October 21, 2020
October 27 is the deadline for submitting final legal briefs to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Union of Concerned Scientists v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The case pits California against the Trump administration over the One National Program Rule. If upheld, the rule will terminate California’s tailpipe greenhouse gas emission standards and zero-emission vehicle mandate.
October 2, 2020
The EPA on October 1 finalized a rule to implement the language of Section 112 of the Clean Air Act that allows a “major source” of hazardous air pollutants to reclassify as an “area source” at any time after acting to limit emissions. The EPA estimates the rule will achieve a potential cumulative savings of $16.1 million in the first year and $90.6 million (in 2017 dollars) in following years.
August 7, 2020
The comment period closed this week on the Environmental Protection Agency’s benefit-cost analysis (BCA) rulemaking. Under the proposal, all economically significant Clean Air Act regulations must include benefit-cost analyses, and all BCAs must conform to “best practices.”
June 12, 2020
The EPA today released its annual report on air quality, tracking the nation’s progress through 2019. The EPA reports that under President Trump (2017-2019), combined emissions of criteria pollutants and their precursors declined by 7 percent.
May 19, 2020
The Trump administration’s reforms of past regulatory excesses range from excellent to little better than no change at all. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent coronavirus-inspired modification to wood heater regulations is definitely an example of the latter.
May 11, 2020
Researchers at Harvard University in late April published a draft or preliminary study that concluded, “A small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in the COVID-19 death rate." PM2.5 is fine particulate matter in the air. The fact the study is a quick-and-dirty rush job indicates that the purpose is more to advance a political agenda than to advance scientific knowledge.
May 5, 2020
Today’s post examines the Final Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule’s estimated impacts on air quality and auto safety. Citations to the rule are to the published (Federal Register) version.
April 17, 2020
The EPA proposed to retain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter established in 2012. Environmental groups predictably condemned the proposal. However, studies of health improvements in areas with declining PM2.5 levels do not establish a causal link between mortality risk and PM2.5 exposures below the NAAQS.
September 27, 2019
In two separate actions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week put California on notice that the state is violating federal air and water quality standards, and must clean up its act.
April 19, 2019
On Wednesday, I submitted comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to rescind its justification for the 2012 Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. MATS established first-ever maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from coal- and oil-fueled power plants.