Lawsuit challenges EPA approval of 2,4-D herbicides
The EPA failed to take environmental and public health risks into account when it reapproved two brand-name weedkillers produced by Corteva that contain the herbicide 2,4-D, according to a federal lawsuit that challenges the 2022 decision. The plaintiffs asked the U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., to vacate the registrations of Enlist One and Enlist Duo and to halt sales of the products while the EPA reconsiders their risks.
Lawsuit would force EPA to regulate coated seeds
The EPA wrongly exempted insecticide-coated seeds from regulation and must be ordered to “assess and register” the seeds as pesticides, said two environmental groups in a lawsuit filed on Thursday.
Supreme Court restricts federal protection of wetlands
In a decision that will narrow federal protection of wetlands, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the 1972 clean water law applies only to marshy areas with “a continuous surface connection” to streams, oceans, rivers, or lakes. “Today’s ruling is a profound win for property rights and the constitutional separation of powers,” said the Pacific Legal Foundation, which argued the case for a couple blocked from building a home in northern Idaho. (No paywall)
Farm-state lawmakers prod EPA chief on biofuels and WOTUS
The Biden administration is turning a cold shoulder to biofuels and rural America by encouraging the use of electric vehicles, said farm-state Republicans during a complaint-filled House hearing with EPA administrator Michael Regan on Wednesday. Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon pointed to the so-called WOTUS rule on wetlands protections and declared, “Any goodwill the administration has built with farmers and ranchers is gone.”
Following a second court order, WOTUS is on hold in 26 states
Less than four months ago, the Biden administration unveiled “a durable definition” of the upstream reach of clean water laws across the country — a so-called waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation. With a ruling on Wednesday, federal judges have enjoined implementation of the rule in 26 of the 50 states while they hear lawsuits that would void the regulation.
EPA faces deadline on CAFO clean-water petition
In an appellate court order, the EPA agreed on Monday to decide by Aug. 15 if it would tighten water pollution standards for large livestock and poultry farms, a goal pursued for years by environmental groups. Only three in 10 of the largest factory farms are regulated at present, said Food and Water Watch.
Senate votes to overturn Biden’s ‘waters of the United States’ rule
The Senate joined the House on Wednesday in voting to overturn the Biden administration’s “waters of the United States” regulation, which spells out the upstream reach of water pollution laws. The White House said earlier this month that President Biden would veto the Republican-sponsored resolution of disapproval if it reached his desk.
EPA ‘forever chemicals’ regs could cost communities billions, experts say
The Environmental Protection Agency is due to announce enforceable regulations on the amount of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of thousands of chemicals collectively known as PFAS, allowed in drinking water. Those rules, which could be announced as early as today, could end up costing communities around the country nearly $40 billion to implement, according to the Associated Press.
Republicans try congressional path to repeal WOTUS
In a long-shot tactic, Republicans in the Senate and House pressed on Thursday for a vote to overturn the Biden administration’s Waters of the United States rule, which spells out the upstream reach of water pollution laws. It was the third WOTUS rule to be issued in less than a decade. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in coming weeks on an Idaho case that would greatly limit federal protection of wetlands.
Lawsuit asks court to void Biden administration clean water rule
Seventeen farm, construction, and mining groups filed suit in federal court to overturn the Biden administration’s definition of the upstream reach of water pollution laws. They argued that the new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule was “so opaque, uncertain, and all-encompassing” that no one could confidently know its limits.
Biden administration defines upstream reach of clean water laws
Stepping ahead of a pending Supreme Court ruling, the Biden administration spelled out through a new regulation the upstream reach of water pollution laws, saying it would assure safe drinking water for Americans "while supporting agriculture, local economies and downstream communities." Farm and home-builder groups, who helped stall an Obama-era definition of the "waters of the United States" (WOTUS), said the Biden WOTUS rule also was a regulatory nightmare built on murky interpretations of the law.
Administration looks for ways to expand bioeconomy
Three months after President Biden signed an executive order to accelerate biotechnology innovation, the administration formally asked stakeholders and the public on Monday to identify gaps, ambiguities and inefficiencies in federal regulation of the sector.
With eye on second-generation biofuels, EPA proposes 10 percent increase in RFS
The EPA proposed a 10 percent increase, mostly reserved for cleaner-burning “advanced” biofuels, over three years in the federal mandate to mix biofuels into the U.S. gasoline supply, and said it would expand the Renewable Fuel Standard to include electricity generated from biogas and used in electric vehicles. The proposal, announced Thursday, would mean greater use of E15 and other blends of corn ethanol above the traditional 10 percent, said ethanol groups.
Trade group seeks 7-billion-gallon advanced biofuel mandate
The EPA should increase the advanced biofuels share of the fuel market by 1 billion gallons a year to reflect the land rush into renewable diesel production, said the trade group Clean Fuels America Alliance on Monday. The recommendation would raise the federal mandate for second-generation biofuels to 7.63 billion gallons in 2024, a 36 percent increase from this year.
Set highest ethanol mandate ever, senators ask EPA
The upcoming EPA regulatory reset of the Renewable Fuel Standard should push the corn ethanol target above 15 billion gallons for the highest annual mandate ever and allow E15 to be sold year-round, said farm-state senators on Wednesday. In a letter to EPA administrator Michael Regan, the senators urged the agency to establish “robust and expanded” biofuel mandates.
Lawsuit tries to force EPA to respond on CAFO regulation
A coalition of public interest and environmental justice organizations filed a lawsuit Friday to compel the EPA to respond to an earlier rulemaking petition, submitted to the agency in 2017, that asked the EPA to overhaul how large-scale animal production facilities are regulated under the Clean Water Act.
Biofuel groups push EPA to maximize RFS levels
The Renewable Fuel Standard is the most successful clean energy tool available to the government, which should make full use of it when setting the biofuel mandate for 2023 and future years, said farm and biofuel trade groups on Thursday. “What we’re really looking to take place with EPA is that they maximize the full potential of the RFS,” said Emily Skor, chief executive of Growth Energy.
Despite stricter rules, thousands of complaints of dicamba damage, says EPA
A week before the 2020 presidential election, the EPA issued new instructions on the use of dicamba that it said would tame the notoriously volatile weedkiller. But complaints of damage to crops in nearby fields and to plants in parks, wildlife refuges, and residences continued to roll in, said the EPA on Thursday during a review of the herbicide.
Climate ruling could ripple into food and ag regulations
The U.S. Supreme Court limited the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants on Thursday. The ruling could have broad impact with its reasoning that Congress must give an agency specific authority to act on particular issues.