In a smallish room, body heat draws particles near, enhancing inhalation

Most models involving inhalation of particulates of various sorts (e.g., microbes, pollen, dust, toxins) assume a somewhat even distribution of the particulates in the air that is inhaled. While such an assumption helps to simplify exposure calculations, it is factually inaccurate in some circumstances...

Federal Government Urges Supreme Court Dismissal Of Carbon Dioxide Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The federal government on Aug. 25 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a lower court decision to reinstate two lawsuits seeking to limit carbon dioxide emissions, arguing that new greenhouse gas regulations have displaced public nuisance cause of actions ( American...

California sets forth indicators of disproportionate impacts of climate change on environmental justice communities

To assist Cal-EPA with the examination of potential environmental justice concerns associated with climate change, Cal-EPA requested the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) [best known for its role in setting drinking water related Public Health Goals and in overseeing much of the...

Scented consumer products emit over 100 different VOC's; some are carcinogenic

For those of us acquainted with researchers examining VOC exposure to individuals from scented consumer products (for example, at U.C. Berkeley and at U.C. Medical Center in San Francisco), it comes as no surprise that there is a bouquet of VOC's wafting into homes and work places. However, researchers...

EPA announces new air emission regulations for coal-fired power plants

Prior posts have noted the numerous studies that support the view that emissions from a variety of sources, including automobiles, trucks, and power plants, have an adverse impact on the health of those exposed to such emissions. It is also fairly certain that one significant source of mercury contamination...

Some aircraft designers think outside the box to improve efficiency

Concern has been expressed in recent years over the contribution of aircraft to GHG emissions. Some airlines have gotten favorable publicity for experimenting with bio-derived fuels. But, what if aircraft were to target reducing fuel consumption by half, or more. That will require some radical rethinking...

Sprawling cities appear to experience more extreme heat events in summer compared with more compact urban areas, contributing to higher rates of heat-related mortality

Although extreme heat events have become more common in large U.S. cities, a recent study indicates that sprawling cities experience more than double the rate of extreme heat events in the summer compared with more compact urban areas. Researchers examined data from 53 U.S. metropolitan areas for...

9th Circuit upholds California's Vessel Fuel Rules in face of constitutional challenge

Prior posts have noted that California issued Vessel Fuel Rules designed to reduce air pollution created by ships moving along the coast. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Assoc. sued, alleging that it was unconstitutional to apply such rules to shipping more than 3 miles from the California Coast. The District...

NRDC challenge to EPA approval of California CAA SIP fails

California submitted a Clean Air Act State Implementation Plan to the EPA for approval. Pursuant to the "conformity rule" under 40 C.F.R. Section 93.118, the EPA conducted a review to determine whether the SIP's motor vehicle emissions budgets were adequate for transportation conformity...

EPA proposes draft rules related to air emissions from hydrofacturing operations

EPA has released rule changes that will require oil and gas drillers that use hydraulic fracturing to use new or improved processes and equipment in an attempt to reduce the level of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and other air pollutants emitted during the completion of new and modified hydraulically...

Composition of diesel exhaust varies with engine loading, producing differential health impact characteristics from the emissions

As noted in several prior posts, the study of the impact on diesel exhaust has focused on the PM10 and PM 2.5 profiles of the emissions. Recently, researchers argued that this view is too simplistic, and present an interesting study in support of their view. The researchers analyzed the composition...

9-11 firefighters show increased cancer risk, notes new study

Prior posts have addressed the various studies that have been published regarding the impact of exposure to the toxic dust and smoke that was generated by the 9-11 disaster. Researchers have now identified that male firefighters who were exposed to the toxic dust and smoke from the 9-11 attacks have...

Let a thousand lawsuits bloom: The CAA is this week's favorite target

As noted in prior posts, EPA has proposed national standards for mercury and other toxic pollutant emissions from power plants. See http://www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/ . Now Guam and 25 states have filed a challenge to the regulations. The EPA is under court order to finalize the so-called...

Air pollution may be causing mega-cyclones striking India & the Middle East

It is well known that warm sea-surface temperatures can boost the intensity of hurricanes (known in the Indian Ocean as cyclones). For many decades water in the Arabian Sea has been warm, which should enhance the strength of cyclones. However, regional winds in the upper and lower atmosphere tend to...

DOE Reports That EPA’s New Air Pollution Rules Will Not Hinder Electricity Reliability

By Allison Torrence, Associate, Jenner & Block The United States Department of Energy ("DOE") has issued a report titled "Resource Adequacy Implications of Forthcoming EPA Air Quality Regulations." The DOE report evaluates two United States Environmental Protection Agency...

D.C. Court of Appeals Grants Stay of Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

By Allison Torrence, Associate, Jenner & Block On December 30, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted several parties' motions to stay in the federal case challenging the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution...

Wood stoves help to reduce cases of severe pneumonia in young children in LDC's

Pneumonia in children, although rare in the U.S., kills more children worldwide than any other disease (estimated to be 1.6 million deaths per year). [Prior posts have noted, though, the adverse impact of various air pollutants on urban children.] Researchers hypothecated that open fires used for heating...

EPA Releases Final Health Assessment for Tetrachloroethylene (aka Perc)

EPA has posted its final health assessment for tetrachloroethylene (aka perc) to its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Perc is widely used in the dry cleaning industry, although states such as California are requiring that it be phased out. See http://epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/perchloroethylene_fact_sheet...

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

By Allison Torrence, Associate, Jenner & Block On Tuesday, August 21, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ("D.C. Circuit") vacated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (the "Transport Rule"). In a 2-1 decision, written by Judge Kavanaugh...