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IG weighs investigation of Trump EPA’s state enforcement oversight

The possible investigation responds to congressional concerns about the Trump administration’s dispute with California’s environmental policies that led to EPA allegations of Clean Water Act violations.

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EPA Weighs ESA Policy Change For States To Assume Wetlands Permitting

EPA is considering changing its position that Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations are not required before allowing states to assume Clean Water Act (CWA) wetlands permitting after Florida -- one of several states eyeing such permitting authority -- wrote a white paper contending that the consultations are necessary.

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Citing Virus’ Economic Effects, Trump Launches New Deregulatory Push

President Donald Trump is ordering EPA and other agencies to launch a new deregulatory push to help drive an economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, issuing an executive order that urges agency heads to scale back existing rules, make permanent temporary waivers, and take other steps that may bolster employment and recovery.

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DOJ, Energy Sector Seek To Stay Landmark Ruling Blocking Pipeline Permit

The Justice Department (DOJ) and the energy industry are asking an appellate court to stay the landmark district court ruling that vacated the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit for constructing pipelines, with DOJ and industry citing numerous alleged errors in the lower court’s ruling that they say are likely to be overturned on the merits.

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SAB Draft Report Says EPA COVID-19 Research Will ‘Help Reopen Society’

EPA science advisors are largely endorsing the agency’s coronavirus research plan, describing in a draft report the lengthy list as including studies that “will protect public health and help government with reopening society,” though the draft also urges EPA to add some new research questions that the advisors consider crucial for the agency to address.

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States Seek National Injunction To Stop ‘Harm’ From Trump WOTUS Policy

California, New York and 15 other states are urging a federal district court to issue a preliminary national injunction blocking implementation of the Trump administration’s revised narrower “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) jurisdiction policy, warning the injunction is vital to “prevent widespread harm to national water quality.”

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EPA Critics Threaten ‘Last Resort’ Suit Over Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan

Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and environmentalists are threatening a coordinated suit against EPA for failing to ensure Pennsylvania and New York meet cleanup targets for the Chesapeake Bay, charging the agency is violating statutory requirements unique to the bay that require federal enforcement of the bay’s cleanup plan.

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EPA extends comment deadline for coal ash permit rule

EPA has delayed the comment deadline for its coal ash permit program after the Navajo Nation warned that addressing the COVID-19 pandemic left it with few resources to analyze the proposed rule.

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Lawmakers urge Chesapeake Bay states to maintain enforcement

Democratic lawmakers from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia argue states need to step in, after EPA decided to ease enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic, to aid the Chesapeake Bay cleanup.

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Watchdog groups urge Wheeler to reverse policy limiting OIG

The groups want the EPA administrator to end what they say is his double-standard policy of shielding political appointees from probes by the agency’s inspector general.

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