New EPA regulations and US manufacturing

These articles are well worth reading from the Indiana Manufacturers Association Environment and Energy Forum, June 2010.

Here are some excerpts of interest.  I guess we could call it Bad News/Good News:

Each year, approximately 115 million tons of coal combustion products (CCPs) are produced in the United States. Nearly 70 percent of these materials are disposed of in saturated ash impoundments or ash landfills. Most of the mass of CCPs (99 wt percent) is made up of Si, Al, Fe, Ca, K, Mg, Na, O, P, and Ti; the same elements that make up the composition of natural soil. It is the remaining 1 wt percent of trace elements that have raised debate concerning the environmental risk associated with CCPs.

The environmental ramifications concerning the disposal of CCPs have been subject to increasing debate in the United States since Congress enacted the Solid Waste Disposal Act amendments in to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1980. In those amendments CCPs were temporarily exempted from Subtitle C regulation (which regulates disposal of material classified as hazardous waste), allowing them to be classified under Subtitle D regulation (subject to regulation only at the state level). However, the amendments did direct the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to produce a report regarding CCPs and to pursue the appropriate regulation of these wastes.

In pursuit of this mandate, the U.S.EPA issued a report to Congress in 1988 titled Waste from the Combustion of Coal Electric Utility Power Plants (EPA/5-30-SW-88-002). In this report the EPA concluded that CCPs generally do not exhibit hazardous characteristics and that the regulation of CCPs should remain under state Subtitle D authority. Following this report, litigation was brought against the EPA by the Bull Run Coalition, which claimed the EPA had failed to issue a timely regulatory determination as stated in its 1988 report to Congress. The EPA entered into a consent decree with the Bull Run Coalition, which included a time frame for the EPA to issue a formal recommendation regarding regulation of CCPs. In accordance with this consent decree, the EPA issued a final regulatory determination applicable to fly ash, bottom ash, boiler slag, and flue-gas desulphurization materials. This ruling became effective in September 1993, and stated that regulation of CCPs generated by coal fired electric utilities and independent power producers as hazardous waste was unnecessary and that the materials would remain exempt from Subtitle C regulation. In April 2000 the EPA stated that these additional wastes would continue to be exempted from Subtitle C regulation.

EPA announced on May 4, 2010 that it is proposing to regulate coal combustion residuals and is proposing two alternative regulations for public comment. There will be a 90 day public comment period following publication in the Federal Register, which should appear soon.

Under the first proposal, EPA would reverse its 1993 and 2000 regulatory determinations that CCPs are not hazardous waste and would list CCPs as special wastes subject to Subtitle C regulation. Under the second proposal, EPA would regulate disposal of CCPs under Subtitle D by issuing national minimum criteria.

If regulated under the hazardous waste Subtitle C program, CCPs would be regulated from the point of their generation to the point of their final disposition, including during and after closure of any disposal unit.

And some good news:

With adoption of the Green House Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule on May 13, 2010, EPA limited the permitting burdens that would have resulted from its recent decision to limit GHG emissions from cars and light trucks. Under the Clean Air Act, once EPA decides to regulate a pollutant, the permitting requirements under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permit programs kick in for any facility that emits either 100 or 250 tons per year of the regulated pollutant. If those limits had applied to GHG emissions, more than six million sources would have been required to obtain permits, many for the first time.

What are GHGs?
GHGs are the six gases that have heat trapping properties. Those gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perflurocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.

Why are GHGs regulated?
The heat trapping properties of GHGs are believed to contribute to global warming.

What is a CO2e designation?
Because the heat trapping capabilities of the six gases varies, there is an internationally accepted method of converting each GHG into an equivalent CO2 effect which is designated as the CO2e.

And all this as the validity of data ‘proving’ global warming continues to be challenged.

Now a story written in Environment & Climate News, May 2010, by James M. Taylor, describes a recent letter sent by the Institute of Physics, a London-based scientific charity with a membership of over 36,000 devoted to the understanding and application of physics. Taylor’s article declares that “The letter criticizes global warming alarmists at the heart of the Climategate scandal for manipulating data, abusing the scientific method and strong-arming the peer-review publication process.” (The letter is actually a memorandum.)

The Institute further advises the British Parliament that it is concerned that some of the research and emails may prove to be “…forgeries or adaptations [with] worrying implications aris[ing] for the integrity of scientific research in this field…”
Forgeries of data? This is a strong accusation!

It is clear that the Institute of Physics wants to learn the truth about activities of scientists involved with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Institute’s Memorandum sets forth 13 assertions and requests to Parliament. The most important paragraph declares “The emails reveal doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions and raise questions as to the way in which they have been represented; for example, the apparent suppression in graphics widely used by the IPCC of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements.”

In plain English, the scientists are suggesting, as many articles have suggested, that the truth is not being told about global warming issues and the data supporting manmade climate change. (In other words, it is fraud!!!)

The second story that caught my attention arose here in Virginia from the Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, who filed a Civil Investigative Demand against the Commonwealth’s flagship University of Virginia (UVa). The Attorney General is demanding UVa produce all its documents in connection with one of its scientists, Dr. Michael Mann, who was implicated in several stories regarding the Climategate scandal. Dr. Mann is one of the major advocates of the “hockey stick graph” which demonstrates that global temperatures have risen suddenly and with an unprecedented upward spike and looks like a hockey stick.
Both the Institute of Physics and the Attorney General of Virginia are seeking facts and truth regarding the alleged Climategate scandal. Of course, the reaction against these efforts has been widespread and full of condemnation.

I find this curious, as you should, that people are afraid to have documents paid for by taxpayer money made available for others to read.

The Attorney General of Virginia, not being an academic, is concerned about Virginia taxpayer money being used by UVa and Mann to develop data and conclusions which also may be questionable (or fraudulent) as they relate to climate change. Mann has been accused of manipulating climate data to support the idea of manmade global warming.

As a result, the Attorney General has commanded UVa to produce all information and documentary materials that might show possible violations by Mann of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

Among the 10 requests for information from Mann include a request for all of the computer programs that were created or edited by Mann from January 1, 1999 to the present. The Attorney General wants all of Mann’s hard drives, floppy drives, tape drives, optical drives, desktop and laptop – well, you get the idea. The Attorney General wants the truth. (Dr. Mann is no longer at the University of Virginia and now works at Penn State.)

When Republicans are back in control, we need to remember what the EPA has done under Obama and roll it back.  Especially when global warming has been show to be the fraud that it is.  We cannot forget our manufacturers who are already seeing increased regulation, and our citizens who will suffer the consequences of higher energy costs and further loss of manufacturing jobs to developing nations.