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Air

EPA To Back Industry Technology For Less Frequent Air Monitoring

EPA plans to allow industry to use an air emissions monitoring technology that will dramatically reduce the frequency that facilities will have to test for pollution releases. The upcoming recommendation stems from an agreement between EPA and the utility industry on overhauling the agency's air quality monitoring program.

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Pentagon Staff Say New Directive Would Ease Environmental Commitments

An environmental group that represents Pentagon employees is raising concerns that a draft military directive would ease commitments to comply with environmental regulations in the interest of training and readiness operations.

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EPA, DOE EYE STUDY ON BENEFITS OF COAL GASIFICATION POWER PLANTS

EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) are launching a new study on the environmental impacts of generating electricity with a clean-coal technology known as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC). The study could help federal and state efforts to encourage use of the technology through environmental permits or legislation, according to EPA and industry sources.

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EPA DEFENDS AIR TOXICS PROGRAMS DESPITE NEW DATA ON HIGH CANCER RISK

EPA is defending the effectiveness of its air toxics programs despite new, unpublished data showing the average person has a 48-in-one-million risk of developing cancer because of exposure to hazardous air pollutants, which far exceeds the agency's one-in-one-million risk goal.

The study also finds that in some areas of the country, the risk could be higher than 100 in one million. EPA generally considers cancer risk levels exceeding one in one million from a particular source "actionable."

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NEW MOBILE SOURCE MODEL MAY BOOST CALLS FOR STRICTER REGULATIONS

EPA's ongoing development of a new mobile source emissions model that will, for the first time, include uncertainty as a factor among other unprecedented features could convince Congress that additional regulation of mobile sources is necessary, according to an EPA official.

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EPA AGREEMENT TO DELAY FORMALDEHYDE RISK REVIEW SPARKS UNCERTAINTY

EPA has agreed to a request from Senate environment panel Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) to delay a formaldehyde risk review, creating uncertainty for plywood makers, the natural gas turbine industry and states about Clean Air Act exemptions for the pollutant the industries have been granted or are seeking.

The industry groups sought the exemptions by arguing that formaldehyde emissions from their operations posed minimal risks. But the delay in EPA's risk review may alter the data that the agency relied on when initially proposing to grant the regulatory waivers, sources say.

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BAUCUS COULD PLAY KEY ROLE IN SENATE PANEL'S CLEAR SKIES DEBATE

Senate Republicans' ability to pass President Bush's Clear Skies bill out of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee by next March could rest on Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who has recently sided with Republicans on key environmental bills but has been hesitant to endorse the president's utility pollution plan.

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EPA EYES REVAMPING PSD RULES TO CAP POLLUTION, PROTECT ECOSYSTEMS

EPA may revamp the way it sets pollution limits in its prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit program for national parks and other areas that attain air quality standards by setting a fixed cap defining how much total pollution an area can sustain before harm occurs.

In an upcoming proposal due early next year, the agency may adopt the cap in lieu of its traditional approach, which allows new and modified air pollution sources to incrementally increase pollution.

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Senate GOP To Allow States To Go Beyond Federal Rules In Clear Skies

Senate Republicans will include new language in the Clear Skies bill they are planning to re-introduce in January to allow states to require more stringent emission reductions than the pollution caps to be imposed by the federal government, sources say.

The change appears aimed at broadening support for the long-stalled bill, which Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, has vowed to make a top priority in early 2005.

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New EPA Modeling May Prompt Broader Controls On Mobile Emitters

EPA's development of a model for estimating mobile source emissions that for the first time would take into account uncertainties regarding data collection may prompt Congress to expand pollution requirements to non-motor vehicle sources, according to a key EPA official.

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