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Former EPA officials are offering a mixed reaction to an interim agency policy instructing regional enforcement staff to consult with headquarters on new enforcement information requests, with some saying it signals a troubling chilling of enforcement while others say it is premature to cite the policy as a major factor in slowing enforcement.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit appears likely to reject an extraordinary request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to order district court dismissal of novel youth constitutional climate change case, with two of the three judges suggesting at Dec. 11 oral arguments that DOJ failed to meet the high bar needed to grant the relief.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the agency plans to weigh the “significant” question of whether to regulate oil and gas methane emissions directly or as part of a “bundle” of emissions including conventional air pollutants, the latter of which likely would foreclose any future standards of the potent greenhouse gas for existing equipment in the sector.

President Donald Trump is calling for critics and supporters of EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) to reach a compromise on revising the program, prompting the agency to launch an effort to review administrative authorities for reducing burdens on refiners in lieu of Congress granting refiners' call to repeal or reform the RFS.

EPA in a new legal interpretation is affirming its position that the agency has no specific mandate to annually review the renewable fuel standard's (RFS) economic impact on program participants and others, outlining a defense in potential litigation from refiners and others who might sue to force EPA to perform annual RFS reviews.

Health groups are suing the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) for failing to promulgate rules requiring industrial facilities to report their chemical releases following an incident, citing in part concerns that first responders were harmed after exposure to the Arkema, Inc. fire in Houston following Hurricane Harvey due to inadequate reporting data.

EPA has released a list of 21 Superfund and other hazardous waste sites that will secure "immediate and intense attention" from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, providing new leverage to resolve long-running impasses with industry and others at cleanup sites or to move forward on possible redevelopment plans.