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WHEELING, WV -- EPA's top research official is vowing to launch a workshop in the remaining months of the Obama administration that will aim to assist state regulators as they grapple with complex risk analyses to inform their environmental policy decisions, such as the benefits and hazards of dredging contaminated sediment.

EPA is defending its authority for tightening its ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) below the levels of naturally occurring “background” ozone in some states, rejecting claims from some critics that the decision was unlawful while also fighting advocates' claim that the NAAQS should have been made even stricter.

House and Senate Republicans are ramping up their scrutiny of EPA's risk reviews for commonly used herbicides, seeking documents from the agency's registration reviews of atrazine and glyphosate, and questioning the National Institutes Of Health's (NIH) support of an international panel that deemed glyphosate a possible carcinogen.

A recent settlement between EPA Region 6 and the grocery store chain Whole Foods, Inc. that requires the company to create a tracking system for retail products that may become hazardous waste could prompt others in the sector to adopt a similar tracking system, according to EPA.

Supporters of novel provisions to boost EPA water funding programs in an Army Corps of Engineers authorization bill face significant political hurdles in ensuring the provisions' inclusion in the final legislation, particularly if they fail to get funding for victims of the Flint, MI, drinking water crisis into an appropriations continuing resolution (CR).

EPA's regulatory agenda signals that the next administration will make a decision on whether to force the removal of lead from general aviation fuel (avgas) as environmentalists have long sought, saying the agency will take more than a year to issue a finding on the health risks of avgas that would be a precursor to any formal regulation.

A federal district court is weighing a host of new briefs in New Mexico's suit against EPA, mining companies and a federal contractor over the massive 2015 wastewater spill at Colorado's Gold King Mine -- with New Mexico asking for a delay so it can file still more claims targeting EPA, while private defendants are seeking a quick end to the case.