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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: GHG Reporting, Russian Pipeline, Chemical List

The EPA is proposing revisions and confidentiality determinations for the petroleum and natural gas systems source category and the general provisions of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule. In particular, the EPA is proposing to revise or clarify certain definitions, calculation methods and data reporting requirements, and correct certain technical and editorial errors. Comments are due by April 24.

At least 28 Democratic senators from the Senate Climate Action Task Force, including majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), plan to participate in an all-night session tonight to draw attention to the scientific consensus on climate change. Senators will post updates using the hashtag #Up4Climate. No Republicans have agreed to speak – and on Friday, minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) emphasized his doubts about climate change, telling the Cincinnati Enquirer, “For everybody who thinks it’s warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t.”

In light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the European Commission will suspend political negotiations over a proposed Russian pipeline that would bypass Ukraine to transport natural gas to southeastern Europe. Talks will continue at a technical level, the AP reported.

The EPA plans to revise its work plan chemical list in the next few months, using results from the 2012 chemical data reporting period, Chemical Watch reports. “We only want to keep chemicals on the work plan if they are still in commerce,” Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, director of the EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, said.

The EPA is finalizing changes to the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for the Construction and Development point source category. EPA is promulgating these changes pursuant to a settlement agreement to resolve litigation. This final rule withdraws the numeric discharge standards, which are currently stayed, and changes several of the non-numeric provisions of the existing rule.

Out of 74 Chinese cities monitored for pollution last year, 71 failed to meet state standards, environmental protection vice-minister Wu Xiaoqing said. And on Sunday, Zhang Dejiang of the Politburo Standing Committee released a report that could pave the way for unlimited penalties for polluters, Reuters reported. But the report did not give specific details about how the government would improve enforcement.

Costa Rican opposition group PAC, expected to win presidential elections next month, will postpone the country’s deadline for carbon neutrality from 2021 to 2025. Costa Rica’s plans to become the first carbon-neutral nation, announced in 2009, drew praise from environmental groups and multi-lateral organizations, Reuters reports.

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