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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.

Northeast states back Illinois’ suit over ozone NAAQS designations

Northeastern and other states are backing a suit from Illinois, the city of Chicago and environmentalists over EPA’s final designation of areas as either meeting or violating the 2015 federal ozone standard, faulting the agency for what they say is its failure to designate enough areas in “nonattainment,” which threatens air quality “downwind.” In an amicus brief filed Feb. 1 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit suit Clean Wisconsin, et al. v. EPA,...

EPA Eyes End To NSR Compliance Priority, Adding Water And Lead Goals

EPA is proposing new compliance initiatives (NCIs) for fiscal years 2020-2023 that include eliminating the agency’s priority on enforcing the Clean Air Act new source review (NSR) permit program, while adding new priorities on noncompliance with drinking water standards and reducing children’s exposures to lead. The move to end NSR enforcement as a compliance priority follows efforts by the agency's air office to ease industry requirements under the permitting program, and is likely to exacerbate environmentalists' concerns about an apparent...

Wheeler Faces Criticism On MATS Rollback But Senate Confirmation Likely

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) is urging Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to drop his rollback of the Obama-era power plant air toxics rule as a condition for winning support to be permanent agency chief, but his confirmation appears likely regardless and supporters of the rule are eyeing other options to challenge the rollback. For example, power industry backers of the utility air toxics rule suggest the approach EPA is using in its revised cost-benefit analysis to aid the rollback might...

Wheeler meets with CARB's Nichols on vehicle GHGs

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has met again with California's top air regulator in San Francisco regarding the agency's proposed rollback of Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, though Wheeler reiterated the agency's resolve to push ahead with the plan and challenge the state's regulatory authority. The Feb. 4 closed-door meeting with California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols, alongside the “Future of Mobility Summit” hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, was reported by the publication Inside EVs...


Environmentalists Seek To Uphold Broad Pipeline NEPA GHG Precedent

Environmental groups are seeking to persuade a key appellate court to re-confirm its landmark 2017 ruling requiring the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to consider upstream and downstream greenhouse gas impacts of natural gas pipeline projects, though FERC is trying to limit the precedent by arguing such reviews are unnecessary if the end users of the gas are not known. The arguments are being advanced in two cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit...

California Backs Sweeping PM NAAQS Attainment Plan But Criticism Persists

California air board officials have adopted a sweeping plan for the San Joaquin Valley to attain four different fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) standards over the next six years, but many environmentalists remain critical and skeptical of the plan in part because it relies on over $4 billion of worth of unidentified "financial incentives." In addition, environmentalists are continuing to attack the validity of numerous decades-old emission reduction credits (ERCs) being used by the oil and gas industry to comply...




EPA Weighing Cost-Benefit, Legal Changes To Revive 'Glider' Truck Relief

EPA has not dropped its efforts to ease rules on manufacturers of “glider” trucks that combine a new chassis with a used drivetrain despite having appeared to put the issue on the back burner, with acting chief Andrew Wheeler telling senators that officials are mulling tweaks to its legal justification and its cost-benefit approach to justify some type of softer limits. Wheeler is not offering a clear timeline for the agency's efforts, but he is seeking “an emissions standard that...

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