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Judges with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit suggested during May 2 oral argument it would be difficult to find in favor of insurers in a pollution insurance case without conflicting with a 2013 decision by the same court that found insurance companies' "duty to defend" a policyholder was triggered when the policyholder received an informational request letter from EPA about a contaminated site.

EPA is vowing to improve its collection and management of data on industrial facilities' Clean Air Act compliance, following an Inspector General (IG) report that criticized the agency's information as incomplete and inaccurate -- which creates the risk of inadequate monitoring of facilities that could result in greater releases of air pollution.

EPA is urging a federal district judge to dismiss without trial a long-pending coal sector suit that aims to force the agency to review the employment impacts of its air and climate rules, arguing that the case should be thrown out because the coal companies lack legal standing to sue and existing EPA studies provide the review they seek.

EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding is outlining goals for the remainder of the Obama administration that include prioritizing waste site cleanups; improving water quality in New England; and boosting enforcement using existing Clean Air Act authority to prevent accidental chemical releases from industrial facilities.

Environmentalists are faulting an EPA assessment finding the world's most commonly-used herbicide is not likely to cause human cancers, arguing the agency relied on industry studies and unrealistic assumptions, and also appears to lack confidence in its own review, given that EPA posted the document to a public site and then withdrew it days later.

EPA is doubling down on its determination that new coal plants can install partial carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology in its rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions at new and modified power plants, denying five state and industry petitions for reconsideration of the issue and including strong language on the viability of CCS.

EPA's Office of Inspector General (IG) and the agency are at odds over whether the Office of Water has properly assessed the environmental and economic benefits of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund's (CWSRF) Green Project Reserve, and several recommendations in a new IG report remain unresolved.