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Daily News

October 29, 2020

A coalition of eight energy-intensive labor unions is renewing concerns about job losses in the energy and manufacturing sectors from Democrats’ power sector climate plans, while pushing for significant federal funding for a “just transition” to handle such a shift.

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A California state auditor report is heavily faulting the toxics department’s cleanup of the shuttered Exide lead-acid battery recycling plant and surrounding community near Los Angeles, spurring state lawmakers to demand immediate improvements and significantly more state funding for the notorious site.

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October 28, 2020

EPA is renewing its bid to dismiss a suit seeking to require TSCA reporting rules for asbestos uses, arguing in part that environmentalists’ claims that such rules are needed given science advisors’ criticism that the agency lacked adequate data for its draft asbestos evaluation was outside the record and that EPA acted within its discretion.

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EPA is renewing its bid to dismiss a suit seeking to require TSCA reporting rules for asbestos uses, arguing in part that environmentalists’ claims that such rules are needed given science advisors’ criticism that the agency lacked adequate data for its draft asbestos evaluation was outside the record and that EPA acted within its discretion.

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EPA’s top enforcement and waste officials are outlining policy plans for the coming months and a possible second term for President Donald Trump, including offering states flexibility in reporting to the State Review Framework (SRF) that tracks enforcement efforts as well as an update to the Superfund model prospective purchaser agreement.

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is advancing a rule for autonomous vehicles (AVs) that would set an overarching goal to reduce greenhouse gas and other air emissions, though the commission is rejecting calls for “sub-goals” for electric vehicles (EVs), reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and environmental justice.

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California’s novel universal waste (UW) rules for disposing spent photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, which take effect Jan. 1, are raising uncertainty about how fast they may spur new in-state recycling facilities for the hazardous material, while solar industry and other groups are eyeing “cleanup legislation” to relax some of the new requirements.

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If Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the Nov. 3 election, attorneys are widely expecting EPA to ramp up enforcement efforts with major initiatives under bedrock environmental laws, rather than the Trump administration’s approach of focusing on compliance assistance and deference to states.

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Clean energy advocates are watching an array of down-ballot races in the Nov. 3 elections across multiple states, hoping to accelerate legislative or regulatory embrace of clean energy and climate change policies depending on whether backers are able to shift control of state legislatures or regulatory bodies.

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Private attorneys who serve as enforcers of California’s Proposition 65 chemical labeling law are at odds with an array of industry groups over a state plan to provide first-time exceptions for the food chemical acrylamide, which would exempt businesses from providing cancer warnings if they can show exposures from cooked and heated foods fall below proposed maximum concentration levels.

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A working group of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that sets global environmental standards for shipping is recommending a series of draft energy efficiency measures to further limit greenhouse gases from shipping, but the plan is facing criticism from the U.S. shipping industry and environmentalists for being too weak.

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A working group of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that sets global environmental standards for shipping is recommending a series of draft energy efficiency measures to further limit greenhouse gases from shipping, but the plan is facing criticism from the U.S. shipping industry and environmentalists for being too weak.

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October 27, 2020

Mary Nichols, California’s top air regulator, says she would accept the job of EPA administrator if offered the post under a Biden administration and is pledging to take a strict, “precautionary” approach when it comes to regulating toxic substances and to step up federal oversight of chemicals.

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A panel of three appellate judges at Oct. 27 oral appeared ready to force EPA to write a long-awaited update on its lead-based paint definition used in setting hazard levels for the substances, but also signaled disagreements on whether the agency can consider additional factors such as economic impacts when issuing lead hazard policies.

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A long-time EPA scientist with a history of whistleblowing claims is asking the agency’s Inspector General (IG) “to investigate and remedy misrepresentations” by EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the survival times on surfaces of the virus that causes COVID-19, saying the agencies’ guidance is based on flawed studies.

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A federal district court judge is granting EPA’s request to stay litigation over whether the agency can terminate a consent decree that required it to set a drinking water standard for the rocket fuel ingredient perchlorate until an appeals court rules on whether EPA had the authority to decide no national standard is necessary.

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An appellate court is rejecting a request by Democratic-led states and environmentalists to stay EPA’s rule scrapping methane controls for new oil and gas facilities, though the court is also setting a quick pace for the litigation as petitioners had requested.

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Progressive groups are calling for policymakers to create a new environmental justice (EJ) mapping tool that is more robust than EPA’s current EJSCREEN, a measure supporters say would complement calls from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, for agencies to assess their policies’ effects on disadvantaged communities.

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California air board chief Mary Nichols, who says she would accept an offer to be EPA administrator under a potential Biden administration, believes the state’s recently finalized voluntary “framework” deals with five automakers on reducing greenhouse gases should serve as a template for national model year 2022-26 rules.

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A steel mill is urging a federal appeals court to uphold a potentially precedent-setting Superfund ruling that exempted three of its facilities in the Pittsburgh area from Superfund reporting requirements because the company holds a Clean Air Act (CAA) permit even if the mill’s emissions have violated those permits.

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