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Air

In First, EPA Proposes To Use Strict IRIS Value For EtO In Air Toxics Rule

In an apparent reversal, EPA is for the first time proposing to use its conservative cancer risk value for ethylene oxide (EtO) in its recently released air toxics rule governing generic chemical manufacturing facilities, a defeat for chemical industry groups who have petitioned the agency to abandon use of the risk value for regulatory purposes.

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EPA plans to release RFS volumes rule by New Year

EPA’s final RFS biofuel volumes rule for 2020 appears to be up to one month behind schedule, as the agency wrestles with how to account for blending volumes waived for small refiners.

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As Defendants Brace For SEP Ban, Water Agencies Eye Legislative Fix

Lawyers representing municipal and industrial entities are bracing for the Justice Department (DOJ) to largely ban the use of supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in enforcement settlements, with some municipal water agencies now turning to Congress to authorize the popular projects that defendants often seek in settlements to ease penalties.

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D.C. Circuit seeks briefing on remedy in ozone NAAQS designations suit

A three-judge panel wants more briefing on a potential remand it could offer in consolidated litigation over EPA’s designations for which areas are attaining the 2015 ozone ambient air standards.

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Kentucky DEP official faults ‘counterintuitive’ air law highway penalty

Sean Alteri, deputy Kentucky environment chief, says the threat of EPA withholding highway funds could undermine projects that cut emissions by reducing traffic congestion.

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EPA proposes stricter emissions controls to curb ethylene oxide

The agency’s proposal to set stricter limits on chemical manufacturing plants’ ethylene oxide emissions is the first step in a two-pronged approach of actions to address exposure risks.

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EPA Plan Limiting EAB Could Complicate Citizen Group Permit Appeals

EPA is proposing rule changes that would limit the role of the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), its administrative permit review body, likely complicating citizen groups’ efforts to challenge permits, while providing a new way for the agency’s general counsel and administrator to weigh in on legal disputes.

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Judges Wrestle With Deference, Remedy In Ozone NAAQS Designations Suit

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit at Nov. 6 oral argument wrestled with how much deference to give EPA for its findings stemming from its attainment designations for the 2015 ozone air standard and what remedy the court could provide if it invalidated any of the designations.

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9th Circuit Panel Seems Skeptical Of NEPA Climate Suit Over Alaska Drilling

At least two judges on a federal appeals court panel appeared skeptical of environmentalists’ arguments that Interior Department officials violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by not adequately assessing climate change impacts of the nation’s first offshore drilling project in federal Arctic waters.

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NRDC Says Senate GOP Bill Aims To ‘Give Cover’ To EPA’s NSR Rollback

John Walke, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) clean air program, is warning that Senate legislation to amend the Clean Air Act’s new source review (NSR) program is designed to “give cover” to EPA’s plan to roll back the permitting program and make it easier for facilities to increase pollution.

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