Posts Tagged ‘Clean Air Act’

US EPA extends GHG reporting deadline

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources has provoked strong opposition, in particular from heavy industry. The EPA succeeded in defending its position in court at the end of last year and is pushing ahead with its plans. However, its role in regulating greenhouse gases is far from secure.

SBB 2 March The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will extend the deadline for greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting by large emitters, such as steelmakers, Steel Business Briefing learns. The government agency issued a statement yesterday saying it will extend this year’s reporting deadline – originally March 31 – and have “the final uploading tool available this summer, with the data scheduled to be published later this year.” It did not provide specific dates for either milestone. The EPA says the decision was made “following conversations with industry and others, and in the interest of providing high-quality data to the public this year.” “To ensure that the requirements are practical and understandable to the thousands of companies already registered to report under the program, the agency is in the process of finalizing a user-friendly online electronic reporting platform,” the agency says. “This extension will allow EPA to further test the system that facilities will use to submit data and give industry the opportunity to test the tool, provide feedback and have sufficient time to become familiar with the tool prior to reporting.”US trade groups have contended the EPA’s involvement in regulating GHGs under the Clean Air Act prevents an international approach on climate change, while placing unfair burdens on domestic manufacturers. They’ve pushed instead for a legislative approach, as SBB reported.


Industry leaders urge Congress to address CO2, not EPA

It can be a toss-up when having to choose between a regulatory agency and Congress as to which would provide better oversight and regulation. However, the AISI and ACC are probably right that a more comprehensive legislative plan approved by Congress would be preferable. EPA officials also likely would be hamstrung by a lack of resources and personnel, in terms of implementation and enforcement, and be limited in their scope by the federal Clean Air Act. The Kerry/Lieberman/Graham legislation being mulled in the Senate could provide more clarity and cost-compliance assistance for reducing greenhouse gases (GHG). It’s probably worth pointing out something Gibson mentioned during the conference call: the industrial sector was the only one to reduce its GHG emissions between 1999-2008. The sector’s GHG emissions fell by 5.9% during that period, while the electricity sector saw its emissions rise by 30%, transportation’s increased by 21.6% and agriculture’s rose 11.4%. The steel industry alone has reduced overall absolute GHG emissions by 31% since 1990, Gibson said.

SBB 23 March The heads of two large trade organizations representing US manufacturers urged federal officials to allow Congress to address carbon emissions reduction efforts, rather than permit the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin regulating such emissions this month.

The EPA could start regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources, such as steel mills, as soon as March 31, when the agency will also issue auto emissions standards.

American Iron and Steel Institute CEO Thomas Gibson, during a teleconference yesterday with American Chemistry Council CEO Cal Dooley, said comprehensive GHG legislation being discussed in the US Senate would be preferable to EPA regulation, which could impact businesses starting in 2011 and create uncertainty in the industrial sector.

“It’ll bring to a halt new investment right now, when we need it most,” Gibson told media outlets covering the conference, including Steel Business Briefing.

He added that a unilateral approach through the EPA would put America on unequal footing with competitors in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere.

“In the wake of the failure of the Copenhagen Treaty, getting US policy right is more critical than ever,” Gibson said.

Dooley said manufacturing officials have received a “very general outline” of pending Senate legislation that could call for a mix of carbon fees and allowances, a cap-and-trade scheme and assistance in offsetting compliance costs. Industry executives expect to be briefed on the legislation and more specifics later this week, he said.

AISI’s Gibson, Congressional Steel Caucus chairman Pete Visclosky and others will address GHG regulation at SBB’s Green Steel Summit, May 20-21 in Washington, DC

US steel industry criticises EPA uncertainty

SBB 2 March: A high-profile steel trade group has blasted the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision last week to delay addressing certain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions until 2011.The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) criticized EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s response to a letter from eight US senators requesting an outline of the agency’s plans this year for addressing GHG emissions. Jackson said no facilities will be required to address GHG emissions under Clean Air Act permitting for new construction or capital modifications before 2011.

She also said for the first half of next year, only facilities that already must apply for Clean Air Act permits will need to address GHG emissions in permit applications, according to the EPA Web site.In a statement seen by Steel Business Briefing, the AISI said Jackson’s response “leaves many important questions unresolved” for steelmakers and others impacted by any GHG reduction plans, such as cap-and-trade.“A temporary delay in regulation for some sources, as EPA has proposed, does not provide the certainty that businesses need,” the AISI said.

“Without an international agreement on GHG emissions reductions, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases will only transfer emissions – and critical manufacturing jobs – overseas. We call on Congress to stop EPA and instead consider a legislative approach that reduces emissions while ensuring international competitiveness for domestic industries.”

AISI president Thomas Gibson, Congressional Steel Caucus chairman Pete Visclosky and others will address GHG regulation at SBB’s Green Steel Summit, May 20-21 in Washington, DC