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Inside EPA - 06/22/2018

  • Trump Faces Growing Calls From Republicans, Conservatives To Fire Pruitt

    Key Republican lawmakers and other Trump administration allies are heightening their concerns about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's ethics scandals, with many influential conservatives publicly calling for President Donald Trump to fire Pruitt or at least floating a scenario in which he leaves the agency.

    1324 words

  • Observers Brace For Trump Reorganization Plan With EPA Impact Unclear

    The Trump administration is expected to release as soon as June 21 a broad plan for reorganizing the federal government, though some observers doubt the plan will spur broad proposed changes at EPA, such as closing of regional offices, despite calls from some to do so.

    1070 words

  • Inspector General Details Broad Review Of EPA Programs In Annual Plan

    EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) is laying out a broad agenda for the remainder of fiscal year 2018 that ranges from reviews of the agency's regulatory oversight on key media and research programs to internal staffing and management as well as previously announced inquiries into Administrator Scott Pruitt's controversial security, spending and hiring.

    900 words

  • EPA Sends New CWA Jurisdiction Rule To OMB But Legal Battles Escalate

    EPA has sent a narrower Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule for White House pre-publication rule to replace the Obama-era jurisdiction rule, but even though the submission marks a major step forward in the agency's repeal-and-replace plan the legal battles over the existing rule and EPA's replacement process are escalating.

    1149 words

  • Enforcement Appeal On Use Of Kennedy CWA Test Could Boost EPA Rule

    A California construction company is trying to force a new appellate decision on which of two competing Supreme Court Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction tests judges should apply, just as EPA is readying a new jurisdiction rule that would use the firm's preferred narrower test and could get a major boost if courts start to back that standard.

    692 words

  • Environmentalists May Tighten Demands After Pesticide 'Mega' Suit Proceeds

    A judge is allowing environmentalists to continue their long-running suit seeking to force EPA to consult with wildlife regulators on risks of dozens of pesticides to endangered species, but the plaintiffs may face new complications, including a requirement to seek vacatur of the products' registrations because EPA's bar on settlements may preclude a deal on the review deadlines the group is seeking.

    858 words

  • In Latest Rebuke To Pruitt, Appropriators Adds Ethics Limits To FY19 Bill

    Senate appropriators have added a provision in EPA's fiscal year 2019 spending package formally admonishing Administrator Scott Pruitt -- albeit without mentioning him by name -- for numerous reported ethical lapses, marking a political response and mounting Capitol Hill impatience with Pruitt's scandals.

    1161 words

  • EPA's Cost-Benefit Plan Starts Debate On Co-Benefits, Agency Discretion

    EPA's preliminary rulemaking to consider changing how it weighs the costs and benefits of its rules could lead to far-reaching changes, including trimming the estimates of a rule's co-benefits, greater consideration of costs in a variety of settings and revisiting already-issued regulations.

    1329 words

  • 9th Circuit Wrestles With 'Futurity' In Suit Over Corps' Wetlands Handbook

    Appellate judges weighing the legality of the Army Corps of Engineers' regional supplements to its handbook for identifying wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA) appeared split at oral argument on whether a 1992 spending law bars the practice of using regional handbooks, with one judge backing that claim and another strongly questioning it.

    1293 words

  • EPA's Planned Changes To Brownfields Liability Guide Draw Industry Praise

    EPA staff has begun drafting revisions to 2003 brownfields guidance that outlines when developers can qualify for limited liability protection under the Superfund law, responding to recommendations from Administrator Scott Pruitt's Superfund Task Force and longstanding calls from industry for greater clarity in the wake of controversial legal rulings.

    1625 words

  • CEQ Issues Advance Notice For Sweeping Update Of NEPA Regulations

    The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is publishing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on a long-anticipated and potentially sweeping update of its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementing rules, opening the door to just the second amendment to the rules in 40 years.

    1161 words

  • Democrats Seek To Preserve EPA's RMP Provisions In CFATS Renewal

    As the Trump administration works to roll back the Obama-era rule strengthening EPA's facility accident prevention program, House Democrats are seeking to codify portions of the rule in pending legislation renewing the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) facility security program and incorporate some of its provisions into any future DHS program.

    1344 words

  • EPA Raises Early Defenses Against Likely Suit Over Ash Program Approval

    EPA is raising early legal defenses against environmentalists' promised legal challenge to the agency's approval of Oklahoma's first-of-its-kind coal ash disposal permit program, with EPA downplaying as irrelevant environmentalists' claims that the Sooner State lacks the resources to adequately implement its new permitting regime.

    898 words

  • District Courts Set Deadlines For EPA To Act On Interstate Ozone Pollution

    Two federal district courts in new rulings are requiring EPA to meet binding deadlines to act on states' request for the agency to mitigate interstate transport of ozone air pollution, with one decision mandating federal air quality plans for several states and another requiring an EPA decision on a petition seeking ozone cuts in upwind states.

    1163 words

  • Amid Looming Rollback, EPA Floats Vehicle GHG Credit 'Amendments'

    Even as the Trump administration is poised to unveil its proposed rule for rolling back Obama-era light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards, EPA is advancing a new draft plan that could give automakers more generous compliance credits for advanced vehicles and other technologies.

    1057 words