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Daily News

June 08, 2021

A federal judge has approved EPA’s settlement with environmentalists and states that sued over its refusal to add asbestos to the chemical data reporting (CDR) program, giving it until December of 2022 to take final action on a rule that would require industry to report asbestos use, imports and processing to the agency.

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EPA is pledging to add the industrial solvent 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) regulated under the Clean Air Act this year, the first such addition to the list, with several industry sectors facing immediate compliance obligations as officials launch a data push to determine the scope of any regulatory implications.

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The White House is releasing a multi-faceted, inter-agency plan to bolster domestic supply chains for electric vehicle (EV) batteries and other crucial materials needed for low-carbon energy, efforts that will be key in achieving the administration’s goal of coupling aggressive climate mitigation policy with a boost to economic activity.

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June 07, 2021

Environmentalists are criticizing Southeastern states’ air planning efforts to cut emissions and improve visibility under the regional haze program, signaling a broader fight between conservation groups, states and EPA over the stringency of forthcoming state plans weeks before they are required to submit their plans to the agency.

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The California Assembly has advanced two bills that would ban the sale of “juvenile” products and food packaging that contain per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) while also tightening labeling mandates for cookware manufacturers, including a ban on claiming that products are free of substances that belong to chemical classes like PFAS.

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EPA is asking three federal district courts to delay by two weeks the resumption of litigation over a controversial Trump-era rule on state water quality certifications for federal permits, noting that state and environmental plaintiffs are still determining how the agency’s announcement that it plans to revise the policy affects the lawsuits.

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The Biden EPA’s announcement that it intends to reconsider Trump-era assumptions on workers’ use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in at least two TSCA chemical evaluations is restarting debate on how the toxics program should address worker safety -- a thorny question since the law gives officials little direction on that subject.

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White House advisors say they expect to seek “adjustments” when an inter-agency group releases guidance for how officials plan to implement President Joe Biden’s environmental justice (EJ) agenda, including for how officials meet goals to ensure that 40 percent of the benefit goes to relevant communities and to limit development of polluting infrastructure.

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White House advisors say they expect to seek “adjustments” when an inter-agency group releases guidance for how officials plan to implement President Joe Biden’s environmental justice (EJ) agenda, including for how officials meet goals to ensure that 40 percent of the benefit goes to relevant communities and to limit development of polluting infrastructure.

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June 04, 2021

EPA is asking a federal court to further delay proceedings in a pending case in which environmentalists are seeking to block a Trump-era decision allowing the use of phosphogypsum (PG), a radioactive byproduct from fertilizer production, in road construction, as officials reconsider the policy and weigh additional steps to regulate the substance.

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California and other states, along with environmentalists, are asking a federal court to lift a stay on a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule streamlining how agencies implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a split from the Biden White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which wants the stay to continue for another 60 days.

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House Democrats’ new bill reauthorizing surface transportation programs is threaded with multiple climate change-related provisions including new greenhouse gas performance measures, with the legislation potentially poised to form a key component of a broader infrastructure package.

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As lawmakers debate the creation of an EPA assistance program for low-income water customers, a new report is highlighting shortcomings with existing utility-based assistance efforts and outlining a number of recommendations to improve customer assistance programs to make them effective and equitable.

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A top Department of Justice (DOJ) official says it is unclear whether the Biden administration will broadly revive popular Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) in civil settlements after they were banned by the Trump administration in part because officials will have to reverse an 11th-hour regulation.

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June 03, 2021

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is seeking to create and fund a major new EPA program to assess, monitor and remediate contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in any upcoming infrastructure bill, with the officials urging EPA to partner with the Defense Department (DOD) to ensure contaminated communities are consulted.

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The chemical industry is warning an interagency chemical testing committee to pump the brakes on its call for EPA to add 50 chemicals to a TSCA priority testing list (PTL), which would ease new testing and reporting mandates for the listed substances, while environmentalists are urging the agency to further expedite the process.

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The United States is arguing a federal district court should void aspects of a New Mexico hazardous waste permit for an Air Force base as certain provisions unlawfully add per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the permit given EPA has not included such substances in the definition of hazardous waste.

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U.S. manufacturers of refrigerant chemicals are pressing EPA not to reward unlawful or unfair imports of climate-warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants when it allocates allowances under its pending rule to implement a statutorily mandated phasedown of the substances, among other criticisms of the agency’s proposal.

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The National Association Of Clean Air Agencies, representing 41 states’ air regulators, is pressing EPA to ramp up its regulation of and research into air toxics as concerns grow about certain high-profile pollutants such as ethylene oxide (EtO), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), diesel exhaust and others that threaten minority communities.

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June 02, 2021

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel is publicly launching a study to refine lifecycle greenhouse gas analysis (LCA) practices, a crucial issue for determining which biofuels or other low-carbon fuels should be encouraged or required under various federal and state low-carbon fuels programs.

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