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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Calif. Carbon Market, Biofuel 2013 Targets, No More Solyndras Act

The American Carbon Registry anticipates a 29 percent shortage of compliance offsets in the California carbon market as compared to total potential demand for compliance offsets in all compliance periods if no additional protocols beyond the existing four are adopted by the California ARB. The report also show that with the current four project types – Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), US Forests, Urban Forests, and Livestock – if total expected demand is reached, there will be a shortage of  7.6 million megatons of CO2e in Compliance Period 1. By CP3, there will be a 67 percent, or a 134 mmtCO2e shortage, ACR said.

An EPA final action has set amounts of bio-diesel products required for 2013 diesel fuel markets. EPA’s action sets the 2013 volume at 1.28 billion gallons under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) which established the second phase of the Renewable Fuel Standards program. EISA specifies a one billion gallon minimum volume requirement for the biomass-based diesel category for 2012 and beyond, the agency said.

The House passed the No More Solyndras Act Friday afternoon, approving the legislation in a 245-161 vote. If it were to become law, the act would prevent DOE from approving any loan guarantee applications filed after 2011. Applications sent in before 2012 could only be approved after a review by the Treasury Department, The Hill said.

French President Francois Hollande has called for carbon emissions reductions well beyond the EU 20 percent target set for 2020. Hollande recommended a 40 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 and a 60 percent reduction by 2040 at the EU level. The EU has said it would consider moving to a 30 percent cut by 2020 if other rich economies followed suit, Reuters reports.

Spain has proposed new taxes on power generation to counter a 24 billion euro ($31 billion) funding gap in the power industry, resulting from years of selling energy below cost. The bill, which must be approved by parliament, includes a flat 6 percent tax on power generation revenues and other levies to raise 2.7 billion euros annually and by next year stop the power deficit from expanding, Reuters said.

Japan’s government said on Friday it intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s, a major policy shift from pre-Fukushima targets that sought to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply. In abandoning atomic power, Japan aims to triple the share of renewable power to 30 percent of its energy mix, but will remain a top importer of oil, coal and gas, Reuters said.

The Japanese economy, trade and industry minister Yukio Edano has said that the nation will not stop work on several planned nuclear reactors, adding controversy to the plan to phase out nuclear power. The government said that it would ban the construction of new reactors, but said a possible an exception would be granted for reactors already in various stages of construction, the New York Times reports.

The EPA and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, have reached a settlement that will resolve violations of federal PCB regulations at the Lederle Graduate Research Center. The long-term plan requires replacing and disposing of 900 PCB-contaminated windows currently installed at the Research Center, at a cost of about $3 million dollars. In the interim, the research center must encapsulate the contaminated window glazing. A $75,000 civil penalty will be waived if both plans are completed, the agency said.

The EPA announced three enforcement actions against Missouri pesticides distributors for violations related to sales or distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides. All three cases involved the sale and distribution of plant growth regulators, which are regulated as pesticides by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. AgXplore International, LLC, of Parma, Missouri, agreed to pay a $237,573 civil penalty to resolve violations of FIFRA; Mayberry Seed Co., of Essex, Missouri, agreed to pay a $17,160 penalty; and Southeast Cooperative Service Company, of Advance, Missouri, agreed to pay a $12,000 civil penalty.

The EPA has conducted emergency work to stop the spread of asbestos at the Liberty Plant Maintenance Inc. facility in Lockport, New York. The EPA said it has restricted access to asbestos contaminated areas of the 13,000 square foot former boiler house and is taking steps to stop the spread of asbestos into the 40 residences and a school building located within 600 feet of the site.

Strategic Materials, Inc. has allegedly allowed polluted stormwater from its glass recycling facility in Franklin, Mass., to flow into nearby waters, in violation of the Clean Water Act. The company faces a maximum penalty of up to $177,500 for the alleged violations, the EPA said.

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