Overnight Regulation: EPA faces lawsuit over airplane emissions

Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from Capitol Hill and beyond. It's Tuesday evening in Washington. Here's the latest.

 

THE BIG STORY

Climate activists are filing suit against the Environmental Protection Agency to force more stringent emissions rules on airplanes.

The EPA is working to comply with new international emissions standards for airplanes which are still under development, but green groups say the rules do not go far enough to protect the environment.

Earthjustice filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday to force the agency to enact tougher emissions standards for airplanes. The Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth joined the suit.

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"Airplanes' skyrocketing climate pollution requires urgent action, not more foot dragging from the Obama administration," Vera Pardee, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement. 

"The EPA has dawdled for almost a decade, even as airplane emissions are on track to spiral out of control," Pardee added. "We can't afford more denial and delay in tackling this high-flying threat to our climate."

The EPA declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The climate groups say the emissions standards recommended in February by the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are "weak" and "would barely alter the industry's steeply-rising pollution curve."

The emissions rules have not yet been finalized, but the climate groups are hoping to pressure the EPA into adopting stricter standards and implementing them more quickly.

"The Obama administration must act immediately to curb aircraft's significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide," Marcie Keever, legal director at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement.

 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY

Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are expected to join a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court on Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m. They'll call on Senate Republicans to hold a fair hearing on President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court and an up-or-down vote. 

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to examine America's "insatiable demand" for drugs. http://1.usa.gov/1SLBhro

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing to examine the role of environmental policies on access to energy and economic opportunity. http://1.usa.gov/22oP8cd

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the impact and lessons learned from the water crisis in Flint, Mich. http://1.usa.gov/1qAY0jP

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets will hold a hearing to examine the safety and service of the D.C. Metro transit system. http://1.usa.gov/1VS1utw

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will testify at a House Small Business Committee hearing on how to simplify and reform the tax code. http://1.usa.gov/1T267yL

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

The Obama administration will publish 219 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

--The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will propose new stock rules.

The proposed rules would "resolve ambiguities concerning the amount and timing of deemed distributions that are or result from adjustments to rights to acquire stock," the agency writes.

The public has 90 days to comment. http://bit.ly/23C0f4e

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will propose new requirements for farmers handling organic livestock and poultry.

The proposed rules from the USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service would address livestock health care and transporting them for slaughter.

The public has 60 days to comments. http://bit.ly/1qGwAsi

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue new margin protection rules for dairy. The rules provide a safety net for dairy farmers taking into account their costs and the price of milk

The USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency will allow the children and grandchildren of dairy farmers to participate in the operation.

The rule goes into effect immediately. http://bit.ly/1Vkn36O

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW 

Kirk to sign on to criminal justice reform bill http://bit.ly/1Yse1Ti

SEIU fast-food Thursday protests will target 300 cities http://bit.ly/1VmHxMT

Obama's court pick favors labor, says business group http://bit.ly/1qGA7XD

Reid knocks Grassley after meeting with Garland http://bit.ly/1N71sME

DOE pushing efficiency rules for walk-in coolers, freezers http://bit.ly/1VmHSiG

Uber gave regulators data on 12M users http://bit.ly/23sxVof

Two-cent price cut could mean $2 billion headache for Postal Service – The Washington Post http://wapo.st/1RPWC6y

North Carolina governor takes step back from bias law – The New York Times http://nyti.ms/1VksAu2

 

BY THE NUMBERS

300: Number of cities where workers will rally for higher wages on Thursday. 

$15: Minimum wage these workers are seeking.

http://bit.ly/1VmHxMT

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY 

"There's no discount for being a woman," Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy 'Too Far Left' hashtag trends on Twitter Resistance or unhinged behavior? Partisan hatred reaches Trump's family MORE said Tuesday during a roundtable on equal pay. http://bit.ly/1SxwJo1

 

We'll work to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill's Regulation page (http://thehill.com/regulation) early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, tdevaney@thehill.com or lwheeler@thehill.com. And follow us at @timdevaney and @wheelerlydia.

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