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Clean Air Act

December 14, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced a new air pollution standard Friday that would bring about a 20% reduction in microscopic particles of soot emitted by coal-fired power plants and diesel vehicles that contribute to haze and respiratory ailments. The new limit, fought by industry and welcomed by environmentalists, marks the first time the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the soot standard since it was established 15 years ago. "These standards are fulfilling the promise of the Clean Air Act," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
September 19, 2012 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Russell Train, an important American conservationist and former tax court judge who helped craft some of the nation's early and enduring environmental laws, has died. He was 92. Train, who led the Environmental Protection Agency in the 1970s, died Monday at his farm in Bozman, Md. The EPA confirmed his death on its website but did not reveal the cause. When the EPA was just getting established under the Nixon administration, Train helped set the path for the agency's ongoing work, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
August 13, 2012 | By Carl Pope
California can, and should, lead the world in ending the menace of soot and black carbon pollution from diesel engines. We've all choked on black smoke billowing from diesel trucks and buses. It's obviously polluting, but what's not obvious is much worse. Diesel emissions are a major health hazard - cancer causing, in fact. And they are a big part of the threat to our climate. Yet cleaning them up is practical, easy and affordable - the rules just need to be enforced. On June 12, the World Health Organization classified diesel particulate matter (soot)
June 26, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate gas emissions from power plants and vehicles, dealing a setback to fossil fuel industries, states and lobbying groups that have fought for years to delay taking steps to address climate change. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday dismissed four sweeping lawsuits that asserted that the Clean Air Act did not give the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
May 23, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced that BP North America Inc. has agreed to pay an $8-million fine and install more than $400 million in equipment to cut air pollution from an oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., as part of a settlement over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department said in a statement that the pollution reduction plan, when fully implemented, “is expected to...
December 19, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A CalPortland cement plant near the high desert community of Mojave has agreed to pay a fine of $1.4 million and spend $1.3 million on equipment needed to reduce emissions of pollutants that cause asthma and generate smog, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday. The penalties were part of a settlement that capped an investigation by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice into the CalPortland Co. facility, one of the largest emitters of nitrogen oxide pollution in California.
October 3, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in on a clean-air dispute along California's coast and take a stand on whether the state can force oceangoing vessels to switch to more costly low-sulfur fuel when they come within 24 miles of shore. The California Air Resources Board adopted the rule two years ago for ships bound for California's ports. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Assn. went to court and claimed the rule would cost its members an estimated $1.5 billion by 2014.
July 19, 2011 | By Ashlie Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Environmental and public health groups filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, saying the agency has failed to force officials to crack down on smog in the Los Angeles Basin. The suit contends the EPA missed a May deadline to, in effect, determine whether the ozone level in the region is hazardous to public health. Such a determination could trigger tougher limits on pollution from cars, trucks, ships and refineries. The EPA did not comment on the lawsuit, which was filed by Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, Desert Citizens Against Pollution, Communities for a Better Environment and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among other groups.
July 11, 2011 | By Michael Brune
Environmentalists worked hard to help Barack Obama win the presidency. Three years later, many of us are disappointed with the administration's environmental record. Although headlines proclaiming that Al Gore "condemned," "blasted" or "slammed" the president in his recent Rolling Stone essay were exaggerated, there's no skirting the administration's failure to take bold action on protecting our communities, rivers, lakes, oceans, wild lands, air and climate. FOR THE RECORD: Tar sands: A July 11 Op-Ed on what President Obama can do to reassert his environmental credibility said that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was "backed" by the Koch brothers.
June 27, 2011
When the Supreme Court rules in favor of power plants in a global warming case, the initial reaction is dismay. But the effort to control carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions won't be greatly set back by last week's unanimous decision rejecting a lawsuit by California and five other states against four power companies and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The states had sought to limit the greenhouse gases emitted by the power plants, but their lawsuit had a problem: It was brought not under the Clean Air Act but under the common law doctrine known as "public nuisance.
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