A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel is recommending that EPA "embed" the use of sustainability tools into its major activities in line with its statutory authorities, saying the agency has "substantial opportunities" to apply the approaches more fully, and urging the agency to continue adoption of the sustainability framework recommended by a 2011 NAS report.
The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), which represents state environment departments, is holding its annual meeting in New Mexico to discuss a broad slate of environmental issues, including climate change policies, Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction and EPA funding questions. Greenhouse gas (GHG) rules are also coming under scrutiny from other corners, as private groups are hosting talks on the agency's proposed rules for power plants as well as other policies aimed at curbing emissions.
Two of the largest grid operators are considering novel regional approaches for complying with EPA's greenhouse gas (GHG) rule for existing power plants by setting a system-wide price on carbon dioxide (CO2) as opposed to state-by-state planning, an approach that agency officials and others have indicated could provide a more streamlined way of implementing the requirements while also better overseeing potential reliability concerns.
Environmentalists and industry groups are fighting over each others' legal challenges to EPA's rule classifying commercial secondary materials sent to combustion units, in particular sparring over whether the materials identified in the rule qualify as "solid waste" and should therefore trigger more stringent emissions controls.
EPA is preparing to expand its program for reducing the adverse global warming impacts of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a widely used class of chemical refrigerants, one of a series of regulatory and voluntary actions that administration and industry groups have announced to limit the adverse climate impacts of the substances.
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