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Carbon emissions from power plants hit 27-year low
Climate Central
As states begin the long task of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants to comply with new federal climate policy, a 27-year low in carbon dioxide emissions earlier this year shows the U.S. may be heading toward meeting its emissions goals. U.S. power plants emitted less carbon dioxide — 128 million metric tons — in April than at any point in since April 1988, according to new U.S. Energy Information Administration data.
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America's utility-scale solar generation is 31 times higher today than a decade ago
Greentech Solar
In the second half of 2014, utilities all around the country signed an unprecedented number of contracts for utility-scale PV projects — in large part because the technology had gotten so cheap. utility-scale solar continues to hit cost and generation records. There are now more than 7 gigawatts of PV projects slated for completion around the country next year. In June, Austin Energy revealed that the average bid from developers in the second round of a 600-megawatt procurement were averaging below 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. And in March, California became the first state to generate 5 percent of its electricity from utility-scale solar power plants.
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EPA sends final ozone rule to White House
The US Environmental Protection Agency has sent its new ozone limits to the White House for review, a month ahead of court deadline to finalize the updated air quality standard. EPA sent the standard to the White House Office of Management and Budget on Aug. 28. EPA last year proposed setting a new standard in the range of 65-70 parts per billion, down from the current 75 ppb. The EPA is under court order to issue a new ozone standard by Oct. 1.
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Judge dismisses much of federal pollution suit against Luminant, citing statute of limitations
The Dallas Morning News
A federal judge has dismissed a large portion of the Justice Department's lawsuit against Dallas power company Luminant over pollution from two of its coal power plants in East Texas. The government alleged in 2013 that modifications made at Luminant’s Big Brown and Martin Lake plants resulted in increasing harmful emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, something that required government permission the company never received.
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Study: Carbon trading fails to reduce emissions, harms climate
Aljazeera America
A United Nations-backed carbon-trading scheme in Europe, originally meant to combat global warming, has instead resulted in the release of more than half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, according to a new report. The Stockholm Environment Institute found significant problems with the efficacy of carbon offsets. The researchers found issues with 75 percent of 872 million offsets, and point to a lack of oversight as the main problem.
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EPA threatened with lawsuit over fracking rules
Environmental groups in the United States said they filed legal notice with federal regulators calling for tighter rules on waste tied to hydraulic fracturing. A coalition of groups, led in part by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Integrity Project, said they filed a legal notice with the Environmental Protection Agency calling for rules that would ban oil and gas companies from dumping waste the groups view as dangerous to public health and the environment.
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White House reviewing EPA refinery emission rule
The US Environmental Protection Agency is getting close to finalizing regulations expected to require refineries to cut toxic air emissions through measures such as adding pollution controls and improved flare efficiency. EPA last updated its air toxics standards for refineries more than 20 years ago, even though the law requires the agency to review the standards every eight years.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    EPA announces new rules to cut methane emissions (The New York Times)
US EPA issues 2nd direct final rule on greenhouse gas permitting in light of DC Circuit ruling (The National Law Review)
Turning wasteland into power plants fueled by the sun (The Christian Science Monitor)
What the EPA rules mean for carbon capture and storage (The Energy Collective)
Pollution fears after explosions in China (RTE News)

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

Alberta Regulator orders 95 Nexen pipelines shut down after leak
The Alberta Energy Regulator has ordered the immediate suspension of 15 pipeline licenses issued to Nexen, the Canadian unit of China's Cnooc Ltd., after finding "noncompliant activities" at the company's Long Lake oil-sands operations. The order results in the closing of 95 pipelines carrying natural gas, crude oil, salt water, fresh water and emulsion, the regulator said in a statement.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword: Pipelines.

EPA's newest attempt at aggregating emission sources in the oil and gas industry
The National Law Review
EPA has proposed to resolve an issue that has vexed the oil and gas industry for years — how to determine which operations compose a single "source" for permitting decisions. Unfortunately, the proposed resolution introduces new ambiguities. The proposal comes as part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, but in reality is the latest chapter in EPA's storied history of attempting to establish a clear policy to determine when emissions from physically separate sources should be aggregated for purposes of determining permitting obligations under the Clean Air Act.
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How artificial intelligence can fight air pollution in China
MIT Technology Review
IBM is testing a new way to alleviate Beijing's choking air pollution with the help of artificial intelligence. The Chinese capital, like many other cities across the country, is surrounded by factories, many fueled by coal, that emit harmful particulates. But pollution levels can vary depending on factors such as industrial activity, traffic congestion and weather conditions. The IBM researchers are testing a computer system capable of learning to predict the severity of air pollution in different parts of the city several days in advance.
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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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