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Climate Policy Watch

EPA rule critic Gunasekara sworn in as agency chief of staff

Mandy Gunasekara, a long-time Republican strategist and former EPA air adviser, was sworn in as the agency’s new chief of staff this week with an eye to accelerating the agency’s deregulatory agenda.

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Coronavirus Adds New Wild Card To Crowded EPA Deregulatory Plans

The coronavirus pandemic is prompting fresh questions about EPA’s ability to advance the Trump administration’s sweeping deregulatory agenda, at a time when the agency was already scrambling to complete a host of rollbacks to prevent the policies from being scrapped if Democrats sweep the November elections.

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EPA Aims To Halt Fast Hearing Of RFS Suit, Weighs Waiver Ruling Appeal

EPA is urging a federal appeals court not to fast-track hearing of a suit seeking renewable fuel standard (RFS) credit for electricity used for transportation under the 2020 RFS, as it seeks to keep suits over the 2019 and 2020 RFS separate while weighing an appeal of a ruling strictly limiting its RFS waiver policy.

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EPA Authorizes Voluntary Telework For Most Agency Staff Until April 4

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is authorizing voluntary telework for all agency employees across the nation for the next four weeks, “consistent with operational needs of departments and agencies,” in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a move agency staff are greeting as welcome and overdue.

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CEQ agrees to release key NEPA documents

The White House will be providing information about how it developed a controversial plan to scale back how agencies implement the National Environmental Policy Act.

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Despite EPA, Industry Support, DOJ Eliminates ‘Problematic’ SEPs

Despite strong public support from EPA and industry groups, the Justice Department (DOJ) is eliminating all uses of popular supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) that have long been a popular way to offset civil penalties in enforcement settlements and allowed settling parties to win community good will.

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Democrats, Advocates Eye Low-Carbon Steps In Coronavirus Response

Capitol Hill Democrats and some environmentalists are pushing for multiple low-carbon or climate change-related measures to be included in any economic stimulus package Congress adopts to respond to the growing pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.

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Climate nuisance plaintiffs tout 4th Circuit venue ruling

Plaintiffs in three climate nuisance cases pending in the 1st and 9th Circuits are touting Baltimore’s victory in the 4th Circuit that allowed its suit to proceed in state court.

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EPA begins implementing extended landfill methane rule deadlines

EPA is formally finding that 42 states have failed to submit compliance strategies for Obama-era landfill methane standards, but the agency says it won’t issue a federal plan for another two years.

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House Subcommittee Clears HFC Phasedown Bill Amid Partisan Splits

A House Energy & Commerce panel is advancing legislation requiring EPA to implement a 15-year phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), chemicals that act as potent greenhouse gases, though partisan clashes over the measure are highlighting the difficulties of approving even modest GHG reduction mandates in Congress.

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