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Air

SAN JOAQUIN AIR PLAN HEADS TO ARB, EPA; LEGAL FIGHT POSSIBLE

The air board later this month is expected to approve a controversial ozone attainment plan for the San Joaquin Valley that may test the state's oversight role as well as U.S. EPA's transition from a one-hour attainment standard to an eight-hour standard, according to sources. Environmentalists maintain that the district and the regulatory agencies are violating the Clean Air Act by allowing the district to extend compliance with the standards and approving a plan that will soon be moot.

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UTILITIES TELL GOVERNOR SOLAR COST, PERFORMANCE KEY IN NEW BILLS

Utility and industry representatives are laying out several guiding principles they want the administration to consider when potentially drafting legislation requiring solar units on new homes, including that the systems be proven to be cost-effective and meet performance standards. Environmentalists are concerned some of the principles may complicate future legislation and the governor's "million homes" initiative that failed to pass this year.

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PG&E CITES GOVERNOR'S BUSINESS AGENDA IN RIPPING ARB FLEET RULE

espite relaxation

PG&E CITES GOVERNOR'S BUSINESS AGENDA IN RIPPING ARB FLEET RULE

Rural public agencies and major utilities are continuing to blast a draft air board rule to crack down on heavy-duty diesel vehicle emissions, despite board staff's relaxation of the regulation since it was first floated in May. A Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) official told air board staffers that the rule clashes with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to improve the business climate in the state

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GAS TAX HIKE FLOATED TO FUND HYDROGEN VEHICLE COMMERCIALIZATION

A gasoline tax increase to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles is likely to be included in recommendations to the governor and Legislature at year's end by Cal/EPA's hydrogen highways project team. This controversial recommendation could potentially make it into a Cal/EPA-sponsored bill next year, according to sources. Standardizing the permitting process to build hydrogen fueling stations is also a top priority of the effort, according to project reports.

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Justice Department Suit May Signal Increase In Air Act Criminal Prosecutions

The Justice Department's high-profile prosecution of a New Jersey pipe manufacturer for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other environmental laws could signal broader use of criminal prosecutions under the air law, industry and government attorneys say. The case, U.S. v.

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Global Dispute Could Halt New Greenhouse Gas Guidelines For Ships

An emerging global dispute is threatening to derail the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) development of first-time guidelines for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from ships, leaving EPA and other U.S. officials concerned that the disagreement could also undermine a host of future IMO standards on the environment and other issues.

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Industry Study Finds EPA Interstate Air Rule Would Raise Electricity Prices

A new analysis by industry consultants of EPA's proposal to reduce interstate air pollution caused by power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides shows the rule would make electricity prices rise 25 percent by 2010 and an additional 10 percent by 2015.

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Suit On EPA Air Toxics Rule Could Fuel Battle Over Mercury Plan

Environmentalists' litigation challenging EPA's air toxics rule for industrial boilers could help activists in any future challenge to provisions in the administration's controversial mercury rule that set different emissions standards for different coal types, environmentalists and industry sources say.

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Corporate Tax Bill Provides Incentives For Complying With EPA Diesel Rule

Small oil refiners would be provided tax breaks to comply with EPA regulations capping the sulfur content of diesel fuel used by trucks, as part of a provision included in a major corporate tax bill that is expected to soon be signed into law.

These tax credits have long been sought by petroleum refiners who say the costly new EPA rule is hurting small refiners' ability to compete in the market place.

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EPA Revises Regulatory Reviews To Discount Long-Term Benefits

EPA science advisers are recommending a revised regulatory review process that would discount the long-term benefits of environmental controls in a way that would emphasize the projected costs of future regulations.

The new approach, which expands on a preliminary analysis included in EPA's nonroad diesel rule released in May, will be used to assess controls on particulates in the agency's upcoming interstate air quality standard, and will eventually be adopted for all EPA air standards, a key agency air economist says.

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