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Air

CANADA GHG RULE SEEN AIDING STATE FIGHT AGAINST CARMAKER SUIT

Pressure from environmentalists on the Canadian government to adopt regulations similar to recently passed California rules curbing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from automobiles is motivated partly by a belief that Canada's adoption could help the state defend the regulation from an almost certain carmaker court challenge, environmentalists say.

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Lawsuits On Sulfuric Acid Emissions Signal Control Technology Headaches For EPA

A third lawsuit has been filed against an electric utility company over sulfuric acid emissions caused by new pollution control technology to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx). The litigation is teeing up a host of potential problems for EPA as it is poised to require broad use of the technology to reduce air pollution drift.

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Environmental Modelers Eye New 'Ethics' Policy To Ensure Reliability

Environmental modeling experts inside and outside of government may join with policymakers to form a professional association and adopt a code of modeling ethics, in an effort to provide greater assurances about the ability of models to predict realistic outcomes. The move comes amid concerns that some modeling forecasts sacrifice accuracy to reflect outcomes that would benefit their sponsors.

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EPA May Expand Innovative Nevada Plan For Mercury From Gold Mines

EPA is evaluating the effectiveness of a recently instituted plan to reduce mercury emissions from Nevada gold mining operations -- a major source of U.S. mercury pollution -- to determine whether the voluntary initiative should be expanded at a time when skyrocketing gold prices are prompting more companies to start mining gold, EPA sources say.

EPA has targeted gold mining as a major contributor to mercury emissions, and Nevada, which houses 80 percent of U.S. gold production, is regularly ranked as the state with the second-highest level of mercury pollution.

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Conservation Advocates Examine Pollution Reduction Credits From Energy Savings

Energy conservation advocates are developing a roadmap for crediting energy savings toward pollution reduction goals in emissions-trading programs, a process that could play a major role in state and federal discussions on addressing air pollution, climate change and rising natural gas prices, according to industry and environmental groups.

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EPA MERCURY NOTICE INCLUDES NEW METHOD FOR ANALYZING BENEFITS

EPA is detailing a new method for calculating the benefits of its pending rule addressing mercury emissions from utilities, as part of a long-awaited notice of data availability (NODA) that also summarizes a wealth of public comments on the controversial proposal. At press time, the NODA was scheduled for publication in the Federal Register Dec. 1. The notice is available on InsideEPA.com.

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LOS ANGELES EYES RESTRICTIONS TO PROTECT VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

Industry officials are blasting as overly strict a proposal by air regulators in Los Angeles that would place new risk thresholds and restrictions on the construction or relocation of industrial facilities within 1,000 feet of schools. The dispute is the latest test for California's use of the so-called precautionary principle in setting environmental controls, with proponents of the plan saying it represents a major breakthrough in environmental justice policies intended to protect children and other "sensitive" sub-populations.

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STATES VOICE GROWING CONCERN OVER PREEMPTION OF ENVIRONMENT RULES

Key state officials are raising concern over the growing number of congressional and Bush administration efforts to preempt state air and other rules, and are pushing a series of measures to raise awareness of the issue, state sources and other observers say.

The National Governors Association (NGA) has asked the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to develop a report on recent and anticipated efforts in Congress to broaden federal authority by preempting state environmental and other regulations, state sources and environmentalists say.

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DELAY CHARGED AS WHITE HOUSE PLANS NEW DIOXIN PROGRESS REPORT

A White House science official in a surprise move announced plans to release a report on dioxin in an apparent attempt to show administration progress on monitoring and controlling for the highly controversial pollutant. But the move has already drawn protests from environmentalists who say development of the report will likely further delay release of EPA's dioxin risk review, which has been 13 years in the making.

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INHOFE PUSH TO SLOW EPA FORMALDEHYDE STUDY PROMPTS MACT RULE FEAR

Senate environment committee chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) is urging EPA to delay revising its risk estimates for formaldehyde, a key chemical emission from plywood manufacturing facilities and natural gas turbines, until federal researchers complete a pending study on the chemical in about 18 months.

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