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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.

A fight between Colorado and the local oil and gas industry over ozone air regulation in the state could serve as an early test of the Trump EPA’s policy that makes it easier for states to avoid being penalized for being out of attainment with federal ambient air standards by accounting for air pollution from overseas in attainment findings.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will decide states and environmentalists’ case against EPA’s “close-out” of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) emissions trading program without hearing oral argument, in what may be a bad omen for EPA’s chances of successfully defending the rule.

Progressive academics are urging Democratic presidential candidates to back calls to add more seats to the Supreme Court, charging that even if they win the 2020 election and are able to usher in sweeping climate change legislation, the current justices are “poised to strike down key aspects of any conceivable” climate law.

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