Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Daily News
07-02-2014

High Court's Denial Of Labor Case Leaves Path Open For Stormwater Suits

Industry is still seeking a lawsuit that could act as a vehicle to test arguments in favor of overturning the wide deference courts grant EPA and other agencies to interpret their rules, after the Supreme Court let stand a closely watched labor ruling that raised the deference question -- potentially clearing a path for two pending Clean Water Act (CWA) suits that have been seen as likely test cases.

1038 words
 

Groups Say New Federal Fish Consumption Advice Downplays Mercury Risks

Environmentalists are arguing that EPA and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recent draft fish consumption advice urging women and children to eat a first-time minimum amount of fish to gain its developmental benefits ignores recent science on health risks from mercury and inadequately defines low-mercury fish species.

1429 words
 

Environmentalists Urge EPA To Regulate Emissions In Western Shale Play

Environmentalists are urging EPA to expand its role overseeing massive oil and gas development in the Uinta Basin, which spans Utah and Colorado, and are pressing officials to impose federal emissions controls for the basin's many tribal lands as the agency recently suggested it could consider doing for all such areas.

1167 words
 
07-01-2014

Ethanol Producers' Suit Aims To Ease EPA Policy For Certifying New Fuels

Ethanol fuel producers are suing EPA aiming to force the agency to allow alternative fuels such as higher ethanol blends to qualify as test fuels that it uses in determining whether vehicles comply with federal fuel efficiency and air rules, saying the agency's existing approach makes it "impossible" for alternative fuels to qualify.

1116 words
 

Utilities Urge Minnesota Against Using Federal Carbon 'Cost' For Planning

Utilities in a novel proceeding are urging the Minnesota Public Utility Commission (PUC) not to adopt the administration's controversial social cost of carbon (SCC) figure as the state's "externality" value for carbon dioxide (CO2), arguing the figure is a "blunt instrument" better suited for regulatory cost-benefit reviews and not plant-level resource planning decisions.

1332 words
 

EPA Floats Options For Cutting GHG Methane From New, Existing Landfills

EPA is proposing to require future municipal solid waste landfills to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas (GHG) methane and is seeking input on whether and how to address methane emissions from existing landfills, part of the Obama administration's interagency strategy for reducing methane from a host of industrial sectors.

797 words
 

EPA Touts Discretion In Bid To Dismiss Suit Seeking Jobs Review Of Rules

EPA is urging a federal district court to reject a coal mining company's suit trying to force the agency to conduct a Clean Air Act-mandated review of agency air rules' impacts on employment, saying the statutory requirement is discretionary and EPA should have deference on when to start the analysis and the scope of the review.

1277 words
 

Utilities Fear EPA's Water, GHG Rules Will Hike Effluent Treatment Costs

Water utility officials are concerned that EPA's recently proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standard for existing power plants will increase effluent treatment costs by driving up utility energy prices in tandem with a suite of water rules that will also increase costs while hiking GHG emissions as water facilities expend more energy to comply.

1098 words
 

EPA, IG Fail To End Impasse On Security Office Access For Investigations

EPA and its Inspector General (IG) have failed to end an impasse over claims by IG staff and some lawmakers that EPA's Office of Homeland Security (OHS) is frustrating IG investigations by prohibiting access to OHS staff, following recent meetings between top agency and IG officials that an IG spokesman says "have not been fruitful."

835 words
 
06-30-2014

Resource Rules Intensify Concerns Over EPA's Water Jurisdiction Measure

Pending natural resource protection policies from federal wildlife agencies and the U.S. Forest Service, together with EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to clarify the reach of the Clean Water Act (CWA), are compounding industry and congressional concerns that the administration is significantly expanding federal oversight of development projects and limiting local controls.

1624 words
 

FOIA Request Aims To Revive Fight On Validity Of EPA Climate Risk Finding

A free-market group is pursuing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with EPA for a slew of documents that it says might show the agency's greenhouse gas (GHG) endangerment finding is scientifically flawed, the latest bid by EPA's critics to invalidate the finding that underpins the agency's climate change regulatory program.

1044 words
 

D.C. Circuit Ruling Spurs EPA To Delay SSM Air Policy Decision Until May

EPA is delaying until May a final decision responding to environmentalists' petition asking it to scrap provisions in 36 states' air plans that exempt "upset" emissions during startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) periods from being subject to Clean Air Act penalties, citing a recent appellate ruling that complicates the agency's response.

950 words
 

EPA, DOD Vow To Bolster Climate Adaptation Funding, Planning Efforts

EPA and the Department of Defense (DOD) are vowing to bolster their planning and funding efforts to adapt to climate change, with EPA issuing a revised policy pledge to ramp up adaptation work and DOD agreeing with Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendations on bettering plans for climate adaptation.

986 words
 

Industry Urges EPA To Ease NSPS For Gas Plants Tied To Renewables

Some natural gas utilities and turbine producers are urging EPA to set a new, weaker greenhouse gas (GHG) limit for new gas-fired power plants that serve as backup to renewable generation in its proposed new source performance standards (NSPS), arguing that the plants cannot achieve the current proposed limit because those facilities must ramp up and down quickly to fill in when renewable energy is unavailable, boosting emissions.

1685 words
 

Supreme Court Denial Of LCFS Suit Could Boost ESPS' Renewables Focus

The Supreme Court has declined to hear fuel industry groups' appeal of a ruling rejecting their claims that California's low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) violates the Constitution's commerce clause, a decision that could bolster states looking to craft low-carbon renewable energy programs to comply with EPA's utility greenhouse gas (GHG) rule.

721 words
 
06-27-2014

Key Appeals Court Vacates EPA Gasification, Comparable Fuels Rules

A key federal appellate court has vacated two EPA rules that excluded from strict federal waste law mandates fuel produced through gasification of hazardous waste and fuel produced from hazardous waste that the agency argued was comparable to common fossil fuels when burned.

1288 words
 

CASAC Open To EPA Request For Novel Panel To Review NAAQS Costs

EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) says it would form a novel ad hoc panel to review the economic costs and benefits of the agency's national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) if the agency requests it, following criticisms from industry and the GOP that CASAC ignores costs in the NAAQS review process.

1396 words
 

Refiners Fight EPA Plan To Expand RFS 'Pathways' For Cellulosic Biofuels

Refiners are waging an 11th-hour push for the Obama administration to scale back a proposal that would expand the "pathways" for the types of fuels that can qualify as cellulosic biofuels under EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS), arguing that the rule lacks a scientific basis and unlawfully tries to revise a statutory definition for cellulosic biofuels.

1792 words
 

Refiners Say CBO Study Bolsters Push To Scale Back EPA's RFS Targets

Refiners say a recent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) bolsters their calls to scale back the program's fuel production targets in 2014 and future years, as the analysis echoes an industry study warning that increases in the targets could lead to major fuel cost increases.

1381 words
 

As Democrats Stall Nominees, Water Office Pick Said To Weigh Withdrawal

Senate Democratic leaders are delaying floor votes on pending EPA and other environmental nominees because they lack the votes from vulnerable Democrats who are unwilling to back the nominees so soon before the midterm elections in the face of Republicans' push to make any vote a referendum on agency climate, clean water and other policies, congressional and other sources say.

1485 words
 


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