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Inside EPA - 10/12/2018

  • ORD Reorganization Plan Prompts Mixed Reaction From EPA Employees

    EPA leadership's plan to reorganize the Office of Research & Development (ORD), including merging it with the Office of the Science Advisor (OSA), is prompting a mixed reaction from agency employees, with some saying it could hinder the advisor's access to the administrator while others say it could help address resource constraints.

    1331 words

  • 'Non-Delegation' Cases Offer Chance For High Court To Limit EPA Powers

    The pending Supreme Court petition over environmental limits on a border wall, along with a just-argued case on sex offender registries, could give the justices an opportunity to limit EPA's rulemaking discretion by strengthening a little-used doctrine that bars Congress from giving the executive branch "unbounded" discretion to regulate.

    1363 words

  • EPA Faces Call To Include OLEM In 2019 Oil & Gas Wastewater Rule Decision

    EPA's Office of Water (OW) plans to make a decision by the middle of next year on whether to amend its effluent rules for onshore oil and gas extraction to allow for increased discharge options, but environmentalists fear OW's decision may fail to coordinate with an upcoming waste office decision about the sector.

    1507 words

  • Kavanaugh To Face Recusal Pressure In High Court Suits Over Utility GHGs

    Newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face pressure to recuse himself from any high court case addressing EPA greenhouse gas limits for power plants given his role hearing litigation over agency climate rules while serving as an appellate judge.

    1152 words

  • High Court Declines To Review Ruling Limiting EPA's Power To Curb HFCs

    The Supreme Court is letting stand an appellate decision that largely vacated EPA's rules restricting the use of refrigerant chemicals that act as potent greenhouse gases, rejecting without comment petitions from environmentalists and some chemical companies that support alternative substances that are less damaging to the climate.

    700 words

  • EPA Sends Obama-Era MATS Reconsideration Proposal For OMB Review

    EPA has sent for White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) pre-publication review its proposal to reconsider the Obama administration's landmark mercury and air toxics standards (MATS) rule for power plants, prompting fresh criticism from environmentalists who warn it will undo public health protections.

    493 words

  • IG's 2019-2023 Plan Targets EPA Goals For Audit, Vows Efficiency Boosts

    EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) in its newly unveiled strategic plan for 2019-23 is vowing to quickly open audits of the agency's progress toward six goals that former Administrator Scott Pruitt set for the same time period, while also offering steps for how the OIG plans to improve its own efficiency and effectiveness.

    980 words

  • D.C. Circuit Searches For Ways To Review EPA's RFS Compliance 'Point'

    Appellate judges at oral argument in two related suits over EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) appeared to be searching for ways to review refiners' long-running claims that the agency's compliance "point of obligation" is unfair, querying EPA on whether it has attempted to unlawfully shield the obligation point from judicial review.

    1559 words

  • GOP Senators Urge EPA CWA Section 401 Policy Revisions, Tout Pending Bill

    Republican senators who are seeking legislative changes to the Clean Water Act section 401 water quality certification process are urging EPA to revise its policy on the issue and saying current agency guidance incorrectly characterizes some aspects of the law, while still touting their bill to implement some of the revisions.

    937 words

  • 5th Circuit Judges Doubt EPA Defense Of Utility ELG 'Leachate' Standards

    Appellate judges at oral argument in environmentalists' suit over the Obama EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) effluent guidelines for power plants appeared to doubt the Trump administration's defense of the rule for leaving in place 36-year-old standards for "leachates" -- water that has absorbed, or leached, pollutants from solid waste.

    1465 words

  • EPA Readies Regional Office Reorganization Plan For Congress' Review

    EPA plans to soon send to Congress a recently completed plan for reorganizing the agency's regional offices to more closely mirror headquarters' structure and improve coordination, but an official with one of the agency's employee unions is raising concerns that the fast-moving process may not leave adequate time for employee input.

    784 words

  • Critics Cite High Court To Fight Trump Claim Of Car GHG Rule's Risk

    Critics are pouncing on the Trump administration's claim that its proposed rollback of vehicle greenhouse gas standards is justified because it would only result in a "minimal" rise in global temperatures, with opponents of the rollback poised to cite the claim as in conflict with a landmark Supreme Court ruling.

    1461 words

  • D.C. Circuit Judges Ask Tough Questions In Suit Over EPA CSAPR Update

    A three-judge appellate panel at Oct. 3 oral argument asked tough questions of all sides in litigation over the Obama EPA's "update" to its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), including what authority the agency has to craft interstate air pollution rules that fail to guarantee states will attain federal air standards by statutory deadlines.

    2144 words

  • Senate GOP Eyes 'Secret Science' Bill To Adopt Policy In EPA's Proposal

    Senate environment committee Republicans are suggesting they will try in the next Congress to move legislation that largely adopts a controversial EPA proposal to bar the agency in rulemaking from relying on scientific data that is not publicly available, with a GOP staffer saying lawmakers' preference is to enact such policies through statute.

    1280 words

  • Trump Order Approving Year-Round E15 Sales Divides Critics, Supporters

    President Donald Trump's issuance of a directive Oct. 9 for EPA to authorize year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol fuel (E15) is drawing contrasting reaction from biofuels advocates, their oil industry opponents, environmentalists and others, with supporters saying it will boost E15 while critics warn it risks harming vehicle engines and air quality.

    1022 words

  • Supreme Court Urged To Resolve Circuit Split On CWA Groundwater Liability

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the county of Maui, HI, are touting a pair of recent appeals court decisions that rejected Clean Water Act (CWA) liability for leaks into groundwater as a further reason for the Supreme Court to take up other cases on the subject, arguing that there is now a circuit split that only the justices can remedy.

    995 words