Environmentalists are encouraging EPA to issue several major regulations related to hydraulic fracturing ahead of the 2016 presidential election, aiming to have President Obama sign off on controversial measures a GOP president might oppose such as methane, effluent and toxics disclosure rules for fracking.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has rejected environmentalists' suit challenging EPA's approval of several western states' use of a sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions trading program to satisfy regional haze air plan pollution control mandates, boosting states' authority to use cap-and-trade to meet their haze program requirements.
EPA's planned information collection rule for nanomaterials is expected to include a first-time definition of the substances for regulatory purposes, industry sources say, criteria that will influence the scope of this and future rules governing the substances, though environmentalists, citing extended delay, question whether the rule will ever be issued.
Proponents of EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) are downplaying the harms to states or utilities if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules to lift a stay on implementing the rule, saying that either immediate reinstatement of the rule or a delayed implementation schedule would impose minimal harms.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is poised to hear arguments this week in litigation over EPA's approach to designating areas as either attaining or in nonattainment with its ozone ambient air quality standard, and a separate legal bid to force new toxics rules for lead bullets. Briefs are also due this week in suits over EPA's greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting program and the agency's recently finalized Clean Water Act (CWA) rule for cooling water structures.
Meeting drinking water industry expectations, EPA is proposing to move forward with developing a drinking water standard for strontium while finding four other contaminants need no regulation.
The Army Corps of Engineers has unveiled guidance aimed at clarifying how regulators can assess the boundaries of an "ordinary high water mark" (OHWM) parameter used in Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdictional determinations, although the guide's impact on EPA's and the Corps' pending rule to define the scope of the water law remains unclear.
A federal appellate court has rejected a request by West Virginia and other states to expedite consideration of their novel lawsuit against EPA's proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for existing power plants and is asking parties to submit briefs within the next month on whether the court has jurisdiction over the case.
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