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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has signed a long-promised plan barring the agency's use of any information in decision-making that is not publicly available, but the proposed rule punts on a host of tricky legal and implementation issues, including statutory mandates to use the best available science and how to address confidential trade secrets and medically protected data.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is threatening to file a rare suit against state and local officials in New Jersey over alleged violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) lead and copper rule (LCR), citing sampling and water treatment issues that are central to EPA's debate over how to update the LCR.

Utilities are urging EPA to postpone compliance deadlines in its coal ash disposal rule while the agency revises the policy to allow for site-specific disposal criteria and other flexibilities, warning that even if the rule is changed ahead of those deadlines there will be little time to craft new standards before facilities must take “irreversible” compliance steps.

State air regulators are warning that President Donald Trump's bid to slash EPA and state air quality funding could hinder implementation of his memo directing the agency to overhaul and streamline the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) process, saying even current funding might be insufficient to achieve the memo's goals.

EPA is asking a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit panel to reconsider its ruling scrapping parts of an Obama-era rule on implementing the 2008 ozone ambient air limit and revoking the 1997 standard, arguing that the court's fears over the rule worsening air quality are unfounded and at odds with the Clean Air Act.

EPA is urging local government officials to adopt "worst-case" climate adaptation plans to limit damage from future natural disasters, a stance that appears to be at odds with the Trump administration's general resistance to acknowledging and addressing climate change and its adverse impacts.

Two months before the planned release of a federal strategy for reducing children's lead exposures, EPA and other agencies are wrestling with key policy goals, including a planned schedule for eliminating exposures, whether the strategy will complement pending EPA rules and if EPA plans to account for stricter federal health standards that are slated to be adopted later this year.