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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Water Act, Clean Car Plan, GHG Targets

The House approved, 417-3, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, Maritime Executive reports. Lawmakers rejected a Democratic amendment that would have delayed provisions to streamline environmental reviews, the Hill reports. The Senate passed the act in May. A House-Senate conference will now seek to align the two versions of the bill. 

Canada is set to miss its 2020 greenhouse gas reductions targets, CBC News reports, citing an Environment Canada report. The study projects 2020 emissions of 734 megatonnes, 122 megatonnes higher than Canada’s target under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.

The governors of California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont have agreed to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road within 12 years. The states plan to harmonize building codes for charging stations, and develop common standards for charging networks and roadway signs. They also plan to buy clean cars for government fleets, and consider favorable electricity rates for home charging, Reuters reports.   

California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia will announce on Monday details of an agreement to align their climate and clean energy policies. California is linking its cap-and-trade system with Quebec’s, and it is unclear whether Monday’s announcement will address a further expansion of that program, Reuters reports.

Albania, Bosnia, Georgia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Moldavia, Serbia and Ukraine agreed yesterday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large power plants and oil refineries by 2027, part of plans designed to forge closer ties with the EU, Reuters reports. Reductions in sulfur, dust and nitrogen emissions would be required starting in 2018.

The EPA has ordered the city of Middletown, N.Y., to comply with federal Clean Water Act requirements for reducing pollutants in the wastewater that flows from area industrial facilities to its wastewater treatment plant. The city failed to establish a pretreatment program for the Middletown Sewage Treatment Plant, the EPA says.

Blaser Swisslube of Goshen, N.Y., has agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty for violations of federal regulations governing toxic substances. The company, which produces high-end coolants for tools, failed to notify the EPA before importing a chemical it had been using to inhibit corrosion in one of the company’s products, the agency says. 

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