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Recent Projects

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  • News

    Court Upholds 2015 Ozone Standards

    August 23, 2019

    A federal appeals court recently rejected industry and state challenges to a set of Obama-era air quality standards, which the Institute for Policy Integrity had filed an amicus brief defending. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, the primary ingredient in urban smog and the source of a variety of respiratory ills. The coal mining company Murray Energy Corporation, along with trade associations and several state attorneys general, brought suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that the new standards were unnecessarily stringent and impossible to achieve. We filed an amicus brief in support of the standards.

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  • Public Comments

    Expert Report on Colorado’s Zero Emission Vehicle Program

    July 9, 2019

    Peter Howard and Jason Schwartz provided an expert report on Colorado’s Zero Emission Vehicle program, which will reduce millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. They demonstrate how the program’s climate benefits can be monetized and how those estimates can provide useful context for decisionmakers and the public.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Repeal of Fracking Rule

    July 1, 2019

    In 2017, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) repealed an Obama-era rule that tightens environmental regulations for fracking on public lands. We filed an amicus brief detailing BLM’s irrational analysis of the repeal, which erases the rule’s significant net benefits and flouts longstanding standard practices.

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  • Public Comments

    EPA Science Advisory Board Input

    June 6, 2019

    As part of EPA’s June 5-6 meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory Board (SAB), we submitted both oral and written input on several issues, including the Clean Water Rule, power-sector emissions of air toxics, vehicle emissions standards, and the Science Transparency Rule.

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  • Public Comments

    Additional Comments to EPA and NHTSA on Vehicle Emissions Standards Economic Analysis

    May 31, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing to weaken key fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for future vehicle models. In October, we highlighted our concerns with some of the economic analysis supporting the proposal. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers submitted comments that included economic analysis supporting the proposed rule prepared by NERA Economic Consulting and Trinity Consultants. In December, we wrote supplemental comments rebutting NERA and Trinity’s analysis, identifying serious flaws and unexplained departures from longstanding practices. NERA recently responded.

    Our latest comments detail how NERA’s response does not address many of the problems we previously discussed. As our comments explain, the analysis relies on unreliable modeling and methodologies, for which NERA still has not provided critical details. NERA also misstates or fails to respond to our points on a number of topics, such as scrappage and fuel savings benefits. We point out the shortcomings in NERA’s response and provide more detail on each of the topics.

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  • Public Comments

    Mitigating Space Debris—Reply Comments to the FCC

    May 13, 2019

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called for input on possible market-based approaches to regulating orbital debris, like small but dangerous fragments from the launch, operation, and disintegration of satellites. We previously submitted comments that included an initial discussion of what the FCC might consider in choosing a market-based regulation. Our reply comments expand on this discussion, outlining specific steps the FCC can take to assess implementing a market-based solution.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Interstate Air Pollution

    April 26, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized the “Close-Out Rule,” a rule refusing to impose any additional reductions in interstate ozone air pollution under the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act. We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit explaining how EPA’s decision to not require pollution reductions is irrational and devoid of adequate analysis.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Reconsideration of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

    April 17, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to withdraw a prior finding that it is “appropriate and necessary” to regulate power-sector emissions of mercury and other “air toxics” under the Clean Air Act. We submitted comments arguing that EPA has failed to provide a reasoned explanation for this change of course.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on the Replacement of the Clean Water Rule

    April 15, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers are proposing to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with a new rule that would harm many waterways by removing critical federal protections. We submitted comments detailing how the agencies provide flawed analysis in support of the proposal. Dr. Peter Howard and Dr. Jeffrey Shrader also submitted an expert report detailing the flaws in the agencies’ new valuation of wetland benefits.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act

    April 5, 2019

    The Clean Air Act includes a Good Neighbor Provision, which requires states to prohibit their own sources of pollution from emitting in quantities that “contribute significantly” to another state’s inability to achieve national ambient air quality standards. When upwind states fail to abide by this requirement, the Act authorizes downwind states to petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for relief.

    In 2018, EPA denied five such petitions filed by Maryland and Delaware, which sought tighter limits on ozone-forming emissions from power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Maryland and Delaware, supported by other states and a coalition of environmental groups, have now challenged those denials in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In our amicus brief supporting the challenges, we focused on EPA’s erroneous claim that no further emission reductions at the specified plants would be cost-effective.

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