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Utilities Have Their Guards Up to Protect Their Grids Against Physical Attacks

Whether they be cyber attacks or physical assaults on their assets, utilities have their guards up. The latest news on this front is that someone armed with a rifle caused $1 million dollars worth of damage to utility equipment in Utah, and knocked out power to 13,000 people there.

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Carbon Rule Goes to White House, Ryan Budget Attacks ‘War on Coal’

The White House has received the EPA’s draft regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants, according to Office of Management and Budget records cited by The Hill. President Obama set a June deadline for the proposal, a cornerstone of his climate change plan. An EPA finding from earlier this … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Diesel Grants, DOT Slams Oil Sector, Bombardier Fails to Report

Republicans and Democrats are criticizing EPA proposals to cut funding for programs that have strong bipartisan backing. The agency proposes to completely eliminate the $20 million Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants, which help trucking companies with engine retrofits and replacements. And the EPA has proposed cutting state water quality revolving loan … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: BP’s Latest Spill, Rare Earths, NESHAP

The EPA is investigating possible violations of the Clean Water Act following BP’s crude oil spill into Lake Michigan from its Whiting, Ind., refinery. BP today more than doubled its estimate of the maximum amount spilled, to 39 barrels, or 1,638 gallons. The EPA said the spill likely poses no long-term risk … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Mandatory CSR, Oil Spill Fines, Flood Report

India is mandating that companies with an annual turnover of INR 10 billion ($164 million) or more, or a net worth of INR 5 billion and more, or a net profit of INR 0.05 billion or more during any financial year, set aside two percent of their net profits for socially beneficial activities in … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Fracking Diesel, GM Corn, Fukushima

The EPA yesterday released revised underground injection control permitting guidance, along with an interpretative memorandum, for fracking wells that use diesel fuels. EPA developed the guidance to clarify how companies can comply with a law passed by Congress in 2005, which exempted hydraulic fracturing operations from the requirement to obtain a … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: EPA Compliance Results, Coal Ash, Microgird Research

The EPA released its annual enforcement and compliance results demonstrating a focus on violations that have the most impact on public health. Highlights for fiscal year 2013 include $4.5 billion in combined fines, restitution and court-ordered environmental projects, more than $1.1 billion in civil penalties. North Carolina’s environmental agency says it … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Electricity Act, GMO Suit, Pinelands Pipe Decision

The energy and power subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a markup and vote today and tomorrow on HR 3826, the Electricity Security and Affordability Act. The bill, which committee chair Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced on Thursday, would require that EPA carbon … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Chemical Storage Overhaul, Rail Safety, Hydropower

The Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group is considering a major overhaul of handling and storage for volatile substances, The Hill says. The group’s latest report asks for comment on an array of options, including mandatory safeguards and a third-party audit system. President Obama formed the working group in response to the … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Oil Safety Alert, BNSF Suit, GSA Seeks Industry Input

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a safety alert in response to last week’s oil train derailment and fire near Casselton, N.D., warning that crude oil from the state’s Bakken formation may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude, The Hill reported. The region’s light sweet crude oil has a burning point … Read more »

Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Solar Duties, Sea Emissions, Social Cost of Carbon

Solar panel maker SolarWorld has filed a petition asking the Commerce Department to levy new duties on certain imports from China and Taiwan. The petition aims to close a loophole in a 2012 US trade decision, and could effectively keep Chinese manufacturers out of the American market, the New York … Read more »