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Congress is poised to conduct oversight of EPA's efforts to implement the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) but prospects for bipartisan scrutiny of the agency's actions appear limited, sources say, despite broad support for the law's passage and concerns from both industry and environmentalists about different aspects of the program.

An EPA union official says the agency's upcoming restructuring of its regional offices appears designed to overhaul existing enforcement policies and chains of command, likely bolstering political leadership's ability to push reduced regional enforcement and more-lenient compliance while limiting the national enforcement office's oversight of regions.

EPA on Nov. 13 is poised to announce a Cleaner Trucks Initiative that is expected to include plans for a future rulemaking to update nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions standard for heavy duty trucks, a measure long sought by state and local officials though the measure could also include some important flexibility for manufacturers.

EPA is facing starkly different interpretations of the legality of its plan to ease the threshold for triggering strict new source review (NSR) air permits for coal plants complying with its proposed utility climate rule, reviving a decades-old debate with pro-coal industry groups backing the changes and environmentalists strongly opposed.

In a reversal, EPA has struck a deal with its Inspector General (IG) to conduct annual reviews of state compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) and is crafting a National Compliance Initiative (NCI) for drinking water, though environmentalists say the effort will take significant resources that the Trump administration may not be willing to provide.

EPA's limited response to the Flint, MI, drinking water crisis has prompted several states in the Northeast and Midwest to enact state laws to address lead contamination in municipal water supplies and schools, and while these state actions still fall short of what is needed, the results of the recent election could drive new state and federal efforts to address the issue, a new report says.

Environmentalists and the power sector are waging an 11th-hour effort calling on the White House and EPA to preserve the Obama-era mercury emissions rule for utilities, with environmentalists aiming to keep the rule intact while utilities that have invested millions of dollars to comply want it retained with changes to ease some requirements.