Inside EPA


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Appellate court judges appear to be backing the Trump administration's authority to delay the Obama-era rule strengthening EPA's facility accident prevention program, but some are questioning why the agency needs a two-year delay, suggesting it should quickly revise a controversial provision and allow other new protections to take effect.

House lawmakers appear to agree on the need for legislation to limit environmental liabilities for “Good Samaritan” parties seeking to voluntarily remediate contamination at abandoned mines and are weighing calls from a conservation group to authorize an EPA-led pilot program to test such an effort.

Environmentalists are bracing for Congress to release of an EPA fiscal year 2018 spending bill next week that could provide the agency with overall funding on par with, or even slightly higher than, what the agency received in FY17, though they fear fine-print cuts to specific “core” programs could damage the agency's ability to protect public health.

A criminal defendant is urging the Supreme Court to reject the logic lower courts have used to apply Justice Anthony Kennedy's “significant nexus” test for Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction, arguing that it would be better to simply give up on finding a binding precedent in such plurality decisions than to factor dissenters' opinions into future rulings.