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Posts Tagged ‘Clean Air Act’

EPA Says Climate Change Real. Rejects Challenges

EPA's human health endangerment finding stands. Unknown, costly regulatory consequences for U.S. economy will ensue.

by on Jul.29, 2010

CO2 reduction is no walk in the park for auto makers or thus far unsuspecting consumers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today denied ten petitions challenging its 2009 determination that climate change is real and is occurring due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities. This threatens human health and the environment.

The latest decision, which has wide-ranging and potentially huge negative consequences for the stumbling U.S. economy, confirms a previous EPA ruling that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.

Since virtually all vehicles for the near or longer term will burn fuels that cause large amounts of GHGs, more stringent fuel economy standards are inevitable. This will affect the types, sizes and cost of vehicles – in ways yet unknown — that you will be able to buy.

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas findings were initially issued in response to a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. Prior to that, under Republican Administrations, the EPA did not take regulatory action to deal with the controversial problem.

Both the previous and today’s EPA position were not surprising given previous public statements of President Obama and his political appointees at EPA. (See EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Threaten Health)

The petitions to reconsider EPA’s Endangerment Finding claimed that climate science cannot be trusted, and assert a conspiracy that invalidates the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

EPA has just said in a statement that after months of “serious consideration” of the petitions and of the state of climate change science, that it finds no evidence to support these claims.

In fact, EPA’s review shows that climate science is “credible, compelling, and growing stronger.”

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Follow Our Emissions!

“The endangerment finding is based on years of science from the U.S. and around the world.  These petitions — based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy — provide no evidence to undermine our determination.  Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

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Houston Man Added to EPA’s Fugitive List

Diesel fuel fraud perpetrator skips court appearances.

by on Jun.23, 2010

Abuteir is known to carry a weapon at all times.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added Yousef Ishaq Abuteir of Houston, Texas to the agency’s fugitive Web site for failing to appear for several scheduled court proceedings.

Abuteir, an Israeli citizen, pleaded guilty to conspiring to impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from the collection of federal fuel excise taxes.

EPA initially investigated the case for potential violations of the Clean Air Act arising from Abuteir’s purchase of kerosene and jet fuel, illegally blending it with other materials and later selling it as diesel fuel in the Houston area.

“Those who are charged with violating the law must have their guilt or innocence determined in a court of law,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The public can help EPA achieve its mission by reporting any information they have on Mr. Abuteir or other fugitives.”

Abuteir was one of three individuals who pleaded guilty of defrauding the IRS of millions of dollars in federal fuel excise taxes.

Between July 2002 and November 2003, Sidney Berle Baldon II, owner-operator of Mid-Coast International, and Tracey Dale Diamond, an officer of the company, purchased more than $10 million of jet fuel from Calcasieu Refining Company.

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Following Fuelishness!

Baldon falsely represented in letters to Calcasieu that the jet fuel being purchased was for export to Mexico and as a result, Mid-Coast paid no federal excise taxes. Mid-Coast transported the untaxed jet fuel from Louisiana to locations owned by Abuteir in Houston and Channelview, Texas, where the jet fuel was then illegally blended with other materials including middle distillate oil, a byproduct of asphalt production.   (more…)

Emissions Tester Added to EPA’s Fugitive List

Las Vegas Man indicted for falsifying vehicle emissions tests.

by on May.12, 2010

DeMatteo allegedly "clean scanned" vehicles.

Joseph DeMatteo of Clark County, Nevada is now listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s  fugitive Web site for failing to surrender to federal law enforcement authorities following his indictment for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act.

DeMatteo was one of 10 Nevada-certified emissions testers indicted on January 6 by a federal grand jury for one felony count for falsifying vehicle emissions test reports in Las Vegas between November 2007 and May 2009. The maximum penalty for the violations contained in the indictment includes up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

It is a crime to knowingly alter or conceal any record or other document required to be maintained by the Clean Air Act. An indictment, to be clear, is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

“EPA is serious about enforcing the nation’s environmental laws and making sure that those who are charged with criminal violations are held accountable,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“The public can help EPA achieve its mission by reporting any information they have on the whereabouts of Mr. DeMatteo to EPA’s fugitive Web site or local law enforcement,” said Giles.

Las Vegas is required to perform emissions testing because currently it violates ozone and carbon monoxide standards. Ozone is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body’s organs.

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Cummins Fined $2.1 Million for Dirty Diesel Engines

Diesel engines without pollution controls violate emissions law.

by on Feb.24, 2010

Catlytic converters and particulate filters were missing.

Cummins Inc., a diesel engine company based in Columbus, Indiana, with$14 billion in annual sales will pay a $2.1 million penalty and recall 405 engines under a settlement agreement resolving violations of the Clean Air Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department made the announcement, as the automotive world’s attention was fixated on Toyota safety matters.

The Cummins settlement, recorded in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

According to a complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement in the federal court, between 1998 and 2006, Cummins shipped more than 570,000 heavy-duty diesel engines to vehicle equipment manufacturers nationwide without pollution control equipment included. This is a clear violation of the Clean Air Act.

ATDs include catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters.

“Reliable and effective pollution control systems are essential to protect human health and the environment from harmful engine emissions,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“These requirements are a critical part of EPA’s program to reduce air pollution and secure clean air so that all Americans can breathe easier.”

Engine makers must prove through testing that their engine designs meet EPA’s emissions standards and seek certificates of conformity.

According to the complaint, Cummins tested the engines with the ATDs to meet the standards, but failed to include the ATDs with the engines when Cummins shipped the engines to the vehicle manufacturers.   (more…)

EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Threaten Health

Science “overwhelmingly” shows concentrations at unprecedented levels due to human activity.

by on Dec.07, 2009

CO2 redcution will be no walk in the park for U.S. consumers.

Meaningful CO2 reduction will be no walk in the park for U.S. consumers and businesses.

In a decision which has wide-ranging and potentially negative consequences for the stumbling U.S. economy, the Environmental Protection Agency officially ruled this morning that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.

The final ruling was not surprising given previous public statements of President Obama and his political appointees.

EPA also found that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat.

Since virtually all vehicles for the near or longer term, will burn fuels that cause large amounts of GHGs, more stringent fuel economy standards are inevitable. This will affect the types, sizes and cost of vehicles –  in ways yet unknown — that  you will be able to buy.

EPA’s final findings were issued in response to a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. Prior to that, under Republican Administrations, the EPA did not take regulatory action to deal with the controversial problem.

While the findings do not impose any emission reduction requirements, they clearly are part of the legal process needed to all allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint-rulemaking with the Department of Transportation.

EPA says on-road vehicles contribute more than 23% of total GHG emissions in the U.S. EPA’s proposed GHG standards for light-duty vehicles, a subset of all on-road vehicles, would reduce GHG emissions, it is claimed, by nearly 950 million metric tons and conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of model year 2012-2016 vehicles.

Critical Thought!

Critical Thought!

The proposed national emissions program would require model year 2016 vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emission level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. The overall light-duty vehicle fleet would reach 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) in model year 2016, if, big if, all reductions were made through fuel economy improvements.

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