Regulatory Report Reveals Obama's Environmental Plans

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 02:03 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Obama administration's new environmental regulations cover more than new standards for greenhouse emissions from new and existing power plants, according to a recently released report.

A host of new regulations is being finalized to cover hundreds of types of pollutants, from runoff from military ships to landfill methane emissions, reports The Hill.

The new regulations are previewed in the Environmental Protection Agency's spring regulatory report released this past week.

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President Barack Obama came under fire from the coal industry after announcing his plan to fight global warming, which includes capping carbon emissions from new and existing power plants.

The regulatory report gives a timeline for Obama's plan, which calls for the EPA to release its proposed rules for new power plants in September and rules for emissions from existing plants in June 2014.

Supporters say the timeline shows a serious commitment from the Obama administration, but James Goodwin, a policy analyst for the Center for Progressive Reform, warns "the power-plant rules, have kind of a long history of delays."

The administration first unveiled a draft rule for new power plants in 2012, but delayed finalizing it after more than 2 million comments were submitted by the public and lawmakers representing coal-industry states, according to The Daily Caller.

But while the power-plant rules have gotten the most attention, the Pentagon also will be hit by guidelines regulating pollution discharges from ships including fire-fighting foam, deck runoff, and onboard photography labs. The EPA expects to unveil the ship regulations next month and finalize them next June.

Other proposals in the coming months would regulate new refrigerants used in automobile air conditioners, update 29-year-old standards for grain elevators, and renew an effort to change disposals of pharmaceuticals that are considered hazardous waste. All are likely to draw scrutiny and complaints from lawmakers, businesses, and advocacy groups.

The regulatory agenda itself was delayed this year. It usually comes out in April and October but this year was put off until July. Last year, the Obama administration published only one roadmap, which came out in December.





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