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.

Pruitt's Focus On Costs In Shortened NAAQS Process Raises Legal Doubts

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a new memo is dramatically shortening the process through which the agency reviews its six national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), but his order for consideration of economic impacts as part of the review process raises legal doubts given a Supreme Court bar on weighing costs in NAAQS reviews. The accelerated process, detailed in a May 9 Pruitt memo to the agency's assistant administrators, puts the ongoing reviews of the ozone and particulate matter (PM)...


Fuels groups spar over legality of EPA's 2017 RFS

Oil and biofuels groups are sparring over the legality of various provisions in EPA's 2017 renewable fuel standard (RFS) as they seek to intervene on the agency's behalf in litigation over the rule to defend elements they support. Several groups filed intevenor briefs May 7 in the consolidated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit suit Coffeyville Resources Refining and Marketing, LLC, et al., v. EPA , which challenges the 2017 RFS that set production goals for...

Major OMB Changes To EPA Vehicle GHG Finding Highlight Prior Criticisms

EPA's recent determination that it must weaken Obama-era light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards underwent extensive rewrites during interagency review, with a newly released red-line version of the document indicating it arrived at the White House lacking language to shield the document from litigation and with minimal apparent input from career staff. The red-line version of the determination was posted to EPA's regulatory docket May 8, highlighting specific changes made to the document after it arrived at the White House Office...


EPA Glider Truck Proposal Threatens To Swamp VW, Other NOx Cuts

As states prepare to finalize their plans for using Volkswagen (VW) settlement funds to curb nitrogen oxides (NOx), state and other sources are warning that EPA's plan to roll back Obama-era limits on high-emitting “glider” trucks will “swamp” any potential benefits from the VW deal and undermine states' ability to attain air quality standards. “If Trump/Pruitt go through with the glider kit repeal, it very likely swamps what would be gotten from the VW settlement. I have a hard time...

Environmentalists, State Use Dispute Resolution For Rare Civil Rights Pact

Environmental groups and North Carolina have inked a rare settlement resolving a complaint that the groups filed with EPA claiming that a state permit for swine waste operations violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, using an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process that sources involved with the talks say rarely succeeds. The May 3 agreement between the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and four environmental groups is a notable win for proponents of Title VI, which gives...




EPA extends scope of streamlined oil and gas air permitting

EPA is proposing to extend the scope of its federal implementation plan (FIP) for streamlined Clean Air Act “minor source” permitting for oil and gas production on tribal lands to cover a newly created ozone “nonattainment” area in the Uinta Basin, UT, that would apply until the agency crafts an area-specific plan to reduce ozone emissions. In a May 8 Federal Register notice , the agency explains that an existing FIP for minor oil and gas sources on tribal...

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