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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Bank of England Considers Carbon Bubble, Diesel Health Study Delayed

The governor of the Bank of England has acknowledged that there is a need for evaluation of the financial system’s exposure to high carbon and environmentally unsustainable investments, and the bank is willing to consider the levels of fossil fuel exposure as a potential risk to financial stability, The Guardian reports. The discussion stems from a letter sent to the Bank by a group led by Climate Change Capital in January.

The EU may trim back parts of its law requiring airlines to account for their GHG emissions if countries were to make clear progress this year toward establishing a global emissions control system. The global system would have to be an improvement on the European system that is already in force, the New York Times writes.

KPMG will not publish full findings of a study, Thinking about the Affordable, which examined the cost of the British government’s green energy policies. The preliminary findings made public last November claimed that Britain could meet its 2020 carbon reduction targets more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms, The Guardian said.

A court order delays publication of the $11.5 million investigation on diesel engine exhaust and lung cancer in miners by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A federal judge has affirmed the right of an industry group, the Mining Awareness Resource Group, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to review prior to public release the research and documents related to the 20-year-old study, the Washington Post reports.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-20 to send its Keystone bill, which moves project authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on to the full House, where it will likely become part of a highway and infrastructure funding bill, Reuters reports.

A Southwest Power Pool five-year transmission expansion plan includes the construction of $251 million in new transmission projects across its nine-state region. The SPP board also approved a 10-year transmission expansion plan, with projects estimated at about $1.5 billion of engineering and construction costs. The approved project portfolio is expected to mitigate more than 61 reliability issues, and enable states in the SPP territory to meet renewable energy targets, North American Windpower writes.

The EPA has made a preliminary decision to accept industry methods submitted by DuPont and Honeywell International for calculating the global warming potential of seven fluorinated greenhouse gases; the decision will help manufacturers of the gases comply with the agency’s broader greenhouse gas reporting rule, Bloomberg reports. EPA is requesting comments by Feb. 21 on the preliminary decision.

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board repealed a statewide cap on carbon emissions, regulations approved in fall 2010 under Gov. Bill Richardson. The rules had required all stationary facilities emitting more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses annually to reduce emissions by 2 percent a year starting in 2012, the New Mexico Business Weekly said. New Mexico also was one of six states that abandoned the planned Western Climate Initiative in November 2011.

Dover Chemical Corp. has agreed to pay $1.4 million in civil penalties in a settlement with the EPA and the DOJ for the unauthorized manufacture of chemical substances at facilities in Dover, Ohio, and Hammond, Ind. The settlement resolves violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) pre-manufacture notice obligations for production of various chlorinated paraffins, the EPA said.

Titan Environmental Services of Kansas City, Mo., has agreed to pay a $10,878 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, including failures to provide training to contractors and other renovation professionals. The company will spend at least $97,902 to fund lead abatement activities at five residential properties in St. Joseph, Mo., the EPA said.

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