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Litigation

EPA Effluent Guidelines Could Face New Consent Decree With Activists

EPA may face a new consent decree with activists over how to operate its effluent limitation guidelines (ELG) program, due to a range of ongoing concerns from the environmental community.

The possibility of a new agreement comes after a previous consent decree that governed the agency program from 1992 until 2004. Since then, EPA has begun shifting staff from the ELG program to the water quality standards and other agency programs.

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EPA Air Toxics Program Faces Key Legal Test On Risk-Based Exemption

EPA's air toxics program is facing a key test over the legality of its controversial risk-based exemptions, with observers expecting continued controversy if the agency expands its use of an approach exempting some industrial sources from stringent requirements for installing costly pollution control technologies.

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INDUSTRY CITES EPA BRIEF IN PUSH FOR COURT DENIAL OF OIL SPILL RULE

The petroleum industry is citing EPA's own arguments in federal court to prove its case that a recent oil spill prevention rule should be revised because the agency did not fully consider a key Supreme Court ruling before adopting a broad definition of waters subject to new requirements.

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UTAH HIGHWAY REVIEW COULD TEST EPA'S ABILITY TO LODGE NEPA OBJECTIONS

Pending EPA comments on a controversial Utah highway project could provide a key test of the agency's willingness to issue negative environmental ratings that could delay federal projects subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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APPELLATE COURT UPHOLDS DISMISSAL OF SPRING VALLEY TORT SUITS

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a lower court's dismissal of tort lawsuits against the federal government over chemical weapons disposal in a prominent Washington, DC, neighborhood.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS VOW LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE AIRPORT EXPANSIONS

Environmental activists say they will sue the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) if it presses ahead with more than 60 proposed changes to regulations on how it implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Critics say the proposals are designed to undercut public and interagency review of airport expansion plans that would dramatically harm air quality.

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EMA VOWS LAWSUIT OVER CALIFORNIA DIESEL TRUCK ENGINE-FIX REGULATION

Heavy-duty engine makers are vowing to sue the California air board over its rule requiring manufacturers to fix thousands of truck engine computers to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by the end of next year. The industry argues the rule violates state and federal legal settlements for the engine fixes, and if allowed to proceed could crush the industry financially if other states choose to adopt it.

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ACTIVISTS WIN TRANSFER OF COOLING WATER INTAKES CASE TO 2ND CIRCUIT

Environmentalists recently won approval to transfer their litigation challenging EPA's Phase II cooling water intakes rule to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit -- in what activists say is a notable victory because that circuit ruled in their favor when they challenged the Phase I rule several years ago.

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INDUSTRY CITES EPA BRIEF IN PUSH FOR COURT DENIAL OF OIL SPILL RULE

The petroleum industry is citing EPA's own arguments in federal court to prove its case that a recent oil spill prevention rule should be revised because the agency did not fully consider a key Supreme Court ruling before adopting a broad definition of waters subject to new requirements.

The industry also says EPA's argument shows that the agency is uncertain whether the Clean Water Act (CWA) covers waters regulated by the oil spill rule and that the rule violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause by exceeding the federal government's authority.

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WASTEWATER GROUPS WEIGH APPEAL AFTER LOSS IN EPA TOXICITY RULE CASE

Wastewater treatment industry attorneys will likely ask a federal appellate court to rehear a case evaluating the viability of EPA's method for measuring toxicity in wastewater effluent after a key industry defeat in the litigation earlier this month.

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