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DOJ Cites EPA Rulemaking To Urge High Court Rejection Of 401 Petition

The Justice Department (DOJ) is urging the Supreme Court to reject environmentalists’ petition to reverse an appellate decision limiting states’ ability to review Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 water quality certification requests, pointing to EPA’s ongoing rulemaking on the issue and the lack of judicial disagreement.

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Critics Wage Unlikely 11th-Hour Efforts To Block EPA’s MATS Rollback

Environmental and public health groups are waging 11th-hour efforts to block EPA’s final rule rolling back the Obama-era utility mercury and air toxics standards (MATS), including urging the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to kill the rule and pressing Congress to block the rollback in upcoming spending legislation.

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Biofuels Sector Fears EPA Will Ramp Up RFS Waivers Despite Fuels Boost

A top biofuels sector official fears that EPA might ramp up issuance of renewable fuel standard (RFS) waivers for small refiners for 2019 compared to previous years, despite the Trump administration floating a proposal to boost biofuels goals for next year’s RFS -- a plan that critics say falls far short of what the fuels need.

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New Mexico, Hill Republicans Pan EPA Oil & Gas Methane Rule Rollback

EPA is facing strong criticism of its proposal to rescind direct methane limits for oil and gas operations from New Mexico, the country’s third-largest oil producer that is home to part of the Permian basin, as well as two congressional Republicans including one House member who has been a die-hard supporter of President Donald Trump.

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GAO urges permitting council to improve NEPA review guidelines

A federal permitting council is charged with outlining “performance schedules” for agencies’ NEPA reviews, but the Government Accountability Office says the council has not followed key best practices when crafting the guidelines.

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House GOP Departures, Democratic Divisions Could Stymie RFS Reform

Years-long efforts by House lawmakers to reach a bipartisan deal on reforming EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) face fresh hurdles in coming months, with several key GOP lawmakers heavily involved in reform efforts leaving Congress and new divisions emerging within the Democratic caucus that might stymie reaching a deal.

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Senate Republicans float bill to ease NSR permitting

A new Senate GOP bill aims to ease NSR permitting for industry, but seems unlikely to secure passage through Congress.

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Auto GHG Rule Defenders See Silver Lining In Defeat On EPA Finding

Backers of tough vehicle greenhouse gas rules are seizing on language in a recent appellate court opinion underscoring EPA’s duty to justify policy changes in its pending rollback of Obama-era standards, even though the court more broadly rejected states and environmentalists’ challenge to Trump officials’ decision to reopen the rules.

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Top Former Official Says EPA Concedes ACE Rule Unreasonable

Joe Goffman, who helped craft the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP), says the Trump EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to replace the CPP is silent on whether its narrow interpretation of the agency’s Clean Air Act authority to regulate power sector greenhouse gas emissions is reasonable, which “amounts to a confession that it is not.”

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D.C. Circuit Likely To Reject RFS Waiver Suit But Might Grant Future Cases

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit appears primed to dismiss on procedural grounds advanced biofuels makers’ suit over EPA’s renewable fuel standard (RFS) small refiner waiver policy, but the court is also indicating that it is likely to rule on the merits of the waiver policy in upcoming litigation.

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