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Ongoing concerns about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's ethics scandals, the agency's limited responses to oversight requests and other issues will make it difficult for President Donald Trump's nominees to head the agency's waste and international affairs offices to gain Senate approval, Democratic senators told a June 20 environment committee hearing.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) is strongly defending EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt against numerous allegations of unethical conduct, calling them “outrageous lies,” an apparent reversal from a week ago when the senator said he was upset by Pruitt's missteps and suggested the administrator might need to step down.

One of the country's largest manufacturers of high-emitting “glider” trucks is blaming EPA's failure, so far, to scrap Obama-era production limits on the vehicles for layoffs at the company, a situation that highlights the Trump EPA's incomplete deregulatory efforts and which could play into political efforts to speed action on the repeal rule.

A federal health agency has released its much-anticipated draft toxicological profile for perfluorinated chemicals that recommends risk values more conservative than EPA's, but the agency is downplaying potential health concerns from exposures above its limits, cautioning the public not to read its levels as cleanup or health effects standards.

EPA is proposing to formally drop plans for a Clean Water Act (CWA) rule to prevent or contain industrial chemical spills by claiming that current policies already cover all the requirements that a comprehensive spill policy would include, drawing fire from environmentalists who had a settlement with EPA to consider pursuing the new rule.

EPA is raising early legal defenses against environmentalists' promised legal challenge to the agency's approval of Oklahoma's first-of-its-kind coal ash disposal permit program, with EPA downplaying as irrelevant environmentalists' claims that the Sooner State lacks the resources to adequately implement its new permitting regime.

The Trump administration is expected to release as soon as June 21 a broad plan for reorganizing the federal government, though some observers doubt the plan will spur broad proposed changes at EPA, such as closing of regional offices, despite calls from some to do so.