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Air

EPA AWARDS $6 MILLION FOR WEST COAST DIESEL-REDUCTION PROJECTS

U.S. EPA Region IX and California air officials last week announced $6 million in EPA funding for West Coast projects to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives and other diesel sources. The projects, funded in part by EPA's West Coast Diesel Emission Reduction Collaborative, include installing electric repowering facilities at truck stops to reduce idling, developing technology to reduce locomotive emissions and renovating some port facilities to provide electric powering for large cruise ships.

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INDUSTRY BLASTS STATE DIESEL EFFORTS, SAYS FEDERAL RULE DELAY POSSIBLE

Engine manufacturers are holding open the possibility that EPA could ease or delay a pending highway diesel engine rule, while criticizing an effort in several Eastern states to adopt California's identical standard as a backstop in case the high-profile federal rule does not go into effect as planned in 2007.

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WISCONSIN ACTIVISTS SEEK TOUGHEST-EVER BACT LIMITS FOR NEW COAL PLANT

Environmentalists in Wisconsin are pressing the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to require a proposed 500-megawatt, coal-fired power plant to meet clean air standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) far lower than have ever been permitted before.

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STATES' STUDY ON MERCURY CONTROL BENEFITS MAY TIGHTEN EPA UTILITY RULE

A draft analysis conducted for Northeast states on the benefits of mercury controls for power plants could pressure the Bush administration to tighten its controversial proposed mercury rules because it increases the estimated health benefits of regulating mercury emissions over previous government and industry assessments, sources say.

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PENNSYLVANIA DEP, INDUSTRY JOIN FORCES TO OPPOSE EPA MERCURY PLAN

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Kathleen McGinty has persuaded the coal industry and its union to put aside differences with the state over EPA's proposed mercury plan, and join forces to seek to persuade the agency to back away from a proposal that they believe would disproportionately harm Eastern coal.

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THINK TANK EYES FORMING PANEL WITH EPA TO HELP COMPLETE MERCURY RULE

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) may form a policy panel to provide advice on the feasibility of EPA's proposed mercury rule as the agency seeks to finalize the controversial plan, which would require utilities to reduce toxic mercury emissions for the first time.

However, it is unclear what relationship the group would have with EPA, which has already disbanded one mercury advisory group and rejected suggestions to convene another.

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INTERNATIONAL DISPUTE COULD HALT NEW CLIMATE 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 not only threaten the pending guidelines, but also undermine a host of future IMO standards on the environment and other issues.

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POWELL URGED TO OK INDEPENDENT RELEASE OF ARCTIC WARMING REPORT

A bipartisan group of senators is pushing Secretary of State Colin Powell to allow the stand-alone release of a key international report recommending policies to mitigate the effects of climate change on the Arctic.

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NORTHEAST GRAPPLING WITH KEY ISSUES FOR NATIONAL CLIMATE MODEL

Northeast regulators seeking to develop a landmark regional climate change program are confronting several issues that could make it difficult for the program to achieve its goal of becoming a national model for regulating greenhouse gas emissions, according to observers and participants in the effort.

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CALIFORNIA'S CO2 RULE FACES MAJOR HURDLES BEFORE TAKING EFFECT

Implementation of California's landmark greenhouse gas regulations for passenger and light-duty vehicles faces several substantial administrative hurdles, in addition to a likely lawsuit by the auto industry.

Not only must the California Air Resources Board (CARB) convince EPA that a Clean Air Act waiver is warranted to allow the rules to take effect, but it faces potential noncompliance by the industry based on arguments that there is inadequate lead-time to meet the new technology requirements, according to government and industry sources.

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