EPA Makes Positive Changes to Comply with Civil Rights Act, but Uncertainty Remains

EPA Makes Positive Changes to Comply with Civil Rights Act, but Uncertainty Remains

On December 29, 2016, the EPA withdrew a proposed rule to amend its nondiscrimination regulation regarding compliance information for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Last year Gasp weighed in on the proposed changes and objected to the removal of deadlines in the proposed rule. We are happy to report that EPA considered Gasp’s and other groups’ comments opposing this change and has decided to withdraw the proposed amendments.

EPA is also moving enforcement of external compliance with Title VI from the Office of Civil Rights …

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SCOTUS Denies Appeal Over Embattled MATS Rule

SCOTUS Denies Appeal Over Embattled MATS Rule

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Michigan v. EPA. This means that SCOTUS rejected Michigan’s and 20 other states, including Alabama, appeal to block the mercury and air toxics standards (MATS). In denying review, SCOTUS upholds the D.C. Circuit’s decision to not vacate the rule.

Almost a year ago I wrote about the SCOTUS decision that resulted in EPA performing a cost analysis for the MATS rule. Because the rule was not invalidated or stayed, crucial protections for air quality …

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EPA to Live-Stream Civil Rights Public Meeting

EPA to Live-Stream Civil Rights Public Meeting

This story has been updated with the webcast link and to correct the time of the event.

The. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is hosting a public meeting at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 1 from 3–6 p.m. The meeting will be live-streamed via webcast and teleconference. The call-in number is 877-887-8949 and the conference ID is 58156799. Registration is optional.

Register

Last month the EPA released what’s called a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” to modify how it addresses discrimination …

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Action Alert: Comment on the EPA’s Proposed Methane Rules

Action Alert: Comment on the EPA’s Proposed Methane Rules

In September, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed its first-ever standards to protect Americans from the harmful heath effects that come with oil and gas operations. As we explained at that time, methane is the primary component of natural gas and is a potent greenhouse gas. The EPA’s new standards are an important first step in limiting the health impacts of air pollution from oil and gas operations.

“Greenhouse gases threaten public health by contributing to human-generated climate change. Inaction is unacceptable, and we urge companies to do the right thing and comply with these standards …

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New Ozone Standards Will Protect Children, Elderly

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released a long-awaited new air quality health standard for ground-level ozone, or smog. This announcement is welcome news for thousands of Alabamians young and old who want to live a healthy life.

The EPA set the new threshold at 70 parts per billion, down from the previous level of 75 ppb set in 2008. Regulated under the Clean Air Act, ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant that forms when sunlight mixes with emissions from cars, power plants, and factories. The EPA’s Scientific …

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EPA to Investigate Potential Threats to Public Health, Environment in Tarrant

EPA to Investigate Potential Threats to Public Health, Environment in Tarrant

TARRANT, Ala. — On July 1, 2014, Gasp filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to look into potential releases of hazardous substances from the ABC Coke plant in Tarrant, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. The EPA this summer reported that its preliminary assessment (PA) confirmed Gasp’s suspicion that further investigation was necessary.

The EPA’s report states that “the primary focus of the PA is the review of existing information about a site and its environs to assess the threats, if any, posed …

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EPA Proposes First-Ever Rules to Reduce Methane Emissions

EPA Proposes First-Ever Rules to Reduce Methane Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is continuing the streak of important air pollution prevention regulations. Last week, the EPA proposed the nation’s first-ever rules for methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling. Methane is the primary component of natural gas. The agency hopes to bring methane pollution down 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025.

Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas, second only to CO2 in prevalence from human activities. It is emitted from oil and gas operations, agricultural activities, and waste …

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What the Federal Court’s Ruling on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Actually Means

What the Federal Court’s Ruling on the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Actually Means

Last week, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments by states and industry groups that the Transport Rule — or Cross-State Air Pollution (CSAPR) — was overly burdensome. While the D.C. Circuit kept the Transport Rule in place, the Court ordered the EPA to relax sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) standards for 13 states, including Alabama, which contribute to soot and smog along the East Coast.

The Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision proscribes upwind states from emitting any air pollutant in amounts that will …

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BREAKING: Board of Health Denies Gasp’s Request for a Hearing on Walter Coke Air Permit

BREAKING: Board of Health Denies Gasp’s Request for a Hearing on Walter Coke Air Permit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — July 8, 2015 — The Jefferson County Board of Health, the governing body of the Department of Health (JCDH), voted tonight to dismiss a request by Gasp for a hearing on the issuance of a key air pollution permit for the Walter Coke facility in Harriman Park in northern Birmingham. The facility, which is owned by the financially troubled Walter Energy Company, is one of five named “potentially responsible parties” by the EPA for toxic contamination in the area.

In light of the …

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MATS Rule Not Dead, Will Protect Public Health

MATS Rule Not Dead, Will Protect Public Health

In April, I wrote about the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule that had just gone into effect:

“Gasp strongly supports the MATS rule because it will be crucial in improving air quality and public health. Until recently, there were no national limits on emissions of mercury and other toxics from power plants. […] These toxic air pollutants are known or suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects including premature death, heart attacks, bronchitis and asthma.”

On June 29, the United States Supreme Court …

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