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National Academy of Sciences (NAS) members are grappling with a host of questions about hydraulic fracturing's impact on wastewater including barriers to reuse of wastewater for fracking and potential contaminants in wastewater from fracking, while saying concerns over disclosure of chemicals used in fracking may be easing.

Oil industry representatives are urging California's water board to scale back its proposal for first-time groundwater monitoring regulations covering hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation treatments, charging that the rules should be narrowed based on risk and that the number of chemicals for which analysis is required should be minimized.

EPA's Inspector General (IG) says inadequate agency oversight of state environmental programs is one of several management “challenges” that the agency needs to address by stepping up its review of state efforts, citing examples of states failing to adequately implement laws and rules affecting air, water, hazardous waste and other issues.

EPA's final greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for the existing power fleet is “close” to being sent to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for interagency review, with EPA completing its portion of the controversial rulemaking as soon as early next week, according to an agency spokesman.

EPA's proposed multi-year renewable fuel standard (RFS) for 2014-2016 increases fuel production goals as sought by biofuels groups while acknowledging oil sector concerns about the “blend wall” limit on ethanol in the fuel supply, but the rule is spurring broad attacks from all sides including the oil sector and makers of alternative fuels.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a unanimous May 29 judgment has rejected industry challenges to EPA's maximum achievable control technology (MACT) air toxics rule, but split over the sector's bid to stay part of the rule as two judges denied the request but one judge would have granted the stay.