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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: GHG Reporting, CDM ‘Coma,’ SC May Sue Feds

The EPA is amending the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to implement technical corrections, clarifications and other amendments, including revisions to global warming potentials for certain greenhouse gases. The agency’s action also establishes confidentiality determinations for the reporting of new or substantially revised data elements.

The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism offset market will likely remain “in a coma” for years, project developers told Reuters. Investment under the $315 billion market has stalled after credit prices fell 95 percent over five years, to about €0.30. Prospects for the market look dim after countries meeting in Warsaw failed to strike a deal to stimulate demand.

South Carolina is threatening to fine the federal government $154 million for failing to keep cleanup to schedule at a former nuclear weapons plant, the New York Times reports. The Department of Energy started cleanup at the Savannah River Site in 1996 and said it would convert the liquid waste into a solid by 2023. But officials now say the DOE will not complete the work until the 2040s.

The UK is trying to limit airlines’ inclusion in the European Emissions Trading System to just flights that begin and end in the EU, Bloomberg reports. France and Germany are seeking a similar restriction, Reuters says. The European Commission has proposed applying carbon charges to the portions of all flights – domestic or international – within European airspace.

General Electric and SI Group have agreed to conduct comprehensive studies of the contamination at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site in Rensselaer County, N.Y. The companies will assess long-term cleanup options for the landfill and groundwater at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. GE will also assess options for impacted surface water, and the first phase of this investigation will cost an estimated $500,000 to $1 million.

EU ambassadors in Brussels have drawn up a proposal to raise, to 7 percent, a cap on the proportion of transportation fuels made from food crops. Current use in the bloc is about 5 percent, Reuters reports.

Business umbrella groups the Coalition for Energy Savings, the European Renewable Energy Council and the Climate Action Network argued in a letter to European Commission secretary-general Catherine Day that policymakers bent to industry pressure on emissions policy, without examining the possibility for deeper cuts. The commission is expected next month to propose a energy and environment policy framework running until 2030.

The DOE has granted Hussmann Corporation and Felix Storch waivers from its energy consumption test procedure for commercial freezers. Hussmann says some of its models cannot be tested in accordance with the procedure because they cannot operate at the specified temperature of 0 °F ± 2 °F; and Felix Storch says its ice cream freezers cannot operate at the specified temperature of -15 ± 2 °F.

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