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EPA Delaying Some Regulations, But No Word Yet on Coal Ash

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has delayed actions on two high profile regulations that it has under development, saying it needs more time to fully consider technical issues and information submitted during public comment periods.  The Agency has not, however, officially given any timetable for moving forward on coal ash disposal regulations it has proposed.

First, EPA announced that it was delaying by more than a year action on new emissions rules for industrial boilers and incinerators. Then, only a day later, the Agency announced it would delay action by six months on national air quality standards for ozone, also known as smog.

For news stories about the delays in The New York Times, and Politico, check here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/science/earth/10epa.html?hp and here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46273.html.

Interestingly, when announcing the delay of the industrial boilers regulations, EPA officials cited the need to fully consider the approximately 4,800 public comments it had received on that matter. By comparison, it is estimated that EPA has received more than 200,000 public comments on its proposed regulations for coal ash disposal.

            The Agency is under court orders to issue new industrial boilers and ozone rules.  EPA is asking the courts to extend its deadlines from December 2010 to July 2011 in the case of the ozone rules and from January 2011 to April 2012 in the case of the industrial boilers rules.

            In contrast, EPA has no requirement from Congress or any court to do anything about coal ash.  The Agency has made no public announcements regarding its schedule for finalizing the coal ash disposal regulations it has proposed.

Posted by: on: Dec 14, 2010 @ 08:22