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Water

Environmentalists Weigh Suit To Force EPA Action On Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is weighing whether to sue EPA over its failure to ensure Pennsylvania meets nitrogen reduction targets necessary to restore the bay, after the agency acknowledged the state is falling behind in its commitments but declined to take any new “backstop” measures, such as increased enforcement or expanded permitting.

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NDAA Requires Host Of PFAS Rules Despite Superfund, Water Omissions

Despite Congress’ high-profile failure to require EPA to craft rules under the clean water, drinking water and Superfund laws to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), defense legislation recently enacted by President Donald Trump includes a host of provisions requiring EPA and other agencies to address the chemical class.

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Trump lauds NEPA ahead of proposal to streamline reviews

The president also argues that while the goals of NEPA have not changed, “the environmental review process designed to improve decision making has become increasingly complex and difficult to navigate.”

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Criticizing Rollbacks, SAB Highlights Clash With EPA Over Proper Role

EPA’s science advisers are sharply criticizing several major deregulatory initiatives being advanced by the Trump administration, raising legal threats to those rules while also underscoring the importance of a broader clash between the advisers and Administrator Andrew Wheeler over the board’s future role reviewing such rules.

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With Wheeler Overhaul Pending, SAB Schedules Meeting To Review Rules

EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) is planning a multi-day meeting next month to review the science underlying a suite of pending Trump administration deregulatory measures even as Administrator Andrew Wheeler is floating plans that would limit the board’s role in reviewing pending regulations.

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New TMDL Suit Cites Ruling Backing ‘Constructive Submission’ Doctrine

Environmentalists in the Pacific Northwest are citing a just-issued appellate ruling that backed a controversial judicial doctrine requiring EPA development of waterbody cleanup plans in a new push for total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in Washington state that they say are overdue.

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Courts Dismiss Two Suits Over Repealed Obama-Era CWA Jurisdiction Rule

Two federal appeals courts have dismissed separate challenges to district court rulings brought by state, industry and environmental groups over the Obama administration’s Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule, after the Trump administration’s repeal of the rule became effective Dec. 23, although other suits targeting the repeal rule by other parties remain active.

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As NEPA Rule Clears OMB Review, Critics Fear Agencies’ Curbed Roles

As the Trump administration prepares to propose a rule to streamline National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews, EPA and other critics are faulting its “one federal decision” policy that coordinates agencies’ reviews, arguing it elevates views of agencies that support projects and diminishes EPA and others concerned about environmental harms.

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Despite Criticism, EPA Retains PFAS Groundwater Guide’s Cleanup Levels

EPA has issued a final interim guidance for addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater, adhering to the screening level and cleanup goal it proposed earlier this year and largely rejecting wide-ranging criticisms from environmentalists, states and industry over alleged deficiencies.

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Rejecting EPA, 9th Circuit Backs Rarely Used Legal Doctrine Requiring TMDL

Rejecting Trump administration arguments, a federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court’s ruling requiring EPA within 30 days to develop a Clean Water Act (CWA) plan to reduce the temperature of the Columbia and Snake rivers, clarifying that a controversial judicial doctrine requiring EPA action can apply to a single total maximum daily load (TMDL).

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