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California Argues EPA Threats On Air, Water Shift Blame, Ring Hollow

California and environmentalists are branding EPA’s threat to block the state from receiving highway funds based on incomplete air pollution plans as a political attack that ignores the need for new federal emission curbs and the implausibility that the pro-deregulation Trump administration would impose such limits.

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House Energy Panel PFAS Bills May Boost Defense Legislation Provisions

A House Energy and Commerce panel is scheduled to mark up a package of 13 bills dealing with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that includes provisions contained in House and Senate defense bills, asserting the committee’s jurisdiction over the subject and potentially boosting support for the measures in the final defense bill.

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Changing PFAS Universe Challenges EPA’s Test Method Development

EPA is poised to release next month a new method that will be able to detect nearly a dozen additional per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water beyond what the current method allows and focus on new, shorter-chain compounds that have been difficult to detect until now, EPA scientists say.

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Senate Appropriators Seek FY20 EPA Funding Boost, Limit Riders

Senate appropriators are advancing an EPA fiscal year 2020 spending bill that would boost funding for the agency by $161 million over current spending levels, a first step toward reaching a conference with House lawmakers on the measure, though the Senate bill provides EPA with $500 million less than the House version.

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California Plan To Extend Gas Plants’ OTC Deadline Sparks Criticism

Environmental and ratepayer groups are raising concerns about the potential pollution and climate impacts of California energy regulators’ grid-reliability plan to allow several natural gas-fired power plants that use once-through-cooling (OTC) systems to operate for three years longer than the current 2020 retirement deadline for such plants.

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California sues EPA over San Francisco Bay ‘waters’ exclusion

The state is challenging EPA’s determination that 1,365 acres of salt ponds adjacent to San Francisco Bay are not “waters of the United States” covered by the Clean Water Act.

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‘Worried’ House Democrats Step Up Push For Superfund PFAS Measure

“Worried” House Democrats are stepping up their push for defense bill conferees to preserve their amendment requiring EPA to list per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as “hazardous substances” under the Superfund law in the face of opposition from Senate environment committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY).

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High Court’s Groundwater Case Uncertain Despite Maui Settlement Vote

The Maui County Council has voted to settle a long-running Clean Water Act (CWA) case pending before the Supreme Court, which could limit the potential for the high court to resolve a split among federal appellate courts on when the act applies to pollution in groundwater, but questions remain as to whether the vote will end the matter.

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Lawyers Expect EPA’s New CWA 401 Plan To Spur Lengthy Litigation ‘Mess’

EPA’s proposal to scale back state authority under Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 to review whether federally permitted projects will harm state water quality standards is likely to prompt “lots of litigation” from states and environmentalists, if finalized, that could last for years, according to a former EPA attorney and other lawyers.

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CWA ‘Patchwork’ Could Return Within Months Despite Repeal Of 2015 Rule

BOSTON -- The Trump administration’s bid to scrap the Obama-era Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule and replace it with a narrower policy could revive a “patchwork” of competing CWA standards it was designed to end, says a law professor, because the repeal will be litigated and likely blocked in some states, reinstating the 2015 rule there.

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