Category: Special Topics in Environmental Management

Senators Request Investigation of EPA Administrator’s Science Policy

Ten U.S. senators (nine Democrats and Bernie Sanders, an Independent) have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s new policy for appointing members to the Agency’s scientific federal advisory committees (FACs). The request follows Pruitt’s issuance of principles and procedures for filling committee FAC vacancies. The major new provision prohibits […]


Whistleblower Claims EPA Failed to Respond to Civil Rights Complaints

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has agreed with an EPA whistleblower who alleged that the Agency’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) failed to meet its regulatory obligation to respond in a timely manner to allegations that the Agency has violated Title VII of the 1991 Civil Rights Act. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination […]


Commerce Report Released on Regulation and Permitting Burdens

In March 2017, the Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a request for information (RFI) from stakeholders on the most burdensome regulations and permitting requirements they face and how regulatory compliance and permitting could be simplified. In October 2017, the DOC summarized responses to the RFI in a 55-page document.

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Climate Science Report Receives Varied Levels of Interest

The final version of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (GCRP) Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) leaves unchanged all the major findings and conclusions contained in a draft of the report that was leaked to the news media and the public in August 2017. The CSSR was assembled by the nation’s most qualified climate scientists, […]


EPA Administrator Revises Principles for Selecting Science Advisors

With a new directive, Administrator Scott Pruitt of the EPA has revised the principles and procedures for selecting members for the Agency’s 22 advisory committees, which include the Science Advisory Board (SAB), Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), and the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), three bodies that have had a profound impact on how […]


Roadless Rule Upheld by D.C. District Judge

In September 2017, a U.S. district judge responded to a petition filed by the state of Alaska, and backed by about 20 stakeholders, to have the Roadless Area Conservation Rule—better known as the Roadless Rule—issued in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its agency, the U.S. Forest Service (USDA/USFS), declared in violation of […]


2.1 Million People Affected by Elevated Arsenic Levels in Private Wells

In a new study, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 2.1 million people in the United States may be getting drinking water from private wells with concentrations of arsenic that exceed EPA’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 micrograms per liter (µg/L).


EPA Unveils Draft Strategic Plan

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s first draft Strategic Plan (covering the years 2018 to 2022) is built around what Pruitt has said is the Agency’s core mission. That mission, one of Pruitt’s three strategic goals, is summarized in the draft this way:


Overdue Ozone Designations Lead to Legal Action Against EPA, Pruitt

As required by the Clean Air Act (CAA), 10 environmental and public health groups have notified the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt that they intend to take civil action against the Agency and Pruitt for failing to meet their statutory obligations to promulgate timely designations for areas of the United States under the Agency’s 2015 […]