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Air

JET SAFETY CONCERNS DELAY NEW ARB DIESEL LUBRICITY STANDARD

Concerns about the composition and safety of jet fuel are spurring the air board to delay a new lubricity standard for clean diesel fuel. The delay is not expected to result in emission increases, but air board staff acknowledges that the standard is intended to allow new, lower-emitting engine technology to perform optimally.

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69515

POTENTIAL ETHANOL INCREASE IN RFG SEEN BUOYING IN-STATE INDUSTRY

The nascent California ethanol production industry could see its market broadened substantially if the air board eventually raises a cap on the alcohol's content in reformulated gasoline (RFG), which is seen by some officials as a distinct possibility. Production increases and refueling infrastructure improvements could also buoy the industry by enabling the use of ethanol in thousands of government-owned flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs), which are now being run on gasoline.

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NEW FEES, TAXES EYED FOR BILLS BOOSTING AIR QUALITY PROGRAMS

Stakeholders are developing another list of potential fuel fees and taxes to fund air quality programs, which are expected to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session. The bills would build on last year's successful effort to generate approximately $140 million in new funds for incentive-based mobile source emission reduction programs.

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CAL/EPA DRAFTS GHG REDUCTION TARGETS; WEST COAST GOALS TO FOLLOW

Cal/EPA and energy commission officials are drafting landmark greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for California expected to be announced by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger early next year, possibly in his January State of the State speech, according to sources. West Coast regional GHG reduction targets are subsequently expected to be announced jointly by California, Oregon and Washington officials, according to a source involved in the effort.

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69526

EPA Delays Deregulating Popular Chemical Based On Cancer Risk Data

EPA air officials have postponed for now the planned deregulation of a widely used solvent because of recent data on what they say is a closely related chemical that raises cancer risk concerns. But a chemical industry source says the substances are different enough to merit separate risk evaluations.

Sources say the information prompted EPA air officials to hold off on including methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) in a group of seven other air toxins that the agency delisted from regulatory requirements on Nov. 18, after concerns were raised by other EPA programs.

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7434

PAVLEY, ARB HOPE GHG PITCH TO CANADA WILL TRIGGER 'CONTINENTAL SHIFT'

Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and a high-level air board staffer this week pitched to Canadian officials her landmark legislation requiring new regulations on automakers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Pavley and air board officials hope her visit will help trigger a "continental shift" in regulating GHG emissions, combined with the expectation that several key Northeast states will adopt the air board regulation.

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LACK OF VERIFIED CONTROLS, FUNDING KEY CONCERNS IN ARB OFF-ROAD RULE

Industry representatives say a total lack of verified particulate matter (PM)-control technology for heavy-duty diesel engines used in construction and other industries is a chief concern in air board staff's development of a first-time regulation to crack down on such equipment. Incentive funding, compliance schedules, costs and credit for existing cleaner fleets and early compliance options are other issues being aired by several major industries.

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AUTOMAKERS PRESS ARB FOR SECOND HEARING ON VEHICLE GHG RULE

Automakers are seeking a second air board hearing on its controversial regulation requiring greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions in future vehicles, charging multiple administrative law violations. But air board officials are declining these requests and intend soon to send the rule to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for final approval. It is widely expected that automakers will sue the state over the regulation once OAL approves the rule.

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GAO Nearing Completion Of Key Audit On Mercury Emission Controls

Congressional investigators are moving forward with a study of mercury-emission control technologies at electric utilities in a report they expect to issue in early 2005, just prior to EPA's release of its controversial mercury rule that is due by March 15.

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New Findings May Encourage Air Pollution Cuts To Reduce Heart Disease Risks

A yet-to-be published study suggesting that exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is as much a contributor to heart disease as poor diet, stress and lack of exercise could help policymakers justify further reductions in the acceptable level of the pollutant, according to sources familiar with PM research.

Researchers for the first time tested humans to examine what impact PM2.5 has on atherosclerosis -- a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. It found that artery wall thickness rose as PM2.5 levels increased.

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