RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators have cited five more Duke Energy power plants for lacking required storm water permits after a massive spill at one of the company's coal ash dumps coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced Monday that Charlotte-based Duke Energy had been issued formal notices of violation for not having the needed permits, which are required to legally discharge rainwater draining from its plants into public waterways.
October's government shutdown meant nearly 7.9 million fewer visitors to national parks, which cost communities more than $400 million in lost tourism revenue, according to a report from the National Park Service. The report found that money Utah spent to reopen its parks was well spent, The Idaho Statesman reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday rejected oil and refiner objections in issuing a new clean gasoline rule that further lowers smog-forming sulfur limits starting in 2017.
The so-called Tier 3 rule mandates a 60 percent cut in allowable sulfur over current limits, which will reduce health risks from air pollution, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. EPA estimated an average consumer cost of less than 1 cent per gallon of gasoline and about $72 more per vehicle by 2025.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday finalized its planned Tier 3 rule to cut sulfur in gasoline. EPA said the rule would lower air pollution health risks from automobiles, but the oil industry contended the rule would raise consumer costs more than expected.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rule, which goes into effect in 2017, will add less than 1 cent to the price of a gallon of gas at the pump. It will also add $72 to the price of a new car by 2025, about half of what EPA projected in its proposed rule.
The rule will go into place in tandem with higher federal mileage standards that raise auto efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2022. It was supported by the auto industry, which wanted a single national standard for gasoline to use in meeting the mileage mandate.
The oil industry had sought to stop or delay the rules, but EPA turned away those appeals. A representative of the American Petroleum Institute said the rule will provide minimal health improvements over sulfur limits already in place and raise gasoline prices up to 9 cents per gallon.
McCarthy told reporters that the industry's cost estimate was based on the proposed rule before taking into account provisions EPA included in the final version to address industry concerns.
Americans support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, although many have concerns about its environmental impact, according to a new poll commissioned by ABC and The Washington Post, the Post reports.
The major concern for the world's top oil company executives, gathered in Houston for the CERAWeek conference this week, appeared to be the soaring costs of exploration and production, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Administrator Gina McCarthy wouldn't say whether the EPA might consider a carbon rule for refineries, telling the CERAWeek conference Thursday that her agency's focus now remains on power plants, National Journal reports.
Oil companies aren't publishing all of the information they should in the FracFocus registry, according to a draft report by an Energy Department advisory panel, which also found errors in some of the data, FuelFix reports.