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.

Hurricanes Revive Debate On EPA 'Force Majeure' Refinery Air Rule Waiver

Recent major hurricanes and other extreme weather events are reviving debate over an Obama EPA air toxics rule that allows refineries a waiver from the regulation due to force majeure -- unforeseen and uncontrollable events -- with environmentalists urging the agency to scrap the exemption in its ongoing reconsideration of the rule. EPA's 2015 refinery maximum achievable control technology (MACT) includes the force majeure exemption, and Texas -- which was hit by Hurricane Harvey -- also has language...

EPA sends final 2018 RFS volumes rule for OMB review

EPA has sent its controversial final rule setting renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending targets for 2018 to the White House for mandatory pre-publication review, signaling the agency could potentially meet a Nov. 30 statutory deadline for issuing the targets that have triggered significant debate ahead of their release. According to OMB's website, EPA sent the rule for review Oct. 31. OMB review typically takes up to 90 days, but can be much shorter or longer, depending on the circumstances...

Truckers Fear 50-State Rule Patchwork If EPA Loses Trailer GHG Authority

Truckers and other industry groups that support the Obama EPA's phase 2 greenhouse gas rule for medium- and heavy-duty trucks are questioning trailer manufacturers' successful legal bid to halt, at least temporarily, the rule's trailer provisions, fearing it will lead to a permanent ban and open the door to a patchwork of 50 different state standards. “Any state could do what they want, and who would tell them not to if a court says there is no EPA authority [to...

EPA seeks comment on permitting best practices

EPA is seeking public comment on whether the permitting best practices principles outlined in a federal report earlier this year are generally applicable to permits issued by states under delegated authority from EPA, an effort that could help the Trump administration advance its priority of speeding permitting. The agency is seeking comment in order to comply with the requirements of a 2015 federal transportation law, which predates the Trump administration. Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41)...


Pruitt Prepares To Axe Current Science Advisers, Driving 'Purge' Charge

Clarification Appended EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is applying his new policy barring science advisors from receiving agency grants to current advisors, a move that will force some to either give up their grants or step down from the panels on which they serve, opening the door to Pruitt making additional appointments and intensifying criticisms that the he is seeking to “purge” independent advisors. Invoking a Biblical passage in the Book of Joshua, where Joshua leads the Israelites...

EPA denies petition seeking ozone transport zone expansion

The Trump EPA is finalizing an Obama-era proposal to reject a petition from several Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states asking the agency to massively expand their Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) area of states where tougher ozone controls apply than elsewhere, saying there are better ways to achieve ozone reductions. In a notice signed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Oct. 27 and slated for publication soon in the Federal Register , the agency formally denies the petition filed in 2013 by...

EPA May Float Data Notice To Aid Revisions To Oil & Gas Methane Rule

As the Trump administration prepares to unveil a long-expected measure to pause provisions in the Obama EPA's oil and gas methane rule for two years, sources say the agency may also release a notice of data availability (NODA) that will help to build a record to support any future substantive revisions to the standards. There has been “a lot of discussion” about EPA issuing a NODA concurrently with its two-year stay to solicit information “that might then be used to...

EPA Sees GHG Cuts From Oil & Gas Settlements But Declines To Quantify

EPA officials say they expect that settlement agreements announced Oct. 31 with oil company Exxon Mobil and oil and gas producer PCD Energy requiring cuts in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions will have a “co-benefit” of reducing sector greenhouse gases, though agency officials are declining to quantify the exact benefit. In the first proposed agreement , EPA is settling a Clean Air Act case it brought against Exxon Mobil Corp. and subsidiary ExxonMobil Oil Corp. alleging excess air emissions from...


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