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Pruitt Creates EPA Task Force To Streamline, Overhaul Superfund Cleanups

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is creating a task force of agency officials to provide him within 30 days detailed recommendations on how to streamline and overhaul the Superfund program, following on his recent decision to remove from regional offices some decisionmaking authority on cleanups.

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States Urged To Address PFC Contamination In Absence Of EPA Standard

Environmentalists and others are pressing state governments to more aggressively address perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), a class of emerging contaminants, in drinking water, urging them to set strict enforceable standards in the absence of regulation from EPA.

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Michigan Weighs Challenging Air Force's Stance On State PFC Water Law

Michigan regulators are weighing options with their state attorney general's office to decide whether to challenge the Air Force's stance that it will not comply with a recently enacted state law aimed at addressing perfluorinated chemical contamination in groundwater due to the military's belief the law is discriminatory, according to state sources.

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Environmentalists Urge OMB To Reject EPA Plan For Scrapping CWA Rule

Environmentalists at a May 17 meeting with EPA and White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) staff urged OMB to reject the agency's pending proposed rule to repeal the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule, touting the merits of the CWA policy and attacking as inadequate the comment period on the repeal rule.

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Lawsuit Seeking Facility Data May Bolster Push To Preserve EPA RMP Rule

Environmental and labor groups are urging a federal court in New Jersey to compel state and local officials to publicly disclose industrial facility emergency response plans (ERPs) in a lawsuit industry attorneys say highlights the need for the Trump EPA's plan to revise an Obama administration facility safety rule though it could bolster efforts to preserve the rule.

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SAB, CASAC Nominations Delayed, Raising Questions Over Agency Plans

EPA's process for selecting new members for two of its congressionally mandated scientific advisory committees is behind schedule this year, heightening observers' concerns over the Trump administration's approach to scientific reviews after reports last week that the agency delayed acting on a process for selecting members for a third panel.

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Peer Review Report Questions Perchlorate Model's Fitness For EPA Policy

The final report by a panel of experts who reviewed a federal model intended to help EPA set a drinking water standard for the rocket fuel ingredient perchlorate questions the model's ability to perform its purpose, and by its extension EPA's ability to meet court-ordered deadlines for the drinking water level.

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EPA Faces Legal, Scientific Barriers To Using Scalia CWA Jurisdiction Test

EPA faces significant legal and scientific barriers to its plan for using the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's narrow test for determining Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction in a new rulemaking on the law's reach, say observers who argue the test is based on flawed assumptions and lacks strong support in federal courts.

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Pruitt's Participation In High Court CWA Suit Raises Questions On Recusal

Speakers at a May 11 panel on the future of EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt could be violating his pledge to recuse himself from lawsuits over the Obama-era regulation, saying he must also step back from a Supreme Court case over the correct venue for challenges to the rule.

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Senator Assails DOE Over Contractor Fraud Problems, Seeks Fixes

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO) is pressing the Energy Department (DOE) to take more action in response to a just-released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found weaknesses in DOE's ability to prevent fraudulent purchase and billing practices among its contractors.

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