Fuel Economy Reaches New Record, Manufacturers Meet Greenhouse Gas Standards, EPA Reports Show

EPA issued two annual reports that provide information on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions from light duty vehicles in the United States. The reports show auto manufacturers continue to innovate and make progress increasing fuel economy and reducing pollution.

The Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975-2017 report is the authoritative reference for real world fuel economy, technology trends and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, for new personal vehicles sold in the U.S. every year since 1975.  The report shows fuel economy for the U.S. fleet continues to improve.  Model year (MY) 2016 vehicle fuel economy was 24.7 mpg, slightly higher than MY 2015, and a record high overall. Since MY 2004, fuel economy and CO2 emissions have improved in ten out of twelve years.

The Manufacturer Performance Report assesses compliance performance for individual automakers and for the U.S. fleet as a whole with the greenhouse gas emissions standards for light duty vehicles.  This year’s report shows all manufacturers are in compliance with the standards.

EPA, the Department of Transportation, and the California Air Resources Board implement coordinated regulations for passenger cars and light trucks on fuel economy and GHG emissions.

The Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975-2017: https://www.epa.gov/fuel-economy-trends/highlights-co2-and-fuel-economy-trends

Manufacturer Performance Report:  https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/greenhouse-gas-ghg-emission-standards-light-duty-vehicles.


Source:
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)


ESS provides emissions testing, air quality analysis, and ambient air testing services for municipal water treatment plants, public utilities, manufacturers, paper mills, and other industrial facilities in the US and overseas.  Since its inception in 1979, ESS has conducted thousands of emissions tests and provided countless hours of environmental consulting services.  ESS specializes in conducting the EPA testing methods for all applicable EPA subparts, such as: NSPS (40 CFR 60), NESHAP (40 CFR 63), RATA (40 CFR 75), and various other federal and state regulations.

Call us at 910.799.1055 to request a quote for your next stack emission test project.

What is the Ozone Transport Region and Why Are States Suing the EPA to Enforce It?

Although the issue of pollution carriage was first addressed by the EPA in 1990, there appears to be a growing concern among state regulatory authorities that the current measures taken by the EPA are not stringent enough.  This article will provide an overview of existing regulations and current complaints against the EPA in an effort to inform readers of this re-emerging air quality regulation issue.

What is the Ozone Transport Region?

In 1990, Congress established the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) in the federal Clean Air Act (Section 184(a)) in order to address air pollution in downwind states that is caused by activities in upwind states.  The OTR is essentially a single, 13-state ozone nonattainment area.  The original member states of the OTR are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, parts of Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The Clean Air Act contains what is known as a “good neighbor” provision, which requires states to examine whether pollution generated in their state contributes to poor air quality in another. If a significant contribution is found, the state must adopt measures to alleviate this contribution and include these measures in its State Implementation Plan. EPA must approve these plans.

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Delaware Plans to Sue EPA for Upwind Air Pollution Relief

Delaware state authorities said Tuesday that they intend to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to curb the upwind air pollution generated by power plants in neighboring Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The Clean Air Act entitles Delaware to relief from upwind pollution and the remedy we are seeking is reasonable and within EPA’s authority and responsibility to grant,” said Delaware Governor John Carney.  The governor’s statements come after four petitions to the EPA in 2016 were unsuccessful in bringing relief from the pollution.

Delaware authorities claim that about 90 percent of the smog in Delaware is caused from uncontrolled emissions in upwind states.  The carriage of air pollution from other states is cited by Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Controls as the reason Delaware struggles to meet federal air quality standards.

“It is now time for EPA to hold upwind sources accountable for ozone emissions that are impacting downwind states,” the department’s secretary, Shawn Garvin, said.

 

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EPA to Propose Repealing Clean Power Plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose repealing the Clean Power Plan – the Obama administration’s centerpiece regulation to fight climate change – and plans to solicit input on a rule to replace it, according to an EPA document seen by Reuters.

The decision marks the agency’s first formal step to sweep away the rule intended to cut carbon emissions from power plants, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March launching the EPA’s review.

The Republican president has expressed doubts about the science of climate change and has blamed former Democratic President Barack Obama’s efforts to cut carbon emissions for hurting the coal mining and oil drilling industries.

The Clean Power Plan, or CPP, was challenged in court by 27 states after Obama’s administration launched it in 2015. It is currently suspended by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which set a deadline of Friday for a status report from the EPA on how it plans to proceed.

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EPA Announces Intent to Revisit Provisions of Phase 2 Heavy-Duty Rules

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today its intent to revisit provisions of the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines following concerns raised by stakeholders in the trailer and glider industry.

“In light of the significant issues raised, the agency has decided to revisit the Phase 2 trailer and glider provisions,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We intend to initiate a rulemaking process that incorporates the latest technical data and is wholly consistent with our authority under the Clean Air Act.”

Background: 

In September 2011, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles for model year 2014-2018 (“Phase 1”). These standards applied to newly manufactured engines, tractors, vocational vehicles, large pickups, and vans. In October 2016, EPA and NHTSA updated the standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles MY 2021-2027 (“Phase 2”), and regulated trailers and gliders – for the first time under the GHG program – with compliance deadlines beginning in 2018.

Contact Information: (press@epa.gov)

Air Quality Continues to Improve While U.S. Economy Continues to Grow

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report on air quality, showing the significant progress the United States has made to improve air quality across the country. “Our Nation’s Air: Status and Trends Through 2016” documents the steady and significant progress made in improving air quality across America, over more than 45 years under the Clean Air Act.

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EPA Proposes Longer Stay of Portions of Oil and Gas Standards

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking steps to ensure portions of the agency’s 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and natural gas industry do not take effect while the agency works through the reconsideration process.

The agency is proposing a two-year stay of the fugitive emissions, pneumatic pump and professional engineer certification requirements in the rule while the agency reconsiders issues associated with these requirements. Under the proposal, sources would not need to comply with these requirements while the stay is in effect. Since issuing the final rule, EPA has received several petitions to reconsider certain aspects of the rule.

Earlier this month, EPA used its Clean Air Act authority to issue a 90-day administrative stay of these requirements. To ensure there is no gap in the stay between the 90-day stay and the proposed two-year stay if finalized, EPA also is proposing a three-month stay.

EPA will take comment on both of the proposed stays for 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

Contact Information: 

EPA Stays Landfill Methane Rules

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 90-day administrative stay for the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines for municipal solid waste landfills. In a May 5th letter, EPA notified industry petitioners that the agency was granting their reconsideration request. This stay will allow EPA to reconsider certain aspects of the new source standards and emission guidelines for existing landfills. Consistent with President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order Energy Independence Executive Order, EPA will continue to review these actions to ensure that they protect the environment and enable a growing economy.

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NESHAP for Area Source Boilers (40 CFR 63, Subpart JJJJJJ)

2017-04-20 NESHAP for Area Source Boilers (40 CFR, Subpart JJJJJJ)

The national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for area source boilers (40 CFR part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ) was published in the Federal Register on March 21, 2011 and EPA finalized changes to the rule in the Federal Register on February 1, 2013 and on September 14, 2016. The September 14, 2016, action announced EPA’s final decisions on five issues regarding the February 1, 2013, amendments for which reconsideration was granted.

ESS provides comprehensive emissions testing services to meet the federal and state requirements for industrial boilers, including Subpart JJJJJJ, Subpart DDDDD, Title V, and more.  See our list of capabilities for more information or call 910.799.1055 for more information.

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Three Decades of Condensable Particulate Matter (CPM) Regulation

2017-03-17 Three Decades of CPM Regulation

WHAT IS CONDENSABLE PARTICULATE MATTER?

Condensable Particulate Matter (CPM) is material that is in a vapor state at stack conditions, but condenses and/or reacts upon cooling and dilution in the ambient air to become solid or liquid Particulate Matter (PM) immediately after discharging from the stack.  All CPM is assumed to be in the PM2.5 size fraction.

HOW DID EPA CPM REGULATIONS DEVELOP?

1987  After promulgating the PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) the EPA began recommending that, in certain circumstances, states consider including the condensable portion of PM10 emissions in the determination of total and fine PM emissions from major stationary sources.

1991  EPA Promulgated Method 202.  The original Method used wet impingers – in which sulfur dioxide was captured and formed sulfur trioxide and sulfuric acid artifacts. This caused captures to be biased high by improperly quantifying the sulfuric artifacts as condensable PM.

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