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Air

New Hampshire Bill Offers Options For Power Plants To Control Mercury

New Hampshire legislators are considering a bill that would allow power plants to use "alternative" compliance options, such as product recycling, as a way to meet strict caps on mercury emissions from smokestacks. The bill is based on a proposal by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) but state regulators have not determined how they would measure emissions reductions from these alternative methods.

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EPA Eyes Pact With State Utility Regulators To Promote 'Energy Star'

EPA plans to work with state electricity regulators to develop innovative ways to conserve energy, in an effort to promote efficiency and increase the use of products recognized in the agency's Energy Star program.

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Inspector General's Report Unlikely To Delay EPA Mercury Rule

The EPA inspector general's (IG) report criticizing the agency's development of its proposed regulations on mercury emissions from power plants is unlikely to delay the final rule's release, according to critics and proponents of the regulation, even though the IG and agency critics have called for delays. The Feb.

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DOD, MILITARY SERVICES CRITICAL OF COLORADO'S INDOOR AIR GUIDE

The Defense Department and military services say Colorado's draft indoor air guidance to address vapor intrusion from volatile organic compounds has significant flaws, namely that its screening and cleanup levels are too stringent and that it gives regulators too much leeway in determining case-specific cleanup requirements while giving the regulated community little direction in appropriately addressing vapor intrusion problems.

Further, DOD argues Colorado should promulgate the guidance as a rule given it sets binding action and remediation standards, among other things.

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Court Inquiry Into EPA Refinery Deal May Signal Increased Oversight

A federal district court is asking the government for more information about a proposed Clean Air Act settlement with the petroleum company Chevron, in an apparently unprecedented court inquiry into the adequacy of an agreement under EPA's long-running enforcement initiative against the refining industry, according to sources tracking the issue.

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DUKE CASE COULD HOLD KEY TO PENDING NSR SUITS AGAINST UTILITIES

A pending federal appellate court case could provide a key test for EPA's ongoing enforcement suits against utilities for allegedly violating its original new source review (NSR) rules, with many observers saying the ruling could trigger eventual Supreme Court review. The case, United States v. Duke Energy Corp., could determine how industrial facilities calculate an increase in emissions that triggers NSR requirements, industry lawyers and other legal experts say.

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SENATE GOP VOWS PROCEDURAL MOVE TO FORCE FLOOR VOTE ON CLEAR SKIES

Faced with a 9-9 vote on the Clear Skies bill, Republican senators on the Environment & Public Works Committee are eying a special procedural maneuver to allow them to sidestep the committee gridlock and bring the bill directly to the Senate floor for debate.

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WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL AGREES TO REVIEW AIR TOXICS WAIVER IN CLEAR SKIES

The White House's top environment official, James Connaughton, is promising a closer review of controversial Clear Skies provisions that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) says would allow industrial facilities to avoid existing air toxics control requirements and emit huge amounts of toxic chemicals.

Connaughton's pledge came at a Senate environment committee hearing Feb. 2 on a reintroduced Clear Skies bill that was held as part of Republican efforts to jump-start action on the administration-backed legislation.

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COURT INQUIRY INTO EPA REFINERY PACT MAY SIGNAL INCREASED SCRUTINY

A federal district court is asking the government for more information about a proposed Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement with the petroleum company Chevron, in an apparently unprecedented court inquiry into the adequacy of an agreement under EPA's long-running CAA petroleum sector enforcement initiative, sources tracking the issue say.

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ORTIZ REVIVES BILL EXPANDING PENALTY OPTIONS FOR AIR DISTRICTS

Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) is pushing legislation again this year to allow local prosecutors to press criminal charges against stationary sources for alleged minor air pollution violations that are also the subject of civil actions. Ortiz and supporters say the bill is necessary to further deter violations and to bring air pollution-related prosecution on a par with other environmental prosecution, such as for water violations.

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