Monday, September 22, 2014
Inside EPA - 07/20/2012

New Group Poised To Start Talks With EPA On Supplanting RFS With LCFS

A new coalition of academic and research institutions is beginning talks with EPA on implementing a national low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) that would augment -- or even supplant -- the agency's renewable fuel standard (RFS), an approach that members of the National LCFS Project hope will ease several concerns with the current standard.961 words

State Environmental, Energy Agencies Split Over EPA Diesel Fracking Guide

State environmental and energy agencies are split over EPA's controversial draft guide for permitting hydraulic fracturing operations that use diesel fuels, with the environmental agencies agreeing with EPA that the operations should be subject to drinking water permits, while the energy commissions that currently hold the permitting authority staunchly oppose the agency's effort and are hinting at lawsuits.1553 words

EPA Weighs Whether To Revise Chemical Testing For Low-Dose Effects

EPA's research office is preparing to draft an agency position on whether to overhaul regulatory testing methods to better account for endocrine disrupting chemicals' U-shaped, or non-monotonic, dose-response curves, which show harm at low doses, given that current testing assumes dose-response curves that show increasing harm at higher doses.1355 words

Drillers' Suit Provides Broad Test Of Sackett's Reach Over Water Act Orders

A new suit targeting an EPA Clean Water Act (CWA) order issued for a natural gas exploration site provides what could be the broadest test to date on the scope of the Supreme Court's holding that such orders are subject to judicial review, testing whether the precedent extends to scientific findings that waters are "wetlands" subject to regulation.1286 words

EPA Sends Final Vehicle GHG Rule To White House For Review

EPA has sent its draft final rule to limit greenhouse gases (GHGs) from passenger vehicles for model years (MY) 2017-2025 to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for interagency review, clearing the way for the administration to issue the measure in the midst of the election campaign.426 words

EPA Pact To Review Landfill NSPS May Open Door To Methane Limits

EPA is agreeing with environmentalists to establish legal deadlines to review whether its outdated new source performance standards (NSPS) for municipal solid waste landfills are still effective, a review that could open the door to the agency adopting first-time limits on the potent greenhouse gas (GHG) methane.428 words

OMB Changes To EPA's PM Plan Could Spark First-Time Air Law Challenge

Pre-publication changes that the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) made to EPA's proposed air quality standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) could provoke a first-time legal test for the agency if it were to set the standard at the weaker limits sought by OMB.1172 words

IG Elevates Lack Of EPA Workforce Planning To 'Management Challenge'

EPA's Inspector General (IG) is elevating to the status of "management challenge" the agency's lack of a plan to comprehensively assess its workforce needs -- which union officials say is vital to ensure adequate staffing for program offices -- a major change from an earlier, softer IG finding that the lack of a plan is an "internal control weakness."610 words

Equity Advocates Worry Over Concessions In New York Power Plant Rule

New York has become the first state in the nation to outline requirements for power plant developers to analyze and offset environmental justice (EJ) impacts, but activists are worried that concessions the state provided industry in the final rule could exclude some equity groups and may not address local impacts of power plant emissions. 1262 words

EPA Roundly Criticized Over Draft Supplement To Civil Rights Plan

EPA is facing strong criticism from industry and environmentalists on its draft document for addressing discrimination as part of its broader environmental justice (EJ) strategy, with an environmentalist coalition calling the draft "skeletal" and an industry group saying it fails to spell out what the agency is trying to improve.1210 words

EPA Slated To Waive Arctic Drilling Air Permits But May Escape Challenges

EPA is preparing an administrative compliance order that will allow energy giant Shell to proceed with plans to begin offshore oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic in early August as a way to address the company's 11th-hour admission that it cannot meet air emission limits established in its permit, sources say.951 words

EPA Drops Planned Water Act Rule To Require CAFO Data Reporting

EPA is withdrawing its proposed rule requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to report key data directly to the agency, abandoning a proposal that environmentalists have long championed as among the most cost-effective means of reducing water pollution from animal feedlots but which industry charged was illegal.654 words

EPA Blocks States' Bid To Permit Utilities' Diesel Generators As Major Source

EPA is resisting calls from state officials for the agency to "aggregate" emissions from hundreds of diesel generators, which utilities use in their demand response programs, as a single source of pollution subject to strict "major" source Clean Air Act permits.798 words

EPA Agrees To New 2014 Deadline For Post-Construction Stormwater Rule

PHILADELPHIA -- EPA says it will propose its long-awaited post-construction stormwater rule by June 2013 and finalize the rule by December 2014, delaying by a further 18 months a rule that was originally slated to be promulgated last April.439 words

Lawmakers Press Legislation To Allow Judicial Review Of Agency Science

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is pushing legislation that would subject EPA and other agencies' risk assessments and other scientific documents to judicial review while also raising data quality standards for agencies' science -- part of a long-running effort by regulatory critics to limit federal courts' deference on agencies' science.909 words

EPA Haze Plans Drive Push To Allow States To Target 'Sue And Settle' Rules

Backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and state officials, Republicans have expanded their upcoming legislation seeking to curb regulatory deadline settlements between EPA and environmental groups by allowing states to easily intervene in the settlement litigation alongside private parties that the bill already allows to intervene. 673 words

Appellate Court Rejects Industry Challenge To EPA Nitrogen Dioxide Rule

A federal appeals court has rejected an industry suit challenging EPA's nitrogen dioxide (NO2) ambient air quality standards, saying the agency was within its discretion in its scientific determinations and the court lacked jurisdiction to review alleged permit requirements because it was not "final."618 words

EPA Slated To Offer Regulatory Plan To Address Concerns Over RINs Fraud

EPA this week is slated to offer industry an initial regulatory proposal for how it will reform the renewable fuel standard's (RFS) credit trading system after recent fraud in the biofuel credit market raised concerns over the future viability of the program.802 words

Activists' Suit Seeks To Settle Courts' Scrutiny Of Stalled Water Permits

Environmentalists seeking to compel EPA to issue new discharge permits for a pair of power plants in New England are asking a federal appellate court to settle a longstanding question of whether district or circuit courts have jurisdiction to review regulators' delays in revising permits long after the five-year statutory deadline has passed.882 words

Activists Criticize Site-Specific Cost-Benefit Test For Cooling Water Intakes

Environmental organizations are urging EPA not to allow for site-specific cost-benefit analyses in its forthcoming rule governing retrofits for cooling water intake structures, saying they would almost certainly underestimate the benefits of aquatic habitat and would violate the Clean Water Act (CWA).676 words

EPA Touts TSCA Bill's Benefits But Key GOP Senator Withholds Support

A key EPA official is touting regulatory benefits of a Democratic bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), saying it would boost the agency's ability to address flame-retardant chemicals and other toxics, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who has raised concerns over the flame retardants, continues to withhold backing for the bill -- leaving Democrats without needed support to move the legislation.794 words

Industry Urges EPA To Craft New GHG Risk Finding For Power Plant Rule

The coal industry is urging EPA to craft a new greenhouse gas (GHG) endangerment finding to justify its proposed new source performance standards (NSPS) for power plant GHGs, saying that EPA's effort to issue the rule without such a finding or by using its 2009 motor vehicle GHG finding violates the air act and ignores public comment requirements.736 words

New Paper Questions Low-Dose Effects In Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

A pair of industry consultants is rebutting calls from a group of scientists urging EPA to revise its chemical testing to account for hormonal effects at lower doses than in current testing, saying the scientists have yet to establish that chemicals can cause effects at low doses or that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have unusual dose-response curves, known as non-monotonic dose-response curves. 789 words

Industry Seeks Rule For SO2 Implementation, Saying Guide May Be Unlawful

Industry groups are urging EPA to implement its national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2) through a formal notice-and-comment rulemaking, arguing that issuing non-binding guidance on key implementation issue for the standard would be unlawful. 1455 words

Citing Lead Contamination, Democrats Renew Push For Superfund Taxes

Democratic senators are attempting to rally support for reinstating the expired Superfund taxes, pointing to reports on lingering contamination at and around former lead smelting sites that EPA may not have the resources to clean up, and the growing body of science showing low-level lead exposure is more dangerous to children than previously thought.550 words

EPA Positioned To Stay Under Radar Through 2012 Election Season

EPA and its regulations have long been a favorite target of critics but the agency is positioning itself to largely fly under the political radar through the elections.1966 words

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