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EPA is proposing significant reductions in biofuel blending volumes under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) for 2021 as compared to prior levels, along with a steep retroactive cut in 2020 levels, but is planning an increase in 2022 and also proposing to deny all petitions by small refiners to win economic hardship waivers from compliance.

The National Academy of Sciences is poised to begin a two-part study on testing municipal wastewater as a way to trace, prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases beyond COVID-19, providing guidance to EPA and other federal agencies that began using the monitoring approach during the pandemic.

An appellate court is restarting a long-pending lawsuit from racing enthusiasts and suppliers challenging provisions of a 2016 EPA heavy-duty sector greenhouse gas rule that were focused on tampering with emissions controls, with the court agreeing with plaintiffs’ request for a rapid briefing schedule.

Even as EPA touts its efforts to clean up leaks from underground storage tanks (USTs), state and federal officials are warning that releases from aging USTs storing diesel and some ethanol could require major resources at a time when states are likely to be squeezed for such funds as electric vehicle (EV) use rises and revenue from gas taxes decline.

EPA has reached a proposed agreement with environmentalists to set deadlines to conduct overdue reviews of major chemical sector air toxics rules, in proceedings that may result in tougher standards to protect vulnerable communities but will impose stiff new mandates on hundreds of facilities as the sector is undergoing a significant expansion.