State officials are used to having questions about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s implementation of the Clean Air Act. But local and state officials in Wyoming were not prepared to rehash 100-year-old boundaries when the EPA issued its decision to recognize the Wind River Indian Reservation as a separate state under the act. ...

On Sunday the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission created new air pollution rules for oil and gas drillers, including the nation’s first statewide limit on methane gas emissions. The decision was made with support from Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, and Encana, some of Colorado’s largest oil and gas operators.

Below is an expanded version of the Top Five Energy and Environment issues to watch in 2014. 

On July 25 the EPA issued non-attainment designations for 29 locations in 16 states that exceeded its sulfur dioxide standard set under the National Air Quality Standard. In its announcement the agency stated the determinations were based on observed data form air emissions stations and weather patterns that contributed to the monitored levels.

Breaking down the cost-benefit analysis and regulatory impact assessments that underpin EPA Clean Air Act rules can be difficult to understand. These complex studies have important impacts on states in a host of ways and are significant for environmental protection, public health and the economic implications associated with compliance. CSG’s webinar, “Understanding How EPA Clean Air Rules are Derived” featured toxicology experts from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the director of the Clean Air and Climate Program with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to help demystify how the agency determines public health and financial impacts of its proposed air rules. As state air agencies are on the front line of federal Clean Air compliance requirements, the presentations provided important context of the major sampling studies used by EPA and a lively policy debate between the presenters regarding the key issues surrounding their findings.

Breaking down the cost-benefit analysis and regulatory impact assessments that underpin EPA Clean Air Act rules can be difficult to understand. These complex studies have important impacts on states in a host of ways and are significant for environmental protection, public health and the economic implications associated with compliance. CSG’s webinar, “Understanding How EPA Clean Air Rules are Derived” featured toxicology experts from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the director of the Clean Air and Climate Program with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to help demystify how the agency determines public health and financial impacts of its proposed air rules. As state air agencies are on the front line of federal Clean Air compliance requirements, the presentations provided important context of the major sampling studies used by EPA and a lively policy debate between the presenters regarding the key issues surrounding their findings.

Be sure to join tomorrows' webinar entitled "Understanding How EPA Clean Air Rules are Derived." Our panelists' thought-provoking presentations will be sure to foster a lively and informative discussion! To register for the event, please click here.

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw out a high-profile clean air rule from the EPA by a vote of 2-1. The judges ruled that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority under the Clean Air Act when imposing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), which was challenged by more than a dozen states, several utilities, and other industry and labor groups. 

The state of Alaska recently filed suit to stop the implementation of an EPA rule that will drastically reduce the amount of sulfur in bunker fuel used by ships within 200 miles of the United States. Starting in August, ships must cut sulfur levels from 2.7 percent to 1 percent in their fuel and then down to 0.1 percent by 2015. The EPA estimates the rule would prevent 12,000 to 31,000 premature deaths per year, but the state contends that low-sulfur fuel is not widely available and could add tremendous costs for their residents because nearly all consumer goods are delivered via ocean-going vessels.

On February 10, several states filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in New York to require the EPA to issue more stringent air quality requirements for soot emissions. The states filed their suit in response to the agency missing an October 2011 deadline to update its standards for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) or soot, which is produced by diesel vehicle emissions and power plants. Many health problems are linked to particulate matter emissions such as respiratory illness, heart disease, and asthma. 

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