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EPA staff are divided on whether the Clean Water Act (CWA) allows regulators to require discharge permits for pollutants that travel through groundwater to protected surface waters, an agency permit official says, as some scientists back advocates' push for such permits while agency attorneys are urging caution on the novel approach.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in a recent ruling for environmentalists suing oil giant Exxon over alleged excess air pollution has backed a definition of “repeated” or “ongoing” Clean Air Act permit violations that could ease citizen law suits seeking to enforce federal emissions limits against industrial polluters.

The Supreme Court in a narrow, unanimous ruling is backing pre-enforcement review of agencies' Clean Water Act (CWA) findings on whether particular waters are subject to permit limits and other protections, but the decision relies in part on an agreement between agencies on how to conduct JDs that the White House has already signaled it may revise.

States are raising concerns over EPA's new health advisories for chronic exposure to two perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in drinking water for which states primarily have the discretion to implement, questioning the advisories' protectiveness and potential implementation obstacles such as limits on testing water contaminant levels.

The head of EPA's influential risk assessment program says in a recent letter to industry groups who have charged the agency is biased in its long-ongoing assessment of inorganic arsenic that the groups have misunderstood the database where EPA collates studies included in its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessments.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is highlighting language on structuring how and when EPA chemical safety rules would preempt those established by states as a key tenet of the final bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), following years of negotiations on the contentious issue that blocked previous efforts at TSCA reform.

House oversight panel member Paul Gosar (R-AZ) says several recent EPA personnel decisions such as disciplinary proceedings that it took since acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg was nominated to that position could be undermined if the administration loses a court case over the legitimacy of acting officials.