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EPA Region 3 is joining environmentalists and state officials in urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to more closely scrutinize the environmental effects of a developer’s plan to bifurcate a proposed natural gas pipeline in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Supreme Court’s June 2019 decision curtailing judicial deference to agencies’ regulatory interpretations could make EPA’s efforts to reverse prior policies through new guidance vulnerable to court challenges because judges read it as bolstering limits on “unfair surprise” to stakeholders, attorneys say.

The refining sector, backed by the state of Wyoming and Senate environment committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), is urging a federal appeals court to grant rehearing of its landmark decision striking down compliance waivers granted to small refiners for renewable fuel standard (RFS) biofuel blending obligations.

EPA is urging a federal district court to find that it properly excluded 1,365 acres of salt ponds adjacent to San Francisco Bay from Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction, one of the rare cases where EPA has invoked its “special case” authority allowing it, rather than the Army Corps of Engineers, to make the final CWA jurisdictional determination.