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EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is offering a robust defense of the agency’s record under his leadership, pushing back on criticism from former agency chiefs over his agenda and elaborating on ambitious plans for a second Trump term that includes a fundamental shift in how the agency works across statutes and programs.

EPA’s Office of Water (OW) is proposing a “limited reorganization” that will elevate the importance of its Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program and create a team of water reuse experts, among other changes aimed at matching Trump administration priorities, according to agency water chief David Ross.

EPA is rejecting formal calls from House and Senate appropriators to “suspend” reorganization of its offices that implement TSCA and regulate disinfectants for coronavirus, saying it will move ahead with the overhaul before the start of fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1.

Appellate judges at oral argument in litigation over EPA’s 2019 renewable fuel standard (RFS) focused their queries on the agency’s power to grant compliance waivers to small refiners retroactively, its refusal to boost biofuel blending targets to compensate for the lack of waivers, and critics’ claim of environmental harm from the program.

Sierra Club is suing EPA in a bid to force the agency to add first-time limits for air toxics “missing” from the existing national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) rule for lime kilns, following a recent appeals court ruling that requires EPA to add such limits when it conducts periodic reviews of air toxics rules.

A coalition of 18 mostly Democratic-led states, 20 House Democrats, four Democratic senators and two environmental groups is backing a suit aiming to uphold a district court decision that a key Army Corps of Engineers’ Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) approval violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is criticizing announcements from California and China on plans to reduce greenhouse gases, describing as infeasible the Golden State’s broad climate plan mandating that all new passenger vehicles sold in the state starting in 2035 have zero emissions and calling China’s effort an empty promise.