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EPA Told To Clarify Emissions Regulations

WASHINGTON (CN) - The D.C. Circuit remanded a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of "hot-spot" emissions analyses for transportation projects.

The court rejected claims brought by the Environmental Defense Inc., the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, arguing that the EPA's final rule was more lenient on transportation projects than the Clean Air Act allowed.

The agency's regulations on areas of concentrated air pollution, or hot spots, did not set a timeline for new projects to adopt emissions standards or milestones in any local area.

The court also dismissed the claim that the EPA failed to adequately notify or invite comment on its decision to withdraw an emissions model from use in hot-spot analyses.

But the circuit remanded on the ground that the EPA lacked a consistent interpretation of the phrase "in any area," where the Act lays out guidelines to ensure that transportation projects comply with the state's air-quality control plan. See ruling.

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