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Superfund Report - 05/22/2017

  • Industry Seeks Host Of CERCLA Policy Changes To Speed Cleanups

    Major industry groups that are liable for hazardous waste releases are urging EPA to ease its Superfund cleanup requirements, set deadlines for making cleanup decisions and make a host of other changes to the program's policy documents as part of its broad review of existing measures, signaling support for changes that could help achieve Administrator Scott Pruitt's goal of speeding cleanups.

    1882 words

  • Waste Generators Urge EPA To Narrow RCRA Corrective Action Program

    A group representing industry parties subject to EPA waste rules is urging the agency to rescind or revise various components of its Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) program and to significantly pare back its RCRA corrective action program, urging the agency to shift a host of manufacturing sites currently regulated under an "interim" status by the program to Superfund or state cleanups.

    1348 words

  • Waste Industry Recommends EPA Repeal Outdated RCRA Air Standards

    The hazardous waste management industry is suggesting that EPA repeal what it says are outdated and duplicative Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) air standards as part of the Trump administration's push for regulatory reform, highlighting the rules as an opportunity to repeal regulations without harming public health.

    1605 words

  • ASTM Suggests Gap-Filling Role As EPA Weighs Regulatory Reforms

    An industry-standard setting organization is suggesting to EPA that its voluntary, consensus-developed standards may help fill a gap by providing standards for compliance as EPA embarks on fulfilling the Trump administration's directive to repeal, revise or replace regulations considered burdensome to the regulated community.

    1371 words

  • Nuclear Watchdog Group Asks EPA To Revoke Water Radiation Guide

    A nuclear watchdog group is asking EPA to revoke a controversial drinking water guide for radiological emergencies issued by the agency on the last day of the Obama administration, arguing the guide was issued despite significant public opposition over its allowance of concentrations of radioactivity in emergencies that far exceed Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) limits.

    815 words

  • Pruitt's Repeal Of Regions' Superfund Remedy Powers Wins Mixed Reviews

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's recent action to move final decisionmaking authority for high-cost Superfund cleanup decisions from regional offices to his office is receiving mixed reviews from environmentalists, industry and former agency officials, with most sources interpreting the move as an attempt to rein in costly mega-site sediment and mining cleanups.

    2034 words

  • Pruitt Rescinds Regional Offices' Control Over High Cost Superfund Cleanups

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is taking back final authority for sign-off on Superfund cleanup remedies known as records of decision (RODs) costing more than $50 million, rescinding the final decisionmaking authority usually reserved for the agency's regional administrators or its headquarters' waste office.

    699 words

  • EPA Administrator Pruitt Touts Plans To Rejuvenate Superfund Program

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is touting his plans to rejuvenate the Superfund program by tackling the 1,300 sites on the National Priorities List (NPL) even as his recent announcement to centralize final decision-making for costly cleanups sites in the administrator's office is drawing mixed reviews.

    487 words

  • Utilities Invoke 2016 Ash Law In Call For EPA To Reconsider Disposal Rule

    The power sector is calling on EPA to reconsider its first-time rule governing coal ash disposal by saying a 2016 law that overhauled enforcement of the policy justifies reconsidering many of its technical mandates, but environmentalists counter that such changes would contradict Congress' decision to leave the rule's substantive provisions in place.

    1066 words

  • 1st Circuit Sidesteps Decision On RCRA Barring Cities' Ash Disposal Bans

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has struck down a pair of Puerto Rico municipal ordinances barring coal ash disposal that industry feared could become a model for local governments elsewhere, but on a narrow basis that avoids deciding whether such restrictions are preempted by the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA).

    575 words

  • Environmentalists Urge 4th Circuit To Delay CWA Coal Ash Appeal

    Environmentalists are asking an appellate court to reject a pending case over Clean Water Act (CWA) restrictions on coal ash contamination of groundwater, saying the appeal must wait because lower court proceedings have yet to finish.

    574 words

  • Duke Energy Files Suit Over Threatened CWA Coal Ash Litigation

    Duke Energy is suing an environmentalist group in a bid to head off a threatened Clean Water Act (CWA) suit over groundwater contamination at a North Carolina power plant that the group claims is polluting surface waters, a move the environmentalists say is improper and meant to avoid litigation in a court that has already upheld similar claims.

    480 words

  • Bodine Praised As EPA Enforcement Pick But Slow Selections Criticized

    Susan Bodine's nomination to lead EPA's enforcement office is generally winning praise from current and former agency officials, who say she will bring competence and experience to a relatively inexperienced EPA leadership team that faces significant struggles advancing the administration's deregulatory agenda.

    1586 words

  • Environmentalists Detail Legal Arguments Against 'Arbitrary' EPA Rule Repeal

    Environmental groups are laying out early legal arguments that could be used to challenge the merits and legality of the Trump administration's process for identifying EPA rules to target for "repeal, replacement or modification," arguing the plan does not take into account statutory requirements to protect public health and provides little meaningful opportunity for public comment.

    912 words

  • Industry Sees Quick Action On Deregulatory Efforts As 'More Complicated'

    Despite unified Republican control of the government, industry groups are beginning to acknowledge publicly that quickly advancing new deregulatory actions in Congress and the Trump administration is more complicated than they initially believed and are stepping up their efforts to overcome hurdles at EPA and elsewhere.

    898 words

  • Senate Democrats Face Industry Push To Support Regulatory Review Bill

    Groups representing major industries are stepping up their efforts to win over reluctant Senate Democrats to support pending legislation to overhaul the federal regulatory review process, though the effort is facing hurdles as many Democrats and allied groups strongly oppose the bill.

    820 words

  • Legal Fight Could Set Precedent For Expanding Citizens' Say In Cleanups

    Legal advocacy groups for citizens around a high-profile Superfund site in Indiana are asking a federal district court to set aside a magistrate judge's order rejecting their attempt to intervene in a cost recovery cleanup settlement there, with the groups seeking a ruling that could set precedent in boosting citizens' say in such cleanup accords.

    1670 words

  • New Mexico Legislators Urge Pruitt To Act On Gold King Spill Claims

    New Mexico's congressional delegation is urging EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to investigate new avenues for paying damages to individuals and groups who were harmed by the 2015 Gold King Mine wastewater spill, calling the Obama administration's denial of tort claims from the spill a "broken promise."

    515 words

  • Shenkman: Do EPA Stances Change With 'The Shoe On The Other Foot'?

    Former EPA deputy general counsel Ethan Shenkman is questioning whether or how EPA and other parties' litigation stances change on several key issues now that former agency critics, like Administrator Scott Pruitt, are running the agency, industry faces a friendly administration and environmentalists and Democrats are in the opposition.

    1343 words

  • Lawsuit Seeking Facility Data May Bolster Push To Preserve EPA RMP Rule

    Environmental and labor groups are urging a federal court in New Jersey to compel state and local officials to publicly disclose industrial facility emergency response plans (ERPs) in a lawsuit industry attorneys say highlights the need for the Trump EPA's plan to revise an Obama administration facility safety rule though it could bolster efforts to preserve the rule.

    1354 words

  • Environmentalists' Suit Alleges EPA Violated ESA In Cleanup Action

    Environmentalists have filed a novel lawsuit charging that EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it failed to consult with the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) on how several ongoing cleanup actions at a Montana Superfund site could adversely impact the subsequently designated critical habitat for a threatened trout species.

    505 words

  • West Virginia Settles Lawsuits Over Cleanups At Forfeited Coal Mines

    West Virginia has settled a pair of lawsuits with environmentalists, agreeing to a cleanup schedule for treating discharges from seven forfeited mining sites the state inherited from bankrupt coal mining companies while ending suits that environmentalists said highlights states' inadequate preparation addressing the cleanup needs of bankrupted firms.

    695 words

  • Looming Term Limits Raise Doubts On Fate Of Host Of EPA Advisory Panels

    Looming term limits for members of several major EPA advisory panels are prompting questions over the fate of the committees that provide expert advice to officials on scientific and policy issues, including whether EPA will decline to renew existing members' terms in order to install panelists more favorable to the Trump administration.

    1341 words

  • SAB, CASAC Nominations Delayed, Raising Questions Over Agency Plans

    EPA's process for selecting new members for two of its congressionally mandated scientific advisory committees is behind schedule this year, heightening observers' concerns over the Trump administration's approach to scientific reviews after recent reports that the agency delayed acting on a process for selecting members for a third panel.

    1186 words

  • EPA's FY18 Funding May Hinge On Progress Of Individual Spending Bills

    The ability of EPA's defenders to resist deep cuts to EPA's fiscal year 2018 budget may depend not only on their ability to mobilize public support in favor of the agency but also on whether Congress can avoid last-minute budget brinksmanship with the White House, while focusing aggressively on details in individual spending bills, according to several Senate Democrats.

    1221 words

  • Advocates For Lead Protections Appeal To EPA To Uphold Rules, Budget

    Environmentalists and advocates for protections against lead poisoning are urging EPA to uphold or strengthen lead rules, as well as reverse proposed budget cuts for lead programs, as the agency in undertaking a major regulatory reform initiative considers whether to revise or rescind lead protection rules.

    1538 words

  • Waste Groups Say EPA Intends To Pause Landfill Methane Standards

    Two groups representing landfill operators say EPA intends to pause its methane standards for new and existing landfills for 90 days as it reconsiders several aspects of the Obama-era climate regulations, which are also subject to a pending legal challenge and administrative reconsideration petitions from the groups and others in the sector.

    426 words

  • States Urged To Address PFC Contamination In Absence Of EPA Standard

    Environmentalists and others are pressing state governments to more aggressively address perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), a class of emerging contaminants, in drinking water, urging them to set strict enforceable standards in the absence of regulation from EPA.

    1385 words