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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: GHG Rules, EU ETS, Lightweight Metals

The EPA is issuing a notice of data availability in support of its proposed greenhouse gas rules for new power plants. The NODA asks for comment on the EPA’s interpretation of the provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, including limits on the EPA’s authority to rely on information from facilities that received assistance under the act. The EPA believes those provisions do not alter its determination in the proposed rule that the best system of emission reduction for new fossil fuel-fired generators is partial carbon capture and sequestration.

President Obama has announced two new manufacturing innovation institutes led by the Department of Defense, including one Detroit-area consortium of businesses and universities focusing on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing. Fuel efficiency is a key factor behind the drive for such metals. The two centers will receive $140 million in federal money and over $140 million in other funds. The president also plans to launch a competition for a new innovation institute to build US strength in manufacturing advanced composites.

The EU has enacted measures to prop up carbon prices via backloading measures, which keep it on track to withdraw up to 400 million permits this year. A March start would allow the 400 million total, but an April start would allow only 300 million units to be withdrawn, Reuters reports.

The Department of Transportation yesterday ordered shippers to properly test and classify Bakken crude oil before loading it onto trains, the New York Times reports. It was the department’s fourth emergency order or safety advisory on oil trains in the past seven months.

The EPA has threatened sanctions for Pennsylvania, the only state that has not complied with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead, The Hill reports. The agency says its notice starts a clock that will result in sanctions in 18 months – including fines and the EPA impsoing its own attainment plan – if the state does not comply

NASA is partnering with the California Department of Water Resources to develop and apply new technology and products to better manage and monitor the state’s water resources and respond to its ongoing drought. Along with other agencies and university researchers, they will apply advanced remote sensing and improved forecast modeling to better assess water resources, monitor drought conditions and water supplies, plan for drought response and mitigation, and measure drought impacts.

The EPA and US Magnesium have voluntarily entered into an administrative order on consent, requiring USM to address a release of about 8,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid from its magnesium production facility onto its own and adjacent Bureau of Land Management property.

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