Pollution

China to ban all coal use in Beijing by 2020

BEIJING (AP) — China's smog-plagued capital has announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of 2020 as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.

Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.

Green groups challenge EPA in court over soot deadlines

Source: 
E&E

Environmental groups have submitted a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, charging an Environmental Protection Agency rule that sets a new deadline for states to submit plans to reduce fine particle pollution violates the Clean Air Act and asking for a review, E&E reports.

Steven Buss photo

NAM says toughest ozone rule would cost $270B annually

The National Association of Manufactures said Thursday that the toughest ozone pollution limits being considered by the Obama administration could cost the economy up to $270 billion in year in lost output and higher energy costs.

NAM issued the figure based on a study it commissioned on the potential costs of a potential major reduction in allowable ground-level ozone, a key component of smog.

A spokeswoman for the Environmental Protection Agency, Liz Purchia, said officials had not seen the study. She stressed that it is still reviewing technical information and that any projection of economic impacts is premature before it unveils an ozone proposal in December.

West's largest coal-fired plant on track to close

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The largest coal-fired power plant in the West will produce one-third less energy by 2020 and could close in 2044 under a proposal that the federal government adopted to cut haze-causing emissions of nitrogen oxide at places like the Grand Canyon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the owners of the Navajo Generating Station could either shut down one of the plant's 750-megawatt units or reduce power generation by an equal amount by 2020. The owners would have until 2030 to install pollution controls that would cut nitrogen-oxide emissions by 80 percent.

Puerto Rico to get $60K grant to clear channel

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has pledged $60,000 to help reduce water pollution in an urban wetland in Puerto Rico's capital.

Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi said Friday the grant will be used to create a plan for a new stormwater drainage system for the Martin Pena Channel.

Minnesota posts carbon reduction through incentives, renewable plans

Source: 
The New York Times

The New York Times examines a carbon-emissions-reduction plan in Minnesota that is making significant progress at a limited cost.

EPA: Duke done dredging coal ash from NC river

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy has completed removal of large pockets of coal ash from the Dan River months after a massive spill at a North Carolina power plant, federal environmental officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's on-scene coordinator, Myles Bartos, said Duke had dredged up about 2,500 tons of ash and contaminated sediment that settled against a dam in Danville, Virginia. Another 500 tons was recovered from other pockets in the river and settling tanks at two municipal water treatment plants in Virginia.

Polish power plant leaks fuel, threatens river

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A malfunction at a Polish power plant on Wednesday caused a leakage of fuel, prompting emergency officials to work to make sure it doesn't contaminate the nearby Vistula River.

A spokesman for the plant, Piotr Ludwiczak, said about nine tons of the fuel, an oily substance used in combustion called mazut, escaped from the plant.

LA Exide plant gets OK to reopen after upgrades made

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

A Southern California regional air quality board has given Exide Technologies permission to reopen its battery plant in a Los Angeles neighborhood after it installs arsenic and lead controls, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Parts of US Capitol closed after incident

WASHINGTON (AP) — An accident involving asbestos forced a temporary closure of the House side of the Capitol on Thursday and prompted House leaders to delay the day's session for two hours.

A hazardous materials response team was in the building following an incident that began at around 2:30 a.m. or 3 a.m., Capitol Police said. There were no initial reports of any injuries.

By midmorning, most of the building was reopened and Capitol tours on the House side resumed. The Senate, at the other end of the 751-foot-long building, seemed unaffected by the incident.

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