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House Democrats target Trump CWA policies at T&I hearing

Ahead of a Sept. 18 oversight hearing, Democratic leaders of a key House committee are highlighting the Trump administration’s efforts to “radically alter the effectiveness of the Clean Water Act.”

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DOD Stresses Government-Wide Approach In PFAS Task Force Principles

The Defense Department (DOD) is outlining in just-released operating principles the scope and purpose of its high-level task force on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), making clear that it wants to take a “whole of government approach” in collaboration with EPA to respond to the pollutants believed to be at hundreds of military sites.

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Air Force Says CERCLA Bars New Mexico’s RCRA Suit Over PFAS At Base

Citing a series of provisions in the Superfund law, the Air Force is seeking to dismiss New Mexico’s suit aimed at winning a more rigorous response to its per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution, an effort that highlights the hurdles states face getting federal agencies to clean up their contamination.

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Court Revives Suit Seeking To Narrow CWA Permit Waiver For Agriculture

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of litigation seeking to require Clean Water Act (CWA) discharge permits for contaminants that flow through agricultural tile drains in California, finding the district court misinterpreted a key word in the law and made other errors in judgment.

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Western States Question EPA’s Legal Power To Change CWA 401 Rule

Several Western states are questioning whether EPA has legal authority to propose changes to the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 water quality certification process even as other states wrestle with how to respond to the agency’s proposed rule that seeks to limit states’ abilities to review certification requests.

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California Policymakers Fail To Secure Deals On Key Environmental Bills

California lawmakers wrapped up their 2019 legislative session Sept. 13 but without securing the environmental deals many were seeking, with Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pledging to veto a bill locking in Obama-era standards and the legislature failing to vote on another bill setting landmark plastic recycling standards.

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11th Circuit Backs Broad EPA Discretion On NPDES Withdrawal Decisions

In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled that EPA has broad discretion to decide whether to revoke a state’s delegated Clean Water Act (CWA) discharge permitting authority, even when the state’s permit program has not always complied with the water law’s requirements.

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DOD Braces For Increase In PFAS Site Universe, Cleanup Cost Estimates

As Congress weighs legislation requiring that the Defense Department (DOD) and other liable parties address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), Pentagon officials say they expect the number of contaminated sites and associated cleanup costs to increase beyond past estimates, further boosting DOD’s total cleanup liability.

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Trump’s WOTUS Repeal And Replace Effort Unlikely To End CWA Debate

BOSTON -- The Trump administration’s efforts to repeal and replace the 2015 Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction rule with a narrower policy is unlikely to end the nearly 20-year debate over the scope of the act and will spur fresh litigation unless Congress steps in to clarify the limits of the law, says a former EPA water office chief.

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Judges Wrestle With Remedy Question In Michigan CWA 404 Permit Suit

Appellate judges struggled at recent oral argument to determine whether there is a legal remedy for a Wisconsin tribe that says EPA improperly allowed Michigan -- rather than the Army Corps of Engineers -- to issue a Clean Water Act (CWA) dredge-and-fill permit for a zinc-gold, a question that could have implications for other states if they assume such permitting.

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