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Inside EPA - 12/07/2018

  • Wheeler's Transparency Pledges Win Rare Praise Ahead Of Confirmation

    Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler is winning praise from some environmentalists for recent pledges to improve transparency, including policies limiting political reviews of disclosures and mandating decisions be documented, measures that could aid his pending confirmation even as he faces criticisms over the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda.

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  • Northeast State Officials Eye Organized Approach On Assessing PFAS Risks

    Prompted by a federal agency's strict draft risk values released earlier this year, toxicologists in New York and other Northeast states have held a dialogue on the risks posed by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an early informal, coordinated effort to prepare for a possible review should state regulators decide to craft drinking water standards.

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  • GOP Voters, Senators Shift Climate Views Even As Trump Downplays Issue

    President Donald Trump and his supporters continue to downplay threats from climate change but nascent signs are emerging of a potential shift on the issue from Republicans, with some federal and state GOP lawmakers calling for a policy to address such risks and new polling data showing nearly two-thirds of Republicans say global warming is a problem.

    1298 words

  • Utilities Urge EPA To Fix SDWA Constitutional Concern In Perchlorate Rule

    Rural water utilities are suggesting that a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that gives the EPA administrator "sole judgment" to determine new contaminants may be vulnerable to a constitutional challenge under the "non-delegation" doctrine, and are urging the agency to address the issue in an upcoming rule governing perchlorate.

    1374 words

  • EPA Imposes Obama-Era RMP Rule Mandates Despite Looming Rollback

    In compliance with an appellate court order, EPA is issuing a final rule imposing requirements of the Obama administration's January 2017 final rule strengthening the agency's Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program, despite plans to issue early next year a final rule largely scrapping the Obama-era rule.

    676 words

  • CASAC Members Urge More Time, Special Panel For Ozone NAAQS Review

    Members of EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory (CASAC) committee are urging the agency to give them more time for their review of the ozone ambient air limit and also revive a disbanded special panel to assist the review, warning that the current process is too quick and could undermine the quality of their scientific advice.

    688 words

  • NACAA Faults Eased EPA Auto Parts Enforcement, Seeks Strict Air Limits

    The National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) is faulting EPA's plan to revise and ease its enforcement policy on tampering with aftermarket auto emissions control parts such as catalytic converters by warning that it will not adequately protect air quality, and is calling on the agency to instead pursue strict new emissions rules for the parts.

    918 words

  • Industry Scrambles To Renew PRIA After Renewal Fails To Make Farm Bill

    Industry officials are urging lawmakers to renew EPA's expiring authority to collect industry fees to support timely pesticide reviews, either through a stand-alone bill or by attaching it to a broader appropriations package, after lawmakers declined to extend the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) program in the Farm Bill.

    1016 words

  • D.C. Circuit Divided On Merits Of States' Bid To Force EPA OTC Expansion

    Appellate judges at Nov. 28 oral argument appeared divided on the merits of Northeastern states' suit aiming to force EPA to expand the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) of states subject to stricter ozone reduction mandates, with two judges backing the agency's denial of the effort while the third offered some support for the states.

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  • Industry Seeks To Refute Key TCE Study Ahead Of EPA, Carolina Actions

    Chemical industry groups have submitted to EPA and its North Carolina counterpart a draft study intended to refute the findings of a controversial 2003 toxicology study that has driven conservative risk and remedial policies on trichloroethylene (TCE) as both agencies are poised to take important steps to address the ubiquitous solvent.

    1473 words

  • Senate GOP Eyes Speedy Confirmation For Dunn After TSCA Pledges

    Senate Republicans are eyeing a speedy confirmation for Alexandra Dunn, President Donald Trump's second nominee to lead EPA's toxics office, after a confirmation hearing where Democrats welcomed public and private pledges the nominee has made though they signaled they still need additional commitments before allowing the nomination to advance.

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  • EPA Expanding Validated Testing Methods For PFAS In Various Media

    As public concerns about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) mount, EPA has updated and expanded its validated test methods for identifying the chemicals in drinking water, a move that will help laboratories determine which PFAS compounds are present in drinking water.

    955 words

  • Facing Court Losses, White House Mulls Limited NEPA Climate Guidance

    Following a series of court losses, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is mulling narrow new guidance to federal agencies for how to consistently consider greenhouse gas emissions in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, after it withdrew a detailed guide the Obama CEQ issued on the topic after years of work.

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  • States, Industry Group At Odds Over Trump EPA's HFC 'Management' Plan

    Democratic-led states are at odds with a manufacturing industry coalition over a Trump EPA plan to rescind Obama-era rules extending refrigerant management and leak guidelines to appliances that use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are a potent short-term greenhouse gas.

    897 words

  • EAB Deals Environmentalists Two Losses In Bid For Stricter NSR Permits

    EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) has dealt environmentalists two losses in cases seeking stricter Clean Air Act new source review (NSR) permits for energy facilities, deferring to state air regulators on an Arizona gas-fired power plant's permit and backing EPA Region 8's permits for a series of natural gas compressors in Utah.

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  • Final EPA 2019 RFS Gives Modest Hike To Cellulosic Fuel Production Goal

    EPA's final 2019 renewable fuel standard (RFS) production goals largely echo the proposed version of the rule but also include a modest hike for cellulosic biofuel targets over the proposal, disappointing biofuels groups that lobbied EPA to increase all fuel volume categories to compensate for RFS waivers it will likely grant to small refiners.

    1083 words

  • Supreme Court Seeks White House's Views On CWA Groundwater Lawsuits

    The Supreme Court is giving the Trump administration just one month to weigh in on whether the Clean Water Act (CWA) limits pollution that travels through groundwater to protected surface waters, potentially posing a difficult test for EPA as the agency is in the early stages of crafting a rule or guidance to address the same question.

    581 words

  • TVA Urges 6th Circuit To Let Stand Rejection Of CWA Groundwater Case

    The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to deny environmentalists' bid for rehearing of a divided panel's holding that TVA cannot face Clean Water Act (CWA) liability for groundwater leaks from its coal ash storage, arguing the decision did not break with precedent or create a circuit split.

    1011 words