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Daily News

July 01, 2020

Intensifying their strong opposition to draft California air rules to significantly tighten emission standards for a variety of lawn, garden and other outdoor equipment, industry groups argue the rule would fail to meet criteria to obtain a Clean Air Act preemption waiver from EPA, which the state needs to adopt and enforce new standards.

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EPA Region 2 employees in New York and New Jersey are raising major concerns about the Trump administration’s plan to “reopen” the agency’s Manhattan office, fearing COVID-19 risks, and are pushing back on EPA chief Andrew Wheeler’s justification that reopening is vital to return the agency to normal operations.

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EPA Region 2 employees in New York and New Jersey are raising major concerns about the Trump administration’s plan to “reopen” the agency’s Manhattan office, fearing COVID-19 risks, and are pushing back on EPA chief Andrew Wheeler’s justification that reopening is vital to return the agency to normal operations.

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Environmentalists, primarily Democratic-led states and lawmakers are clashing with major industry groups over EPA’s proposal to retain its suite of particulate matter (PM) ambient air standards, as critics of the plan say it will damage public health while supporters counter that the existing limits adequately curb PM health risks.

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California air officials are advancing a revised proposal to cut emissions from a variety of “at-berth” ocean-going vessels that relaxes certain provisions due to the COVID-19 economic downturn, but both environmentalists and industry stakeholders are maintaining objections to specific elements of the plan.

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The Los Angeles-area air district and a major oil company are urging the California Supreme Court not to review an appellate court ruling that upheld a permit and environmental review for a refinery expansion project, arguing there is no “lack of uniformity or unsettled question” regarding the baseline used to determine facility emission controls under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

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The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee are urging other Senate committees to help advance EPW’s sweeping transportation infrastructure funding bill that includes first-time major resilience provisions to combat climate change.

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EPA advisors reviewing the agency’s draft model for predicting lead concentrations across all ages are generally praising the agency’s effort as a major technical and public policy step forward, although some are cautioning there are significant weaknesses in the model’s software and structure and are calling for other improvements to the model.

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A long-dormant lawsuit filed by wood heater manufacturers in a bid to weaken Obama EPA air standards for the devices is resuming in federal appeals court, weeks after the agency issued a proposal to delay enforcement of the stricter limits because of the economic harm stove makers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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June 30, 2020

Faced with growing criticism from Republicans and industry groups over the slow pace of its new chemicals review program, EPA is launching a new rulemaking to revise its existing TSCA rules to speed its evaluation of the substances and improve data requirements for companies seeking approvals.

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EPA is floating an ambitious agenda for its Office of Air & Radiation (OAR) in its just-updated schedule of pending rules that includes steps to ease industry permitting and potentially remove some toxic substances from regulation, hinting at OAR’s plans for future years if President Donald Trump wins his reelection bid in November.

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Several major EPA water and waste office rulemakings face fresh delays according to the agency’s updated Spring Unified Agenda of pending regulations, punting some controversial policies until next year and making it possible that former Vice President Joe Biden’s EPA could reverse the rules if he wins the 2020 presidential election.

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House Democrats have unveiled a long-awaited series of climate policy proposals that combine long-term decarbonization goals with hundreds of specific measures to enable them, including a key focus on environmental justice (EJ), investments in infrastructure and climate resilience, and a range of new EPA responsibilities.

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EPA is suggesting it might reconsider the stringency of later-year greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty trucks issued by the Obama administration in the 2016, a notable new item in its newly updated regulatory agenda that outlines the agency’s goals for this year and a potential second term for the Trump administration.

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EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine has set an Aug. 31 “termination date” for the agency’s controversial enforcement discretion policy issued for the COVID-19 pandemic, adding a hard deadline to a previous agency statement that only said the policy would wind down “soon” even as Bodine seeks to defend it.

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“If we still need animal testing, we'll still be able to use it. But certainly the goal is to find quicker, faster, cheaper, and just as effective testing that doesn't use animals,” EPA’s research chief says.

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“If we still need animal testing, we'll still be able to use it. But certainly the goal is to find quicker, faster, cheaper, and just as effective testing that doesn't use animals,” EPA’s research chief says.

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Baltimore is urging the Supreme Court to reject the oil industry’s push to overturn an appellate decision allowing the city’s climate nuisance case to proceed in state court, arguing there is no circuit split over what issues appeals courts can consider when determining whether state or federal court is the proper venue for a case.

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The Democratic leadership of the California Legislature appears to be quashing a bill floating an ambitious $7 billion climate resilience bond that would be placed on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot, with sources suggesting they fear voters who are struggling financially and otherwise due to COVID-19 may reject the measure.

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A trucking company is countering denials by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that its adoption of amended greenhouse gas standards for trucks and trailers violated environmental and procedural statutes, charging that the board illegally claimed it was exempt from key provisions.

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