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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.


Biofuel advocates resist claims about RFS’ GHG effects

Biofuels groups are touting recent federally backed analyses that they say refute assertions by some environmentalists that the renewable fuel standard (RFS) results in land-use change that increases greenhouse gas emissions, rather than cutting them as required by law. Under the Clean Air Act, biofuels blended into the fuel supply under the RFS must comply with GHG reduction mandates. Conventional, corn-based ethanol, which still supplies the bulk of the biofuel used to meet the RFS goals, must meet a lifecycle...

Regulators Optimistic Truck Makers Can Limit NOx Without Increasing GHGs

EPA, California and industry officials are expressing greater optimism that truck makers can implement strategies for curbing nitrogen oxides (NOx) without degrading fuel economy and boosting greenhouse gases, as both EPA and the state begin developing stricter NOx controls for heavy-duty trucks. The officials cite the increasing availability of several technologies -- at least some of which were not envisioned when the Obama EPA issued its phase 2 truck GHG rules in 2016 -- that can be used to help...

Suit Tests EPA’s Ability To Avoid Adding New HAPs To Air Toxics Rules

Environmental groups in a new legal filing are challenging EPA’s discretion to avoid setting new limits for previously unregulated hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) for an industry when the agency reviews the sector’s remaining air toxics risks, arguing that EPA has violated the Clean Air Act by refusing to set such new limits for pulp mills. In their opening brief filed April 2 in Louisiana Environmental Action Network, et al. v EPA, et al ., groups including Sierra Club, Louisiana Environmental...

GOP cites Trump losses as reason to confirm judge picks

One Republican lawmaker is citing a series of recent Trump administration court losses on energy and climate change policies as one reason why the Senate should quickly confirm the administration's nominees for various federal court openings, a task made easier by new Senate rules easing Republicans' ability to confirm such nominees. “We had a judge stop the Keystone [XL] pipeline in Montana, and that’s why it’s important for him to move forward with putting judges in place who understand their...

EPA Agrees To Weigh State Requests To Align Audit Policy But Doubts Need

A senior EPA official says the agency will consider state requests for pacts allowing new oil and gas facility owners that comply with voluntary state audit programs to also qualify for penalty relief under a recently issued federal policy, though the official said EPA's past enforcement history makes such agreements largely unnecessary. “Why would we waste resources on” pollution problems that state regulators have already addressed, EPA deputy enforcement chief Patrick Traylor told the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS)...


States, Environmentalists Back ‘Alternative Compliance’ In Methane Rules

State environmental commissioners are joining environmentalists to urge EPA and state governments to bolster the use of “alternative compliance” provisions in their rules limiting methane releases from oil and gas operations, a step they argue could ease industry costs while still delivering equivalent emissions cuts. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) issued a joint April 4 report that calls for novel compliance flexibilities that go beyond the traditional leak detection and repair (LDAR)...

EPA continues to attack states’ standing in landfill methane suit

EPA’s final reply brief ahead of oral arguments in a case where states and environmentalists are trying to force the agency to speed implementation of an Obama-era landfill methane rule is continuing to attack states’ standing to bring the suit and seeking to differentiate their claims here from Supreme Court precedent. Attorneys representing the agency say in an April 2 final reply in State of California, et al. v. EPA that the extension of the “special solicitude” the high...

EPA Backs States’ Use Of Auto GHG Limits In SIPs, Undercutting Rollback

EPA is approving state implementation plans (SIPs) to meet federal ozone standards that rely on Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas limits for reducing emissions even as the agency prepares to scrap such measures after finishing its controversial rule preempting states from enforcing their own vehicle GHG rules. In the most recent action, EPA in an April 2 Federal Register notice formally approved New York’s request to include ozone reductions stemming from its GHG vehicle program, also known as a low-emissions...

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