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Citing fiscal concerns stemming from the pandemic, the chemical industry is asking EPA to delay until next year any fees companies may have to pay to cover the cost of the agency’s next 20 risk evaluations being conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as firms are due May 27 to report on their potential eligibility.

EPA has relaxed hazardous waste manifest signature requirements on paper forms to aid waste handlers in maintaining social distancing measures during the COVID-19 public health emergency, a move that could aid EPA efforts to boost the number of generators and transporters moving to the electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system.

Officials with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union representing the majority of EPA employees, are strongly opposing Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s announcement that the agency will begin a phased reopening in three of its 10 regions after the coronavirus pandemic closed all agency offices in March.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is handing city and county governments another victory in their series of climate nuisance lawsuits against oil majors, finding that two cases seeking damages from the companies belong in California state court where the local governments first filed them.

As EPA moves closer to completing some of its first chemical evaluations under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a top official says he expects the agency will narrowly “tailor” any risk management rules the agency eventually writes, to address any “unreasonable risks” it finds in its final evaluations.

The coronavirus-related disruption to oil markets might force carbon capture projects to focus less on enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to store captured emissions and more on “non-producing” storage options, according to one industry attorney, arguing the dynamic should spur EPA to ease its rules for such projects.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has begun a phased reopening of the agency’s offices to staff, beginning with three regional offices, while pledging a “measured and deliberate approach” that includes significant voluntary and suggested telework through multiple steps of the process.