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Federal Facilities

DOJ pushes to consolidate WOTUS cases as Patagonia seeks to join suit

The Justice Department says consolidating two district court cases will aid judicial efficiency but argues the apparel company lacks a significant protectable interest to be a party in the litigation.

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Top DOD environment official Sullivan retiring

Maureen Sullivan, who has held leadership roles on environmental policy at the Defense Department for 28 years, is planning to retire, prompting a House lawmaker to lament the loss of “an incredible resource.”

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EPA Officials Eye ‘Other Opportunities’ For Burn Test Of PFAS Surrogates

After a high-profile setback last month, EPA is continuing to search for an incineration facility to test destruction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) surrogates to determine the technology’s effectiveness in destroying the compounds, the agency’s PFAS research leader says, adding that officials would also like to expand testing to a range of different types of incinerators.

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9th Circuit Judges Probe Knowledge, Vagueness In CWA Criminal Case

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit focused questions at Sept. 14 oral argument on the level of knowledge necessary for someone to be criminally liable under the Clean Water Act (CWA) of discharging fill material without a permit and whether the vagueness of key terms in the act affects that knowledge.

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NRDC challenges EPA decision to forgo perchlorate water standard

Continuing its long-running push for a perchlorate drinking water limit, the Natural Resources Defense Council is asking a federal appeals court to review EPA’s decision to forgo a final standard.

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DOJ, Industry Defend WOTUS Rule’s Waste Treatment System Exclusion

The Justice Department (DOJ) and a coalition of 15 industry groups are defending the Trump administration’s exclusion of waste treatment systems from the definition of waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, arguing that contrary to environmentalists’ claims the waiver is lawful, reasonable, and longstanding.

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PFAS Incineration Test Hits Hurdle While EPA Touts Alternatives Contest

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is blaming an Obama-era agency official for efforts that resulted in nixing a research plan to test per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) incineration methods in New Jersey, while the administrator is touting the launch of a $50,000 contest to find alternative disposal methods to burning the substances.

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EPA Eyes Next Steps To Clarify WOTUS, Groundwater Permitting Policies

EPA is weighing its next steps on two major Clean Water Act (CWA) policies, issuing guidance documents with the Army Corps of Engineers to clarify their joint waters of the United States (WOTUS) jurisdiction rule, and exploring what type of guidance to issue on a landmark Supreme Court groundwater ruling, says a top agency official.

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Judge Denies Industry Groups’ Participation In WOTUS Rule Litigation

A federal judge in California has denied motions from a coalition of industry groups and a pair of Idaho landowners to intervene in a challenge filed by Democratic state attorneys general to the Trump administration’s narrowed waters of the United States (WOTUS) definition, saying the case will be adjudicated on the administrative record.

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Environmental Groups Urge Court To Uphold Stay Of WOTUS In Colorado

Environmental and academic groups are urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to uphold a lower court’s stay of the Trump administration’s waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, arguing the rule poses significant harm to the state’s residents and that the policy’s economic analysis relies on irrational and ill-informed assumptions.

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