Utility industry officials and Republican lawmakers are criticizing enforcement provisions in EPA's final coal ash disposal rule that they say constrain states' flexibility in implementing the rule and opens the door to citizen suits, and say the incoming GOP-led 114th Congress must approve legislation to block those provisions.
EPA Regulates Coal Ash As Solid Waste, Partially Delegating Enforcement
Industry groups that are seeking to vacate EPA's finding that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) say the agency should not be entitled to deference on its interpretation under the Supreme Court's Chevron doctrine, charging that EPA reversed its position without considering the issue in a “detailed and reasoned fashion” as Chevron requires.
State regulators and community advisors are backing environmentalists' calls for EPA Region 5 to assess and mitigate potential exposures to dioxin through contaminated food as part of a novel cleanup in Michigan, calling for monitoring and land use controls, though industry is arguing the cleanup plan is already overly conservative.
Advocates are welcoming the White House's release of new draft guidance for assessing greenhouse gas emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act.
EPA is blaming resource constraints due to budget cuts and the government shutdown as major reasons for why the bulk of its fiscal year 2014 enforcement results are significantly lower than FY13, saying the funding reductions and agency closure meant fewer facility inspections that in turn explains some of the drops in enforcement cases.
Former residents of North Carolina's Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are asking a federal appellate court to reconsider the court's rejection of a new state law that aimed to allow the former residents to seek toxic tort damages from the federal government over decades of past contaminated groundwater exposures at the base.
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