Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Climate Change Update

Industry Cites EPA's Lack Of CCS Testing Plan In Bid To Scrap RCRA Rule

Energy groups say EPA failed to provide a plan for assessing whether carbon dioxide (CO2) streams are hazardous waste in its rule excluding carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) from strict Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) rules, saying the lack of a plan creates major legal and regulatory liability for CCS projects.

Coal Update

Advocates Say State's Coal Ash Bill Shows Need For Strict EPA Oversight

Environmentalists say that a recent North Carolina bill to resolve a Duke Energy coal ash spill imposes insufficient cleanup and safety measures, and shows why EPA should issue a strict "hazardous" ash disposal rule and take the lead on compliance oversight rather than a "solid" waste rule giving states primary enforcement authority.

Natural Gas Update

Western States Fear TSCA Fracking Rule May Hamper Disclosure Policies

Two Western states are warning that EPA's potential development of a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rule to collect data on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing could undermine and duplicate existing state disclosure rules, saying the agency should instead promote greater use of the voluntary FracFocus disclosure database.

Vehicles/Fuels Update

API Warns EPA Refinery Emissions Rule Could Create Facility Safety Risks

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is warning that EPA's proposal to tighten air toxics standards for refineries could create safety risks at the facilities because the rule would prohibit emissions releases from pressure relief devices, (PRDs) that vent gases into the atmosphere, though API says such releases are vital to prevent plant explosions.

Renewables Update

Facing PTC Uncertainty, Wind Industry Seeks To Strengthen EPA's ESPS

Faced with significant uncertainty due to Congress' failure to reinstate the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC), the wind industry is planning to press EPA to strengthen its greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for the power sector in part to provide a robust driver for new development when the rule begins to take effect in 2017.

Congress Watch

Senate's EPA FY15 Bill Rejects Water SRF Cuts, Avoids Policy Restrictions

Senate appropriators have released draft fiscal year 2015 funding bill that roughly retains the agency's existing $8.2 billion funding level and rejects the Obama administration's proposed cuts to water infrastructure funding, and does not include provisions in a House FY15 bill that would block major EPA climate, air and other regulations.

EPA Looks To Draft Fracking Study To Send 'Signals' On Safe Practices

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency's long-awaited draft study on the drinking water risks posed by hydraulic fracturing, slated for release early next year, will focus primarily on "best management practices" and other ways the agency can send "signals" to states and industry to address a range of concerns about the practice.

States' Intervention In ESPS Suit Marks Early Split Over Climate Policies

A group of 11 states is seeking to intervene on behalf of EPA in a pending suit filed by 12 other states that want to block the agency's proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing utilities, marking the first of what is likely to be a long-running split among state and local officials over the administration's climate policies.

Oil, Gas Sector Fears Broad Regulatory Confusion With EPA 'Waters' Plan

Oil and gas sector officials are raising major concerns that EPA's proposal to clarify the Clean Water Act's (CWA) scope could trigger broad regulatory confusion for the sector, such as frustrating well operators' ability to meet federal oil spill control requirements and creating new permitting burdens for pipeline construction and repair.

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Clean Energy Wire

Environmentalists Sue Over EPA's Cooling Water Rule

Environmentalists have filed suit in three separate appeals courts challenging EPA's final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule for cooling water intake structures at utilities and other industrial facilities, weeks after . . .

Ohio Drops EPA's GHG Tailoring Rule

The Ohio EPA appears to be the first state agency to announce it will no longer enforce some of EPA's permit thresholds for greenhouse gases (GHG) -- as well as . . .

Obama Taps NARUC's Honorable To Join FERC

President Obama is planning to nominate Colette Honorable, the current chair of Arkansas' utility commission and president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), to fill a vacant . . .

Administration To Seek Climate Accord, Not Treaty

The Obama administration is suggesting that it will not pursue a binding international climate treaty at a United Nations conference in Paris next year, and instead will seek an "executive" . . .

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