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Inside EPA - 02/24/2017

  • Staff Opposition Expected To Hamper Pruitt's Agenda As EPA Administrator

    Newly confirmed Administrator Scott Pruitt will use his first day at EPA headquarters Feb. 21 to address staff about his plans as agency chief, though his pledges to rollback Obama rules and otherwise curtail the agency will face a skeptical or even hostile reception from employees who doubt his commitment to EPA's core mission of protecting public health and the environment.

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  • Shimkus Eyes Bipartisan Brownfields Push In Lieu Of Overhauling Air Law

    Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) says he hopes lawmakers can reach bipartisan compromise on legislation to reform EPA's brownfields redevelopment program similar to the broad consensus he helped achieve on last year's overhaul of federal toxics law, in lieu of more sweeping changes to the Clean Air Act that Democrats are refusing to entertain.

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  • Morrisey Hopes Trump Seeks Broad Rollback Of EPA Power Plant GHG Rules

    West Virginia Attorney General (AG) Patrick Morrisey (R), one of the most ardent critics of EPA's power plant greenhouse gas rules, hopes that an executive order President Donald Trump is slated to sign will seek a broad rollback of the agency's rules for both new and existing sources, suggesting some uncertainty about the scope of the order.

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  • EPA Limiting Asbestos Chemical Evaluation To Six Forms Under TSCA

    EPA is limiting its review of asbestos under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to the definition of asbestos in the statute, agency staff announced at a recent stakeholders meeting where speakers clashed over which uses EPA should pursue.

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  • Rep. Green Floats Resolution Calling On EPA To Issue Cr6 Water Standard

    Rep. Al Green (D-TX) has introduced a resolution that expresses concern over the presence of hexavalent chromium (Cr6) in drinking water and calling on EPA to complete its ongoing assessment of Cr6's human health risks and set a drinking water standard for its presence in drinking water, as well as urging states to set Cr6 limits.

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  • Supreme Court Delays Argument In CWA Rule Suit Until At Least October

    The Supreme Court is delaying until at least October oral argument in a case over whether federal district or appellate courts are the proper venue for suits over the Obama EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule, increasing the chance a full nine-member court will hear the case but leaving related suits over the rule in limbo for months.

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  • 9th Circuit Judges Question Categorical CWA Preemption Of RCRA Claims

    A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit at oral argument Feb. 17 raised questions over whether a lower court had overreached when it ruled that the Clean Water Act (CWA) categorically preempts Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) claims.

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  • Pruitt Urged To Fulfill PFOA Testing Pledge As State Advances Water Limit

    Community campaigners are urging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to fulfill a pledge he gave during his Senate confirmation to test drinking water in communities that may contain the emerging contaminant perflouorooctanoic acid (PFOA), while New Jersey pushes ahead with developing possibly the strictest PFOA limit in the country.

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  • 4th Circuit CWA Ruling Could Create Permit Uncertainty For Many Sectors

    A federal appeals court ruling holding a coal mine liable under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for releasing pollutants that state regulators chose not to limit directly could create permitting uncertainty for many sectors by hindering permit owners' ability to ensure they are in compliance because other courts have signaled that they find the ruling persuasive.

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  • Automakers Formally Launch Bid To Reopen EPA Vehicle GHG Standards

    Automakers are formally urging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to withdraw the agency's decision to retain its light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for model years (MY) 2022-2025, arguing that the agency has ample authority to scrap the determination and “resume” a joint mid-term review of the standards with the Department of Transportation (DOT).

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  • House Committee Leaders Seek Delay For EPA's Mining Financial Rule

    Three House committee chairmen that oversee environmental and mining issues are urging EPA to extend by four months the comment period for the agency's controversial draft financial responsibility rule for the hardrock mining industry, adding to pressure from industry and others to delay finalizing the rule even as the agency faces a Dec. 1 deadline to take final action.

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  • Trump DOJ Backs Obama EPA's Attacks On Air Rule 'Jobs' Review Ruling

    The Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) is backing the Obama EPA's opposition to a federal district judge's order for EPA to broadly review how its Clean Air Act rules have affected jobs in the coal sector, asking an appellate court to overturn the ruling and defying expectations that the new administration would comply with the order.

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  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Details Priorities, Principles For Agency

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, sworn in Feb. 17 shortly after his Senate confirmation, has begun to detail some of his priorities and principles for his time in office.

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  • As Pruitt Confirmed, McCarthy Urges Staff To Focus On Protecting Health

    As Scott Pruitt prepares to be sworn in as the next EPA administrator, his predecessor, Gina McCarthy, is urging agency staff to remain focused on actions to protect public health and the environment, rather than on what might happen under the Trump administration.

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  • House Lawmakers Weigh Options For Potential Reform Of Brownfields Law

    House Democrats and Republicans are weighing options for a nascent push to reform the brownfields law as a rare bipartisan legislative effort that could gain broad support in the 115th Congress, with options including how to boost funding for EPA's brownfields program and possible steps to make the existing law more flexible.

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  • D.C. Circuit Ruling Could Determine Trump EPA Options For Revising CPP

    As a federal appellate court prepares to rule on the legality of EPA's power plant greenhouse gas rule, supporters and critics say that how the court rules -- assuming it upholds the regulation -- could inform or affect the Trump administration's options for undoing or weakening the measure in a new rulemaking.

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  • Ozone Implementation Plan Shows Major Divisions Among Stakeholders

    EPA's proposal for how to implement its latest ozone ambient air standard is highlighting major divisions among stakeholders, with several states and industry groups faulting the agency's approach to weighing international emissions in states' compliance plans and environmentalists attacking parts of the rule as too weak to reduce ozone.

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  • Appellate Judges Appear Skeptical Of EPA Power To Limit HFCs Under SNAP

    Federal appellate judges appeared skeptical during recent oral arguments that EPA has Clean Air Act authority to limit hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), refrigerants that are potent greenhouse gases, under a program targeting ozone-depleting substances, suggesting Obama-era climate rules issued under the program could be in danger.

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  • Trump EPA Said To Consider Cutting 'Duplicative' Regional Functions

    Trump administration advisers appear to be considering significant cuts to EPA regional office activities that could be described as “duplicative” of state environmental programs, according to a former agency official, who characterizes the ideas as preliminary.

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