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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Calif. Paint Recycling, Pa. Towns’ Fracking Funds, Chinese Solar

The California Paint Stewardship Program has launched its statewide recycling system, allowing residents to bring unused cans of paint to designated retailers and other drop-off sites for recycling. Customers buying paints will also be charged a fee, ranging from 35 cents to $1.60, to cover some costs of the program, the Los Angeles Times said.

Four Pennsylvania townships are challenging a state regulator’s decision to withhold their share of proceeds from a statewide levy on drilling by the natural gas industry. The townships — Cecil, Robinson, South Fayette and Mount Pleasant — are among a group of plaintiffs that won a ruling on local ordinances from a state appeals court in July. The townships are scheduled to receive a combined $986,000, but the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said it was withholding payments until it resolved five “requests for review” that were filed by four local landowners and by Texas drilling company Range Resources, the New York Times said.

The Chinese government is working on policies, including subsidies and easier access to the grid, to help its solar power producers expand in the domestic market. State-owned utility State Grid Corp may allow its subsidiaries at city level to approve grid connection for solar power plants of less than 10 MW, Reuters said.

The headquarters of the Green Climate Fund will be at Songdo in Incheon City, South Korea. The new UN fund will manage billions of dollars to help developing nations combat climate change. Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Poland and Switzerland had also sought to host the headquarters, Reuters said.

Biofuels industry groups including the Biotechnology Industry Organization are asking Senate and House leaders to keep the renewable fuel standard (RFS) intact. The rule requires refiners to blend 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based biofuel into transportation fuel this year. The groups wants to defeat a request for a one-year waiver, filed by some state governors in response to drought conditions, The Hill said.

The state of Alaska and other plaintiffs that include hunters and the California Cattlemen’s Association are challenging polar bears’ designation as a threatened species. The groups are appealing a 2011 federal court ruling that upheld the Interior Department designation of the bears as threatened because their icy habitat is melting away. Alaska and oil companies have argued that protections for polar bears diminish opportunities for Alaska energy development, Reuters said.

Atlas Resources will pay an $84,500 penalty to settle alleged air and hazardous chemical violations at its natural gas production facility in Avella, Washington County, Pa. The EPA said it cited the company for violating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, a federal law designed to inform the public and emergency responders about hazardous and toxic chemicals in their communities.

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