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.

D.C. Circuit Searches For Ways To Review EPA's RFS Compliance 'Point'

Appellate judges at oral argument in two related suits over EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) appeared to be searching for ways to review refiners' long-running claims that the agency's compliance “point of obligation” is unfair, querying EPA on whether it has attempted to unlawfully shield the obligation point from judicial review. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard argument Oct. 5 in Coffeyville Resources Refining, et al. v. EPA, et al....


Critics Cite High Court To Fight Trump Claim Of Car GHG Rule's 'Minimal' Risk

Critics are pouncing on the Trump administration's claim that its proposed rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas standards is justified because it would only result in a “minimal” rise in global temperatures, with opponents of the rollback poised to cite the claim as in conflict with a landmark Supreme Court ruling. In addition, observers say a related administration assumption that global temperatures will increase steeply -- regardless of whether the vehicle proposal goes final -- offers a sharp political and legal...

Senators urge Trump against granting year-round E15 waiver

A group of Democratic and Republican senators is urging President Donald Trump against proceeding with tentative plans to authorize EPA to grant a waiver that would allow year-round sales of ethanol blends up to 15 percent (E15), echoing oil industry claims that the move could have several adverse impacts including worsening air quality. In an Oct. 4 letter to Trump , Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and 18 other members of the upper chamber warn Trump that lifting...

Wheeler launches new staff reporting tool for environmental risks

In an all-hands Oct. 4 email, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced he is launching a new web-based tool for agency staff to use to notify senior management when concerns they raise to supervisors about significant environmental risks go unaddressed. The effort builds on a January 2016 elevation policy that EPA issued in response to the Flint, MI, drinking water crisis. In the email , Wheeler says he is “affirming, as past Administrators have, the importance of elevating human health...


Clock starts for suits over EPA's ozone petition denials

EPA is slated to publish in the Oct. 5 Federal Register its final decision denying Clean Air Act section 126 petitions from Delaware and Maryland asking the agency to limit ozone-forming emissions in multiple upwind states, starting a 60-day clock for the states to file likely lawsuits over the rejection. In a Federal Register notice , EPA issues its final denial of petitions filed under Clean Air Act section 126 for the agency to directly regulate nitrogen oxides from...

'Non-Delegation' Cases Offer Chance For High Court To Limit EPA Powers

The pending Supreme Court petition over environmental limits on a border wall, along with a just-argued case on sex offender registries, could give the justices an opportunity to limit EPA's rulemaking discretion by strengthening a little-used doctrine that bars Congress from giving the executive branch “unbounded” discretion to regulate. Even though the court has yet to accept any cases that directly involve EPA or its rules for the just-begun 2018 term, either the pending border wall appeal Animal Legal Defense...


House Democrats urge Trump to 'cancel' methane rule rollbacks

House Democrats are urging President Donald Trump to “cancel” two rollbacks of methane standards developed during the Obama administration by EPA and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), arguing the measures are part of a “larger war on pollution standards of any kind.” An Oct. 3 letter from more than 70 House Democrats charges that the Trump administration for nearly two years has ignored public health threats, abused taxpayer resources and undermined efforts to combat climate change. The letter was...

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