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Harvard study finds COVID-19 risk from air pollution

A new Harvard University study finds that even small increases in exposure to fine particulate matter pollution boosts the risk of dying from the coronavirus.

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D.C. Circuit Vacates EPA ‘Guide’ Suspending Obama HFC Restrictions

Appellate judges in a split panel ruling have vacated a Trump EPA “guidance” that sought to suspend an Obama-era rule barring replacement of refrigerants with climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), agreeing with environmentalists and states that the agency unlawfully adopted the policy without notice-and-comment procedures.

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Clash On HFC Phasedown Continues In Written Testimony To Senate EPW

Written testimony submitted to the Senate environment committee is underscoring continuing splits over bipartisan legislation to phase down climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), including between industries that favor the measure and those who oppose it or want Congress to block states from issuing tougher restrictions.

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Minnesota delays vehicle GHG rule in wake of coronavirus

The state is still planning to complete a rule this year adopting California’s vehicle greenhouse gas standards, offering a formal rebuke to the Trump administration’s effort to preempt such programs.

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D.C. Circuit Dismisses SILs Air Guidance For Challenging Non-Final Action

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is dismissing environmentalists’ challenge to EPA’s guidance allowing regulators to exempt certain projects from in-depth air permit review if their anticipated emissions fall below de minimis thresholds, finding that the guidance is not a final agency action subject to judicial review.

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EPA moves to weaken phosphoric acid plant mercury limit

EPA proposes to weaken the mercury limit for phosphoric acid plants, arguing inaccurate data in an Obama-era rule lead to an unrealistically tough standard.

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Conservative Group Draws Fire For Shifted Stance On Vehicle GHG Rule

A conservative advocacy group is reversing its prior criticism of the Trump administration’s vehicle greenhouse gas standards rollback, and is now touting the rule as a “major victory” by selectively citing cost savings while avoiding the administration’s own estimates that the rule may spur up to $22 billion in net costs on the economy.

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EPA announces deputy general counsel, other top officials

The agency has hired officials for top positions including a former ethanol industry lobbyist as the deputy general counsel and a Senate GOP staffer for its congressional relations office.

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EPA Fights Refiner Push For High Court To Review RFS Compliance ‘Point’

EPA is fighting refiners’ bid for the Supreme Court to review EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) compliance mechanism, arguing that a 2017 rulemaking, upheld by a federal appeals court, satisfies the agency’s Clean Air Act duty to consider which entities must demonstrate compliance with the RFS’ mandates for biofuel blending.

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OTC Weighs Options For Mobile Source Air Cuts To Attain Ozone NAAQS

The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states is increasingly looking to options for reducing ozone-forming mobile sources such as cars and trucks as long-term options for driving down stubbornly high levels of the pollutant that are preventing them from attaining EPA’s ozone ambient air standards.

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