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Previewing written comments due Nov. 18, urban stormwater and agriculture officials are praising EPA efforts to encourage market-based approaches for addressing water quality through modifications of the agency’s water quality trading policy while environmentalists are raising concerns about its lack of enforceability.

A group of experts peer reviewing EPA’s new model for estimating lead concentrations in humans praised the agency’s years-long effort to build a more advanced model of lead exposures and concentrations but urged the agency to clarify its applications and audience, suggesting it may not be well suited to some uses, including regulatory uses.

The Energy Department’s (DOE) plan to create a new category of dishwashers that would be temporarily exempted from congressionally mandated efficiency standards is facing a likely lawsuit from Democratic attorneys general (AGs) who charge in part that DOE’s plan unlawfully failed to consider adverse environmental and greenhouse gas impacts.

Appellate judges appear to doubt EPA’s rationale for exempting coal- and oil-fired power plants from tough numeric air toxics limits for up to four hours during startup procedures, pressing agency lawyers hard during Oct. 21 oral arguments on why emissions cannot be accurately measured during this period, the basis for its exemption.

EPA is poised to publish its final repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction policy in the Oct. 22 Federal Register, a move that environmentalists and several states are already vowing to challenge in court and that will add to legal battles including suits over the 2015 policy, CWA groundwater regulations, and more.

Several state environment agencies are urging EPA to tighten its proposed changes to the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) rule governing reuse of coal ash, arguing that the new policy needs to be more stringent, more specific, or both in order to aid implementation.

Environmental, labor and industry groups are making competing calls for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to either remand or alter to EPA a rule barring consumer uses of paint-stripping products containing methylene chloride, as they push the court to back their claims of deficiencies in the agency’s rulemaking.