EPA

Data: RGGI.org / NHPR

In the latest quarterly auction of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, the cost for the right to emit a ton of carbon has again reached a new high. Speculation that more states could join RGGI could be driving interest in carbon allowances.

The announcement of the new EPA rules jazzed the latest RGGI auction. When the prices came out Friday morning, they were at $5.02 per ton of CO2, up from $4.00 in the last auction.

SNL; http://www.snl.com/InteractiveX/Article.aspx?cdid=A-28272515-14375

A lot of reporters were distracted by the big number in yesterday's announcement of proposed reductions in carbon dioxide emissions: 30 percent by 2030. Indeed that was the lead sentence in almost every news story about the new rules. 

But the 30 percent figure is not how the Environmental Protection Agency will measure success of the new regulations. The figure is arbitrary, chosen to give some nationwide context to what the state-by-state goals would mean.

The goals the EPA actually set vary quite a lot from state to state. And, indeed, how the agency arrived at those figures is a good deal more complicated than just picking a nice, round number.

Flooding near Main Street Museum in WRJ, VT
Ann and Dan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency and Antioch University New England are hosting a climate change adaptation conference in Manchester this week.  

jE_Norton / Flickr CC

New Hampshire politicians from both sides of the aisle are praising a decision from the US Supreme Court upholding the right of EPA to regulate air pollution that crosses state borders.

The so-called “good neighbor” provision could mean Appalachian and Rust-Belt states will have to clean up their coal plants. The Northeast has already scrubbed the emissions from its power plants, but still endures low air-quality days in part because of emissions blowing in on the Jetstream from western states.

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The Attorney General’s office has announced a settlement in what it calls the largest illegal wetlands fill in New Hampshire History. The company involved faces up to $1.3 million dollars in state and federal fines, restoration, and "supplemental environmental projects."

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a higher limit for Nitrogen discharge from Portsmouth’s wastewater treatment plant.  But city officials are still unsure whether it will actually save the city money.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: Iunderstand the Environmental Protection Agency recently took steps to limit pollution from power plants. What are the details?-- Maddie Samberg, via e-mail

Sam Evans-Brown

 

Representatives of five New Hampshire towns say the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing wastewater limits on the Great Bay that are a financial burden. They made their case to two members of the Congressional Committee on Oversight at a field hearing held in Exeter Monday. While towns and regulators haggle over the cost of improving waste water treatment, time may be running out for the Great Bay estuary.

A Contentious Issue

The Environmental Protection Agency's new air pollution rules for the oil and gas industry may seem like odd timing, as President Obama has been trying to deflect Republican criticism that he overregulates energy industries. But the rules weren't the Obama administration's idea.

Several years ago, communities in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming complained about air pollution from natural gas booms in their local areas.

The Center for Public Integrity has a new report on pollution problems in New England including the Old Town Fuel & Fiber, which is owned by the same company as Gorham Paper and Tissue.