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Water Policy Report - 12/10/2018

  • EPA Eyes Dec. 11 For Proposal Narrowing Obama CWA Jurisdiction Policy

    EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are planning to unveil their proposed rule to narrow the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction standard at a Dec. 11 EPA headquarters event, says an informed source, marking a long-awaited step that will set the terms for the next round of litigation over the proper scope of the water law.

    857 words

  • Judge Rejects EPA Bid To Limit Scope Of Ruling Undoing CWA Rule Delay

    A federal district judge who scrapped EPA's two-year delay of the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule has rejected requests from the agency and industry groups to either reverse the ruling or limit its scope to only South Carolina, teeing up a likely appeals court fight as the Trump administration looks to broadly reinstate the delay.

    1082 words

  • EPA Grappling With Dozens Of New Water Programs But With Few Funds

    EPA is struggling to implement 32 new wastewater and drinking water mandates included in the recently enacted water resources development law even though some of the requirements -- such as measures addressing the cost of replacing lead service lines -- lack new funding, officials told their drinking water advisers Dec. 6.

    1172 words

  • EPA Faces White House Push For LCR Despite Pipe Replacement Questions

    EPA water office staff are facing calls from President Donald Trump and acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to quickly propose revisions to the drinking water lead and copper rule (LCR) even as they continue to wrestle with how to reconcile calls from advisers for full lead service line (LSL) replacement with questions about costs and legal authority to do so.

    1025 words

  • Utilities Urge EPA To Fix SDWA Constitutional Concern In Perchlorate Rule

    Rural water utilities are suggesting that a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) that gives the EPA administrator “sole judgment” to determine new contaminants may be vulnerable to a constitutional challenge under the “non-delegation” doctrine, and are urging the agency to address the issue in an upcoming rule governing perchlorate.

    1318 words

  • Court Rebukes Army Corps Over Pipeline Permit's CWA Interpretation

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is explaining its October decision to vacate the Army Corps of Engineers' use of a Clean Water Act (CWA) dredge-and-fill permit to construct a portion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a major natural gas pipeline, in West Virginia, saying in a hard-hitting ruling that the Corps lacked authority to unilaterally change the permit's conditions.

    1127 words

  • Judge Grants EPA Bid To Reconsider Controversial Maine Water Standards

    A federal judge has granted the Trump EPA's request to reconsider the Obama administration's controversial decision rejecting Maine water quality standards (WQS), clearing the way for the agency to roll back a decision that dischargers feared could result in unlawfully stringent permit limits if the agency used a similar rationale in other states.

    887 words

  • High Court Urged To Stop EPA 'Tyranny' Of Vetoes Blocking CWA Permits

    Supporters of a Michigan roads commission's request for the Supreme Court to let it sue EPA over the agency's “objection” to a state-crafted Clean Water Act (CWA) dredge-and-fill permit say the case is a vital effort to prevent the agency's “tyranny” in vetoing permits for state land use actions without facing judicial review of such decisions.

    641 words

  • As EPA Weighs Plan, Rural Utilities Urge Wheeler To 'Resist' PFAS Limit

    As EPA prepares to consider its long-awaited plan to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of rural utilities is urging acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler “to resist calls for a national” drinking water standard for PFAS, asking the agency instead to focus on alternative methods to deal with contamination rather than regulation.

    963 words

  • Northeast State Officials Eye Organized Approach On Assessing PFAS Risks

    Prompted by a federal agency's strict draft risk values released earlier this year, toxicologists in New York and other Northeast states have held a dialogue on the risks posed by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an early informal, coordinated effort to prepare for a possible review should state regulators decide to craft drinking water standards.

    1628 words

  • EPA Expanding Validated Testing Methods For PFAS In Various Media

    As public concerns about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) mount, EPA has updated and expanded its validated test methods for identifying the chemicals in drinking water, a move that will help laboratories determine which PFAS compounds are present in drinking water.

    964 words

  • Environmentalists Cite Health Fears To Fight EPA Water 'Blending' Policy

    Environmentalists are threatening to sue EPA over any rule that authorizes wastewater treatment plants to “blend” partly- and fully-treated effluent during wet-weather events, warning in written comments that the state of research into potential health harms from blending is too thin to support a rational rulemaking process.

    958 words

  • Supreme Court Seeks White House's Views On CWA Groundwater Lawsuits

    The Supreme Court is giving the Trump administration just one month to weigh in on whether the Clean Water Act (CWA) limits pollution that travels through groundwater to protected surface waters, potentially posing a difficult test for EPA as the agency is in the early stages of crafting a rule or guidance to address the same question.

    583 words

  • TVA Urges 6th Circuit To Let Stand Rejection Of CWA Groundwater Case

    The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to deny environmentalists' bid for rehearing of a divided panel’s holding that TVA cannot face Clean Water Act (CWA) liability for groundwater leaks from its coal ash storage, arguing the decision did not break with precedent or create a circuit split.

    975 words

  • EPA Seeks To Limit Industry Data Requests In Enforcement, Raising Concern

    EPA is seeking to limit information the agency requests from industry or states in enforcement and regulatory proceedings under federal air, waste and water laws, in a bid to ease burdens on industry and the agency, though the actions are reviving accusations that the Trump administration is curtailing environmental oversight.

    1399 words

  • EPA Officials Wrestle With Enforcement Decline Spurred By Trump Policies

    EPA enforcement officials are privately blaming Trump administration policies for a sharp drop in new criminal and civil cases, settlements and other actions despite the agency's public defense of its enforcement record, according to an environmental group's new report that says the officials are weighing options for reversing the decline.

    1131 words

  • EPA Imposes Obama-Era RMP Rule Mandates Despite Looming Rollback

    In compliance with an appellate court order, EPA is issuing a final rule imposing requirements of the Obama administration's January 2017 final rule strengthening the agency's Risk Management Plan (RMP) facility accident prevention program, despite plans to issue early next year a final rule largely scrapping the Obama-era rule.

    659 words