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Water Policy Report - 01/22/2018

  • EPA Faces Pushback Over Cost, Feasibility Of SDWA Lead Rule Revisions

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made revision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) lead and copper rule a top priority, but municipal and water utility sources are raising concerns about the cost and feasibility of possible changes the agency is considering for replacing lead service lines, expanding sampling requirements and improving corrosion control.

    1430 words

  • States Urge Trump Administration To Ensure Consistent Response On PFAS

    State regulators are asking EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to work with states and the Defense Department to address a number of concerns related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, including ensuring that state and federal agencies avoid different risk values when addressing the chemicals.

    954 words

  • NAS Prepares To Examine Legionella Control In Drinking Water Systems

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is preparing to launch a study sponsored by EPA and others on preventing and controlling Legionella in water systems, following an "unprecedented" outbreak of Legionnaires' disease during the Flint, MI, water crisis and EPA's determination in 2016 that its Legionella drinking water rule is a candidate for revision.

    442 words

  • Water Group Seeks Greater EPA Policy Support For Utility Consolidation

    A water stewardship group with both utility and environmentalist members is outlining a number of policy recommendations to enhance utility management by encouraging consolidation and regional cooperation, including calling for EPA policies to promote regionalization and provide regulatory flexibility to encourage partnerships.

    1294 words

  • Infrastructure Group Says Bipartisan Deal On Permit Streamlining Possible

    A coalition of labor, gas, manufacturing and other business organizations hopes the potential jobs boost from President Donald Trump's pending infrastructure initiative could be enough to win Democratic votes for an infrastructure package that includes EPA and other environmental permit streamlining Democrats have previously opposed.

    1317 words

  • Company Asks Supreme Court To Limit State CWA Power Over Pipelines

    The Constitution Pipeline Company is asking the Supreme Court to review and overturn a lower court ruling that upheld New York's denial of a Clean Water Act (CWA) certification for its proposed natural gas pipeline, charging that state authority under the CWA is superseded by federal energy regulators' exclusive jurisdiction over interstate pipelines as well as provisions of energy and natural gas laws.

    1247 words

  • EPA Rejects Ohio's Lake Erie Decision, Environmentalists Seek Cleanup Plan

    EPA has withdrawn its prior approval of Ohio's decision to leave the open waters of Lake Erie off the state's 2016 list of impaired waters after finding that Ohio's initial submission was incomplete, but environmentalists who have sued EPA over the initial approval are urging a federal court to compel the agency to develop a cleanup plan for the lake.

    893 words

  • Lead Dust Ruling May Open Door To Suits Forcing EPA Rulemaking Efforts

    Environmentalists and industry lawyers say they expect a new wave of lawsuits against EPA and other agencies seeking deadlines for rule updates based on the recent appellate decision ordering EPA to craft new hazard standards for lead dust, though industry holds out hope that the precedent it set can be limited to that circuit.

    1577 words

  • Environmentalists Urge Court To Allow Broad TSCA Review Of Fluoride Risks

    Environmental and public health groups are urging a federal judge to allow a broad de novo review when it hears arguments in their pending litigation challenging EPA's denial of their Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) petition, pushing back against agency claims that any risk review is limited to data in the agency's administrative record.

    1548 words

  • Senate Eyes Streamlined CWA 404 Permitting, Other Reforms For WRDA

    Streamlining Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 permitting for wetlands restoration and other activities appears likely to be a part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorization bill the Senate environment committee plans to develop this year, after witnesses at a Jan. 10 hearing all agreed some change is needed.

    1314 words

  • Environmentalists vow to fight Pebble's new bid for CWA mine permit

    The Army Corps of Engineers is weighing the long-awaited permit application to develop the Pebble hard-rock mining site in Alaska, drawing renewed opposition from environmentalists.

    490 words

  • States Press Senate For Continued CWA Authority Over Ship Discharges

    State regulators are urging Senate leaders to maintain Clean Water Act (CWA) authority over ship discharges rather than shift control of discharge standards to the U.S. Coast Guard, raising federalism concerns that pending legislation that would make such a change would harm states' abilities to prevent water pollution and the spread of invasive species.

    888 words

  • Senate Democrats Query Pruitt On New EPA Advisors' Conflicts Of Interest

    Two Senate Democrats are raising concerns over EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's recent selection of two scientists to join agency advisory panels, citing claims in public comments that the advisors have conflicts of interest because they have received funding from industry groups and saying they may lack “appropriate” scientific qualifications.

    845 words

  • EPA, IG At Odds Over BEACH Act Congressional Reporting Mandates

    EPA is disagreeing with calls from the agency's Inspector General (IG) to submit mandated reports to Congress on its grant program to help states monitor coastal recreational water quality and better document budget decisions, leaving the issues unresolved.

    511 words

  • Pruitt Seeks To Halve EPA Workforce Despite Obama Administration Warning

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pushing ahead with plans to reduce EPA's workforce by up to 50 percent at the end of President Donald Trump's first term, despite warnings from the Obama administration that retaining “top talent” at EPA is a “key challenge,” according to a transition briefing paper obtained by Inside EPA.

    1256 words

  • EPA Sidesteps Shutdown

    EPA is slated to continue operating as normal through Jan. 26 despite a federal government shutdown that is expected to begin after midnight Jan. 19, but if the shutdown continues beyond next week the fate of the agency's operations is uncertain. "At this time EPA has sufficient resources to remain open for a limited amount of time in the event of a government shutdown. All EPA employees should follow their normal work schedule for the week of January 22," Administrator Scott Pruitt told staff Jan. 19.

    220 words