• Wheeler Calls Water the Most Pressing Environmental Issue Worldwide

    On March 20, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said water, not climate change, is the most pressing environmental issue the world is facing. Wheeler also said he wants to change the discussion around issues of global water pollution and water scarcity and that current water problems are not related to climate change.

  • Senate Panel Prepares for PFAS Hearing

    On March 28 the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee will hold a hearing at 10 A.M. entitled “Examining the federal response to the risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).”

  • Chesapeake Bay Program States Vow to Reject Federal Funding Cuts

    The Administration’s Federal Budget for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program for FY 2020 would slash the program’s federal funding by 90 percent - a dramatic cut that the President had also recommended last year. In 2017, he suggested eliminating federal contributions all together. In both cases, Congress rejected the President’s proposals.

  • Administration Drops Effort to Delay Obama’s Waters of the U.S. Rule

    Efforts to delay implementation of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule were invalidated by lower court. Last year, the Trump administration attempted to delay the rule for two years. But this effort was rejected by several district court judges, who ruled that the administration did not follow proper procedures to suspend the implementation of an existing regulation. The administration appealed, but on March 8 announced it would drop its challenges in federal appeals courts the 4th and 9th Circuits.

  • House Considers Bipartisan Bill to Extend NPDES Permits; WEF Issues Letter of Support

    On March 14, Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) introduced legislation (HR 1764) to support local water infrastructure projects with co-sponsors Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Rob Woodall (R-Ga.). The bill would extend the maximum term for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued under the Clean Water Act from five to 10 years. While environmental groups generally oppose the idea, the Trump administration floated a similar extension in its infrastructure blueprint last year.

  • U.S. House Holds Hearing on Bill to more than Double Funding for CWSRF Program, WEF Endorses Legislation

    On March 7, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing on the Water Quality Protection and Jobs Creation Act of 2019 (H.R. 1497). This bill would more than double the size of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program – an EPA wastewater grant program. The bill has bipartisan support in the House and received praise from both sides of the aisle during hearing.

  • Congress Holds Hearing on Nonstick Chemicals

    On March 6, the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing on examining per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, referred to as PFAS, and their risks.

  • Senate Confirms Wheeler as EPA Chief

    On Feb. 28, the Senate confirmed Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler as the official agency chief by a vote of 52-47 primarily along party-lines. Every Democrat voted against Wheeler, all Republicans except for Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) supported the nomination. Earlier in February, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee voted along party lines to advance the nomination. Wheeler had served as Acting Administrator since July 2018, when then-Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned.