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Air

MANUFACTURERS CONTINUE PUSHING LIMITS ON SCOPE OF EPA TRANSPORT RULE

Large manufacturers, including industrial boilers, chemical plants and paper companies, are ramping up pressure on the Bush administration to exempt their facilities from the clean air interstate rule (CAIR) and future initiatives to restrict interstate air pollution transport.

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

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) may form a mercury 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.

Any plan to hold such a forum has not been finalized, according to one ELI source, but it is being supported by former Acting EPA Administrator Marianne Lamont Horinko, who is now affiliated with ELI, an independent, non-profit group.

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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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UTILITIES DELAY ACTION ON NSR PACTS PENDING AIR TRANSPORT RULE RELEASE

Some power companies are reluctant to pursue settlements with EPA over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act's new source review (NSR) program until the Bush administration finalizes EPA's upcoming regulation to curb transported air pollution, sources say.

The sources say some utilities may be delaying action on the settlements at least in part because they are concerned that the pacts would create competitive disadvantages if their competitors were not subject to the rule's requirements.

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ARB DETAILS PROPOSAL REQUIRING LOW-SULFUR DIESEL IN BOATS, TRAINS

Air board officials this week unveiled details to their proposal to require harbor craft and some locomotives to use ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel, which is aimed at reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and sulfur oxides (SOx). Railroad representatives earlier this year raised questions about whether the rules will impact fuel availability and whether federal authority to regulate locomotives may preclude the state rules.

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CERTIFICATION POTENTIAL NEW HURDLE IN DISPUTED ARB LAWN MOWER REG

Manufacturers of lawn and garden equipment subject to a new California emission regulation are urging air board staff to help companies comply with critical engine certification procedures or face potential compliance problems with the rules. Special guidance documents are being drafted by board staff to accommodate the industry, with workshops expected to be held soon.

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SOUTH COAST RIPS CPR PLAN TO STREAMLINE PETROLEUM PROJECT PERMITTING

South Coast air district officials are ripping a recommendation in the administration's California Performance Review (CPR) report to streamline the local permitting process for petroleum infrastructure expansion. The board was expected Oct. 1 to approve a resolution opposing the CPR's recommendation, arguing that it improperly and haphazardly wrests legal authority from local agencies to review and approve appropriate permits.

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EPA DISHES OUT $6 MILLION FOR WEST COAST DIESEL-REDUCTION PROJECTS

U.S. EPA Region IX and state air officials this week announced $6 million of 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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EPA WAIVER, INDUSTRY NONCOMPLIANCE MAY THWART ARB VEHICLE GHG RULE

The implementation of the air board's landmark greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for passenger and light-duty vehicles faces several substantial administrative hurdles over the next several years, in addition to a likely lawsuit by the auto industry. Not only must the board convince U.S. EPA that a Clean Air Act waiver is warranted to allow the rules to take effect, it faces future noncompliance by the industry based on arguments that there is inadequate lead-time to meet the new technology requirements, according to sources.

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Utilities Delay Action On NSR Pacts Pending Air Transport Rule Release

Some power companies are reluctant to pursue settlements with EPA over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act's new source review (NSR) program until the Bush administration finalizes EPA's upcoming regulation to curb transported air pollution, sources say.

The sources say some utilities might be delaying action on the settlements at least in part because they are concerned that the pacts would create competitive disadvantages if their competitors were not subject to the rule's requirements.

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