Politics EPA reverses Trump guidance it said weakened 'forever chemicals' regulations
Overnight Energy: EPA to reconsider Trump decision not to tighten soot standards | Interior proposes withdrawal of Trump rule that would allow drillers to pay less | EPA reverses Trump guidance it said weakened 'forever chemicals' regulations
HAPPY THURSDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin. Reach Zack Budryk at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at @BudrykZack. Today we've got a policy-heavy newsletter looking at the EPA reconsidering air quality standards, as well as making moves on PFAS, and Interior's proposed eliminationToday we've got a policy-heavy newsletter looking at the EPA reconsidering air quality standards, as well as making moves on PFAS, and Interior's proposed elimination of a Trump rule expected to make companies pay less to drill on public land.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a slate of actions aimed at a class of toxic chemicals called PFAS, including the revocation of a Trump-era guidance that it said weakened regulations for the substances.
The agency additionally proposed a first-ever reporting requirement for manufacturing PFAS chemicals and finalized a rule requiring polluters to report releases of three types of the chemicals.
PFAS chemicals have been linked to health issues including cancer and immune system problems. They can be found in a variety of household goods, as well as drinking water.
Rebuilding EPA through its climate programs
President Biden’s EPA budget request for fiscal 2022 takes a huge step toward meeting the challenges associated with protecting the nation's air, land and water.The administration has requested a $2 billion increase in EPA's budget, with 90 percent of the proposed increase - $1.8 billion - going to climate work, which EPA astutely defines expansively. The budget also directs half of the benefits of new climate spending to flow to disadvantaged low-income and indigenous communities, as well as communities of color, all of which have long bore the heaviest burdens from environmental pollution.
They are sometimes referred to as "forever chemicals" because they are persistent in the human body and environment and can accumulate over time.
"These actions will help us harness the best available science to develop policies and programs that can improve health protections for everyone, including those living in historically underserved communities," Michal Freedhoff, principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a statment.
The removed guidance, issued at the tail-end of the Trump administration, sought to clarify a 2020 rule issued by the agency that prohibits companies from importing certain types of PFAS as part of an object's "surface coating" without EPA approval.
Sri Lanka braces for environmental disaster as ship sinks
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Authorities in Sri Lanka were trying to head off a potential environmental disaster Thursday as a fire-damaged container ship that had been carrying chemicals was sinking off of the country's main port. The Singapore-flagged MV X-Press Pearl started sinking Wednesday, a day after authorities extinguished fire that raged on the vessel for 12 days. Efforts to tow the ship into deeper waters away from the port in Colombo failed after the ship’s stern became submerged and rested on the seabed.
Such objects may include automotive parts, carpets, furniture, and electronic components. The guidance limited what would have been subject to the rule, providing exemptions for "unintentionally present" impurities as well as for those who process chemicals.
The Biden administration said Thursday that the guidance "was never deemed necessary by career staff and its development was directed by political officials serving in the last Administration."
Its new PFAS reporting proposal would require those that have made or imported PFAS chemicals since the start of 2011 and those who do so going forward to report information on its uses, quantity, disposal exposure and hazards to the agency.
Endangered species recovery requires flexibility, not strict regulations .
Nearly 50 years ago, President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law. It was uncontentious at the time; little did anyone know what was to come. Though intended to protect imperiled species, the law has become an endless source of conflict. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Endangered Species Act was designed to do two things: prevent species from going extinct and promote their recovery back to health. The good news is only 1% of ESA-listed species have gone extinct. On the other hand, less than 2% of species have recovered and been delisted.