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Litigation

CALIFORNIA PENSION FUND MAY PRESS AUTO INDUSTRY TO SKIP CLIMATE SUIT

Key members of the board overseeing California's employee pension fund are urging fellow board members to convince the auto industry to avoid an expected lawsuit over the state's groundbreaking new climate change standards, using the leverage from the board's $838 million investment in the industry.

The move could lead to a broader campaign among other investment groups to back shareholder resolutions asking the auto industry to address greenhouse gas emissions from cars on the road.

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EPA ARGUES COURT LACKS JURISDICTION IN ONGOING MERCURY LAWSUIT

EPA claims a lawsuit calling for the agency to implement strict mercury rules for power plants must be dismissed because the court hearing the case does not have jurisdiction to decide it.

EPA's Nov. 18 response to the court is the latest development in a lawsuit brought by the National Wildlife Federation, the Izaak Walton League of America and the Natural Resources Council of Maine alleging that EPA exceeded statutory deadlines for issuing stringent power plant mercury regulations.

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JUDGE'S REJECTION OF DATA QUALITY SUIT SEEN AS SETBACK FOR INDUSTRY

A ruling rejecting an industry suit seeking federal court review of the data EPA and other agencies use to make decisions is being viewed as a setback by industry officials, who hoped it would set a precedent allowing courts to review agencies' data.

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EPA REPORT MAY BE EVIDENCE IN FUTURE LAWSUITS CHALLENGING WEAK RULES

EPA admitted in its new annual report that it is failing to achieve several goals to reduce ambient concentrations of key air pollutants, an admission that will likely be used in future lawsuits to show that EPA's air rules are not strict enough, according to environmentalists.

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SUITS OVER SULFURIC ACID RELEASES MAY FORESHADOW NATIONAL DILEMMA

A third lawsuit has been filed against an electric utility company over unintended sulfuric acid emissions caused by new pollution control technology to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx). The litigation is teeing up a host of potential problems as EPA is poised to require broad use of the technology to cut transported pollution, and has no plans to regulate sulfuric acid.

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EPA May Launch National Effort To Speed Diesel Emission Reductions

EPA is considering a national program to encourage or require diesel trucks to implement costly software fixes to reduce air pollution, but the agency is likely to face opposition from engine manufacturers even if the program is voluntary.

The move is being considered because EPA erred in calculating how long it would take to make the fix and reduce emissions, after finalizing a landmark 1998 consent decree that required the engine industry to fund these changes.

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Environmentalists Argue Water Act Requires Ballast Discharge Permits For Ships

Environmentalists are rejecting EPA claims that its regulatory exemption for ballast water discharges from seagoing vessels is sanctioned by the Clean Water Act -- in a case that may result in a significant expansion of the water permitting program to address aquatic invasive species.

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GE Dealt Setback In Superfund Constitutionality Challenge

A federal judge has for now rejected efforts by General Electric (GE) to obtain access to internal EPA documents it claims are essential to advance its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal Superfund law. In an Nov. 22 order, Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted an EPA motion to stay discovery in General Electric v. EPA, until after he rules on an agency motion for summary judgment.

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Auto Industry May Face Investor Pressures To Drop Climate Change Suit

Key members of the board overseeing California's employee pension fund are urging fellow board members to convince the auto industry to avoid an expected lawsuit over the state's groundbreaking new climate change standards, using the leverage from the board's $838 million investment in the industry.

The move could lead to a broader campaign among other investment groups to back shareholder resolutions asking the auto industry to address greenhouse gas emissions from cars on the road.

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JUDGE'S REJECTION OF DATA QUALITY SUIT SEEN AS SETBACK FOR INDUSTRY

A ruling rejecting an industry suit seeking federal court review of the data EPA and other agencies use to make decisions is being viewed as a setback by industry officials, who hoped it would set a precedent allowing courts to review agencies' data decisions.

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