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Newly confirmed Administrator Scott Pruitt will use his first day at EPA headquarters Feb. 21 to address staff about his plans as agency chief, though his pledges to rollback Obama rules and otherwise curtail the agency will face a skeptical or even hostile reception from employees who doubt his commitment to EPA's core mission of protecting public health and the environment.

Federal appellate judges appeared skeptical during recent oral arguments that EPA has Clean Air Act authority to limit hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), refrigerants that are potent greenhouse gases, under a program targeting ozone-depleting substances, suggesting Obama-era climate rules issued under the program could be in danger.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit at oral argument Feb. 17 raised questions over whether a lower court had overreached when it ruled that the Clean Water Act (CWA) categorically preempts Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) claims.

The Supreme Court is delaying until at least October oral argument in a case over whether federal district or appellate courts are the proper venue for suits over the Obama EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule, increasing the chance a full nine-member court will hear the case but leaving related suits over the rule in limbo for months.

An Iowa water utility and county officials representing local agricultural drainage districts are arguing whether a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling effectively nullified a pending suit claiming the drainage districts are subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) discharge permit requirements and can be made to limit the amount of nitrate coming from fields.

As Scott Pruitt prepares to be sworn in as the next EPA administrator, his predecessor, Gina McCarthy, is urging agency staff to remain focused on actions to protect public health and the environment, rather than on what might happen under the Trump administration.

The imminent release of thousands of Scott Pruitt's emails from his tenure as Oklahoma attorney general (AG) will give Democrats and other opponents of the newly-confirmed EPA administrator new tools to fight the Trump EPA's agenda after he is sworn in, though their release failed to help Democrats delay Pruitt's confirmation.