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NEWPORT, RI -- The Environmental Council of the States' (ECOS) Shale Gas Caucus (SGC) is shifting its drilling policy focus to addressing produced water from the sector through a mix of voluntary measures and industry best practices, despite prior suggestions the group might focus on how to secure additional air pollution cuts from drilling.

Environmentalists are pursuing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking documents from EPA they believe will prove their claim of undue pesticide industry influence on the agency's draft plan to protect pollinators from acutely toxic pesticides, though industry is urging EPA to withdraw the plan for lacking a scientific basis.

Water industry supporters of an effort to remove the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act's (WIFIA) current ban on the use of tax-exempt financing for water projects say they are hopeful a revised calculation of the ban's effect on the federal budget -- and ban-removal language in a must-pass transportation bill -- will overcome previous opposition to their efforts.

EPA and a coalition of 13 states are sparring over whether a federal district court judge's order blocking the agency's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule should apply nationwide or only in the 13 states, with EPA arguing national application would unfairly prejudge other suits over the rule but the states saying it is the only fair outcome.

NEWPORT, RI -- EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is touting the agency's work with states to develop its novel proposed methane rules for oil and gas drilling as an example of the benefits of federal and state collaboration on new policies, though EPA is facing a call to bolster its regulatory planning with other federal agencies.

EPA in a proposed legal agreement with environmental groups has pledged to finalize Superfund financial assurance rules for the hardrock mining industry by the end of 2017 and for the first time is committing to deadlines for deciding whether it will propose similar rules for other industry sectors.