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EPA officials say they were able to strengthen their just-finalized greenhouse gas (GHG) rule for existing power plants despite dropping energy-efficiency measures from setting state goals due to more robust assumptions about the potential for renewable energy, as well as a more regional approach to coal-to-gas shifting.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is criticizing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) facility security program, faulting the agency's assessment of and enforcement against facilities that pose risks -- shortcomings that advocates say buttress their long-standing calls for EPA to use Clean Air Act authority to impose strict process safety requirements.

As EPA weighs adding ammonium nitrate to its facility safety program, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to shelve a long-stalled proposed rule regulating sale of the explosives ingredient and fertilizer, and to re-propose the rule after assessing market changes since DHS' original 2011 proposal.

Environmentalists are pursuing a novel federal lawsuit claiming the administration erred in failing to consider scientific evidence that high conductivity levels in Appalachian streams from mountaintop mining harms species in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) -- absent strict EPA enforcement of its own conductivity water quality values.

Texas and the oil sector are pushing back on the possibility that EPA might craft a new formal risk and exposure assessment (REA) of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to inform its upcoming review of the ambient air standard for the pollutant, with the oil sector outright opposing a new REA and Texas calling for more data before EPA crafts one.

EPA has released a series of fact sheets outlining further details about its final greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing power plants, including estimates that show the rule could have up to $34 billion in health benefits and specifics on two approaches for how states can craft their GHG reduction plans for complying with the regulation.