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Researchers Suggest EPA Reconsider Fine Particulate Matter Exposure Levels

Some scientific researchers are raising the idea that EPA may need to revamp the way it addresses fine particulate matter (PM2.5) because new studies are indicating that serious health effects -- even death -- are apparent at the lowest levels that are measurable.

However, the notion is controversial because it would likely boost the importance of cost-benefit analyses when the Clean Air Act bars EPA from considering costs in setting ambient air quality standards.

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Industry Says Delays In Bush Clean Air Act Reforms Would Harm Environment

The American Chemistry Council has joined with a broad coalition of industry groups in intensifying its efforts to defend proposed Bush administration reforms to Clean Air Act permitting requirements, referred to as new source review (NSR) requirements. The coalition is warning House lawmakers in a new letter that any delay in the Bush administration's implementation of the reforms will come at the cost of cleaner air.

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SBA Pressures EPA For Industry Exemptions In Ozone-Depleting Chemical Phaseout

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is pressing EPA air chief Jeffrey Holmstead to allow significant exemptions for the foam insulation industry in a 2003 phaseout of a key ozone-depleting chemical, a move aimed at protecting small contractors that SBA says are not ready to start using more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

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Mediator In TVA Air Act Case Unable To Stave Off Court Ruling

The chief mediator for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has abandoned his attempt to craft a settlement in a high-profile lawsuit where the government sued the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for alleged Clean Air Act violations.

The collapse of the effort leaves little choice but for the court to issue what could be a landmark ruling on the legitimacy of EPA's enforcement actions against the utility industry for alleged violations of new source review rules.

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U.S. Automakers Split With International Counterparts On Global Warming

U.S. automakers are backing away from a report they released along with their Asian and European counterparts which includes a statement that carbon dioxide (CO2) from auto emissions contributes to global warming.

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EPA, Activists Ink Proposed Pact To Speed Air Toxics Permit Deadlines

EPA and the Sierra Club have reached a proposed legal settlement that will require many industries to submit permit applications to regulators developing air toxics standards one year earlier than EPA had originally intended.The proposed settlement, which requires EPA to propose the deadline changes in an upcoming rulemaking, could also make it easier for activists to obtain information about facilities by requiring plant owners to immediately submit already required air quality plans to EPA in the event of

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Appeals Court Backs Ethanol-Friendly Air Act Interpretation

A recent federal appeals court decision has backed an EPA interpretation of Clean Air Act rules that could provide a long-term benefit to companies seeking to produce ethanol from municipal waste, by lessening the need under some circumstances for facilities to install state-of-the-art pollution control technologies.

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Mexican Truck Suit's Pollution Debate Rattles Trucking Industry

A closely watched air quality lawsuit challenging Mexican-based trucks unfettered access to U.S. highways under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is splitting the trucking industry, with one key organization backing the U.S. government's decision not to study the environmental impacts of the foreign vehicles.

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Administration Unveils Clear Skies Plan, Including Details Of Air Act Changes

The Bush administration's Clear Skies power plant legislation unveiled this week outlines the most detail to date on White House proposals for Clean Air Act changes in exchange for overall emissions caps on the industry -- proposing new criteria to shield the industry from separate legal attacks by downwind states, and significantly narrowing the scope of new source review (NSR) rules for the power sector. The administration's proposal -- which was introduced by Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX), W.J.

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Federal Officials Eye Changes To Rules On Traffic Congestion, Air Quality Conformity

Federal officials and Senate lawmakers are discussing several possible changes to federal rules for reducing the impact of transportation emissions on air quality -- including possible relief for areas that fail to comply with EPA's yet-to-be-implemented fine particle and ozone standards, along with changes to congestion programs.

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