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Air

Pediatricians Say EPA Air Rules Fail To Adequately Protect Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that EPA's ambient air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) issued nearly a decade ago are not stringent enough to prevent adverse health effects in children. The group also says EPA's air toxics strategies are inadequate for children as well.

The move is significant because it demonstrates the increasing involvement of patient and other medical groups in environmental policy debates and could help environmentalists in their push for EPA to tighten public health protections.

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EPA Delay Of Formaldehyde Review Raises Doubt About Air Act Waivers

EPA has agreed to a request by Senate environment committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) to delay a formaldehyde risk review, prompting questions among plywood makers, the natural gas turbine industry and state air regulators about proposed Clean Air Act exemptions for the pollutant.

The industry groups sought the exemptions by arguing that formaldehyde emissions from their operations posed minimal risks. But the delay in EPA's risk review may alter the data that the agency relied on when initially proposing to grant the regulatory waivers, sources say.

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U.S. WEIGHS DELAYING METHYL BROMIDE CUTS BY TRIMMING HALON SUPPLY

The Bush administration is evaluating a plan to slow the phase-out of the controversial pesticide methyl bromide by destroying stockpiles of the ozone-depleting fire suppressant halon, a plan that proponents say could offset any harm from continued use of the pesticide, according to government and other sources.

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PEDIATRICIANS FIND EPA AIR QUALITY STANDARDS DO NOT PROTECT CHILDREN

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that EPA's new ambient air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), finalized in 1997, are not stringent enough to prevent adverse health effects in children. The group says EPA's air toxics strategies are inadequate for children as well.

The move is significant because it demonstrates the increasing involvement of patient and other medical groups in environmental policy debates and could back environmentalists' efforts to push EPA to tighten public health protections.

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DOE ADVISORS URGE EPA TO REVISIT CLEAN AIR COMPLIANCE DEADLINES

A newly issued report by a Department of Energy (DOE) advisory body calls on EPA to revisit compliance deadlines for implementing national ambient air quality standards as one of a number of measures to ensure adequate domestic refining oil capacity.

"As presently structured, attainment deadlines precede the benefits that will be achieved from emissions reductions already planned," the report from DOE's National Petroleum Council states.

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CALIFORNIA BILL SEEKS MORE SUPPORT FOR GREENHOUSE GAS REGISTRY

A bill introduced by California assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D) aims to entice more companies to participate in the state's voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emission registry.

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SCHWARZENEGGER EXPECTED TO TAP AIR BOARD CHAIRMAN AS NEW CAL/EPA CHIEF

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is expected to select the California Air Resources Board (CARB) chairman Alan Lloyd as the state's next environment secretary, a possible selection with national implications given Lloyd's strong support for the state's leading efforts on global warming and new energy sources.

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AIR OFFICE SEEKS CANCER GUIDE'S RELEASE TO ISSUE TOXICS STANDARD

EPA air officials have asked the agency's research office to finalize its draft cancer risk assessment guidelines by March 31 so the air office will not be prohibited from issuing "residual risk" air toxics standards as set out in a little-noticed provision of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

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ADVISORY GROUP STRUGGLES TOWARD CONSENSUS ON MAJOR AIR REPORT

A Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) workgroup is poised to issue major recommendations this month for changes to the way EPA regulates air quality. But it remains unclear to what extent the workgroup will be able to come to an agreement, and group members may postpone discussion of some issues until next year, sources say.

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STATE LAWMAKERS URGED TO LIMIT OPT-OUTS FROM EPA MERCURY PLAN

Electric utility representatives are urging conservative state legislators and other state officials to prevent their states from using an air act provision to opt out of EPA's plan to trade mercury emissions credits -- even though the agency's preferred approach allows states to do so.

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