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Citing pandemic, OIG scraps audit of EPA radiological response office

The agency’s Office of Inspector General says it intends to resume its audit of EPA’s emergency response to radiological incidents once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

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Federal Judge Trims ExxonMobil’s Landmark Air Act Emissions Penalty

A federal district court judge has cut ExxonMobil’s landmark legal penalty for numerous Clean Air Act violations at its Baytown, TX, refinery from a $20 million down to $14.25 million, after an appeals court faulted the original penalty in a suit that had been seen as a major win for citizen enforcement of the air law.

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EPA asks D.C. Circuit to vacate Trump landfill methane air rule

The Biden administration says it plans to issue in May a replacement rule setting new deadlines for states to limit methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills.

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House ethanol supporters float bills to boost use of biofuels

Democratic and GOP House members have introduced legislation that aims to boost sales of 15-percent ethanol fuel and improve the greenhouse gas profile of biofuels.

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EPA seeks new members for CAAAC

The agency’s request for new members of its Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) might indicate a revival of the panel, which was less active during the Trump era than previously.

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EPA Might Pursue Narrower CPP Replacement To Pass High Court Muster

EPA could choose to pursue a narrow replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants because of concerns that a sweeping regulatory plan might not pass muster with a skeptical conservative Supreme Court, says former Obama EPA Deputy General Counsel Ethan Shenkman.

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House Democrats Float Broad Climate Bill With National GHG Targets

House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats are introducing a sweeping climate change bill with economy-wide and sector-specific provisions to curb carbon emissions, including 2030 targets for the broader economy and electricity sector as well as provisions to garner support among environment, equity and labor groups.

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Senate EPW announces subcommittee assignments

The announcement of the subcommittee assignments means that senators on EPW can begin work on developing legislation designed in part to achieve President Joe Biden’s environmental goals.

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States Seek Stricter EPA Ozone NAAQS To Fight Long-Term Health Harms

A group of 15 mostly Democratic-led states is asking EPA to reconsider the Trump-era decision to retain and not tighten existing ozone ambient air limits, citing new evidence of long-term health harms from ozone emissions to justify “additional” stricter standards -- although the Biden EPA might face hurdles to quickly grant the request.

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Minnesota high court rejects ‘sham’ Clean Air Act permit appeal

The ruling disagrees with environmentalists that the state must investigate allegations of planned air pollution increases when a company first seeks a certain type of air permit.

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