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Trump Vetoes Defense Policy Bill With Key Climate, Toxics Provisions

President Donald Trump has vetoed the fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill that includes several environment provisions concerning the Defense Department’s (DOD) cleanup of toxic substances and climate change adaptation.

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EPA Finalizes Revised RCRA Permit For Massive Housatonic PCB Cleanup

EPA has finalized a revised final permit for a massive sediment cleanup of the Housatonic River, making changes required by a 2018 Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) ruling to now mandate disposing of part of the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminants on-site and boosting the amount of contaminants removed from the river.

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Power sector intervenes in coal ash litigation to defend EPA rules

The Utility Solid Waste Activities Group is asking to intervene in support of EPA’s rule extending closure deadlines for many coal ash facilities, even if the Biden administration drops its defense of the policy.

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EPA faces lawsuit over approval of radioactive byproduct in roads

Environmentalists, via administrative and judicial challenges, are seeking to block EPA’s decision to allow a radioactive fertilizer production byproduct to be used in road construction.

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EPA Touts Final Dust-Lead Rule’s ‘Overdue’ Tightening Of Clearance Levels

EPA has finalized a rule tightening dust-lead clearance levels, a move that Administrator Andrew Wheeler says is “overdue” but that environmentalists and public interest groups are likely to challenge because the limits are the same as the earlier proposed levels that critics said were too weak and did not apply to enough types of surfaces.

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EPA Releases Guidance For PFAS Destruction, Citing Uncertainties, Gaps

EPA has issued for public comment a long-awaited interim guidance on disposal and destruction methods for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that outlines currently available technologies but declines to endorse or dismiss any, including incineration, while noting uncertainties and knowledge gaps that still need to be addressed.

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After Major Pushback, NRC Drops Plan To Ease Nuclear Waste Disposal

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is dropping its plan to relax disposal requirements for some radioactive waste through an interpretive rule after receiving major pushback from environmentalists, states and even industry, along with concern from EPA that the proposal lacked adequate safeguards or other limits on the waste.

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Delaware high court upholds ruling requiring arbitration in PFAS case

The Delaware high court is rejecting an attempt by Chemours to reverse a lower court ruling that forces it to argue before an arbitrator, rather than federal court, in a suit over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

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OMB approves EPA PFAS waste disposal guidance

The White House Office of Management & Budget has cleared EPA’s interim guidance for disposal and destruction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for release ahead of a Dec. 20 statutory deadline.

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Wheeler Memo Touting Western Office Model Might Limit Biden’s Options

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a new memo is touting the western agency mountains office that he created as a model for eliminating “silos” of disparate programs within EPA in order to bolster environmental protection, but one observer says the memo’s scope might limit any bid by President-elect Joe Biden to scrap the office.

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