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Daily News

December 04, 2018

Chemical industry groups have submitted to EPA and its North Carolina counterpart a draft study intended to refute the findings of a controversial 2003 toxicology study that has driven conservative risk and remedial policies on trichloroethylene (TCE) as both agencies are poised to take important steps to address the ubiquitous solvent.

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President Donald Trump and his supporters continue to downplay threats from climate change but nascent signs are emerging of a potential shift on the issue from Republicans, with some federal and state GOP lawmakers calling for policy to address such risks and new polling data showing nearly two-thirds of Republicans say global warming is a problem.

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December 03, 2018

Industry officials are urging lawmakers to renew EPA's expiring authority to collect industry fees to support timely pesticide reviews, either through a stand-alone bill or by attaching it to a broader appropriations package, after lawmakers declined to extend the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) program in the Farm Bill.

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The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) is faulting EPA's plan to revise and ease its enforcement policy on tampering with aftermarket auto emissions control parts such as catalytic converters by warning that it will not adequately protect air quality, and is calling on the agency to instead pursue strict new emissions rules for the parts.

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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to deny environmentalists' bid for rehearing of a divided panel’s holding that TVA cannot face Clean Water Act (CWA) liability for groundwater leaks from its coal ash storage, arguing the decision did not break with precedent or create a circuit split.

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The Supreme Court is giving the Trump administration just one month to weigh in on whether the Clean Water Act (CWA) limits pollution that travels through groundwater to protected surface waters, potentially posing a difficult test for EPA as the agency is in the early stages of crafting a rule or guidance to address the same question.

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Prompted by a federal agency's strict draft risk values released earlier this year, toxicologists in New York and other Northeast states have held a dialogue on the risks posed by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an early informal, coordinated effort to prepare for a possible review should state regulators decide to craft drinking water standards.

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As public concerns about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) mount, EPA has updated and expanded its validated test methods for identifying the chemicals in drinking water, a move that will help laboratories determine which PFAS compounds are present in drinking water.

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November 30, 2018

Rural water utilities are suggesting that a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that gives the EPA administrator “sole judgment” to determine new contaminants may be vulnerable to a constitutional challenge under the “non-delegation” doctrine, and are urging the agency to address the issue in an upcoming rule governing perchlorate.

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Supporters of a Michigan roads commission's request for the Supreme Court to let it sue EPA over the agency's “objection” to a state-crafted Clean Water Act (CWA) dredge-and-fill permit say the case is a vital effort to prevent the agency's “tyranny” in vetoing permits for state land use actions without facing judicial review of such decisions.

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Democratic-led states are at odds with a manufacturing industry coalition over a Trump EPA plan to rescind Obama-era rules extending refrigerant management and leak guidelines to appliances that use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are a potent short-term greenhouse gas.

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In compliance with an appellate court order, EPA is issuing a final rule imposing requirements of the Obama administration's January 2017 final rule strengthening the agency's Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program, despite plans to issue early next year a final rule largely scrapping the Obama-era rule.

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EPA's final 2019 renewable fuel standard (RFS) production goals largely echo the proposed version of the rule but also include a modest hike for cellulosic biofuel targets over the proposal, disappointing biofuels groups that lobbied EPA to increase all fuel volume categories to compensate for RFS waivers it will likely grant to small refiners.

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Environmentalists are threatening to sue EPA over any rule that authorizes wastewater treatment plants to “blend” partly- and fully-treated effluent during wet-weather events, warning in written comments that the state of research into potential health harms from blending is too thin to support a rational rulemaking process.

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November 29, 2018

EPA's enforcement office is moving closer to updating a 45-year-old policy for how the agency enforces against tampering of aftermarket engine parts, including catalytic converters, clarifying that if manufacturers can demonstrate with test data that their products meet emissions requirements, then EPA will exercise discretion to limit enforcement.

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Senate Republicans are eying a speedy confirmation for Alexandra Dunn, President Donald Trump's second nominee to lead EPA's toxics office, after a confirmation hearing where Democrats welcomed public and private pledges the nominee has made though they signaled they still need additional commitments before allowing the nomination to advance.

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Members of EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory (CASAC) committee are urging the agency to give them more time for their review of the ozone ambient air limit and also revive a disbanded special panel to assist the review, warning that the current process is too quick and could undermine the quality of their scientific advice.

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A host of mining industry groups is defending EPA's decision to drop a rule creating first-ever Superfund financial assurance requirements for the hardrock mining sector, detailing to a federal circuit court how existing state and federal regulations are stringent enough to make any additional EPA requirements unnecessary, duplicative and onerous to the industry.

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A host of mining industry groups is defending EPA's decision to drop a rule creating first-ever Superfund financial assurance requirements for the hardrock mining sector, detailing to a federal circuit court how existing state and federal regulations are stringent enough to make any additional EPA requirements unnecessary, duplicative and onerous to the industry.

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Appellate judges at Nov. 28 oral argument appeared divided on the merits of Northeastern states' suit aiming to force EPA to expand the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) of states subject to stricter ozone reduction mandates, with two judges backing the agency's denial of the effort while the third offered some support for the states.

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