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Energy

EPA Limits States’ CWA 401 Powers, Timelines In Revised Guidance

Over strenuous objection of states, EPA has issued new guidance limiting states’ powers to review federally approved permits under section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), setting tight timelines for completing the reviews and warning officials against blocking or restricting projects for any reason other than its direct water quality impacts.

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Missouri withdraws coal ash rules after EPA critique

Missouri faced public criticism from EPA for a draft ash permitting rule that the agency said gave industry too much room to avoid monitoring and cleanup mandates.

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EPA plans to publish E15 waiver June 10, starting clock for litigation

Opponents of EPA’s decision to allow year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol will have 60 days to sue over the waiver once the agency publishes it in the Federal Register.

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Transmission Line Vacatur Highlights Big Risks For Trump NEPA Strategy

An appellate court’s recent decision to preserve its vacatur of a permit for a major transmission line, and instead order a lower court to determine if it can remand the permit without vacating it, is highlighting risks for the Trump administration’s strategy of swiftly advancing major projects amid ongoing litigation over their environmental reviews.

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SAB Plans To Seek Review Of Major Trump EPA Deregulatory Measures

EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) has formally decided to seek review of several major deregulatory measures listed in the agency’s Spring regulatory agenda, suggesting continuing scrutiny of the pending proposals either before or after they go final.

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Biden Climate Plan Signals Bid For Support Across Political Spectrum

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s climate platform signals an effort to achieve broad support for his 2020 presidential bid by endorsing technologies backed by key unions, adopting a tough line against China to woo Trump voters, and touting his experience by embracing and pledging to “go well beyond” Obama-era policies.

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Facing Opposition, EPA Moves Quickly On CWA Section 401 Guide

EPA has sent for White House review its contentious guidance expected to narrow states’ authority to reject or modify federal Clean Water Act (CWA) permits under the law’s section 401, teeing up release of the new guide by the president’s June 8 deadline and a likely legal challenge from states that oppose any new curbs on their authority.

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D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Pipeline Order But Doubts Its Climate Claims

A federal court has dismissed a suit over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of a closely watched natural gas project on procedural grounds, but the court rejected many of FERC’s substantive arguments for avoiding a broad climate change analysis and may provide a roadmap for future litigation.

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GAO report raises doubts on RFS’ environmental, economic benefits

The Government Accountability Office’s findings add to debate over the future of the RFS, with oil industry groups calling for its reform or repeal while biofuels groups are strongly defending the program.

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E15 Waiver Poses Major Risks For Biofuels Makers Despite Apparent Win

Biofuels producers are welcoming EPA’s waiver allowing year-round sales of 15-percent ethanol (E15) but they face major risks from the decision if the waiver fails to deliver large boosts in ethanol sales, is struck down by a court, or is undermined by EPA’s exemption of refiners from renewable fuel standard (RFS) obligations.

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