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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: RFS 2011, EU ETS, UK Solar Subsidy Cuts, IMO Code

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has asked that the EPA deny a petition submitted this month by the petroleum industry that would retroactively change the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2011. The group said that commercial-scale advanced biofuels projects are just starting to advance and changes to the RFS would disrupt this progress.

The Russian government may prohibit its airlines from carbon emission trading in protest against the European Union law it says is unfair. Russian airline Aeroflot estimated that the law could cost it $1.05 billion by 2025. Non-EU opposition to the regulation currently includes India, China and the U.S., Reuters reports.

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change plans to file an appeal today against two court rulings that said its early cuts to solar subsidies were unlawful. The government in December lost a case seeking to bring in subsidy cuts on Dec. 12. It lost an appeal last month, and said then that it will bring in the reductions on March 3 if it fails in a bid to overturn those rulings, Bloomberg reports.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has developed the International Code of Safety for ships using gases or other low flash-point fuels. The guidelines provide comprehensive information on key design features including bunkering, hull structure, fire safety, and explosion prevention measures, gCaptain reports.

A poll conducted the National Federation of Independent Business found that roughly three out of four voters thought there were too many pending regulations, and six in 10 respondents thought that federal regulations are causing more harm than help for small businesses, The Hill reports.

Michigan’s Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) released its report containing 77 recommendations for updates to the state’s environmental regulations. Overall, the report recommends the rescission of 330 Department of Environmental Quality rules that were found to be obsolete or overly-burdensome, including the elimination of state-specific amendments to the rules that exceed federal standards.

Essroc Cement Corporation has agreed to pay a $82,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of toxic chemical reporting requirements at its Nazareth, Pa. manufacturing facility.  According to the EPA, Essroc failed to submit three years of required reports on a regulated toxic chemical (lead) which was processed at this facility.

Monterey County has joined Santa Cruz County in urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to review the use of methyl iodide – a strawberry fumigant found toxic to humans because of its carcinogenic effects. Methyl iodide was originally approved for use in 2010, writes Treehugger.

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