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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.

Final SAB ‘Advice’ To EPA On Biomass CO2 Conflicts With Agency Policy

EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) has completed its long-pending advice to EPA on calculating biomass carbon dioxide emissions from smokestacks after accounting for forest regrowth, reaching conclusions at odds with agency policy and unable to endorse a cohesive framework for how to assess the emissions. The board’s March report , quietly posted to the SAB website last month, ends a nearly decade-long process that included deep internal splits between SAB members and panelists on a special committee the board created...

EPA Transportation Chief Promises ‘In-Use’ Focus For Truck NOx Standard

The head of EPA’s transportation office is promising a “laser” focus on “in-use” reductions in nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy-duty trucks when the agency develops new standards for the sector next year, suggesting the rule will focus less on new vehicle design standards and more on how vehicles actually perform in practice. Speaking April 2 at a meeting of EPA policy advisers in Arlington, VA, Office of Transportation and Air Quality chief Chris Grundler said “we are focusing like a...

Inslee Blasts GOP Calls For 'Global' Climate Action, Citing Paris Departure

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who is running a climate-focused 2020 presidential campaign, is criticizing Republicans for simultaneously highlighting the need for greater global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially in developing countries, while also backing President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement. “It's hardly helpful when the vast, vast majority of humanity has recognized this existential threat to their life on this planet, then you have the leader of free world tear it up and walk...

New air office deputy draws mixed reactions

Anne Idsal, the Region 6 EPA administrator recently tapped as the air office’s principal deputy, is drawing mixed albeit expected reactions, with environmentalists warning that she will doggedly push the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda while industry officials praise her as someone who can “get it done.” Wheeler announced March 27 that he was naming Idsal principal deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), replacing Mandy Gunasekara, who left recently left the agency. Idsal began her new...

Lacking Fixes, Oil & Gas Sector Unlikely To Use EPA Penalty Relief Policy

Correction Appended EPA did not address a series of industry concerns when it finalized its audit policy for the oil and gas sector, raising doubts that companies will take advantage of the penalty relief the policy provides for facilities that disclose and address violations, industry sources say. The sources say EPA’s unwillingness to address their concerns, including a requirement that they go beyond current regulatory requirements to win penalty relief, as well as the potential for “double...

Court expedites air act suit despite EPA, industry opposition

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will expedite states’ and environmentalists’ suit against EPA that seeks to force agency action to limit interstate air pollution, despite opposition by EPA and industry groups intervening in the litigation to support the agency. In an April 1 order , the court agrees to petitioners’ motion to expedite review of the suit, State of New York, et al. v. EPA, et al. , setting a briefing schedule requiring final...

Judges Question Whether EPA ‘Once In’ Air Toxics Memo Is ‘Final Action’

Appellate judges, during April 1 oral arguments, questioned whether EPA’s memo rescinding its longstanding “once in, always in” air toxics policy represents “final agency action” subject to judicial review, though they gave no clear indication of how they would rule. During argument in California Communities Against Toxics, et al. v. EPA, at al. , a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sharply questioned lawyers for EPA, environmentalists and California on why the...

Roberts' 'Swing' Vote Could Determine Future Of Agency Deference Doctrine

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' currently unknown position on when courts should defer to EPA and other federal agencies' interpretations of their regulations will largely determine whether and to what degree the current standard remains, according to legal experts. Several sources also say that how Roberts and the rest of the justices rule following March 27 oral argument in Kisor v. Wilkie, the case challenging agencies' deference to interpret their own regulations, could determine their approach if and...

Trump reissues permit for Keystone XL pipeline

President Donald Trump has issued a new presidential permit authorizing TransCanada to build its controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, in an apparent bid to circumvent an adverse federal court ruling that blocked construction due to an inadequate review of the climate effects of the project. The March 29 presidential permit grants permission to TransCanada “to construct, connect, operate and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border of the United States and Canada at Phillips County, Montana.” It adds that...


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