timeline, however, hoping to release a detailed draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) in December that would be finalized next spring. States would then decide whether to adopt the framework into their own...

EPA issues ‘call for information’ on AFO air emissions

EPA is seeking new information on the scope of air emissions of animal feeding operations (AFOs), after the agency and Congress largely eliminated air toxics reporting mandates for the facilities even as some environmentalists are still pushing for reporting by AFOs and ultimately regulation of the sector. In an Oct. 1 Federal Register “ call for information ,” EPA solicits industry input on a range of topics related to the emissions generated by AFOs, as part of the agency’s...

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