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.

EPA Retains Obama-Era Ozone NAAQS, Rejects Push For Reconsideration

EPA has decided against reconsidering the Obama-era decision to tighten the ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) from the 2008 limit of 75 parts per billion (ppb) down to 70 ppb, opting instead to consider the issue as part of an expedited review of the 2015 standard that the agency is slated to conclude in October 2020. The decision was not unexpected, as Inside EPA had reported that EPA air chief William Wehrum was said to favor focusing instead...


Wehrum eyes decision on GHG limits for truck trailers

EPA air chief William Wehrum is said to be close to deciding whether to continue with a Pruitt-era plan to remove the trailers pulled by trucks from the agency's greenhouse gas rule for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, or to take a less-aggressive posture that continues to regulate the equipment while imposing softer requirements than the 2016 phase 2 GHG regulation. One source following the possible shift in approach -- from ousted Administrator Scott Pruitt to acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and...


Vehicle GHG Rollback Imminent, To Cite High Costs of Current Standards

The Trump administration's proposal to roll back vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, to be unveiled Aug. 2, is expected to include a hard-line attack on California's authority to enforce its own requirements as well as far higher cost projections of the current, Obama-era limits. The Trump administration will rely significantly on claims that rolling back the standards will boost safety -- including separate claims that heavier vehicles are inherently safer, tougher fuel economy rules slow fleet turnover to...

EPA's 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard Rule Draws Competing Legal Attacks

Environmentalists, refiners and the biodiesel industry are leveling a wide range of sometimes contradictory legal accusations over EPA's rule setting biofuel blending volumes for 2018 under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), as refiners and environmentalists seek to scrap or limit the rule, and biofuels interests seek to maximize volumes. In opening briefs filed July 27 in the consolidated U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit suit American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), et al. v. EPA, et...

House Democrat calls Curbelo carbon tax bill 'missed opportunity'

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who co-founded the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus in 2016 with Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) is calling newly introduced carbon tax legislation floated by Curbelo “a missed opportunity” for producing bipartisan carbon pricing legislation. “I just think there is a missed opportunity here since we’ve been working to come up with a bipartisan product,” Deutch said in a July 26 interview with Axios , citing work Deutch has been doing with GOP offices on different...

Wheeler, Wehrum Reaffirm Key Elements Of Pruitt's Air Program Overhaul

Clarification Appended Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and air office chief William Wehrum are reaffirming several key elements of former agency chief Scott Pruitt's plan for overhauling EPA's air program, including controversial streamlining of national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) reviews and easing new source review (NSR) permitting. On a July 31 call with reporters to announce the agency's annual “State of the Air” report , Wheeler and Office of Air & Radiation Assistant Administrator Wehrum reiterated...

EPA finalizes air release reporting exemption for AFOs

EPA is slated to publish in the Aug. 1 Federal Register a direct final rule codifying Congress' recent exemption of animal feeding operations (AFOs) from air toxics release reporting under federal Superfund and community right-to-know laws. In its Register notice , EPA takes steps to conform its regulations to match a statutory change introduced by the 2018 omnibus appropriations act, which contained the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act. The bipartisan FARM Act amended section 103 of the...

Engine maker begins major vehicle recall over faulty NOx controls

Engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. is voluntarily recalling over 500,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks from model years 2010-2015 over faulty controls for nitrogen oxides (NOx), a move that EPA says is the largest ever voluntary truck emissions recall. The agency in a July 31 press release says the recall is due to defective equipment to control NOx -- known as a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system -- and “does not involve a defeat device.” Defeat devices were at the heart of...

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