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.

Upcoming NAS Report Could Inform Post-2025 Auto GHG Standards

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is continuing a study of fuel-saving and electrification technologies and trends that could inform the next round of light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards, despite the Trump administration’s deregulatory push that gutted Obama-era requirements. The upcoming study, which could be released early next year, will examine the cost effectiveness of fuel efficiency technologies for cars and light trucks in the 2025-2035 timeframe. Should President Donald Trump lose his re-election bid in November, the NAS report...

EPA sets July 1 hearing on cost-benefit plan

EPA has scheduled a July 1 public hearing on its plan to impose new requirements for cost-benefit analysis of air rules while also giving the public an additional week to comment on the plan, which critics fear could erect multiple hurdles for a future administration seeking to impose tough air protection mandates. EPA’s website notes the planned public hearing as well as a June 26 deadline for participants to register. The agency’s move to tweak the comment period for the...

D.C. Circuit schedules argument in ozone precursor case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has scheduled oral argument for Sept. 22 in a long-running case brought by environmentalists against the agency’s policy allowing trading of different ozone precursor chemicals emitted by industries as a strategy for cutting ozone levels. The court in a brief June 17 order set the date for argument in Sierra Club, et al. v. EPA, et al. , in which environmental groups Conservation Law Foundation, Downwinders at Risk, National...

D.C. Circuit reschedules argument in 2019 RFS suit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has rescheduled oral argument for Sept. 25 in litigation over EPA’s 2019 renewable fuel standard (RFS) program, after the original hearing set for May was moved because of coronavirus-related concerns. The court set the new date in a brief June 17 order in Growth Energy, et al., v. EPA, et al. , a suit consolidating diverse challenges to the 2019 RFS annual biofuel volumes rule. The rule set volumes...

Environmentalists fight to keep Texas SIP suit in D.C. Circuit

Environmentalists fighting to keep their challenge to Texas’ Clean Air Act regulatory exemptions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit are faulting EPA’s claim that the case belongs in the regional 5th Circuit, saying the case tests whether the agency can modify a “nationally applicable” policy to exclude certain states. At issue is EPA’s approval of Texas’ state implementation plan (SIP) provisions that provide an “affirmative defense” to shield industry from civil liability for emissions...

Longtime vehicle climate experts join environmental group

Daniel Becker and Jim Gerstenzang, two proponents of strengthening vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy requirements who have long worked under the Safe Climate Campaign, are moving to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) where they will continue efforts to cut climate-warming emissions from transportation. “We will press automakers to step up production of electric vehicles and other cleaner cars immediately,” Becker says in an email to Inside EPA. Becker and Gerstenzang have long worked on transportation climate issues...

EPA Offers First Detailed Legal Defense Of CPP Repeal, ACE Replacement

EPA for the first time is detailing to a court its legal arguments for repealing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) utility greenhouse gas rule and replacing it with the much narrower Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, charging that the CPP was unlawfully broad while ACE is the only way to “lawfully regulate” power plant climate emissions. The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the June 16 brief on behalf of EPA in the case, American Lung Association, et al., v....

EPA 1-BP Air Toxic Listing May Trigger Tough Solvent, Dry Cleaning Rules

EPA intends to for the first time add a new chemical, n-propyl bromide, also known as 1-bromopropane (1-BP), to the list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) regulated under the Clean Air Act, triggering likely tougher emissions rules for the dry cleaning sector and others that make and use the substance. “The documented known or anticipated adverse health effects of 1-BP, which are based on established sound scientific principles, include carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, and neurotoxicity,” EPA says in a notice slated...

Appellate Rulings May Undercut EPA Legal Claims In Cost, Science Rules

Two new federal appeals court rulings could undermine EPA’s attempt to rely on general statutory authority for two high-profile deregulatory proposals that would codify new requirements for cost-benefit analysis of air rules and restrict the use of science studies where data is not publicly available, according to some legal experts. The rulings -- which address health and financial regulation -- by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit fault federal agencies for relying on overly vague...


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