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House panel approves short-term CFATS extension

Democrats and Republicans voted to extend the federal chemical facility security program for another 18 months.

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DOD Says PFAS Cleanup Will Likely Top $3 Billion But Braces For More

The Defense Department (DOD) is estimating that its costs for cleaning up the two most studied per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will be approximately $3 billion, an estimate that is 50 percent higher than its previous rough estimate, but the department expects that number to grow as it further investigates contamination.

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CFATS’ Future In Doubt As Lawmakers Scramble To Act Ahead Of Deadline

With the federal chemical security program’s power slated to expire next month, its future is in doubt as lawmakers are at an impasse over whether to eliminate and replace it with a voluntary effort that the Trump administration and some Senate Republicans favor, or temporarily extend it as House Democrats and some industry groups prefer.

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Backers Of HFC Phasedown Eye Next Steps Amid Energy Bill Stalemate

Backers of legislation authorizing EPA to phase down potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are not giving up efforts to move the measure through the Senate, even though a broader energy bill has derailed amid disagreements about whether to add the HFC restrictions as an amendment.

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McCollum Urges Funding Panel Allocation Boost For EPA Water Programs

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), chair of the appropriations subcommittee overseeing EPA, is urging her Rules Committee colleagues to boost the fiscal year 2021 allocation for her panel so that she can hike funding levels for key agency water programs including its state revolving funds (SRFs), regional water protection, and others.

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House Eyes Short-Term CFATS Renewal As Chances For Broad Bill Falters

With the window narrowing for Congress to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program before it expires next month, a House panel is moving to extend the current authorization for another 18 months as broader legislation that seeks to strengthen the program has lagged.

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Advisors See ‘Inadequate’ Risk Picture In EPA’s TSCA Evaluation For NMP

EPA science advisors are criticizing the narrow scope of exposures that EPA assessed in its draft risk evaluation of n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) and are urging the agency to better support some of its threshold determinations for environmental and occupational risks that would trigger risk management actions if finalized.

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As Agency Fears Grow, EPA Eyes Workforce Response To Coronavirus

EPA is taking tentative steps to address growing concerns about the adverse impacts the coronavirus could have on its workforce, pursuing plans that include notifying some regional office employees they are eligible for unscheduled telework and leave even as the full impact of the virus on EPA remains unclear.

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EPA Orders First-Time TSCA Testing Of PV29 To Bolster Risk Evaluation

EPA has ordered BASF and Sun Chemical, the two known domestic producers of pigment violet 29 (PV29), to test various chemical properties, seeking to fill data gaps that EPA advisors said prevented the agency from justifying its threshold finding that the substance poses no “unreasonable risk,” according to copies of the orders.

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EPA seeks to ease TSCA fee compliance

“As the agency works through implementation issues with the final [fee] rule, more guidance will be coming on reporting requirements and expectations during this period,” EPA said in a March 9 statement.

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