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Air

GROUPS ASK DOI TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF NATIONAL PARK'S AIR QUALITY

Environmentalists and an outdoor recreation group have filed an unusual petition with the Department of the Interior (DOI) in an attempt to force EPA and the state of Colorado to reduce air pollution at one of the nation's most popular outdoor attractions, Rocky Mountain National Park. Demanding a variety of federal and state regulatory actions, the groups are also criticizing a voluntary plan to reduce ozone in the Denver area as insufficient to protect the park.

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KEY SCIENTIFIC PANEL'S NSR REVIEW HAMPERED BY LACK OF HARD DATA

A key scientific panel is struggling to gather quantitative data detailing the new source review (NSR) air permitting program's impacts on the electric utility industry, causing frustration just weeks before the panel begins to develop preliminary conclusions about how the controversial NSR reforms are affecting air quality and public health, sources say.

"There has not been a lot of effort to collect and analyze the kind of data [the committee is] looking for," a source close to the study says.

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NRDC BLASTS EPA'S BUILDING CODE COMPARISON WITH NSR COST THRESHOLD

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is taking issue with EPA's justification of its cost-based threshold to exclude facility upgrades from new source review (NSR) requirements, after the agency compared its threshold to similar approaches used in building codes. A source with the group also claims the comparison between EPA's 20 percent cost exclusion and exceptions from building codes for remodeling work was designed as an after-the-fact way for industry to help the agency win its court fight over the rule.

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Petroleum Industry Seeks EPA Help To Meet Upcoming Clean-Diesel Standard

Petroleum industry groups are engaged in discussions with EPA about overcoming what the groups say are technical obstacles to transporting fuel that complies with an upcoming standard for cleaner burning highway diesel fuel. Sources say the industry may urge EPA to offer incentives or use its enforcement discretion if fuel suppliers fall short of the new requirements.

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Environmentalists Say Utility Proposal Will Boost Calls For Coal-Gasification Plants

Environmentalists say a pledge by American Electric Power (AEP) that it will build at least one coal gasification power plant within the next decade may provide critics of proposed traditional coal-fired plants ammunition in pressing regulators to require the utility industry to consider the newer technology. An August announcement by the company suggested the cost of building gasification projects could be less than the estimated costs of one such plan rejected last year by Wisconsin regulators on cost grounds, one environmentalist says.

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States Say Short Comment Period Hurt Study Of Air Rule's Modeling Changes

States are continuing to criticize EPA for allegedly providing inadequate time to review and comment on new modeling techniques for the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which addresses transported air pollution.

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ARMY SAYS ANNISTON INCINERATOR PERMIT VIOLATIONS BEING ADDRESSED

The Army says it has already corrected most of the permit violations cited in an Aug. 26 notice from Alabama regulators, and is working to resolve the remaining issues. This is the second time this year the state has issued a notice of violation to the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF).

"We have cleared up most of these issues. It is our goal to ensure that they do not occur again," ANCDF site project manager Timothy Garrett said in an Aug. 27 statement.

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DOD OBJECTS TO STRINGENT COLORADO INDOOR AIR STANDARDS FOR TCE

The Defense Department is calling Colorado's decision to adopt a stringent indoor air policy for trichloroethylene (TCE) premature, pointing to the unresolved controversy over the scientific values on which the state bases its screening and remediation policy.

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PACT WITH OIL COMPANY MAY HELP EPA DEVELOP GUIDE ON 'UPSET' EMISSIONS

EPA and the petrochemical company Flint Hills Resources (FHR) have agreed to develop and evaluate strategies for curtailing so-called "upset" emissions, in what agency and company sources say could lead to guidance to minimize such emissions from petroleum refineries and other industrial facilities.

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STATES SAY SHORT COMMENT PERIOD HURT STUDY OF CAIR MODEL CHANGES

States are continuing to criticize EPA for allegedly providing inadequate time to review and comment on new modeling techniques for the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which addresses transported air pollution.

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