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Air

Appeals Court Ruling Deals Major Blow To Clean Air Citizen Suits

A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is likely to be a major blow for citizen suits under the Clean Air Act, according to attorneys familiar with the case.

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New York Supreme Court Upholds Unprecedented Acid Rain Rules

The New York Supreme Court upheld the state's temporary, or emergency, acid rain rules that require power plants to install year-round nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution controls, and reduce NOx and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions far beyond federal requirements. The court last month rejected an industry appeal of the emergency rules.

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RULING MAY BLOCK FUTURE CHALLENGES TO FEDERAL AIR PERMIT PROGRAMS

A federal appeals court has set what could be a decisive precedent blocking court challenges to state implementation of federal air permitting requirements by ruling that EPA decisions on whether to sanction states for inadequate program implementation are not subject to judicial review.

Environmentalists are alarmed by the decision, saying it could pave the way for future legal arguments to prevent judicial review of other EPA actions.

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Conservative Group's Agenda For Next Congress Includes Clean Air Act Repeal

Property-rights advocates who represent the far-right wing of conservatives have outlined an environmental agenda for Congress and regulators over the next four years, which includes market-based approaches to revising EPA ozone rules and repealing the federal Clean Air Act in favor of state-level initiatives.

The recommendations are unlikely to be adopted by policymakers at face value regardless of the outcome of this week's election. But the proposals may help set the tone for debate next year by defining the conservative stance on key environmental issues.

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Bush Administration Weighs Exempting Minnesota From Air Transport Rule

High-level EPA and White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials are considering a Minnesota power company's request -- supported by key members of the state's congressional delegation -- to exempt Minnesota from regulation under the agency's pending interstate air pollution rule.

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Coal Industry Document Reveals Strategy For Opposing Air Quality Initiatives

An industry group that represents coal producers and suppliers has been carrying out an ambitious strategy for defeating or scaling back a host of ongoing congressional and state initiatives to limit greenhouse gases, mercury and other air pollutants, according to a recent internal letter obtained by Inside EPA.

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NEW CLEAN COAL PLANT MAY EXPAND METHOD'S USE WITH OTHER COAL TYPES

A southern power company's planned new advanced coal gasification power plant -- partially funded with over $200 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) -- will rely on technology that could make it less expensive to use so-called low-ranked coal in energy-efficient gasification facilities, according to sources tracking the issue.

Low-rank or low-heat value coals generate less energy per quantity of coal burned, and their emissions have typically been harder to reduce than emissions from burning other coal types.

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COAL-GASIFICATION BACKERS EYE NOVEL PROJECT FOR METHANE PRODUCTION

Energy industry officials are poised to submit a permit application to Illinois for a new power plant that would produce synthetic natural gas from coal and generate electricity -- the first facility of its kind in over two decades and a project that is drawing the attention of coal-state lawmakers seeking to boost the fuel's use.

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ADMINISTRATION WEIGHS EXEMPTING MINNESOTA FROM AIR TRANSPORT RULE

High-level EPA and White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) officials are considering a Minnesota power company's request -- supported by key members of the state's congressional delegation -- to exempt Minnesota from regulation under the agency's pending interstate air pollution rule.

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RULING MAY BLOCK FUTURE CHALLENGES TO FEDERAL AIR PERMIT PROGRAMS

A federal appeals court has set what could be a decisive precedent blocking court challenges to state implementation of federal air permitting requirements by ruling that EPA decisions on whether to sanction states for inadequate program implementation are not subject to judicial review.

Environmentalists are alarmed by the decision, saying it could pave the way for future legal arguments to prevent judicial review of other EPA actions.

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