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Air

SLEW OF PROBLEMS COMPLICATE REPUBLICAN EFFORTS TO PASS CLEAR SKIES

On the eve of a rescheduled markup, Senate Republican backers of the Bush administration's Clear Skies bill are facing several new hurdles that are likely to complicate their efforts to break an impasse in the environment committee and pass the bill.

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CHILD HEALTH ADVISERS UNMOVED BY EPA AIR CHIEF'S MERCURY RULE PUSH

EPA air chief Jeff Holmstead has failed to persuade some agency advisory panel members that an upcoming rule on mercury emissions from power plants would protect children's health, according to some panelists, who say they remain unconvinced of the upcoming rule's adequacy.

Holmstead spoke before an advisory committee on children's health after more than a year of requests by the group to meet with top agency officials about the rule, which is slated to be released within weeks.

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REVIEWERS URGE ARB TO DIVIDE INDOOR AIR REPORT, ACT ON MAJOR THREATS

Four scientists who peer reviewed a controversial draft air board indoor air pollution report are recommending that the board divide the report to more quickly advance recommendations to reduce high-hazard pollutant sources. If the board separates its report based on high-priority sources, lawmakers would be urged this year to propose mitigation measures for building materials and furnishings, air cleaners, appliances, biological contaminants and tobacco smoke.

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ASSEMBLYMAN, CONTROLLER PUSH BILL SETTING KYOTO GHG REDUCTION GOALS

The state controller and a freshman assemblyman are pushing a bill to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for the state, modeled on those established by countries following the Kyoto Protocol. In announcing the bill, which does not specify or mandate any Cal/EPA or state action to reduce GHG emissions, the politicians are blasting the Bush Administration for rejecting the Kyoto Protocol.

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STAKEHOLDERS PRESS WRCB, ARB TO BETTER COORDINATE UST RULES

Industry and local government representatives are calling on the air and water boards to expedite legislatively required collaboration when developing new and amended regulations for underground storage tanks (USTs), citing current conflicting and confusing rules that are frustrating manufacturers and buyers of UST technology.

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ARB ETHANOL REPORT BOLSTERS CASE FOR NON-OXYGENATED FUEL

A new draft air board report that details further negative pollution impacts of ethanol in gasoline is seen as bolstering the state's argument to the federal government that non-oxygenated gasoline would help improve air quality more than ethanol, and that oxygenates should not be required in reformulated gasoline. But ethanol industry representatives are attacking the draft report as biased, and based on incomplete studies and selective data.

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Senate Committee Delays Clear Skies Markup Amid Calls For New EPA Analysis

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has postponed until March 9 a markup on the administration's Clear Skies legislation, following a recent request by committee Democrats and a potential swing-vote Republican for an EPA analysis on several alternative proposals. Congressional sources say consideration of this new data may take weeks.

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California Report May Aid Request For Waiver From U.S. Clean-Fuel Rules

A draft report by California air regulators that details the adverse environmental impacts of blending ethanol in gasoline could bolster the state's argument for a waiver from EPA requirements that cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline include oxygenates, such as ethanol. But ethanol industry officials are attacking the draft report as biased, and based on incomplete studies and selective data.

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EPA Sparks Controversy With Proposal To Rewrite Air Rules For National Parks

EPA has proposed eliminating local emission limits known as "increments" as one option in a sweeping new proposal to overhaul the way it sets pollution limits in prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permits for national parks and other areas under the Clean Air Act. The proposal includes an option that would set up nationwide or regional cap-and-trade programs in lieu of the so-called increments.

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New Problems Complicate Senate GOP Push To Pass Clear Skies

On the eve of a rescheduled markup, Senate Republican backers of the Bush administration's Clear Skies bill are facing several new hurdles that are likely to complicate their efforts to break an impasse in the environment committee and pass the bill.

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