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Top Democrat Says Wheeler 'Intended To Obfuscate' On State Permit Review

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), chair of the appropriations panel that oversees EPA’s budget, says Administrator Andrew Wheeler “intended to obfuscate” in recent testimony to avoid releasing adverse agency comments on a draft Minnesota mine permit, comments that critics say political appointees suppressed as they work to ease state oversight.

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EPA drops plan to repeal Washington water quality standard

EPA has for now dropped its plan to act on an industry petition to roll back strict Obama-era toxics limits but an environmentalist says the move is “an unfortunate signal” that EPA will resume its reconsideration.

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5th Circuit Vacates Parts Of Obama EPA Utility Effluent Rule As Too Lenient

A federal appeals court has vacated portions of the Obama EPA’s Clean Water Act (CWA) power plant effluent rule as too lenient, agreeing with environmentalists that the agency acted “arbitrarily” when it left in place decades-old technology standards designating impoundments as the “best” technology for treating some forms of waste.

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Federal judge stays Washington CWA 401 case

The federal district court judge cites concerns that claims in the case may overlap with pending state court challenges where industry plaintiffs may have a better chance of relief.

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DOJ Launches Push To Kill Controversial Judicial Theory Driving TMDLs

The Justice Department (DOJ) is urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to overturn a district court ruling and forcefully reject a controversial judicial theory on when EPA must develop a waterbody cleanup plan, or if the appeals court believes the theory is binding in the 9th Circuit, to find the theory does not apply to excess water temperature that is expected to be exacerbated by climate change.

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States Face Uncertain New Burdens From Narrower CWA Jurisdiction Test

State regulators say EPA’s proposed Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule will leave them with uncertain and potentially costly burdens to regulate waterbodies that the rule would leave to state discretion, including dealing with losses in federal funding and duplicating federal programs that would be cut back under a narrow reading of the CWA.

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Trump Critics Vow Fight To Halt Pipeline Orders Seen Blunting CWA, NEPA

Critics of President Donald Trump's just-signed executive orders (EOs) to speed environmental reviews of pipelines and other energy projects are vowing to fight the directive in courts and Congress, saying the orders unlawfully blunt long-established requirements in the Clean Water Act (CWA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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Washington Decries EPA Plan To Reverse Toxics Water Quality Rule

Washington state officials are decrying the Trump administration's plan to reverse an Obama-era rule for the state that set stringent water quality limits for nearly 200 pollutants to protect high levels of fish consumption among Native American communities, saying EPA failed to consult with the state and tribes before announcing the change.

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Despite Bipartisan Support, Officials Doubt PFAS Bills' Prospects

A top Defense Department (DOD) environment official is expressing doubt over prospects for bipartisan and bicameral legislation that seeks to boost regulation and funding for addressing cleanup of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an assessment that at least one top Democrat appears to share.

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EPA's Toxics Office Eyes Addressing PFAS In Smaller Subclasses

EPA's toxics office is eying the possibility of eventually addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in small subclasses, an approach that would likely ease efforts to deal with the thousands of chemicals in the class though it could set up obstacles for industry if newer PFAS are part of a heavily regulated subclass.

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