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Air

STATE OPPOSITION AT ECOS MEETING KILLS MULTI-POLLUTANT RESOLUTION

State environmental commissioners have tabled a vote on a draft resolution that would have urged EPA to include minimum air emissions control requirement for all power plants in is upcoming clean air interstate rule (CAIR) due to strong opposition to the plan.

After a two-hour debate on the CAIR resolution Oct. 5 at the annual meeting of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) in Oklahoma City, OK, commissioners killed voting on the plan, which would have also provided strong backing for emissions trading.

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NEW ANALYSIS FINDS CAIR WILL SIGNIFICANTLY BOOST ELECTRICITY PRICES

A new study of EPA's proposed clean air interstate rule (CAIR) to reduce power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides shows the rule will cause electricity prices to rise 25 percent in 2010 and an additional 10 percent in 2015.

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SPIKE IN UTILITY SO2 EMISSIONS PROMPTS CRITICISM OF TRADING PROGRAMS

EPA's new report showing a 4 percent increase in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from power plants in 2003 -- the first time acid rain emissions have increased since 1998 -- is leading environmentalists to question the benefits of politically popular emissions trading programs.

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UTILITIES ASK JUDGE TO DISMISS STATE CLIMATE CHANGE LAWSUIT

Five power companies filed joint and separate motions in federal court Sept. 30 asking that a lawsuit by state attorneys general (AGs) seeking greenhouse gas emission reductions be dismissed for lack of legal justification, including separation of powers, jurisdictional and standing grounds.

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KEY SENATORS, ACTIVISTS ATTACK RISK-BASED OFF RAMP IN AIR TOXICS RULES

Environmentalists and key senators are challenging the Bush administration's landmark air toxics rules for plywood producers and industrial boilers, fearing they set a dangerous precedent exempting facilities from Clean Air Act requirements by downplaying the risks posed by ambient emissions and sources "co-located" at the facility.

These critics warn if the rules stand, industries could petition EPA to apply the agency's risk-based methodology to existing rules and bog down the agency's air toxics program.

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WIND ENERGY EXPECTS MAJOR BOOST FROM NEW STATE, FEDERAL INCENTIVES

The wind energy industry is poised for a big growth spurt following the renewal of the long-awaited federal production tax credit through 2005 and New York state's adoption of a 25 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2013, industry sources say.

"Wind producers have been waiting for the RPS to be established and the production tax credit at the federal level to be reinstated," says one consultant. "Because of the potential for the industry to expand so much in New York, this is a green light for the wind industry to begin siting potential wind farms."

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INDUSTRY DEMANDS CHANGES TO PM REPORT DESPITE LOOMING LEGAL DEADLINE

Industry groups are raising serious concerns about the capstone chapter of a key EPA document that could lead to tighter ambient air quality standards for particulate matter (PM), demanding that EPA revise the report even as the agency faces a court-ordered deadline to complete the PM "criteria document" by the end of the month.

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EPA AWARDS $6 MILLION FOR WEST COAST DIESEL-REDUCTION PROJECTS

U.S. EPA Region IX and California air officials last week announced $6 million in EPA funding for West Coast projects to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives and other diesel sources. The projects, funded in part by EPA's West Coast Diesel Emission Reduction Collaborative, include installing electric repowering facilities at truck stops to reduce idling, developing technology to reduce locomotive emissions and renovating some port facilities to provide electric powering for large cruise ships.

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INDUSTRY BLASTS STATE DIESEL EFFORTS, SAYS FEDERAL RULE DELAY POSSIBLE

Engine manufacturers are holding open the possibility that EPA could ease or delay a pending highway diesel engine rule, while criticizing an effort in several Eastern states to adopt California's identical standard as a backstop in case the high-profile federal rule does not go into effect as planned in 2007.

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WISCONSIN ACTIVISTS SEEK TOUGHEST-EVER BACT LIMITS FOR NEW COAL PLANT

Environmentalists in Wisconsin are pressing the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to require a proposed 500-megawatt, coal-fired power plant to meet clean air standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) far lower than have ever been permitted before.

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