What to do with Superfund, Brownfield Sites? EPA has an answer

Contaminated Property

Landowners, some reeling after years of costly regulatory scrutiny and enforcement actions, often find themselves at a loss with what to do with Superfund sites, brownfields and former landfills and tapped-out mines. Well, on Feb. 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offered at least one possible solution: develop renewable energy facilities on these tainted lands. (Click here to read.)

The idea would appear to appeal to landowners stuck with contaminated property they can not otherwise develop, and to green energy advocates who are constantly seeking new, easily developed spots for their solar, wind and biomass projects. Often the latter face a long and excruciated permit process. So is the EPA killing two birds with one stone? Perhaps.
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EPA Issues Major New Rules for Stationary Diesel Engines

Air Quality

On Feb. 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the first new emission guidelines for stationary diesel engines. The final rules, which were years in the making and closely watched by the industry, may affect as many as 900,000 small diesel engines used primarily in agricultural and industrial activities to generate electricity for compressors and pumps.

According to the EPA, the new rules are designed to cut toxic emissions and safeguard public health by cutting down on heart attacks, asthma and respiratory diseases caused by diesel engine emissions. Specifically, the rules seek to cut emissions of formaldehyde, benzene, acrolein and other air pollutants suspected to cause cancer and other health problems.

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SEC Offers Climate Change Guidelines. But At What Cost?

In late January and just as many publicly-traded companies were preparing their annual reports, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published a 29-page release on how, when and if those companies should disclose risks and costs associated with greenhouse gas emissions and climate change to their stockholders. (Click here to read.)

Companies are already required to disclose how pending litigation and potential legislation might affect their bottom lines. The SEC, in fact, is quick to point out that its new guidelines do not actually change or codify any laws. Rather, they simply reinforce the concept that any risks — even climate change — could be material and thus subject to public disclosure.
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