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Inside EPA - 07/21/2017

  • In High Court Preview, DOJ Seeks Broad Appellate Review Of CWA Rules

    EPA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are using a district court suit over Clean Water Act (CWA) stormwater permit mandates to seek a broad standard on which CWA suits should be filed in appellate court -- a potential preview of how they will approach the pending Supreme Court case testing where the Obama-era CWA jurisdiction rule should be challenged.

    1409 words

  • Pruitt Sets Longer-Term Plans To Remake EPA, Secure Deregulatory Agenda

    Even as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt works to roll back a host of Obama-era rules as a relatively short-term priority, he is preparing a set of medium-term plans for the agency's budget and policy agenda that would remake the agency and institutionalize the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda.

    1642 words

  • EPA's Early TSCA Rules Ripe For Suits From Environmentalists, Industries

    EPA's suite of early rules and guidance under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) appear ripe for a number of legal challenges from environmentalists, the chemical industry and other sectors, sources say, due to initial divided reaction to the rules and the massive scope of regulatory provisions in the complex policies.

    1710 words

  • Bodine Backs Centralized OECA, Squelching Talk Of New Program Function

    EPA enforcement chief nominee Susan Bodine is dismissing earlier discussion that the Trump administration is planning to close down the agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) and disperse its functions to program offices, embracing its mission as a centralized entity in EPA headquarters, according to her written response to senators' questions.

    1135 words

  • Court Rejects Environmentalists' Push To Block EPA Chlorpyrifos Reversal

    A federal appeals court has rejected an environmentalist lawsuit seeking to block EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's reversal of an Obama administration plan to ban the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos, ordering petitioners to administratively appeal the agency's action, though environmentalists have another pending suit seeking to block the action on the merits.

    676 words

  • EPA Proposal Backs CASAC's Suggestion To Retain Existing NO2 NAAQS

    EPA is proposing to retain its existing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) set at 100 ppb over one hour, backing a suggestion from its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) to keep the current standard in place because it is adequate to protect public health as required by the Clean Air Act.

    480 words

  • House Panel's Approval Of EPA Spending Bill Offers Prelude To Further Talks

    The House Appropriations Committee has approved an EPA spending bill for fiscal year 2018 that provides the agency with significantly more than what the Trump administration had sought though the bill's passage offers a prelude to further negotiations among both House and Senate lawmakers over funding levels and policy riders.

    1233 words

  • Environmentalists Make Case For Broader 'Block 1' Power Plant GHG Rule

    Amid expectations that the Trump EPA will scrap the Clean Power Plan (CPP) by arguing its power plant greenhouse gas regulatory authority is limited to actions "inside the fence" of plants, some environmentalists are pushing back against the notion that such an approach would necessarily result in a rule requiring miniscule emissions cuts.

    1080 words

  • D.C. Circuit Remands Air Toxics 'Completion' Finding For EPA Justification

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a unanimous July 18 ruling has remanded EPA's final rule declaring that it has met a Clean Air Act mandate to regulate 90 percent of sources of seven air toxics, agreeing with environmentalists that the agency needs to better justify its explanation for the rule.

    986 words

  • Former Officials Eye Stepped-Up Options For Shielding EPA From Trump

    The Environmental Protection Network (EPN), the bipartisan group of former EPA staff that launched earlier this year, is considering a series of options for a stepped up role that would help protect the agency, its staff and its mission from efforts by the Trump administration to reduce it.

    1856 words

  • EPA Says States Lack Legal Standing For Role In Ozone NAAQS Challenge

    EPA and groups representing several major industries are opposing a request by Democratic-led states to intervene in litigation over the Obama-era rule tightening federal ozone standard in order to defend the measure, with the agency and others saying the request is untimely and EPA also claiming the states lack legal standing to join the suit.

    1085 words

  • 7th Circuit Hands Win To EPA On D.C. Circuit Review Of 'National' Policies

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in a unanimous July 12 opinion is agreeing with EPA's bid to transfer to the D.C. Circuit a suit over an area's attainment designation for federal sulfur dioxide (SO2) air standards, revising its precedent to make it easier to send lawsuits over "nationally applicable" rules to the D.C. Circuit.

    1252 words

  • Court Recalls Mandate In Methane NSPS Suit, But Only For 'Limited Period'

    The federal appellate court panel that last week vacated EPA's stay of portions of the Obama-era oil and gas new source methane rule is granting the agency's motion to recall its immediate mandate to lift the stay, though it gives the agency only two weeks -- well short of the almost two months EPA was seeking -- before it must implement the rule.

    957 words

  • EPA Sees Potential For Long-Term RFS Obstacle With Ethanol 'Blend Wall'

    EPA's proposed rule setting renewable fuel standard (RFS) blending goals for 2018 indicates that the agency sees the potential for a progressively worsening long-term obstacle to increased ethanol use in the "blend wall," the limit on how much ethanol can be blended into the fuel supply given infrastructure and vehicle constraints.

    952 words

  • EPA Sees Superfund Task Force Report As 'Starting Point' For State Talks

    EPA's top equity official says an internal task force's recommendation for overhauling the Superfund program is only a "starting point" for the effort rather than a binding agenda for reform, suggesting potentially months or even years of talks with states officials and extensive input from the advisory board before EPA issues any final plan.

    1013 words