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Permit delays stall power plants on water rules; greens, utilities differ on coal ash provision

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Permit delays stall power plants on water rules; greens, utilities differ on coal ash provision

Thedocument is torn at the edges and bears what appears to be a coffee stain. Its Courierfont suggests it may have been created using a typewriter. Still, this NationalPollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, which was issued June 25, 1992,is the governing document for a facility that releases various wastewaters intoNew Hampshire's Merrimack River.

TheU.S. Senate passed a water resources bill Sept. 15 that electric powergenerators hope will help protect them from private lawsuits over their coalash disposal plans, if enacted. The Senate voted 95-3 to pass the Water ResourcesDevelopment Act of 2016. The bill is largely focused on water infrastructureprojects and dam safety and would provide financial aid for the Flint, Mich.,drinking water crisis.

Citingcertain "valid concerns" raised by stakeholders, U.S. CommodityFutures Trading Commission Chairman Timothy Massad said he will recommend thathis agency exempt RTOs and ISOs from all private rights of action under Section22 of the Commodity Exchange Act.

AU.S. appeals court stayed the controversial Clean Water Rule almost a year ago,but the Obama administration is still overstepping its authority on waterregulation, a new U.S. Senate report said.

EPA finalizes rule to exempt wildfires, other events from airregulations

TheU.S. EPA has finalized revisions to a rule that allows state agencies to seekto remove emissions data from compliance considerations in the event ofunforeseen natural occurrences, such as wildfires, stratospheric ozoneintrusions and volcanic and seismic activities.

Federallawmakers from Connecticut asked the EPA to cut down on what they say isdangerous air pollution coming into their state from a coal-fired power plantin Pennsylvania.

Muchas it has with three similar complaints filed since 2011, FERC on Sept. 20 setfor hearing and settlement judge procedures the most recent request for theagency to lower the base rate of return on equity approved for transmission-owningmembers of ISO New EnglandInc.

Partieschallenging the EPA's new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozoneattempted to chop down trees in the so-called "forest of evidence"the agency used to justify the new 70-parts-per-billion limit set in October2015.

FERCsent the PJM InterconnectionLLC back to the drawing board to fix its proposal for minimizing oreliminating cross-subsidization between the holders of auction revenue rightsand the holders of financial transmission rights on its system.

The2016 federal elections could be pivotal for the energy industry, with somecontestants promoting sharply different policies that could pit renewable powerand curbs on carbon emissions against fossil fuels and other conventionalresources.

TheU.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late Sept. 21 that would prevent"high-impact" federal regulations from taking effect if they areundergoing judicial review, legislation that would likely delay implementationof new environmental standards and other rules for the energy sector if enacted.