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The Supreme Court took no action in its Jan. 22 orders on a pair of closely-watched Clean Water Act (CWA) suits testing liability for pollution that travels through groundwater to protected surface waters, deepening the uncertainty surrounding EPA’s planned change in its policies governing such discharges.

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) environment division is in the midst of an exodus of experienced and high-profile attorneys who are leaving the Trump administration for work in the private sector and on Capitol Hill, creating a “brain drain” just before EPA is set to finalize major regulatory rollbacks that the division must defend in court.

The nearly month-long shutdown of EPA and other agencies is hampering the agency's ability to comply with a host of looming statutory deadlines that Congress set in the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), raising the stakes that officials will miss targets to assess chemicals, complete rulemakings or approve new chemical uses.

EPA's rule setting user fees for chemical manufacturers and processors to fund agency actions under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has taken effect without a challenge from environmentalists or other parties, marking the only one of the agency's four TSCA framework rules to take effect without facing a lawsuit.

A national organization of municipal wastewater utilities is urging California to drop its plan to adopt a new method for assessing toxicity of effluent discharged to surface waters, arguing it “will set a troubling national precedent” if California adopts the controversial, EPA-backed method.

Utah and groups representing major industries are backing EPA's revised policy limiting the scope of review for objections to Clean Air Act Title V operating permits by excluding analysis of other air permits contained within a Title V permit, saying a broader approach would unlawfully allow the agency to “second guess” state permitting decisions.

Concerns over EPA and other agencies almost one-month shutdown are growing as the EPA-administered federal online regulatory docket shuttered -- apparently due to the shutdown -- while federal courts that review EPA and other agency actions appear close to running out of funds.