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Air

THINK TANK ARGUES CLIMATE STUDIES UNDERESTIMATE NEW TECHNOLOGY

A prominent climate change think tank is arguing that economic models should provide greater weight to the way climate change requirements promote technological innovation. The group also concludes that projected costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions are far lower when taking into account policy incentives to develop new technology.

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CORPORATE TAX BILL PROVIDES INCENTIVES FOR MEETING EPA DIESEL RULE

Small oil refiners will likely receive tax breaks to comply with EPA regulations capping the sulfur content of diesel fuel used by trucks, under a provision included in a major corporate tax bill that President Bush is expected to soon sign into law.

The tax credits have long been sought by petroleum refiners, who say the costly new EPA rule is hurting small refiners' ability to compete in the marketplace.

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BARTON DROPPING ENERGY BILL FOCUS FOR CLEAN AIR ACT REAUTHORIZATION

Unable to push comprehensive energy legislation through Congress, a frustrated Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, is telling lobbyists he will turn his attention next session from the comprehensive energy bill to the Clean Air Act, which has been expired for years.

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DOJ SUIT COULD SIGNAL BROADER USE OF AIR ACT'S CRIMINAL PENALTIES

The Justice Department's (DOJ) high-profile prosecution of a New Jersey pipe manufacturer for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws could signal broader DOJ use of criminal prosecutions under the air law, industry and government attorneys say.

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SETTLEMENT PAVES WAY FOR USE OF 'EXPERIMENTAL' TECHNOLOGY IN PERMITS

Environmentalists have ended a legal challenge to an air permit for a Missouri cement plant, permitting the facility to set a possible precedent allowing industry more flexibility in its use of pollution controls. At the same time, EPA's objections to the permit still stand but the agency has tentatively decided not to overrule the state's decision, according to a source with EPA Region VII.

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STATES TO OUTLINE PROPOSAL FOR MAJOR AIR PERMIT PROGRAM CHANGES

Western state air officials will release initial recommendations in the next few weeks for changes to a major EPA air permitting program, in the wake of a high-profile controversy this spring over the proposed expansion of power plants located adjacent to a national park in North Dakota.

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NORTHEAST STATES WORRY OVER EPA GUIDE WAIVING SOME OZONE MANDATES

EPA's plan to continue waiving some nitrogen oxide (NOx) reduction requirements as states transition to implementing the agency's new 8-hour ozone rule is reviving Northeast states' concerns about potential increases in ozone transported from upwind states obtaining the exemptions, state sources say.

EPA proposed in a Sept. 1 draft guidance -- which updates a 1993 guidance on ozone rule implementation -- to continue waiving NOx requirements under section 182(f) of the Clean Air Act in areas where lowering emissions can create local ozone increases, or "disbenefits."

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DELAY IN EPA VOC DECISION MAY HAMPER USE OF LESS-HARMFUL CHEMICAL

EPA's delay in exempting a chemical from regulation as a volatile organic compound (VOC) may postpone widespread use of the substance in a slew of ground-level ozone nonattainment areas -- even though EPA just approved it as an alternative to a chemical recently banned for depleting the stratospheric ozone layer, EPA and industry sources say.

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LAWSUIT ARGUES TEXAS IGNORED OLD OZONE RULE IN FAVOR OF NEW ONE

Environmentalists are suing EPA and charging the Dallas-Fort Worth area has failed to meet a long-standing requirement for cleaning up ozone pollution, while arguing the agency has muddied the waters by announcing it would revoke this rule during the transition to a new and stricter standard.

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CALL FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DATA QUALITY REFORMS SPARKS OPPOSITION

A former EPA attorney is suggesting that the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) require federal agencies to reference the Information Quality Act (IQA) in rulemaking preambles, effectively paving the way for certain data-based disputes to be challenged in federal court. The recommendation is already prompting protests from environmentalists.

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