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Air

AIR OFFICIALS, STAKEHOLDERS ADVANCE NEW CREDIT GENERATION EFFORT

State and federal air officials, industry representatives and environmentalists are meeting to craft a methodology and protocol to create significantly more emission reduction credits (ERCs) in the coming years, focusing on mobile, off-road and federal sources of pollution, according to sources. This effort is considered crucial to allow for industrial growth in the state in nonattainment areas, which suffer from a very low supply of ERCs that are also very expensive.

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BUILDERS, OIL INDUSTRY ATTACK NEW ARB LOCAL LAND-USE GUIDANCE

Building, petroleum and other industry representatives are ripping a revised air board draft guidance for local land use planners that recommends specific buffers between new residential and other "sensitive" development and major roadways and polluting facilities, arguing the document could stifle much-needed urban infill development and affordable housing, which lawmakers and the administration are trying to promote.

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Industry Applauds Sen. Vitter As Climate Change Subcommittee Chair

Industry officials who oppose government controls on carbon dioxide emissions are welcoming Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) March 8 appointment to head a new subcommittee on global climate change. The conservative senator's record may indicate he could use the role to "give a microphone" to scientists who are skeptical that global warming exists, these sources say.

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Inhofe Seeks Climate Change Concessions From EPA Nominee Johnson

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) is seeking commitments from EPA Administrator-nominee Stephen Johnson that he does not support broad efforts to limit climate change pollutants.

Inhofe told Inside EPA March 9 that while he held Johnson in high regard, "I'm looking for someone who is open-minded, fair and is not entrenched in a philosophy or 'religion' of global warming."

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EPA Delays CAIR Decision On Excluding East From Regional Haze Rule

EPA has postponed a decision on whether its newly issued interstate air rule effectively exempts the Eastern half of the United States from an upcoming standard to reduce regional haze. EPA had earlier indicated that the interstate rule might be sufficient to address regional problems in the East. But EPA now says it will wait until later next month, when it issues its haze rule, to determine whether the Eastern region will be subject to additional requirements.

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Domenici Floats New Concept To Expand Renewable Energy Debate

Senate energy committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) is promoting an idea that could broaden congressional debate over diversifying the nation's electricity production by expanding discussions on promoting renewable energy sources to include other low-emission power generation such clean-coal technologies and nuclear power.

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OMB Targets EPA Rules For Revision To Help Manufacturing Sector

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has released a report that lists 38 rules and guidances that it wants revised to reduce the burden on the manufacturing sector. The report is part of a broader administration effort to promote the manufacturing industry, and the report includes a total of 76 federal regulations for reform.

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Unique Factors Likely Contributed To Illinois Power NSR Settlement

A newly announced Clean Air Act settlement between EPA, Illinois Power Company and its successor underscores unique financial and legal pressures facing the company that may not apply in pending new source review (NSR) cases against other power plants, industry and other sources say.

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REVISED DOD ENVIRONMENT BILL OFFERS AIR QUALITY CONCESSIONS TO STATES

In an apparent concession to states, the Pentagon has revised a legislative plan to grant the military exemptions from environmental laws by including a provision that would require "written concurrence" by states for any project that might degrade air quality. State opposition to the Pentagon's plan is widely credited with having killed the effort last year in Congress, and environmentalists and other opponents of the draft legislation are raising concerns that it could be approved this year as part of an annual defense authorization bill.

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NAFTA PANEL MOVES CLOSER TO INQUIRY INTO EPA MERCURY CONTROL RULES

A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel is moving one step closer to launching an in-depth investigation into whether EPA is taking sufficient steps to cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, a move that could help environmentalists argue that upcoming EPA clean air rules violate the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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