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EPA announces new rules to cut methane emissions
The New York Times
The Obama administration on Aug. 18 proposed the first federal regulations requiring the nation's oil and gas industry to cut emissions of methane as part of an expanding and increasingly aggressive effort to combat climate change. Janet McCabe, the Environmental Protection Agency's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, said the rules were designed to ensure that oil and gas companies reduced waste and sold more gas that would otherwise be lost, while protecting the climate and the health of the public.
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Pollution fears after explosions in China
RTE News
Rain fell on the remains of a Chinese industrial site devastated by giant explosions, complicating clean-up efforts and heightening fears about toxic contamination. It comes as ceremonies were held to mark the disaster's 114 deaths. Around 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide were at the site in the northern port of Tianjin, officials say, and water could disperse it more widely.
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Turning wasteland into power plants fueled by the sun
The Christian Science Monitor
Surveying more than 35 million acres of abandoned mines, landfills, factories, and hazardous waste dumps, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified a total of 5.5 trillion watts of solar potential &madsh; enough to produce about seven times the total electricity consumed by all U.S. households. Site preparation costs may be prohibitive at some of these properties. But already solar developers have overcome these constraints at hundreds of "brownfield" sites across the country
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  Long-Term Outdoor Environmental Monitoring Made Easy

TSI introduces the Environmental DustTrak™ Aerosol Monitor. It is the most reliable, built for purpose solution to easily and accurately facilitate long-term outdoor environmental monitoring. Conveniently packaged configurations allow for easy setup for monitoring levels of PM10, PM2.5 or both simultaneously. The complete solution enables real-time access to data and instrument performance anytime, anywhere through a sophisticated Cloud Data Management System. Check it out.

US EPA issues 2nd direct final rule on greenhouse gas permitting in light of DC Circuit ruling
The National Law Review
In May, the U.S. EPA issued a direct final rule allowing for the rescission of certain preconstruction permits issued by the EPA and delegating permit review authority to states under Step 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule. Step 2 of the Tailoring Rule set in motion PSD permitting for "GHG-only" sources, meaning sources permitted solely due to their greenhouse gas emissions. However, on Aug. 19, the EPA took an additional direct final action to remove Step 2-related sections of the PSD and Title V GHG Tailoring Rule regulations .
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Refineries consider delaying maintenance shutdowns after gas prices skyrocket
Crain's Detroit Business
At least one Midwestern refinery is said to be considering a delay in maintenance work after trouble at BP Plc's Whiting, Indiana, plant near Chicago sent regional profit margins to a seven-year high. Phillips 66 is weighing the postponement of a planned September turnaround at its Wood River, Illinois, refinery by several weeks, people familiar with the deliberations said. On Aug. 18, the Energy Information Administration estimated that as much as 140,000 barrels a day of gasoline output is being lost after leaks at the biggest crude unit in the Whiting refinery reduced operations there.
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New estimates show China's carbon emissions were less than previously thought
China's carbon emissions have been substantially over estimated by international agencies for more than 10 years, according to research co-led by the University of East Anglia. From 2000-2013 China produced 2.9 gigatons less carbon than previous estimates of its cumulative emissions.
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What the EPA rules mean for carbon capture and storage
The Energy Collective
In its final rules for limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants, EPA recognized the importance of carbon capture and storage technologies to achieving U.S. carbon reduction goals. New coal-fired power plants will likely need to capture some portion of potential emissions to meet final federal standards for emissions. While not required, existing coal and natural gas power plants may pursue carbon capture and storage to meet state emissions targets under the final Clean Power Plan.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Carbon emissions falling fast as wind and solar replace fossil fuels (EcoWatch)
10 things to know about EPA'S Clean Power Plan (Digital Trends)
EPA working on fix for mercury emissions rule (The Detroit News)
EPA issues a draft methane challenge reduction program for the oil and gas sector (Lexology)
Study: Pipelines much safer than shipping oil by rail (Financial Post)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Operators planning more than 6,500 miles of offshore pipelines through 2019
Operators and developers are studying, planning, and building just over 6,577 miles of oil and gas pipelines to bring these supplies from offshore fields to onshore markets. The total reflects a decrease from last year's offshore pipeline construction survey, which showed a total of 7,057 miles. This year's total represents a 6.8 percent decrease over last year.
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Brazil gives go-ahead to 29 new power plants
Brazil gave the green light on Aug. 21 for the construction of 29 new power generation facilities in the country, awarding licenses for windmills, small hydropower plants, biomass and gas-fueled installations expected to cost around 2.5 billion reais ($716 million). Wind farms will account for the bulk of the new supply expected to be added to the national grid in 2018, accounting for 538 MW of the new capacity.
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Carbon nanofibers made from CO2 in the air
BBC News
Scientists in the US have found a way to take carbon dioxide from the air and make carbon nanofibers, a valuable manufacturing material. Their solar-powered system runs a small current through a tank filled with a hot, molten salt; the fluid absorbs atmospheric CO2 and tiny carbon fibres slowly form at one of the electrodes. The team says it can be "scaled up" and could have an impact on CO2 emissions, but other researchers are unsure.
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Date Event More Information
Sept. 9-10 Addressing Climate Change: Emerging Policies, Strategies, and Technological Solutions Oak Brook, IL
Sept. 22-23 Oil & Gas Environmental Conference New Orleans
Oct. 20-22 International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies & Hazardous Waste Combustors Houston
Oct. 28-29 51st Annual Florida Section A&WMA Conference, Tallahassee Sponsor Registration
Oct. 29 A&WMA-NES Fall 2015 Conference, Framingham, Massachusetts Sponsorship Fees and Agenda
Nov. 4-6 Pacific Northwest International Section Annual Conference Stevenson, WA
Dec. 1-2 40th Annual A&WMA/EPA Information Exchange Research Triangle Park, NC


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