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Clean Air Report - 06/14/2018

  • East Coast States Ramp Up Push For EPA Heavy-Duty Truck NOx Proposal

    BALTIMORE -- Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are ramping up their push for EPA to propose stricter nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions limits for heavy-duty trucks, saying it would provide "critical" help in reducing ozone-forming NOx emissions as the states strive to attain the agency's tightened 2015 ozone ambient air limit.

    1004 words

  • EPA Proposes To Deny Interstate Ozone Petitions From Delaware, Maryland

    EPA is proposing to deny five Clean Air Act petitions from Delaware and Maryland seeking direct agency regulation of power plants in several upwind states that the two petitioning states claim are compromising their ability to meet federal ozone standards, marking the latest setback for East Coast states' quest to curb interstate air pollution.

    674 words

  • EPA Floats Aug. 1 Deadline To Decide On Ozone NAAQS Reconsideration

    EPA is suggesting to a federal appeals court that it will decide by Aug. 1 on whether to reconsider the Obama-era decision to tighten the ozone air standard, with agency air chief William Wehrum said to favor accelerating a Clean Air Act-mandated review of the standard due by Oct. 1, 2020, in lieu of launching the reconsideration process.

    660 words

  • D.C. Circuit Sets July 31 Deadline For EPA Ozone Designations Report

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has set a July 31 deadline for EPA to report on the progress of its designations of which parts of the country are attaining or in nonattainment with its 2015 federal ozone standard, as the agency tries to meet court-ordered deadlines to complete the delayed process.

    530 words

  • EAB Case Aims To Force Use Of Battery Power Storage As Air Permit BACT

    Environmentalists are pursuing an EPA Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) case that aims to force use of battery power storage as a best available control technology (BACT) for Clean Air Act permits, appealing the agency's decision to reject batteries in lieu of natural gas burners for power production as BACT for a utility's air permit.

    1147 words

  • Environmentalists Sue EPA Over NSR 'Streamlining' Air Permit Guidance

    Several environmental groups are suing EPA over Administrator Scott Pruitt's guidance memo "streamlining" the Clean Air Act new source review (NSR) permitting process by allowing applicants to consider predicted emissions decreases as well as increases when deciding what level of analysis is required in a permit application.

    474 words

  • Automakers Target California Move To Keep Current GHG Rule Compliance

    Automakers are challenging California's draft proposal to amend the state's light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas rules to ensure compliance with nearly identical federal standards issued by the Obama administration through model year 2025 in response to a forthcoming Trump administration proposal to weaken the limits.

    1456 words

  • California Seeks Meeting With White House Officials Over Vehicle GHG Rules

    California Air Resources Board (CARB) officials are seeking a meeting with the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to work on a compromise over light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, in hopes of moderating the Trump administration's forthcoming regulatory proposal that is expected to significantly roll back the Obama-era rules.

    608 words

  • Capitol Hill Republicans Split On EPA's Plan To Scrap 'Glider' Truck Rules

    Capitol Hill Republicans are splitting on EPA's proposal to scrap production limits on "glider" trucks that do not meet modern emissions standards, with three senators and 21 House members joining a letter in support of the plan that urges the White House to waive cost-benefit analysis requirements for the effort.

    1042 words

  • Observers Criticize Hill GOP Claim No RIA Needed For 'Glider' Repeal Rule

    Key observers are criticizing claims by Hill Republicans that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should not require a regulatory impact analysis (RIA) when reviewing EPA's plan to scrap production limits on high-emitting "glider" trucks because it is deregulatory, saying there is no such exception.

    809 words

  • EPA's Push To Overhaul NAAQS Poses Test For 'Cooperative Federalism'

    EPA's push to overhaul and streamline the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) process will pose a major test for Administrator Scott Pruitt's pledge to give states more power over environmental decisions, as some states welcome new NAAQS compliance flexibility while others fear it will boost interstate pollution.

    1450 words

  • New York Eyes 'Contingency' Policies To Counter Rollbacks Of EPA Rules

    NEW YORK -- New York's environment commissioner is crafting "contingency plans" to promote environmental protection to help balance out potential pollution increases associated with EPA rule rollbacks, including a state push for zero-emission and electric vehicles (ZEVs) to counter any weakening of federal mobile source standards.

    660 words

  • South Florida Air Pollution Study Will Inform EPA Port Emissions Strategy

    EPA is touting a new report outlining the results of its collaboration with Port Everglades, a major South Florida port, to study air emissions from the port sector, an effort the agency says will inform a forthcoming update to its voluntary strategy to reduce seaport emissions.

    463 words

  • SAB Chair Honeycutt Dodges Tough Questions On EPA Science Policies

    Michael Honeycutt, the new chair of EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), dodged tough questions from reporters on EPA's "secret science" policy, review of major EPA rulemakings and related issues at the first panel meeting since his appointment, but he reaffirmed his skepticism of the Obama administration's decision to tighten the ozone ambient air standard.

    766 words

  • EPA Strengthens Internal Review Of Science Rule As SAB Seeks Scrutiny

    Top EPA officials have decided to strengthen the internal agency review of Administrator Scott Pruitt's controversial proposed rule requiring the use of publicly available research to justify rules just as the agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB) voted unanimously to review the measure amid broad criticisms.

    1393 words

  • SAB Votes To Review EPA's Science, Emissions Rules In Sign Of 'Rebuke'

    EPA advisers have voted to review the science underlying agency rules aimed at rolling back a suite of Obama administration greenhouse gas and emissions regulations, as well as a controversial proposal to require that major rules be based on publicly available science, decisions that environmentalists say amount to a "sharp rebuke" of Administrator Scott Pruitt's deregulatory agenda.

    1196 words

  • Future Of RFS Reform Unclear After GOP Senators Appear To Block 'Deal'

    The future of the Trump administration's plan for short-term changes to EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) is highly uncertain after push-back from two key GOP senators appears to have blocked a tentative RFS reform "deal," but observers say the administration could yet try to implement some of the deal's most contested provisions.

    1222 words

  • Biofuels Groups Seek EPA Rule Change To Compensate For RFS Waivers

    Major biofuels groups are petitioning EPA to reconsider a 2010 rule and the agency's renewable fuel standard (RFS) fuel blending volumes in order to compensate for the impact of what they call an "unprecedented" number of waivers EPA has granted relieving refiners of their fuel blending obligations under the program.

    633 words

  • EPA Launches Search To Fill Top Air Lawyer Post After Schmidt Reassigned

    EPA is formally moving to fill a top career job in its air and radiation law office (ARLO), after Lorie Schmidt -- who had led the office while helping to craft the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan and other regulatory measures -- was reassigned to special projects in the wake of Trump administration efforts to put its imprint on the agency.

    634 words

  • EPA, Industry Groups Oppose D.C. Circuit Rehearing Of Boiler MACT Ruling

    EPA and industry groups are urging a federal appeals court to reject environmentalists' petition for rehearing of a ruling that partially upheld the agency's maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rule for industrial, commercial and institutional boilers, saying the ruling definitively resolved the legal fight over the rule.

    580 words

  • SAB Approves Report Supporting EPA Air Toxics 'Screening' Methods

    EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) May 31 approved a working group's draft report on EPA "screening" methods designed to better focus the agency's efforts in air toxics risk reviews, but the board nonetheless expressed some doubts that the screening methods will help EPA whittle down its workload and seeks some changes to the report.

    494 words

  • EPA Unveils Prerule To Overhaul Agency Cost-Benefit Review Process

    EPA is formally launching a rulemaking that has the potential to overhaul how the agency considers regulatory costs and benefits across a wide range of air, water, toxics and other statutes, arguing the effort could address the "perceived inconsistency and lack of transparency" in prior cost-benefit reviews.

    1343 words

  • Trump Critics Seek Court Rulings On Standing In Regulatory Repeal Order

    Environmentalists and other Trump administration critics are urging a federal court to quickly decide whether they have standing to challenge the president's order requiring repeal of two existing rules for every new measure, even as two states renew their effort to join the suit due to concerns that officials may roll back climate change rules.

    611 words

  • D.C. Circuit Backs EPA Rule Allowing 'Nonacquiescence' To Court Rulings

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld EPA's rule saying its regions do not have to adhere to adverse appellate rulings from circuit courts outside of a particular region, rejecting an industry coalition's suit over the "nonacquiescence" policy and correcting prior precedent in an earlier similar case.

    1550 words

  • EPA, Sierra Club Fail To Reach Deal On Key 'Sue-And-Settle' Test Case

    EPA and the Sierra Club have abandoned an effort to settle a suit over the agency's failure to produce congressionally mandated studies on the environmental impacts of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), seeking instead to brief the case in a move that suggests Administrator Scott Pruitt's directive against settling such cases is driving the action.

    845 words

  • Court Slams Pruitt's Claim On CO2 Link To Warming, Orders Data Release

    A federal district court judge is rejecting EPA's refusal to provide documents showing the basis of Administrator Scott Pruitt's claim that human-released carbon dioxide is not the "primary contributor" to climate change, and is instead ordering the agency to produce the records by next month.

    734 words