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Risk Policy Report - 04/24/2018

  • EPA Floats 'Secret Science' Ban Rule, Signaling Possible Internal Fixes

    EPA has sent for White House review a proposed rule to increase the transparency of regulatory science, advancing Administrator Scott Pruitt's controversial efforts to ban the use of "secret science" in a move that suggests officials have addressed at least some internal concerns that such a policy could violate statutory protections of medical privacy and trade secrets.

    1221 words

  • House Lawmakers Seek Expedited EPA Rulemaking For PFAS Standard

    A bipartisan group of House lawmakers, whose districts are affected by drinking water contaminants such as perfluorinated chemicals, is urging appropriators to adopt report language that requires EPA to conduct an expedited rulemaking to craft a standard for the substances, pushing back on agency concerns that such an effort could drag on for years.

    881 words

  • EPA Critics Fault Agency's List Of Prior Rules Justifying RMP Rule Delay

    Critics of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's two-year delay of Obama-era updates to the agency's risk management plan (RMP) facility safety program are criticizing a list of prior rule delays that EPA says justify postponing the RMP rule, with opponents of the delay saying the other rules had legal justifications and were not tested in court.

    1059 words

  • EPA Air Chief Plans To Speed NAAQS Reviews Using 'Close Enough' Data

    ORLANDO, FL -- EPA air chief William Wehrum plans to accelerate the long-delayed national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) review process by reducing some scientific advisory input and accepting data that is "close enough" to justify a review rather than "perfect," suggesting Supreme Court precedent would allow the changes.

    1235 words

  • IG 'Alert' Highlights Unclear Pruitt Role In Controversial EPA Staff Raises

    EPA's Inspector General (IG) has released an "alert" memo that appears to indicate controversial raises for several agency staff using Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authority were authorized by agency Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson, though it remains unclear whether Administrator Scott Pruitt knew about or approved the pay hikes.

    683 words

  • Environmentalists Launch Suit Challenging EPA's TSCA Framework Rules

    Environmentalists have filed their opening brief in their suit challenging EPA's "framework" rules for prioritizing and assessing existing chemicals for possible regulation under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), arguing the rules violate a requirement to conduct a holistic review that considers all of a chemical's uses.

    643 words

  • Former Official Expects Trump CEQ To Reopen NEPA Rules For Revision

    Fred Wagner, a top former Obama administration highway official and an expert on environmental reviews of infrastructure projects, says he expects the Trump administration to begin a review and rewrite of the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rules, once CEQ has a top official nominated and confirmed.

    1557 words

  • EPA Plans To Revise HFC SNAP Rules To Respond To D.C. Circuit Vacatur

    EPA is planning to launch a new rulemaking to respond to an appellate court ruling that largely vacated Obama-era rules limiting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants that act as potent greenhouse gases, arguing the regulations do not allow the agency to easily address the ruling.

    1077 words

  • Top Democrats Urge EPA To Quickly Craft Enforceable SDWA Limit For PFAS

    More than two dozen Democratic senators are urging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to quickly develop an enforceable, federal standard under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), though agency officials have said that development of such a standard would be a "multi-year" effort.

    1137 words

  • California Advances HFC-Ban Bill Over Objections By Refrigeration Firms

    California lawmakers are advancing a bill that would codify recently overturned EPA rules for refrigeration and air conditioning companies to phase out the use of high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorcarbons (HFCs), though residential refrigeration manufacturers say they cannot comply until a current federal usage limit is raised.

    1323 words

  • EPA Rejection Of Equity Petitions Spurs Shift In 'Citizen Science' Strategy

    Proponents of "citizen science" research collected by non-governmental entities say EPA's rejection of two equity petitions that relied in part on such data signals the agency is refusing to accept the research, prompting them to instead focus on using data to lobby local governments to pursue projects aimed at improving the environment.

    1143 words