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Inside Cal/EPA - 02/15/2019

  • Newsom Plans For PG&E, High-Speed Rail, CEQA Raise Questions, Concerns

    Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) plans for addressing Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s (PG&E) bankruptcy while maintaining clean energy, scaling back the embattled high-speed rail project and relaxing the state's umbrella environmental protection law are raising new questions and concerns among stakeholders about the specifics and intentions of the administration's efforts.

    1338 words

  • Newsom Names New WRCB Chair, Member For 'Fresh Approach' To Policy

    Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has designated current California water board member Joaquin Esquivel as the new chairman of the panel and appointed a new member who will replace long-time member and former chairwoman Felicia Marcus, calling for a "fresh approach" to addressing the state's "massive water challenges."

    1035 words

  • Lawmakers Eye Fast-Track Option Under DTSC Green Chemistry Program

    California lawmakers are expressing interest in pursuing legislation to potentially add a "fast-track" option for listing chemicals for possible phaseouts or bans under the toxics department's Safer Consumer Products (SCP) green chemistry program, primarily to address criticism that the program's current review process is too slow.

    1278 words

  • Cal Chamber Sounds Alarm Over Bill Requiring ARB Carbon Tax Study

    The California Chamber of Commerce is increasingly voicing concerns about a bill that would require the state air board to study the feasibility of a broad new carbon tax as a replacement for the state's current sales and use tax, raising a number of questions for stakeholders to ask before lawmakers consider the bill next month.

    844 words

  • Truckers Support Remote Sensing As Part Of ARB Smog Check Program

    California trucking industry representatives are telling state air board officials they would support widespread remote sensing activities to identify highly polluting diesel trucks as part of a new heavy-duty vehicle inspection and maintenance program instead of mandating on-board diagnostics (OBD) data and reports to prove compliance.

    1064 words

  • Groups Seek Changes To CPUC Power Buying Rules To Meet GHG Targets

    Environmental groups are urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to change its new energy procurement planning rules to ensure that utilities stay on track to meet 2030 greenhouse gas targets, after regulators conceded that their currently proposed hybrid system for the 2018-19 period would fall short of the goals.

    849 words

  • Key Industries Clash Over CPUC Rulemaking On Utility Wildfire Liability

    Powerful industry groups such as investor-owned utilities (IOUs), finance companies, renewable power generators and large energy consumers are clashing over the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) new rulemaking to develop a wildfire cost-recovery policy that may have enormous implications for the future of the state's utilities.

    1656 words

  • Groups Seek Battery Storage As Gas Plant Substitute In EPA Permit Appeal

    Several environmental groups are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to scrap a Clean Air Act permit approved by U.S. EPA for a natural gas-fired power plant in southern California, arguing that the agency failed to adequately consider requiring battery storage as a substitute for the new gas plant.

    538 words

  • California, Allies Detail Claims EPA Vehicle GHG Finding Skirts Agency Rules

    California-led states, environmentalists and an industry coalition are detailing their legal arguments in litigation targeting U.S. EPA's determination that it must weaken Obama-era vehicle greenhouse gas standards, arguing the move violates EPA's own regulations and was not done with a reasonable basis.

    1493 words

  • Vehicle GHG Rule Freeze Still Appears Likely Despite Talk Of Alternatives

    The White House appears to still be on track to finalizing its plan to freeze light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy rules, despite automakers' stated preference against such a rollback in favor of a modest annual rate of improvement in vehicles.

    916 words

  • Oil, Biofuels Groups Join Lengthy List Of 2019 RFS Legal Challengers

    Oil and biofuels groups are adding to the lengthy list of organizations filing suit over U.S. EPA's 2019 renewable fuel standard, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is consolidating the fresh challenges with an existing case that combines a host of already-filed challenges to the 2019 fuel targets.

    645 words

  • California, Environmentalists Defend Suit Over Scrapped 'Once In' Air Policy

    California and environmentalists are seeking to preserve their lawsuit challenging U.S. EPA's memo scrapping a longstanding policy that held air toxics sources cannot escape strict Clean Air Act regulation as "major sources," arguing that the memo amounts to "a binding final action" subject to judicial review.

    539 words