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Superfund Report - 08/13/2018

  • Water Utilities Seek EPA Focus On Research, Source Control For PFAS

    Wastewater utilities are urging EPA to focus its work on perfluorinated chemicals on research to better understand the fate, transport and toxicity of the chemicals and then to use "heightened source control efforts and certain, specifically tailored regulatory standards," to remove the constituents from the environment.

    1214 words

  • Pending EPA Formaldehyde Analysis Poses Significant Liability For Industry

    EPA's stalled draft assessment of the human health risks of formaldehyde, reported to reiterate conclusions that exposure to the ubiquitous substance can cause leukemia, poses significant liability for industry in stricter regulatory standards and legal settlements, underscoring their efforts to influence any assessment's final conclusions.

    1795 words

  • Wheeler Orders Broad Review Of IRIS' Agenda, Role, Heightening Concerns

    EPA's Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has launched a broad review of the agency's premiere chemical risk analysis program, a move that critics say could allow the new chief and other political appointees to kill or delay pending Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessments, including the controversial draft analysis of formaldehyde.

    891 words

  • EPA Seeks Partial Remand Of TSCA Risk Rule But Defends Rest Of Policy

    EPA is asking a federal appeals court to remand several provisions of its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rule for evaluating the risks of existing chemicals so that it can revise them, but is defending the rest of the policy, arguing that Congress gave the agency broad discretion in how to craft rules under the revised TSCA.

    963 words

  • 6th Circuit Judges Seek To Avoid Broad CWA Groundwater Liability Ruling

    Appellate judges hearing two groundwater contamination suits against coal ash disposal sites appear to be seeking options to resolve the litigation on narrow grounds without issuing a broad ruling on the contested issue of whether the Clean Water Act (CWA) covers leaks to groundwater, despite calls from all sides in the suits for such a ruling.

    1133 words

  • Environmentalists Threaten Suit Over EPA Guide For State Ash Permits

    Environmentalists are threatening to sue EPA to force development of a binding rule setting minimum standards for public participation in state coal permit programs governing ash disposal, claiming that the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives the agency no discretion in the matter and a 2017 guidance is not sufficient.

    588 words

  • EPA 'Lean' Efforts May Aid Hazardous Waste Rules' Implementation

    EPA's Inspector General (IG) is highlighting the agency's 'Lean' management efforts as a way to partially address the agency's current lack of information on which states lack authorization to implement specific Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) rules, a data shortcoming the IG says could lead to an uneven regulatory playing field or inconsistent health protections.

    567 words

  • EPA Shift To Substance Of Rule Rollbacks Adds To 'Pressure' On Wheeler

    EPA is shifting its focus from the multiple delays of Obama-era rules it has already issued to crafting substantive regulations rolling back those standards, which supporters and critics of the agency alike say will add to the "pressure" acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler faces in quickly crafting rollbacks that can withstand judicial review.

    1301 words

  • EPA Officials Echo Wide-Ranging Concerns With Science Transparency Rule

    Former EPA staff and officials are urging the agency to withdraw its controversial proposed science transparency rule, charging it will hobble implementation of existing and new programs, such as the agency's new toxics program, "bias" rules in favor of industry, and is at odds with existing laws and the rule-writing process.

    1853 words

  • Reilly Urges Wheeler To Advance Affirmative Agenda But Doubts Prospects

    William Reilly, who served as EPA administrator during the George H.W. Bush administration, is urging Andrew Wheeler, the agency's new acting chief, to advance an affirmative environmental agenda rather than a continued focus on regulatory rollbacks, but he is also indicating that he does not expect Wheeler to wholeheartedly embrace that advice.

    1002 words

  • Senate EPW Approves EPA Waste, International Office Nominees

    The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW) has approved on 11-10 party-line votes the nominations of Peter Wright, the former chemical industry executive tapped to lead EPA's waste office, and Charles McIntosh, the former auto industry executive selected to lead EPA's international office.

    531 words

  • Senate Approves FY19 Bill Maintaining EPA Funds, Teeing Up House Fight

    The Senate has approved a "minibus" fiscal year 2019 spending bill that largely maintains EPA's existing funding level, teeing up a fight with the House that has already approved an FY19 measure to cut funding for the agency's budget by between $100 million and half a billion dollars, depending on which programs are counted as base EPA funding.

    675 words

  • New Mexico Democrats Renew Calls For EPA Gold King Mine Payments

    Three Democratic lawmakers from New Mexico are urging acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to reconsider the Obama-era decision not to pay tort claims for the agency role in the failed cleanup effort that led to the 2015 Gold King Mine wastewater spill, calling the move "a shameful abdication of responsibility."

    448 words

  • Academies Seek To Tackle 'Fragmented' Environmental Protection Approach

    The National Academies (NA) is launching an ambitious and rare joint initiative aimed at addressing the fragmented approach that policymakers -- and the academies -- have long taken to address environmental health issues in an effort aimed at developing a more interdisciplinary approach.

    1289 words

  • Union Official Sees Cautious 'Uptick' In EPA Staff Morale Under Wheeler

    A top EPA staffing union official says agency morale is on a cautious "uptick" after former Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned following a series of ethics scandals, welcoming acting agency chief Andrew Wheeler's lack of ethics scandals and his push for transparency measures but warning that rule rollbacks could still hurt overall morale.

    1112 words

  • Wheeler's Transparency Order Echoes Obama EPA Chief Jackson's Memo

    Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has issued his "fishbowl memo" principles for transparency in the agency's contact with the public, including rulemakings, litigation, responses to oversight requests and document releases, including several principles that echo a similar memo from Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

    794 words

  • EPA OIG Confirms Several Pruitt Audits Ongoing, Slated For Release Soon

    EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) says several audits of former Administrator Scott Pruitt's ethics scandals, including lavish spending on travel and use of Safe Drinking Water (SDWA) authority to hire staffers at elevated pay levels, are ongoing despite Pruitt's resignation, and the OIG could release several of the reviews this month.

    1138 words