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Superfund Report - 07/17/2017

  • Appeals Court Reinstates Bush-Era DSW Third-Party Recycler Exclusion

    In a 2-1 decision, a federal appeals court has partially sided with industry in vacating most of the verified recycler exclusion contained in the Obama EPA's definition of solid waste (DSW) rule, instead reinstating a more relaxed Bush-era exclusion for third-party recyclers of hazardous secondary material that allows them to avoid stringent regulation as solid waste.

    1245 words

  • Waste Definition Ruling Prompts Mixed Reaction, Uncertainties Over Impact

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's recent ruling that vacates aspects of the Obama EPA's definition of solid waste (DSW) rule is prompting varied reaction, with the hazardous waste recycling industry concerned it will bring new uncertainties -- particularly if environmentalists push for rehearing -- and the chemical industry saying it will encourage more recycling.

    1659 words

  • DOJ Says Plaintiffs Fail To Prove Injury Justifying Suit Over '2-1' Rule Order

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) says that plaintiffs cannot prove injury to justify their suit over the legality of President Donald Trump's executive order (EO) requiring EPA and other agencies to identify two rules for repeal for every new rule they issue, saying that undoing the rules would not cause harm warranting the lawsuit.

    678 words

  • Industry, Environmentalists Bolster Opposing Arguments Over Mining Rule

    Industry and environmental groups are bolstering their opposing arguments on EPA's draft Superfund financial assurance rule for the hardrock mining sector, with industry contending EPA failed to meet legal mandates to show such requirements are warranted and environmentalists stressing the need for safeguards in a time of dwindling cleanup budgets and increased waste volumes.

    1620 words

  • Forest Service Presses EPA To Pare Back Hardrock Mining CERCLA Rule

    The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is advising EPA to heavily pare back its draft Superfund bond rule for hardrock mining in order to avoid duplicating and preempting existing rules the service implements on national forest lands, echoing concerns from GOP lawmakers, industry and western states.

    1751 words

  • House Rider Barring Mining Rule Aligns With Trump EPA Budget Language

    House appropriators have once again attached a policy rider to EPA's spending bill to block the agency from finalizing a Superfund draft financial assurance rule for the hardrock mining sector, but this year's language marks a change from the past because it aligns with language the Trump EPA advocated earlier this year in a budget document.

    659 words

  • Communities Ready Task Force To Resist Pruitt Superfund Reform Effort

    Grassroots community groups are forming a task force to help them push back against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's efforts to reform the Superfund program, as they argue that his endeavor raises significant concerns about curtailing cleanup oversight, and plan to come up with alternative approaches to offer the administrator.

    1506 words

  • Pruitt Sets Longer-Term Plans To Remake EPA, Secure Deregulatory Agenda

    Even as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt works to roll back a host of Obama-era rules as a relatively short-term priority, he is preparing a set of medium-term plans for the agency's budget and policy agenda that would remake the agency and institutionalize the Trump administration's deregulatory agenda.

    1632 words

  • Former Officials Seek To Clarify EPA Risk Practices, Strengthen Rule Reviews

    Two former Bush administration regulatory review officials are urging the Trump administration to overhaul EPA and other agencies' regulatory risk assessment and management process to make them more transparent and to further strengthen regulatory review requirements, measures they say will bolster review of rules' impacts, but which also seem likely to further slow the regulatory process and benefit regulated entities.

    1644 words

  • Ash Recyclers Press EPA To Revive Bush-Era Voluntary Reuse Program

    Coal ash recyclers are pressing the Trump administration to revive a controversial George W. Bush-era program through which EPA and other agencies worked with the sector to promote beneficial reuse of ash, but environmentalists are warning that the program could undermine EPA restrictions on using ash as structural fill material.

    925 words

  • Utilities Seek Swift Issuance Of EPA Coal Ash Guide For Permit Certainty

    The power sector is pressing Trump administration officials to quickly release EPA's draft guidance for states on crafting permit programs to govern coal ash disposal, saying release of the federal guidance is vital to give state officials certainty on what the federal procedures will be for reviewing and approving states' ash permitting efforts.

    793 words

  • District Court Order May Revive CWA Coal Ash Appeal In 4th Circuit

    A closely watched Clean Water Act (CWA) suit over groundwater contamination from coal ash could be headed back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit less than 24 hours after it was dismissed for being appealed prematurely, thanks to a new district court order that seems to satisfy the 4th Circuit's test for a "final" decision.

    695 words

  • Bodine Backs Centralized OECA, Squelching Talk Of New Program Function

    EPA enforcement chief nominee Susan Bodine is dismissing earlier discussion that the Trump administration is planning to close down the agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) and disperse its functions to program offices, embracing its mission as a centralized entity in EPA headquarters, according to her written response to senators' questions.

    1125 words

  • Bodine Wins Committee Approval For EPA Enforcement Chief Position

    The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee in a party line vote has approved the nomination of Susan Bodine to head EPA's enforcement office, with Democrats continuing to express broader concerns about the willingness of agency officials to respond to their oversight requests.

    316 words

  • Democrats Criticize EPA FY18 Bill Despite Rejection Of Trump Budget Cuts

    The House Appropriations Committee's interior panel has approved EPA's fiscal year 2018 spending bill over objections from Democrats who fault the measure's overall proposed $528 million cut to the agency's existing roughly $8 billion budget, even though that cut is significantly smaller than under President Donald Trump's FY18 budget plan.

    866 words

  • OMB Sees Slight Increase For EPA In FY19 But Renews Push For Overhaul

    The White House budget office has released new guidance for fiscal year 2019 reiterating that EPA could see a slight increase over what the administration sought for FY18, though the office touts the request as an opportunity to present a "comprehensive plan" for "reforming" the government and cutting its workforce, telegraphing continued steep cuts despite signs of Capitol Hill blowback.

    891 words

  • NAS Panel Expected To Advise EPA On Developing Low-Dose Toxicity Tests

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will release July 18 a report on the health effects that some chemicals may cause at low exposure levels, or doses -- a situation that NAS will say EPA's existing regulatory toxicology testing approaches do not address, though the Trump administration budget sought to eliminate one such program.

    1455 words

  • The Emerging Debate Over New TSCA Rules: 'Achievable' v. 'Lawful'

    The Trump administration's recently unveiled framework rules for implementing key provisions of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are sparking a debate that suggests different visions for how the law should be implemented in the future with EPA officials saying the rules were crafted to be "achievable," while agency critics charge they still need to be lawful.

    1950 words

  • Environmentalists Urge NRC To Revoke Cleanup Contractor's License

    Local environmentalists are urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to revoke a federal cleanup contractor's license in light of what they say have been multiple types of soil-sampling fraud at a California Superfund site contaminated with radiation.

    710 words

  • EPA Cites Public Input To Justify Air Law Authority For RMP Policy Delay

    EPA is claiming broad Clean Air Act authority for its final rule that significantly delays implementation of Obama-era revisions to the agency's facility safety policy, saying its decision to first seek public comment on the delay shields it from the legal uncertainty that led an appellate court to recently vacate a stay of an unrelated air rule.

    1617 words