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The White House has tasked EPA and several other federal agencies with forming a workgroup to assess the potential to improve federal regulation of biotechnology by updating a decades-old framework for oversight, crafting a long-term strategy for future rules, and potentially updating biotech regulations and other policies.

EPA in new final rules is moving to curb the global warming impacts of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, widely used in consumer products, cars and commerce, and is approving other chemicals with much lower climate impacts, part of the Obama administration's policy to limit short-lived climate pollutants.

Environmentalists who have long urged EPA to craft more stringent rules and permits for controlling stormwater runoff are suing the agency over its updated multi-sector general permit (MSGP) for industrial stormwater -- a challenge they could use to demand a sweeping new effluent limitation guideline (ELG) for the affected sectors.

EPA has modified its calculation of drinking water intake rates in newly updated water quality criteria for 94 chemicals, responding to criticism from states and water industry groups that the agency's proposed calculation was not reflective of actual health risk -- although EPA left unchanged other calculations that commenters also opposed.

Oklahoma has filed a novel suit over EPA's proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) rule for existing power plants that claims the state lacks any other options for “relief” from harms the proposal is already causing, though the suit could face slim prospects as appellate judges recently said courts lack power to hear suits over proposed rules.

Future lawsuits seeking novel judicial review of EPA proposals rather than final rules are unlikely to gain traction after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a suit over the agency's proposed utility climate rules, sources say, despite one judge's suggesting that such a lawsuit could potentially proceed.