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Federal Facilities

Court Opens Door To New U.S. CERCLA Liability But Allocations May Be Key

A federal appellate court has found that the United States may be liable for cleanup costs as an “owner” at a massive Superfund site on public land while upholding a lower court ruling that found the government is not liable as an "arranger" at the site -- opening the door to new federal liability -- though attorneys say much will depend on how any liability is allocated.

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EPA Analysis Could Bolster Potential Shift To States On CWA Jurisdiction

EPA is floating a new economic analysis that could help the Trump administration make the case for scaling back federal oversight of waterbodies and defer Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction over smaller, isolated or intermittent waters to states, though sources say such a move faces an uncertain future given dwindling state budgets.

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EPA's Early TSCA Rules Ripe For Suits From Environmentalists, Industries

EPA's suite of early rules and guidance under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) appear ripe for a number of legal challenges from environmentalists, the chemical industry and other sectors, sources say, due to initial divided reaction to the rules and the massive scope of regulatory provisions in the complex policies.

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EPA releases first SNURs since TSCA reform enactment

EPA's release of significant new use rules for 29 chemicals is part of an effort to cut the backlog of new chemical reviews since last year's overhaul of the federal toxics law.

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TSCA Reform Supporters Tout Fee Rule To Help Offset EPA Budget Cuts

EPA's acting toxics chief and supporters of the agency's efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) say the pending draft rule imposing fees on the chemical sector could help to offset proposed EPA funding cuts in fiscal year 2018 that environmentalists and others have warned might risk hindering implementation of the law.

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Pruitt Review Of Hanford ROD One Of First Under Centralized Oversight

A record of decision (ROD) for cleaning up part of the Energy Department's massive Hanford, WA, Superfund site will be one of the first to be decided by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pursuant to a policy he signed in May that transferred final authority on RODs for remedies costing more than $50 million from the regional and waste offices to him.

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DOJ Asks Court To Uphold Denial Of Citizens' Intervention In Cleanup Pact

The Justice Department (DOJ) is asking a federal district court to uphold a magistrate judge's order rejecting citizens' attempt to intervene in a cost recovery cleanup settlement at a high-profile Superfund site in Indiana, arguing such a reversal would allow for hundreds of different "starting times" for challenges to cleanups at residential sites.

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The Emerging Debate Over New TSCA Rules: 'Achievable' v. 'Lawful'

The Trump administration's recently unveiled framework rules for implementing key provisions of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are sparking a debate that suggests different visions for how the law should be implemented in the future with EPA officials saying the rules were crafted to be “achievable,” while agency critics charge they still need to be lawful.

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EPA Touts Deference To States In Rule To Repeal CWA Jurisdiction Policy

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers' proposed rule to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction policy and reinstate George W. Bush-era standards for determining the law's scope are signaling that they will invoke deference to states' authority over waters in a pending rule to create a new jurisdiction standard.

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GOP States Urge EPA To Apply Scalia's Narrow Standard In New CWA Rule

A group of GOP-led states is urging EPA to apply the late Justice Antonin Scalia's narrow test for defining Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction in its pending rule to replace an Obama-era jurisdiction policy that used Justice Anthony Kennedy's broader test, even though appellate courts have said that Scalia's test is not considered binding.

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