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Tag Archive | "EPA"

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House Passes Bill Stripping EPA of Clean Water Act Authority

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill yesterday that would severely limit the government’s part in protecting waters from pollution by barring the Environmental Protection Agency from overruling state decisions on water quality.

The bill passed on a 239-184 vote. Sixteen Democrats joined the majority of Republicans in supporting it.

The White House has already said they will consider a veto to the bill, saying it “would roll back the key provisions that have been the underpinning of 40 years of progress in making the nation’s waters fishable, swimmable and drinkable.”

The bill contains a provision requiring the EPA to determine whether its goal to protect water quality has a negative effect on job creation.

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EPA Announces Stricter Emissions Regulations For Ships

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the IMO (International Maritime Organization) just announced stricter emissions regulations for ships operating in the waters off the coast of the U.S. and Canada.

Starting in 2012, ships within 200 nautical miles of the shores will either have to use cleaner, more expensive fuel that contains less sulfur or be outfitted with scrubber equipment which cleans the sulfur dioxide from the exhaust. By 2016, all new ships will have to use advanced emissions control systems.

The EPA says the emissions controls will reduce emissions by 1.2 million tons every year and particulate matter emissions by 143,000 tons yearly.

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EPA Tightens Smog Restrictions

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced a proposal for more stringent restrictions on smog.

The EPA’s new smog limits will immediately result in hundreds of counties in the US being in violation. This will leave counties across the US with the options of cleaning up their smog issues or of suffering the loss of federal highway money.

These stricter smog restrictions represent the recommendations of the scientific community, which had previously been presented to and rejected by the Bush Administration after pressure from electric utilities.

While these stricter guidelines will cost the US tens of billions of dollars to follow through on, the EPA has stated that it will save billions in medical costs for emergency room visits, missed work and school, not to mention premature death.

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EPA Will Regulate GHG Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on emitters that produce 25,000 tons or more of CO2 a year. These emitters account for 70% of the country’s GHG emissions.

The administration is proposing the new rule to ensure that emissions will be reduced regardless of what happens with the climate bill in Congress, although President Obama hopes a bill will be passed by the end of the year.

The rule will require around 14,000 power plants, refineries and industrial complexes to apply for construction and operating permits where they will have to prove they are using the latest and greatest technology to minimize emissions. Smaller businesses will be exempt from scrutiny because of the large emissions threshold.

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EPA Rules Greenhouse Gases Harmful to Humans

This just in, water is wet, fire is hot and greenhouse gasses are dangerous to humans. After a long discussion with Captain Obvious the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just ruled that six greenhouse gases, are harmful to human health. Carbon dioxide along with five other greenhouse gases will be listed with the other pollutants controlled by the Clean Air Act.

The official EPA report lists greenhouse gases as being responsible for increasing drought, flooding, heat waves and wildfires, increase in sea level rising, increased storm intensity, and finally damage to water resources, agriculture and ecosystems.

While no decision has been made on how greenhouse gases should be regulated, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has already suggested that each state will be allowed to produce greenhouse gas regulations of their own.

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EPA Coal Ruling Could Lead More Quickly to Renewable Energy

The recent ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board could result in hard times for coal power and an easier future for renewable energy. The board blocked the EPA from issuing a permit to a coal plant addition in Utah and ruled that the agency needs to develop a nationwide standard for dealing with CO2.

This ruling is extremely important because it puts over a hundred proposed coal plants on hold while the EPA comes up with new CO2 guidelines. Coal plants will be considered risky by investors because their future is uncertain. This might hopefully persuade investors to put their money behind clean energy initiatives instead.

If the EPA comes up with more strict CO2 limits, coal companies will be forced to spend more on tech that reduces their emissions, making coal power more expensive and renewables like solar, wind and geothermal more competitive.

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