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Inside EPA - 01/19/2018

  • EPA Air Chief Leaves Door Open To Uncertain Rule Review Outcomes

    Newly confirmed EPA air chief Bill Wehrum is outlining an ambitious 2018 agenda, including completing reviews of six high-profile Obama-era rules and policies that the Trump administration is seeking to roll back. But in an interview with Inside EPA, he emphasized the agency is still weighing a host of options, leaving open the possibility that the reviews could result in uncertain outcomes and upend expectations for where the agency may land.

    2002 words

  • Industry Unnerved By Pruitt's Push For Excavation At Some Superfund Sites

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's close oversight of high-profile Superfund cleanup decisions, as well as strict remedies he has supported for some sites, is drawing concern among potentially responsible parties (PRPs) that the administrator is signaling plans to embrace costlier excavation remedies at some sites.

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  • Pruitt Seeks To Halve EPA Workforce Despite Obama Administration Warning

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pushing ahead with plans to reduce EPA's workforce by up to 50 percent at the end of President Donald Trump's first term, despite warnings from the Obama administration that retaining "top talent" at EPA is a "key challenge," according to a transition briefing paper obtained by Inside EPA.

    1300 words

  • EPA Approval Of Oklahoma Ash Program May Set Marker For Other States

    EPA is proposing to approve Oklahoma's plan for regulating coal ash disposal under a 2016 law that opened the door for the agency to delegate implementation of its first-time ash program, and the approval may set a marker for other states by suggesting swift approval if the plans adhere closely to the requirements in EPA's program.

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  • EPA Signals Flexible Approach To Court's Remand Of 2016 RFS Volumes

    EPA is signaling that it intends to take a flexible approach when implementing a court remand of its renewable fuel standard (RFS) volumes rule for 2016, advising refiners and importers that they need not withhold 2016 vintage credits required for compliance with the 2017 RFS to cover possible additional fuel blending mandates for compliance year 2016.

    714 words

  • Administration Scraps Plan To Pause EPA Landfill Rules Amid Legal Doubts

    The Trump administration has scrapped EPA proposals to stay major requirements in Obama-era methane standards for new and existing landfills, signaling that it would have faced an uphill legal battle if it had finalized the measures, though environmentalists have already charged that the agency is dragging its feet on implementing the standards.

    555 words

  • States Urge Trump Administration To Ensure Consistent Response On PFAS

    State regulators are asking EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to work with states and the Defense Department to address a number of concerns related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, including ensuring that state and federal agencies avoid different risk values when addressing the chemicals.

    1008 words

  • EPA Fuel Economy Reports Prompt Mixed Industry, Environmentalist Views

    EPA's latest trends and manufacturer performance reports on vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gases show improvements have continued but slowed, prompting a delicate dance by both automakers and environmentalists citing the report as a basis for their respective positions on weakening -- or preserving -- current standards for passenger vehicles.

    880 words

  • Infrastructure Group Says Bipartisan Deal On Permit Streamlining Possible

    A coalition of labor, gas, manufacturing and other business organizations hopes the potential jobs boost from President Donald Trump's pending infrastructure initiative could be enough to win Democratic votes for an infrastructure package that includes EPA and other environmental permit streamlining Democrats have previously opposed.

    1390 words

  • Senate Eyes Streamlined CWA 404 Permitting, Other Reforms For WRDA

    Streamlining Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 permitting for wetlands restoration and other activities appears likely to be a part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorization bill the Senate environment committee plans to develop this year, after witnesses at a Jan. 10 hearing all agreed some change is needed.

    1380 words

  • Truckers' Pushback On Glider GHG Plan Raises Question Of EPA Next Steps

    A barrage of trucking industry groups are ramping up criticism that EPA's plan to scrap greenhouse gas limits for "glider" trucks disadvantages businesses invested in clean technologies and undercuts the agency's mobile source program -- the kind of criticism that might typically prompt a business-friendly administration to rethink its plans.

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  • PRPs Urge EPA To Avoid Broad Excavation At West Lake Landfill Site

    Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at the West Lake Landfill site in Bridgeton, MO, are urging EPA officials to avoid a broad excavation remedy as Administrator Scott Pruitt prepares to announce a cleanup remedy at the high-profile Superfund site.

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  • Communities Gain New EPA Access On Superfund But Questions Remain

    Community representatives say they are gaining welcome new access to EPA headquarters officials on Superfund remediation issues in the wake of Administrator Scott Pruitt's new focus on the issue, though some activists remain skeptical that Pruitt will act on communities' preferred cleanup approaches and are in a wait-and-see mode.

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  • EPA Faces Pushback Over Cost, Feasibility Of SDWA Lead Rule Revisions

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made revision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) lead and copper rule a top priority, but municipal and water utility sources are raising concerns about the cost and feasibility of possible changes the agency is considering for replacing lead service lines, expanding sampling requirements and improving corrosion control.

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  • Environmentalists Downplay Loss In Legal Battle For Stricter Ash Disposal

    Environmentalists pursuing a legal strategy of suing utilities in a bid to win court rulings forcing stricter coal ash disposal controls are downplaying a recent district court ruling that found no Clean Water Act (CWA) liability for a utility's ash leaks to groundwater, saying the decision is wrong and will be superseded by a pending appeal.

    562 words

  • EPA Targets April 30 For Ozone Designations But Withholds 'Exact Details'

    EPA in a new legal filing says it plans to issue by April 30 all remaining designations for which areas are either attaining or violating the 2015 ozone standard in response to an appellate court order for "precision and specificity" on its timeline, but is withholding the "exact details" for another filing it will submit to the court on Jan. 19.

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  • Industry Readies Options For EPA To Speed TSCA New Chemical Reviews

    Industry attorneys are backing EPA plans to streamline its process for reviewing new chemicals under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), but they are crafting comments that will offer additional options, including improved pre-submission consultations, new data guidelines and consideration of existing rules before regulating new chemicals and their uses.

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  • Attorneys Urge More Industry Engagement On TSCA In Face Of Citizen Suits

    Attorneys are urging industry groups to more closely track and engage with environmentalists' litigation under the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), saying initial suits could set important precedents that will determine how the new law is ultimately implemented.

    1338 words