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EPA's Weekly Report, March 16, 2018

03/16/2018
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From discussing cleaning-up Superfunds and streamlining permitting processes for America’s job creators, to speaking at the Oklahoma Youth Expo and visiting EPA’s Region 6 headquarters, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt continued to advance President Trump’s environmental agenda.   

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NATIONAL NEWS ...

In a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said "California is not the arbiter of these issues" when discussing national fuel standards. "The Trump administration’s chief environmental regulator signaled a coming showdown with California, warning the state won’t dictate the future of ambitious automobile fuel economy regulations enacted by the Obama administration. 'California is not the arbiter of these issues,' said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. California regulates greenhouse gas emissions at the state level, 'but that shouldn’t and can’t dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.'"

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Bloomberg also reported on Pruitt's new guidance on permitting which provided clarity for iron and steel, paper, forestry, refiners and manufacturing. “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has issued a new directive that clarifies a powerful but technical facet of the Clean Air Act, completing a trifecta of high-profile changes to the way EPA oversees conventional air pollution. Tuesday’s action takes the form of guidance to regulated industries, which include iron and steel, paper, forestry, refiners and manufacturing.”

REGIONAL NEWS ...

The Omaha World-Herald reported that Pruitt touted Trump administration accomplishments. "Pruitt touted EPA actions during the Trump administration’s first year and particularly his travels to different parts of the country, including a stop in Nebraska during which he met with Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and others. Pruitt said the agency has made progress in providing regulatory certainty and ended the approach of making policy through court settlements that didn’t allow for the same kind of transparency as the traditional rule-making process. He cited the EPA’s rollback of the so-called Waters of the U.S. rule, which many farmers worried would saddle them with excessive compliance costs. And he highlighted EPA efforts to work through the long list of Superfund sites across the country, including Omaha’s." 

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In his interview with  (http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/epa-head-says-final-west-lake-cleanup-plan-could-mean/article_2de47bd9-7b39-5408-ae1b-ecba527d5651.html) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch , Pruitt discussed the ongoing cleanup process at the West Lake Landfill Superfund site. “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday that he believes he has proposed a ‘sound, solid’ solution to clean up the West Lake Landfill Superfund site — but that a final decision could include excavating more than the 67 percent of the site the EPA says will be sufficient to protect the health of neighboring residents. ‘What is really exciting about St. Louis is at this point, in five years the uranium will be removed,’ Pruitt said, in reference to the radioactive material left over from World War II’s atomic bomb creation. ‘Which I think is amazing in light of taking 28 years to just make a decision.’”

While speaking with the The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Pruitt discussed restoring order to the rule making process that previously hampered economic growth. “The Environmental Protection Agency rolled back 22 regulations last year that saved $1 billion, including one that will benefit hard-rock mining companies that operate in states like Nevada, Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday. Pruitt, though, said he has used the first year of his term as EPA administrator to try ‘to restore order in the rule-making process.’”

Pruitt also addressed the Gold King Mine incident with The Denver Post. “Pruitt said that he and the legal team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are aiming this month to make recommendations on all 400 claims, including about 70 that initially were rejected by the EPA on the grounds the agency had sovereign immunity from this kind of legal action. ‘This agency, and more particularly the U.S. government, caused harm to citizens in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah and it had not taken steps to address that,’ said Pruitt, speaking to a small group of reporters in his Washington, D.C., office.”

The Houston Chronicle reported on Pruitt’s desire to reform the RIN market, which will ensure the stability of the Renewable Fuel Standard. “In a meeting with reporters at the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters in Washington, Pruitt seemed to suggest that removing speculators from the market would help keep costs lower. ‘There's some things on the trading platform I think should happen no matter what,’ he said. ‘There seems to be a hoarding of [Renewable Identification Numbers], which inflates the price of RINs. Some have talked about limiting the participants who buy and sell, so you can get away from some of the speculation that's taking place.’” 

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported on a meeting between EPA and the Arkansas Farm Bureau (AFB) which was heralded as“one of the best meetings I've had in D.C.” by AFB President Randy Veach. “Afterward, the Arkansans were summoned to meet with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. ‘They found out that we were in D.C., and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had his people to call us and ask if we could meet with him,’ Veach said. ‘I'll be honest with you: I've been coming to D.C. for a long [time] and this is probably one of the best meetings I've had in D.C.’”

TWEETS ... 

screenshot a of a tweet from Administrator Pruitt of having meeting screenshot of a tweet with two photos showing man (the Administrator) in purple coat behind a podium speaking to crowd in standsScreenshot of tweet of man in blue suit and red tie (Administrator Pruitt) at head of wood conference table speaking with six people seated on both sides of the table.Man in gray suit and blue tie (Administrator Pruitt) seated at large wood desk signing document. seven people standing around the back of chair watching signingAdmin speaking at podium to hundred people seated at round tables