Policy & Enforcement Briefing: EPA Final Emissions Rules, Port of LA in Supreme Court

by | Jan 16, 2013

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The EPA has finalized revisions to standards to reduce air pollution from stationary engines that generate electricity and power equipment at industrial, agricultural, oil and gas production, power generation and other facilities. The final revised rule will reduce the capital and annual costs of the 2010 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) by $287 million and $139 million. The EPA estimates annual health benefits of the updated standards to be worth $830 million to $2.1 billion. Read more at Energy Manager Today.

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by the American Trucking Association of a policy that requires trucks entering the Port of Los Angeles to comply with certain environmental, safety and security requirements. The 2008 lawsuit disputes the authority of the port to set air certain standards for trucking operations under its Clean Trucks Program, Fleet Owner said.

The NERC has raised questions about grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ ability to meet electricity demands. The commission said that the lack of new generation being built in Texas implies higher reliability risks and that ERCOT will need more resources as early as summer 2013 in order to maintain a sufficient reserve margin, Fuel Fix said.

US District Judge Ralph Beistline in Alaska has thrown out a US Fish and Wildlife Service plan to designate 187,000 square miles as habitat for threatened polar bears. The bears have been declared threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 2008. The judge said the designation was too extensive and overlooks the goal of growth and economic development, the AP said. Oil and gas companies, Alaska Native groups and the state of Alaska had sued over the designation, calling it an overreach.

The state of Oklahoma is short $2 million to comply with new EPA clean drinking water regulations. If Oklahoma fails to comply, the EPA will take responsibility for the safety of the state’s drinking water, which currently is in the hands of the state Department of Environmental Quality, NPR said.

Prompted by fears that big energy users would relocate plants outside of Europe now that most electricity generators must pay for carbon permits on the EU ETS, the EC is allowing member states to subsidize increased energy costs. So far, Germany and the UK have promised to give manufacturers, such as ThyssenKrupp and BASF, more than €600 million ($797 million) a year, Point Carbon said.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has pledged to reduce vehicle emissions, estimated to contribute about a quarter of China’s air pollution. The announcement follows a weekend of record bad smog in Beijing, but the regulator did not include details on how it will lower emissions, the Los Angeles Times said.

A Globe International study of energy and climate laws in 33 economies finds that 18, including China, Mexico and other emerging economies, have made significant progress in 2012 by passing laws to cut carbon and raise energy efficiency. The alliance aims to show the benefits of domestic laws and to show how a plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 2015 can be reached, Bloomberg said.

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