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Congress

Senators Eye Attaching Short CFATS Extension To Third Coronavirus Bill

Senators are looking to a third coronavirus relief bill to attach a three-month extension of the Department of Homeland Security’s facility safety program that is set to expire April 18, aiming to buy more negotiating time on separate legislation that would reauthorize the program but potentially also make substantive changes to it.

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Environmentalists Sue EPA Over ‘Black Box’ New Chemicals Program

Environmental groups have made good on their threat to sue EPA over inadequate transparency in its new chemicals review program, charging it’s a “black box” that violates requirements in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as well as the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

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Congress Faces Pressure To Prohibit Water Shutoffs In Coronavirus Bill

Several Democratic House lawmakers and environmentalists are calling on Congress to include provisions in developing coronavirus relief legislation that would ban water utilities from turning off water to homes during the health crisis, though one utility source says it is unclear how the government could implement a national ban.

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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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House approves 18-month CFATS extension

The House’s unanimous consent approval of the bill shifts focus to the Senate, where some members favor letting the facility safety program expiring and replacing it with a voluntary effort.

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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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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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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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Senate Democrats Seek $20 Billion EPA Grant Program For PFAS Cleanups

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats are seeking to create a new $20 billion EPA grant program for states to clean up drinking water and groundwater contaminated by certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a new emphasis in their ongoing efforts to address the issue in the absence of EPA rules.

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House panel approves short-term CFATS extension

Democrats and Republicans voted to extend the federal chemical facility security program for another 18 months.

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