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States Threaten 'Vast Increase' In CWA 401 Denials As Corps Speeds Reviews

State water regulators are threatening a “vast increase” in the number of federal permits for pipelines and other projects they plan to block under section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in response to a recent Army Corps of Engineers memo directing that Corps' district officials limit states’ reviews under the law to 60 days in most cases.

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Wheeler Says EPA Will Publish Narrower CWA Jurisdiction Rule Next Week

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler plans for the agency to publish its proposal to narrow the scope of Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction in the Federal Register the week of Feb. 11, a long-awaited move that will formally start the 60-day clock for public comments at least two months after the rule was first unveiled.

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Wastewater Utilities Eye House Infrastructure Package To Address Priorities

Wastewater and stormwater utilities are eyeing a future House infrastructure package as a vehicle to address their priorities including reauthorization of a key EPA infrastructure funding program, assisting low-income customers with their water bills, and building resilience to natural disasters, financial challenges and workforce changes.

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Push-Back On USDA Wetland Rule Changes Poses Hurdle For EPA CWA Plan

Farm groups, environmentalists and state wildlife agencies are pushing back against a quietly-issued interim rule that expands the Agriculture Department's (USDA) designations of former wetlands as “prior converted cropland,” posing a hurdle for EPA's plan to align its Clean Water Act (CWA) exclusions for converted cropland with USDA's rule.

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PFAS Superfund Listing Would Trigger Liability, But No National Standard

Legal experts say if EPA follows through on an expected plan to list two commonly found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as “hazardous substances” under the Superfund law, it would trigger Superfund liability for releases of the chemicals and likely aid plaintiffs' PFAS tort cases, but it would also still leave communities without a national, uniform cleanup standard.

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Air Force Disputes Michigan Violation Notice For PFAS At Wurtsmith Base

The Air Force is disputing Michigan's allegation the military violated a state water quality standard for a perfluorinated compound at a former military base, in part contending the state lacks jurisdiction because the substance at issue is not a “hazardous substance” under the federal Superfund law.

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Environmentalists call on EPA to maintain CWA 'veto' power

Hundreds of environmental groups are urging the agency to drop plans for a rule to limit the agency's ability to object to Clean Water Act dredge-and-fill permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers or states.

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EPA Unveils New CWA Trading Guide To Replace 'Prescriptive' 2003 Policy

EPA has issued new guidance for Clean Water Act (CWA) trading programs that significantly simplifies the federal guidelines compared to a 2003 guidance that the agency now says is “too prescriptive,” signaling that it plans to give states, tribes and other local authorities far more freedom to design their own trading regimes.

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EPA sets Feb. 27-28 for sole hearing on new CWA jurisdiction rule

The public hearing originally set for Jan. 23 will now be held over two days in Kansas City, KS, but there is still no deadline for written comments on the proposal.

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EPA Approval Of Missouri Nutrient Criteria Expected To Inform State Rules

The Trump administration has approved Missouri's novel framework for limiting nutrient pollution in lakes and reservoirs, a reversal from the Obama EPA's opposition to the approach, which industry and environmentalists expect will inform other states' standards, and favors assessing the pollutants' effect on waters rather than simply setting limits.

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