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Air

CHANGES TO LANDMARK VIRGINIA EMISSIONS BILL FAIL TO WIN UTILITY SUPPORT

Virginia utilities appear unwilling to budge in their opposition to a bill that, if enacted, would be the strictest state air pollution law in the country -- despite recent changes by the bill's Republican sponsor to scale back requirements in an earlier version of the bill that the utilities had opposed.

Utility officials argue that a statewide bill is inappropriate and they would prefer national legislation such as the Bush administration's Clear Skies initiative.

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ACTIVISTS EYE LOS ANGELES PORT EMISSIONS GUIDE AS NATIONAL MODEL

A wide-ranging local plan to tackle emissions at the port of Los Angeles could be a national model for a host of other port cities, according to environmentalists and industry sources.

The local proposal is generating controversy because shipping industry officials argue that the best way to achieve cleaner air at the southern California port is purely voluntarily action with incentives. Yet the plan, put forward by Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn (D), includes a mix of voluntary and mandatory actions.

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RURAL TRANSPORT OFFICIALS CALL FOR CHANGE TO MODELING REQUIREMENTS

Transport planners in small cities and rural areas are seeking to end an EPA requirement that all areas modeling highway air emissions use the agency's latest, preferred model. The planners say such areas do not have the money or staff to run such models and should be able to test alternatives.

Planners say EPA's newest on-road emissions model, known as MOBILE6, can increase estimates of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by as much as 30 percent over the previous model, MOBILE5. This means that under

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OFFICIAL URGES UTILITIES TO LIMIT PUSH FOR FLEXIBILITY UNDER TRADING PLANS

TUCSON, AZ -- A top EPA air official is urging the electric utility industry to use discretion in pushing for greater flexibility under Clear Skies legislation and the agency's clean air interstate rule (CAIR), telling the industry that support for successful cap-and-trade approaches in both plans depends on them being environmentally credible and economically sustainable.

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POWER INDUSTRY VIEWS NEW STUDIES ON MOBILE EMISSIONS AS LOBBYING TOOL

The coal power industry is planning to use relatively new studies suggesting a positive link between mobile sources of air pollution and an increase in adverse health effects to pressure EPA when the agency asks for comment on future rules, such as its national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

The studies could likely also be cited in lawsuits or to lobby against legislation that adversely affects coal-fired power plants and does not address emissions from mobile sources, industry sources say.

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CAFO PACT MAY HELP EPA DECIDE ON FUTURE AGRICULTURE EMISSIONS WAIVERS

Results of the industry-funded study EPA is conducting under its recently announced enforcement initiative on agricultural air pollution could help the agency determine whether animal feeding operations (AFOs) produce "fugitive" emissions that are not subject to Clean Air Act permitting requirements.

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CLEAR SKIES' UNCERTAIN FUTURE RAISES QUESTIONS OVER INHOFE'S EFFORTS

Sen. James Inhofe's effort to move the Clear Skies bill out of his Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee early in the congressional session seems doomed, leading some observers to suggest that the Oklahoma Republican may be pursuing other legislative and political interests in pushing the legislation.

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LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DECLINE TO BACK NEW SENATE CLEAR SKIES BILL

Senate Republicans have so far failed to allay concerns from state and local governments that the recently-introduced version of the Bush administration's Clear Skies legislation would undercut their ability to attain EPA's new air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), despite lobbying by GOP staff and a key lawmaker.

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Industry Study May Allow EPA To Limit Air Act Controls For Agribusiness

The results of an industry-funded study that EPA is conducting under its recently announced enforcement initiative on agricultural air pollution could help the agency determine whether animal feeding operations (AFOs) produce "fugitive" emissions that are excluded from Clean Air Act permitting requirements.

The study could resolve a protracted dispute between the agriculture industry and EPA over what types of emissions are subject to regulation under the air act.

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Transportation Planners Seek Flexibility From EPA Emissions Modeling

Transportation planners in small cities and rural areas are urging EPA to drop its requirement that modeling for highway air emissions must use the agency's latest, preferred method. The planners say many local authorities do not have the money or staff to run the more sophisticated modeling method, and should be free to test alternatives.

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