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Air

STATES STRUGGLING TO WIN AIR PLAN CREDITS FOR CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

State officials are finding it difficult to obtain credit in their air quality plans for energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) projects, charging that EPA has imposed too many obstacles to using these and other innovative strategies for meeting strict new ozone and particulate matter standards.

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NEW DATA PROMPT EPA STAFF TO EYE AIR TOXICS LIST FOR HYDROGEN SULFIDE

Prompted by new scientific data from more than a dozen states, EPA staff are considering whether to recommend to senior officials that the agency list hydrogen sulfide (H2S) as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP) in its air toxics program -- which would likely prompt new emissions control requirements, agency sources say.

If the agency decides to move forward with a listing, which environmentalists asked the agency to do in 1999, it would mark the first time EPA has added an air toxic to the list of 188 HAPs Congress codified in 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.

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San Francisco Bay TMDL Could Boost Novel Mercury Trading Plan

A California plan laying out mercury cleanup goals for the San Francisco Bay could lay the groundwork for a novel mercury water quality trading scheme, the nation's first, if the state water quality board endorses a trading option it is considering at a planned Sept. 7 meeting, EPA and state sources say.

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EPA Faces Possible Lawsuits Over Air Toxics Rule For Waste Incineration

EPA faces a possible renewed legal challenge from both industry and environmentalists over its revised air toxics rule for facilities burning hazardous waste, four years after a federal court backed an earlier lawsuit and ordered the agency to rewrite its original proposal.

The Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition (CKRC), which was the lead industry plaintiff in the original suit against the agency, is concerned about the regulation's risk assessment requirements. One industry source says the group is considering litigation on the issue.

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Global Warming Case Shows Split Among Circuit Courts On Right To Sue

A federal judge's decision last week allowing environmentalists and cities to sue U.S. export agencies over their failure to consider the global warming impacts of their decisions highlights a split among appellate circuits over when plaintiffs have standing to sue in cases where defendants failed to follow procedural rules, according to legal experts. The experts say these differences between appellate courts could be the basis for parties to seek Supreme Court review on the issue. The Aug.

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Industry Groups Prepare To Sue EPA Over Regional Haze Rule

Industry groups that represent coal producers and utilities are preparing to sue EPA over its recently finalized rule that seeks to limit regional haze, arguing it is too stringent and allows states to regulate facilities that are not proven contributors to haze.

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EPA Weighing Questions Over Scope Of Controversial NSR Regulation

EPA officials appear to be debating the scope of a controversial new rule adopting an interpretation of new source review (NSR) requirements that would further open the door to extensive modifications to existing power plants without case-by-case environmental reviews, according to knowledgeable sources and draft rule language.

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California Senate Rejection Of Air Board Chief Poses Challenges

The California Senate's rejection of Cindy Tuck to continue as head of the state's air board has environmental and industry sources agreeing that the vacancy may create a leadership vacuum at a time when the board will be considering important standards, including greenhouse gas controls and diesel engine requirements. The Senate move also presents the governor with a major challenge to quickly find a replacement, these sources say.

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White House's Hurricane Response Task Force Excludes EPA

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The White House has convened a Cabinet-level task force in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that does not include EPA, prompting a number government watchdog groups to raise concerns that the exclusion may reflect an effort to downplay the extent of environmental contamination in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region.

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EPA Expands Clean-Fuel Waiver Nationwide In Aftermath Of Hurricane

EPA is expanding nationwide an emergency waiver from summertime clean-fuel requirements under the Clean Air Act in an effort to minimize oil supply disruptions that could send gasoline prices soaring as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The decision came after the petroleum industry and at least one governor lobbied the agency to extend the waiver beyond just the Gulf Coast states.

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