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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...

TVA Paring Coal Operations, Paying $10M To Settle Lawsuits

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - (AP) The Tennessee Valley Authority over the next five years will shutter operations that account for about 16 percent if its coal-fired capacity to settle lawsuits from several states over air quality, its board said Thursday. TVA chief executive Tom Kilgore said the nation's...

Global Climate Change

By Michael B. Gerrard and Cullen Howe This chapter from Environmental Law Practice addresses both the factual background of global climate change and its legal implications. The chapter is divided into two parts, discussing the factual background of global climate change and the legal issues surrounding...

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...

How Green Is My Carpet?

By Dianne Saxe, Ontario Environmental Lawyer Are carpets safe? It depends on the person, on the carpet and on how you look after it. What’s in a carpet? Traditional or antique carpets may be made of wool, silk, cotton or other natural fibres; some use vegetable or mushroom-based colours...

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...

MO: Toxic Exposure From Fumes Hanging In Air

Claimant worked 10 years in Jasper County making components for battery cells and developed a rare cancer, IgA myeloma. As a result of either the condition or the stem cell transplant and chemotherapy, he required treatment for about 5 years for kidney disease, recurrent skin basal cell carcinomas, carpal...

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...

Global Warming: Reasonable, Cost-effective Steps that can slow the Temperature Rise

First, some good news. Prior posts have noted repeatedly the key role that methane plays in global warming (the longterm trend in temperature, not seasonal or annual variations). Prior posts have also noted the role that particulates-aerosols play in global warming, and their adverse effect on human...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: California Court of Appeal Decision Could Allow for Greater Consideration of Impacts of Climate Change in Environmental Impact Reports

By Adam Riedel, CCCL Associate Director and Fellow How and to what extent predicted future, physical impacts from climate change should be considered in environmental impact reports (EIRs) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has never been entirely clear. A recent California Court...

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...

Babst Calland: RACT Rulemaking Expected to Impact Major Sources of NOx and VOC Emissions in Pennsylvania

By Meredith Odato Graham Proposed regulatory amendments published on April 19, 2014 are likely to affect hundreds of facilities in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has estimated that 141 sources will need to install additional pollution control equipment...

Babst Calland: U.S. EPA Proposes Amendments to Air Rules Affecting Oil and Gas Industry

By Meredith Odato Graham [On July 17] the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published proposed amendments to federal air regulations at 40 C.F.R. 60, Subpart OOOO (Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution). Subpart OOOO was first promulgated...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Operator Prevails in Air Aggregation Case

By Meredith Odato Graham {On Feb. 23}, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of a natural gas operator in a closely-watched case involving air aggregation issues [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In 2011...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

By Stephen L. Miller On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan , regulations designed to significantly reduce CO 2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping...

Babst Calland: EPA Revises Low Pressure Gas Well and Storage Vessel Definitions For NSPS Subpart OOOO

By Meredith Odato Graham The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising important definitions in the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule for the oil and gas sector, NSPS Subpart OOOO, in response to stakeholder petitions. In a final rule published today, EPA is revising the definition...