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Litigation

EPA raises procedural, substantive bars to EAB fracking permit case

The agency says challenges to a hydraulic fracturing permit in Michigan suffer from serious procedural flaws and should be rejected even before reaching their merits.

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EPA’s FOIA policy draws district court challenge, House attacks

The Center for Biological Diversity is trying to force release of EPA’s internal policies for records requests, while lawmakers are stepping up their criticism of the administration’s FOIA practices.

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Judge Allows Environmentalists' Landmark Climate Permit Suit To Proceed

A federal judge is allowing environmentalists to proceed with potentially precedent-setting litigation alleging oil giant ExxonMobil violated federal water and waste law provisions because one of its terminals is not doing enough to prevent pollution releases caused by climate change impacts like rising sea levels and frequent severe storms.

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EAB Backs EPA Power To Make Existing CWA NPDES Permits More Lenient

EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) has upheld a 2017 Clean Water Act (CWA) permit that loosened discharge limits on nutrients for a New Mexico wastewater treatment plant, rejecting claims that it violates the law’s anti-backsliding provisions and bolstering the agency’s freedom to make existing CWA permits more lenient.

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Senate confirms Rao, Trump’s deregulatory czar, to D.C. Circuit

Neomi Rao, the former director of the White House’s regulatory office, will sit on the appellate court that hears most challenges to EPA and other agencies’ highest-profile rules.

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Judges See EPA Discretion Staving Off Suit On Dropped CERCLA Mine Rule

Appellate judges are signaling that environmentalists likely face a high bar challenging EPA's decision to abandon first-time Superfund financial assurance rules for the hardrock mining sector, citing the deference courts must give EPA generally in rulemaking decisions as well as under the cleanup law.

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D.C. Circuit Grants EPA’s Bid To Retain Ash Rule Revisions During Remand

A federal appeals court has granted EPA’s request to remand without vacatur its 2018 revisions to the Obama-era coal ash disposal rule, ensuring that the compliance deadline extensions and other provisions that were part of the changes will stay in place at least until the agency finishes a new “expedited” process to amend the rule.

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Environmentalists seek rehearing of CWA 401 ruling

Environmentalists say the D.C. Circuit's ruling that states have a strict one-year limit to make decisions about water quality certifications creates a split among appeals courts that affects numerous energy projects.

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PFAS plaintiffs urge 3rd Circuit to reject Navy rehearing bid

Pennsylvania residents seeking Navy funding of medical monitoring due to exposure to perfluorinated chemicals are urging a federal appeals court to let stand a ruling that allowed their claims to proceed.

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DOJ Asks Courts To Avoid CWA Jurisdiction Suits Amid Policy ‘Patchwork’

The Department of Justice is urging federal courts to avoid taking up cases on the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) until it finalizes a rule to narrow an Obama-era policy on the law’s reach, even as the Trump administration continues to issue jurisdictional findings for waterbodies using a “patchwork” of varying standards.

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