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At least two states have quietly sought EPA approval to begin operating permit programs to implement the agency's 2015 coal ash disposal rule, according to new court filings where the agency, industry and environmentalists are sparring over how the applications affect requests to indefinitely stay litigation over the merits of the rule.

EPA's upcoming plan to repeal and eventually replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP), expected next month, is likely to return to a facility-specific approach that is being advocated by utility and labor groups that want a replacement rather than an outright repeal of the Obama-era climate rule.

EPA is asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to sever and hold in abeyance a lawsuit challenging the agency's designation of parts of Texas as out of attainment with federal sulfur dioxide (SO2) air standards, pending a ruling in a related 5th Circuit and EPA's ongoing reconsideration of the designation.

Auto industry trade groups are urging regulators to treat the current EPA and Department of Transportation vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy program as the “upper bound” for what will be required for industry as the agencies review the rules, offering the latest indication that automakers are pushing to ease the standards.

Environmental attorneys opposed to EPA's pending rule to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction policy are readying arguments for expected legal challenges to the withdrawal, including that the repeal effort's economic analysis and lack of policy depth fall short of what Supreme Court precedent requires.

Groups representing liable parties and cleanup contractors are urging EPA to borrow concepts from its Great Lakes cleanup program and create a national public-private collaborative to speed cleanups at Superfund sediment mega-sites, a shift from the litigation-driven, polluter-pays concept though one that will likely require congressional action to advance.

Environmentalists and two chemical manufacturers are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse a split panel ruling vacating EPA's rule to reduce refrigerants that act as potent greenhouse gases, arguing that the agency's interpretation of a key Clean Air Act provision is entitled to deference.