Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Cross-State Pollution, Gas Price Spike, Bioethanol Anti-Dumping

by | Oct 8, 2012

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The EPA filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which in August ruled 2-1 to suspend the agency’s cross state air pollution rule and ordered it rewritten. The EPA asked the court to rehear the case, arguing that the ruling was inconsistent with the court’s previous rulings and that the agency did not exceed its mandate under the Clean Air Act, Reuters said.

California Gov. Jerry Brown directed the California Air Resources Board to take emergency steps to increase the supply of fuel in the state and allow refineries to immediately switch to a winter blend of gasoline that is typically not sold until November. The cost of gas increased 20 cents per gallon on Thursday night. Prices have continued to climb since then reaching a statewide average of $4.66 on Sunday, Reuters said.

The EPA said on Friday that it has not received any request from the state of California for a waiver to allow early sale of winter-blend gasoline. California gasoline prices spiked because of tight supplies, Reuters said.

The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard coming into effect in January 2013 may lead to prices increases as high as $1 per gallon for gasoline and $2 per gallon for diesel, according to the Oil Price Information Service. The standard aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from motor fuel by 10 percent between now and 2020, Trucking Info reports.

The EU has dropped an investigation into whether the United States has illegally subsidized and dumped bioethanol on the European market. The European Commission ended its 11-month investigation after finding no evidence that the US had taken such action. The case could be dropped entirely unless the US were to reintroduce the ethanol blender’s tax credit sometime within the next six months, The Hill said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved a permit that allows the spreading of chemical salts from Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracturing wastewater on roadways and fields statewide, according to an environmental organization’s appeal of that permit. The appeal to the state Environmental Hearing Board by Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future alleges that the DEP violated fundamental due process rules requiring public notice and comment in granting the permit last month to Integrated Water Technologies Inc., and asks that it be revoked, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

In Florida, the state environmental agency said it will issue a permit to the Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Putnam County, Fla., allowing the company to pipe its wastewater into the St. Johns River. The permit will carry extra regulations sought by environmental groups above what state and federal environmental regulations can mandate. For example, the company will have to close a large industrial pond at the site, writes the Florida Times-Union.

The EU has launched a project in Uganda to promote the use of renewable energy. The Sustainable Energy Markets Acceleration project aims to educate the public about renewable energy and increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix in Uganda. The project includes arrangements with renewable energy entrepreneurs and financial institutions, Clean Technica said.

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