What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Feb. 6


Jeff Sessions

Here’s a list of some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch this week.

Methane rule vote before lawmakers. The Senate considers this week a House-passed resolution to rescind a federal rule on the venting, flaring and leaking of natural gas from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands. Alan Kovski is on it. 

More regulatory rollback efforts. The House considers a resolution this week to rescind a federal rule creating additional requirements for land planning. Alan Kovski is covering.

EPA’s use of science gets a look. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a hearing Tuesday called “Making EPA Great Again” and is expected to take a look at the agency’s process for using science in regulatory decision-making. Pat Rizzuto is on the story.

Talking TSCA and Zika here. Scientists, government regulators and researchers descend on Washington, D.C., Monday through Wednesday for the Toxicology Forum’s annual winter meeting, where presentations include EPA’s implementation of TSCA and the agency’s response to Zika virus. Pat Rizzuto is covering.

Zinke’s nomination to Interior takes next step. Rep. Ryan Zinke’s nomination for interior secretary heads to the Senate floor for a vote, but what’s his leadership style? Alan Kovski has the story.     

What does an Attorney General Sessions mean for environment? Sen. Jeff Sessions’ voting record is often at odds with environmental protection advocates, so how will that influence how the Justice Department handles environmental issues if he’s confirmed as attorney general? Renee Schoof is reporting.

No changes expected to Chemical Safety Board. It’s unlikely the Chemical Safety Board will see early leadership change under the Trump administration, attorneys say. Sam Pearson has the story.  

Air pollution rule goes to court. Trump’s EPA heads to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday for its first crack at defending an Obama-era air pollution rule. The Sierra Club is challenging the EPA’s contention that it has met the statutory obligation to regulate industrial facilities responsible for at least 90 percent of the aggregate emissions of seven different toxic pollutants. Patrick Ambrosio is reporting.

Delaware Facility Faces Clean Water Fines. International Petroleum Corp. of Delaware, an oil processing and wastewater treatment facility, will pay $3.5 million to Wilmington for environmental crimes including conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act. Leslie Pappas has the story.

Gold mining in Amazon raises concerns. An Amazon gold mine under development by Canada’s Belo Sun Mining Corp. hits a snag after federal and state officials ask courts to suspend its license over concerns about its social and environmental impacts. Michael Kepp is on it.