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In appeals court decision, environmental groups lose challenge to EPA cement standard

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Friday turned aside a challenge by environmental groups to an air pollution standard for cement plants. In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court said the emissions-related provisions of the Environmental Protection Agency standard are permissible.

EPA defends enforcement plan to focus on biggest polluters

By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's plan to focus on cracking down on just the largest polluters will deliver "lasting returns" to the American public, its top enforcement official said on Thursday. Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA's office of enforcement, wrote in a blog post that the agency remained committed to punishing polluters that violate U.S. rules but needed to prioritize because of budgetary and staffing constraints.

Court finds fault with federal water transfer regulation

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday threw out a federal regulation that allowed government agencies to transfer water between different water bodies, such as rivers and lakes, without needing to safeguard for pollution.

Groups sue EPA to force it to move on pesticide disclosures

By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - Three environmental and public health groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, seeking to press it to move forward with rules that would require public disclosure of certain pesticide ingredients. The Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, all non-profit advocacy groups, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

EPA, Texas reach agreement on parts of clean air plan that had long been points of contention

DALLAS - Federal and state environmental officials said Wednesday that they have reached an agreement on portions of the Texas clean air plan that, for years, have been points of contention. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality confirmed Wednesday that the conditional agreement on state permits will allow some operating flexibility to major air pollution sources, such as refineries.

EPA worker who falsely claimed CIA work sentenced to prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adviser who cheated the government out of $886,186 through lies such as claiming to work for the CIA was sentenced on Wednesday to 32 months in prison. John Beale, 65, of New York, skipped work for 2-1/2 out of 13 years while claiming to be working on a project for the Central Intelligence Agency's operations directorate and other jobs, prosecutors said.

EPA says Chevron violated federal law repeatedly at California refinery prior to fire

SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp. failed to maintain equipment at a California refinery and has not responded adequately to multiple airborne chemical releases, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. The EPA filed a formal notice against Chevron finding 62 violations of federal environmental laws after an investigation spurred by the Aug. 6, 2012, fire.

Americas News Agenda for December 17

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion Tel: +1 202 414 0541 What's happening in the Americas on Tuesday: + US Senate votes on budget plan + Fed Reserve opens policy-setting meeting + New pre-trial hearings for alleged 9/11 attackers WASHINGTON: The US Senate holds a tough but crucial vote on a budget plan for the next two years, as it seeks to wrap up the final legislative week of 2013 on a high note. Picture (US-POLITICS-ECONOMY-BUDGET)

U.S. to share lessons with China on pollution reduction, EPA chief says

U.S. to share lessons with China on pollution reduction, EPA chief says WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday the United States could share its experience with China in how to reduce air pollution. McCarthy, who is expected to head to China next week, said China's air pollution challenges bore some similarities to what happened in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.

U.S. EPA names scientific ombudsman to fight secrecy claims

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named a scientific ombudsman on Monday to fight back against accusations by Republican lawmakers of being opaque in its scientific findings and not allowing outside parties to review them. The agency tapped Francesca Grifo to be its first "scientific integrity official." Grifo is formerly the director of the scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a director of the Center for Environmental Research at Columbia University.
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