EPA wins another round on CSAPR, but legal fight continues


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday lifted a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, although legal arguments on challenges to some aspects of the regulation are set to take place next March, E&E reports.

Appeals judges hear arguments in complex ozone case


Coming from different sides of the issue, environmentalists and a number of states presented arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s designation of areas that do and don’t meet its 2008 ozone rule, E&E reports.

NASA photo

NAM defends ozone cost study despite CRS criticism

The National Association of Manufacturers is challenging a Congressional Research Service report that downplays its claims that it can project a tougher federal ozone standard could impose $270 billion in annual costs on the U.S. economy.

"We disagree with the assertion that it is not possible to estimate the potential costs of this massive new regulation at proposal," said Ross Eisenberg, NAM's vice president of energy and resources policy, in a statement provided by a spokesman.

Steven Buss photo

Ozone rule cost fears based on 'guesses,' CRS says

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has quietly given some advice to lawmakers: Don't believe the most dire warnings about the costs of the Obama administration's upcoming rule on allowable levels of smog-producing ozone.

In an Oct. 3 report on the status of the planned ozone proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency, CRS said annual costs likely would run into the billions of dollars.

But draconian cost projections floated by the National Association of Manufacturers were based on "simplifying" assumptions made before a proposal is released, CRS said, and any estimates now or after the rule is finalized are subject to change.

India launches index to measure air quality

NEW DELHI (AP) — The country's top environment official unveiled a government program Friday that will eventually measure air quality across India, home to some of the most polluted cities in the world.

Over the next five years, the government will begin measuring eight major pollutants that affect respiratory health in cities with populations above 1 million, and then gradually expand the air quality index to the rest of the country, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters. The index will warn residents when pollution levels rise past dangerous levels.

Treasury opens Gulf restoration funds to states

The Hill

The Treasury Department today formally released a set of grants to Gulf Coast states and local governments for recovery projects stemming from 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, The Hill reports.

Steven Buss photo

EPA sends ozone rule to White House as industry fight looms

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday submitted a draft rule on ground-level ozone standards to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, setting in motion a potentially controversial push by President Barack Obama to cut smog-producing pollution.

EPA said late Wednesday it will meet deadlines set under a federal court settlement with environmental and health groups to issue the proposal by Dec. 1 and make a final decision by October, 2015.

Record $4.5M fine pursued against gas driller

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are pursuing a record $4.5 million fine against a gas driller over what they describe as a major case of pollution from a leaking waste pit.

The Department of Environmental Protection filed a civil complaint against EQT Corp. on Tuesday, accusing the Pittsburgh-based company of polluting streams and groundwater and harming trees and other vegetation around its impoundment in Duncan Township, Tioga County.

Supreme Court leaves ozone standard

The Hill

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to take up a case -– brought by the Utility Air Regulatory Group -- challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s 75-parts-per-billion ozone standard, The Hill reports.

Study: Chesapeake cleanup would bring $22B boon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Chesapeake Bay region would reap an additional $22.5 billion a year from improved hurricane protection, crab and fish production and climate stability if the Obama administration's contested plan to clean up the watershed proceeds, an environmental group says.

The assessment released Monday is based on a peer-reviewed analysis of the economic benefits to the entities — six states and the District of Columbia — charged with reducing pollution into the nation's largest estuary.


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