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.

Topic Subtitle
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.

Harvard study aims to boost case for stricter PM NAAQS

A new study by the Harvard School of Public Health aims to bolster the case for EPA to tighten its fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), citing new evidence on adverse health impacts by PM2.5 that the researchers say justifies a stricter NAAQS to adequately protect human health. “The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed retaining current national air quality standards. But, as our new analysis shows, the current standards aren’t protective enough, and strengthening them could...

Ernst Blocks Benevento Nomination For EPA Deputy Chief Over RFS Fears

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is blocking President Donald Trump’s nomination of Doug Benevento to be EPA deputy administrator over concerns that the agency is considering granting dozens of renewable fuel standard (RFS) waivers to biofuel production mandates, making it impossible for the nomination to move forward. “Until EPA tells us exactly what they plan to do with the ‘gap year’ waivers, Mr. Benevento does not have my vote,” Ernst said in a June 26 statement. “Iowa’s hardworking ethanol and biodiesel...

House Democrats Call On EPA To Halt, Reevaluate PM NAAQS Review

Update Appended House Democrats are calling on EPA to halt its pending rulemaking that would retain the agency’s existing suite of particulate matter (PM) ambient air limits, urging EPA to instead reevaluate the decision following the recommendations of former agency science advisers who support tougher PM limits to adequately protect public health. Separately, public health and environmental groups are seeking an extension of EPA’s imminent deadline for input on the rulemaking -- even though the Trump administration wants to...


CARB Approves Landmark ZEV Truck Sales Rule With Other States’ Backing

California has approved a landmark rule requiring medium- and heavy-duty truck makers for the first time to sell a minimum number of zero-emission models starting in 2024, with support from Northeastern state officials but continued opposition from major truck manufacturers. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) also adopted a more streamlined rule requiring California companies to report on the makeup of their truck fleets, which is aimed at shaping a forthcoming regulation requiring those companies to purchase a minimum number...

D.C. Joins Several States In Pressing Climate Fraud Suits Against Oil Firms

The District of Columbia is launching a climate change fraud suit against major oil companies in D.C. Superior Court, joining a handful of states in filing similar litigation, as well as a series of climate “nuisance” suits brought mostly by local governments. The June 25 suit , District of Columbia v. ExxonMobil et al., alleges that the companies have violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) because of the their allegedly deceptive marketing and attempts to hide the...

Forest Service backs tree clearing in coal mine NEPA dispute

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is telling a federal district judge that the vacatur of the agency’s roadless rule “exception” does not stop a coal company from clearing trees for a mine expansion, as environmentalists argue, because authority for road building is embedded in a different federal approval. USFS’ June 22 filing in the case, High Country Conservation Advocates, et al. v. USFS, et al., in federal district court in Colorado says environmentalists’ requested relief for an order halting...

CalEPA Chief Signals Openness To Strengthening Cap & Trade Program

CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld is signaling an openness to tightening the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program amid longstanding calls to do so by some state lawmakers and academics, a potentially major shift that could include cutting the number of credits freely allocated to industry and significantly increasing the price of allowances. Blumenfeld is citing the widespread impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which slashed the amount of revenue generated by the most recent cap-and-trade auction after a significant slowdown in economic...

Legal Experts Weigh High Court’s ‘Textual’ Focus For EPA Rollback Cases

Legal experts are debating how the Supreme Court’s sharp focus on the text of laws in recent landmark rulings might affect pending litigation over Trump administration rollbacks of environmental rules, with some observers saying the “textual” approach might assist states and others who are suing to undo the deregulatory actions. Among the cases that could ultimately head to the high court and be affected by the textual approach are suits filed by California, other states and environmentalists against EPA for...

EPA eyes new rule to codify controversial science advisor policy

EPA has decided not to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down its policy barring scientists receiving agency grants from serving on its advisory panels but is suggesting it may instead seek to codify the policy in a new supplemental ethics regulation. In a June 24 statement, EPA said it would not appeal Judge Denise Cote’s decision last April vacating and remanding a significant portion of the Trump EPA’s 2017 policy “Strengthening and Improving Membership on EPA Federal Advisory Committees.”...

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