Dow Chemical

The biggest environmental news of the week was, by far, the Paris climate summit, where representatives from nations around the world are trying to hammer out an agreement of measures to restrain the increase in greenhouse gases. It came as no surprise that the negotiations did not wrap up neatly on schedule by Friday.

Here are some other environmental news stories we covered this week:

A panel of federal judges appear to be disinclined to grant a request to vacate the EPA's mercury and air toxics standards for power plants, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the agency erred by not considering cost before it adopted the standards. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard the latest arguments. (Story by Bloomberg BNA reporter Patrick Ambrosio for subscribers.)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit listened to arguments over whether district or appellate courts should hear challenges to the Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule issued by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The question of court venue is likely to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court, a judge indicated. (Story by Bloomberg BNA reporter Bebe Raupe for subscribers.)

The EPA has been on an intense hiring push this year after a wave of early retirements. It now is about where it wants to be with approximately 15,000 employees, many of them highly motivated new staff undeterred by the political climate surrounding the agency, according to an EPA official. (Free blog post and full story for subscribers by Bloomberg BNA reporter Anthony Adragna.)

The EPA enforcement division is being asked to look at whether Dow Chemical violated the law by failing to report information on its popular weed killer Enlist Duo. The question is whether Dow was required to inform the EPA about data it had showing that the mixture of chemicals in the product could become more potent in combination than each chemical would be on its own. (Free story by Bloomberg BNA reporter David Schultz.)

Some of the biggest trade groups, 92 members of Congress and 22 states joined in filing briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on whether the EPA exceeded its authority in setting a standard on total maximum daily load for the Chesapeake Bay. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit approved the EPA action. (Story by Bloomberg BNA reporter Amena Saiyid for subscribers.)

By Alan Kovski