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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Canada Vehicle Emissions, Natural Gas, TSCA, Petroleum Reserve

Canada issued greenhouse gas emissions rules that aim to make heavy trucks and buses up to 23 percent less polluting by 2018. The rules will take effect on the 2014 model year for vehicles including full-size pickups, heavy trucks and buses, and fit with measures already set in the U.S., Reuters said.

The EPA has proposed a rule to require electronic reporting for certain information submitted to the agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule would require reporting into the EPA’s Central Data Exchange, and would reduce reporting burdens, reduce costs, and speed up public access to chemical information, the EPA said.

President Obama has set up a task force to ensure that tapping of natural gas supplies in shale formations, which require advanced drilling techniques including fracking, is safe and responsible. The task force will run through the Domestic Policy Council with the White House energy adviser as its chair, The Hill said.

Three federal agencies – Department of Energy, the EPA and the Department of the Interior – announced a formal partnership to share information research associated with development of unconventional natural gas and oil resources. The Memorandum of Agreement follows Obama’s executive order which formed the new interagency task force, the DOE said.

The Florida Attorney General has asked a federal court to delay preliminary approval of BP’s $7.8 billion settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The AG said in a filing in Louisiana that there is not enough information available about the settlement terms, asking for a schedule to allow interested parties an opportunity to review the settlement, Reuters said.

Fifty-four House Democrats have sent a letter to the president asking that the 696-million Strategic Petroleum Reserve be tapped to help control gasoline prices during the summer season. The letter references last year’s release of 30 million barrels during the Libyan conflict, and says Obama should strongly consider a repeat performance, The Hill said.

House Republicans plan to attach language approving the Keystone XL pipeline to another 90-day extension of the federal transportation bill. This would be the ninth extension of the transportation bill, for which supporters had sought a multi-year version. In rejecting the Keystone permit, Obama welcomed developer TransCanada to reapply, which the company said they would do, The Hill said.

The House Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a legislative hearing on Tuesday to authorize the secretary of the interior to facilitate the development of hydroelectric power on the Diamond Fork System of the Central Utah Project, to reauthorize the Water Desalination Act of 1996, and for other purposes.

The Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold a hearing, “Review of Mercury Pollution’s Impacts on Public Health and the Environment,” on Tuesday. Witnesses include representative from the George Washington Regulatory Studies Center, American Academy of Pediatrics and Sturgeon For Tomorrow.

The EPA and Clean Harbors of Braintree in Braintree, Mass., have entered into a revised settlement of hazardous waste violations, altering the original 2011 settlement’s Supplemental Environmental Project after a review of public comments. Under the revised agreement, the company will share the costs of a fire truck with the town, paying at least $450,000 rather than paying full costs, the EPA said.

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