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Inside EPA - 05/26/2017

  • States Eye Reduced Environmental Programs To Absorb FY18 Budget Cuts

    State officials are signaling openness to cutting or significantly scaling back their environmental programs in order to absorb EPA's proposed massive fiscal year 2018 cut to grants that help states implement federal environmental laws and rules, with some states even weighing returning delegated EPA programs back to the agency.

    1216 words

  • Environmentalists Fear Weaker EPA Ash Rule Enforcement Under Bodine

    Environmentalists fear that Susan Bodine -- President Donald Trump's nominee to head EPA's enforcement office -- would use the position to soften the Obama-era coal ash disposal rule by weakening enforcement of the policy, citing her testimony to Congress in 2013 that called for placing major limits on EPA's oversight of ash disposal.

    1049 words

  • Biofuels Makers, Retailers Pitch 2018 RFS Goals To Trump Administration

    Biofuels makers and retailers in recent meetings with EPA and White House officials pitched their policy goals for the agency's pending 2018 renewable fuel standard (RFS) targets, including boosting advanced biofuels blending and rejecting calls to shift the "point of obligation" compliance burden under the program.

    1316 words

  • Trump EPA Advances First Final Rule To Implement Revised Toxics Law

    The Trump EPA has sent for White House pre-publication review its first final rule to implement the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), advancing a measure establishing how to prioritize chemicals for risk evaluation that the Obama EPA proposed but the new administration will finalize based on its own approach to TSCA.

    961 words

  • Pruitt Creates EPA Task Force To Streamline, Overhaul Superfund Cleanups

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is creating a task force of agency officials to provide him within 30 days detailed recommendations on how to streamline and overhaul the Superfund program, following on his recent decision to remove from regional offices some decisionmaking authority on cleanups.

    644 words

  • BOSC Chair Says Dismissals Show EPA 'Marginalization' Of Science Input

    The chairman of EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) told a House Science Committee panel that the agency's decision not to reappoint nine of the board's 18 members is part of a broader pattern of "marginalization of science" by the Trump administration that goes beyond EPA, while conceding that the move was lawful.

    735 words

  • Trump's 2-1 Order Seen Driving 'Haphazard Regulation,' Experts Charge

    Almost 100 economists and lawyers are criticizing President Donald Trump's executive order that requires EPA and other agencies to repeal two rules for every new measure promulgated, charging it retreats from the long-standing principle of maximizing rules' "net benefits" and opens the door to "haphazard regulation" that could harm the public.

    1054 words

  • Seeing Appeal, Judge Rejects DOJ Bid To Stay Suit On Trump's 2-For-1 Order

    U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss has denied the Justice Department's (DOJ) motion to stay litigation filed by environmentalists and other groups challenging the legality of President Donald Trump's executive order (EO) which requires EPA and other agencies to identify two rules to repeal for every one new rule issued.

    1309 words

  • EPA Plan To Scrap Pesticide Rules Threatens Alliance Seeking Funding Bill

    Farmworker representatives are threatening to pull out of a long-standing coalition with industry that helps secure federal funds for streamlined EPA pesticide registrations if the Trump administration follows through on plans to scrap agency pesticide programs and scale back Obama-era rules for reducing farmworkers' exposures to pesticides.

    1211 words

  • Pruitt Thought To Be EPA 'Short-Timer' With Ambitions For Elected Office

    As EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is settling into his new role, sources inside and outside the agency are increasingly considering him a "short-timer" who is running the agency as someone who sees it as a political stepping stone to an elected office rather than as an administrator who is committed to the agency's mission and intends to understand how it operates.

    1526 words

  • Critics Say EPA's FY18 Cuts Undermine Trump Efforts To Boost Economy

    The Trump administration's proposed budget for EPA is sparking push back from environmentalists and state officials who say the steep proposed cuts would actually impose significant costs on industries, communities and the broader economy, in contrast to administration promises that scaling back EPA rules would boost prosperity.

    1274 words

  • Amid Sea Of Cuts, FY18 Budget Seeks To Boost Funds For Reshaping EPA

    Even as the White House is proposing to slash much of EPA's budget in fiscal year 2018, it is seeking an almost $70 million increase compared to FY17 to encourage early retirements and cut the agency's workforce, as well as a smaller increase to implement its deregulatory efforts, which some observers have said could be threatened by the proposed cuts.

    1139 words

  • Budget Plan Severely Limits EPA Climate Work With No Sign Of Expansion

    The Trump White House's fiscal year 2018 budget proposal calls for steep cuts to EPA's climate change policy and research, limiting the agency's climate work to greenhouse gas reporting and some existing GHG regulations while signaling that the agency does not intend to strengthen the climate programs it does maintain.

    1680 words

  • Experts Say Eased Vehicle GHG Rules May Threaten Domestic Automakers

    The Trump administration's decision to revisit EPA's vehicle greenhouse gases regulations carries potential risks for long-term competitiveness of automakers and auto part suppliers, according to several technology experts and economists who say the current standards help to make U.S. goods more competitive abroad.

    1162 words

  • DOJ Warns Murray Precedent Could Aid Broad Attacks On Rollback Agenda

    The top Trump environment official at the Justice Department (DOJ) says the administration is continuing to fight coal companies' lawsuit claiming EPA neglected mandatory reviews of air rules' employment impacts in large part because officials fear a loss in the case would open the door for environmentalists to broadly challenge the agency's deregulatory agenda.

    1233 words

  • Industries Seek Host Of CERCLA Policy Changes To Speed Cleanups

    Major industry groups that are liable for hazardous waste releases are urging EPA to ease its Superfund cleanup requirements, set deadlines for making cleanup decisions and make a host of other changes to the program's policy documents as part of its broad review of existing measures, signaling support for changes that could help achieve Administrator Scott Pruitt's goal of speeding cleanups.

    1893 words

  • Acting EPA, DOJ Officials See Compliance Assistance Boost Under Trump

    Acting EPA and Justice Department (DOJ) officials say they expect the Trump administration to bolster compliance assistance programs and cooperation with states as it scales back federal environmental enforcement efforts, though with both departments lacking political leadership it is unclear what concrete steps they will take to meet that goal.

    1082 words

  • Environmentalists Claim 'Exceptional Events' Rule Will Boost Air Pollution

    Environmentalists in a new legal filing claim that Obama-era changes to EPA's rule on when air pollution associated with "exceptional" events such as wildfires can be exempted from states' Clean Air Act compliance will boost emissions levels by "vast amounts," and are urging a federal appeals court to narrow the allowable exemptions.

    441 words

  • Appliance Group Warns EPA Against 'Broad Reconsideration' Of HFC Limits

    As EPA is gathering input on which regulations it should scrap or significantly revise, a major commercial appliance industry group is urging the agency to maintain its rules limiting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, requesting only targeted changes to some of the deadlines.

    953 words

  • Trump EPA's High Court Brief Defends Obama-Era Malfunction Air Policy

    The Trump EPA in a new Supreme Court brief is defending an Obama-era policy under which the agency sets Clean Air Act limits without allowing any exceedances of those standards due to emissions spikes associated with facility malfunctions, even as the administration reconsiders a rule that barred states from granting such waivers.

    1102 words