Environmental Protection Agency

Congressional Research Service

A congressional subcommittee questioned the Trump administration on Wednesday over its rollback of Obama-era Clean Water Act protections.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced rollbacks to the Clean Water Act. These rollbacks will repeal some of the rules put into place by the Obama Administration that protect smaller bodies of water and intermittent streams.

A gas flare, used to burn off flammable gas -- on Highway 59 from Gillette
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

The Trump Administration is looking to change Obama-era national air quality standards for the oil and gas industry that limited methane - a pollutant considered the second largest contributor to climate change. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed changes Thursday to the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), influenced at the time by Wyoming's regulations.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expanding the use of an insecticide that is toxic to bees. The move affects more than 17 million acres of farmland in our region.

 


U.S. EPA logo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Affordable Clean Energy Rule. A rule meant to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. It's widely seen as a replacement rule to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

Booms located at the popo agie river to prevent further seepage downstream
Keith Guille / Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

Gasoline is spilling into the Popo Agie River in Lander. A citizen reported it to the National Response Center last week. The action prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to investigate what happened.

Keith Guille, DEQ spokesman, said the situation is urgent, and "that's why we have staff out there to make sure that we find some conclusions here very quickly to ensure that wherever the spill leak is coming from they get stopped and that everything can move forward here."

A report out Monday from environmental groups looked at groundwater contamination from coal-fired power plants. Three of the worst sites are located in the Mountain West.

Coal ash is the solid waste leftover when you burn coal. It often gets mixed with water and washed into a pit — an ash pond. If the base of a pond isn’t properly sealed, pollutants in the mix can make their way into groundwater.

The Environmental Protection Agency is responding to criticism that the agency is lax in enforcing regulations like the  Clean Water Act.

 


Flickr Creative Commons/momo go via Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Western states are likely to be affected most by the Trump administration's proposal to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency would no longer give special protections to thousands of miles of seasonal streams and millions of acres of wetlands that often go dry by late summer in the arid West. That would leave states to decide whether to protect such waters themselves. 

Stephanie Joyce

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced revisions on an Obama-era regulation limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. The EPA wrote that the rule discouraged new coal development by requiring unproven carbon capture technology. Wyoming Mining Association's Travis Deti said there's still a lot of uncertainty around coal, but this deregulation could help that.

The EPA is expected to announce a rollback of regulations on coal-fired power plants. Meanwhile, two new reports could cast some doubt on that decision.

Cyanide bombs largely targeting nuisance predators like coyotes can stay on public lands – for now.


President Trump has pledged to nominate the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency as it’s next permanent head, a move that some Senate Democrats have promised to oppose.

Generalized Schematic of ISR Extraction Process for Uranium
United States Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn a proposed rule that would limit contamination of groundwater from uranium mining long-term. The regulation was proposed on former President Barack Obama's last day in office.

The Environmental Protection Agency is making $20 million available for states and tribes to voluntarily test drinking water for lead at schools and childcare facilities.

Cooper McKim

Dave Hohl is a long-time resident of Pinedale, a town surrounded by oil and gas operations in western Wyoming. In 2008, Hohl went cross-country skiing and he noticed a heavy brown haze.

A gas flare, used to burn off flammable gas -- on Highway 59 from Gillette
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

The Trump administration is proposing a rule that would make it easier for oil and gas companies to release methane emissions — a potent greenhouse gas – into the air. The proposal targets an Obama-era policy pushing energy companies to fix gas leaks.

The Trump administration announced a new rule on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, called the ‘Affordable Clean Energy Rule.’ It would put regulatory power in states’ hands.

The Obama administration had previously tried to enact something called the Clean Power Plan, which was considered the country’s primary strategy for lowering emissions to meet its 2030 target under the Paris climate agreement.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Scott Pruitt may have resigned but the controversies continue. A recently disclosed collection of emails between the EPA, an oil and gas lobbyist and at least one elected official in Utah are causing concern.

A study in the journal Science says a lot more methane is leaking from oil & gas sites than previously thought -- about 60 percent more than the current estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmental Protection Agency leader Scott Pruitt made a quiet visit to Boise Tuesday, to sign a new agreement between his agency and the state of Idaho.

 


Environmental Protection Agency

Despite the concern of others, Wyoming’s congressional delegation says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been great for the state’s industries and they don’t seem too worried about all the scandals hanging over him. 

Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is helping Wyoming clean up contaminated areas for future redevelopment. Three state and local organizations will split $1.4 million. Wyoming is among 144 grantees in the competitive national process. The EPA gave out over $54 million in total.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Douglas, and the Wyoming Business Council will receive the funds. The DEQ and the Business Council are partnering to combine their grants and create a revolving loan for clean-up available to any Wyoming community. 

A new report from the American Thoracic Society shows how tightening federal air-pollution standards would pay off in better health and longer lives.

The Environmental Protection Agency just announced its plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards. That could be cause for concern in Mountain West communities with poor air quality.

Gov. Matt Mead speaking to a pro-coal rally at Gillette College prior to the official EPA listening session
Cooper McKim / Wyoming Public Radio

Hundreds of people from across the mountain west gathered Tuesday at Gillette College to discuss the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, or CPP. That’s a 2015 Obama-era rule that would force states to limit greenhouse gas emissions at power plants. Many see it as the former president’s key piece of legislation to combat climate change. In October of 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the first step towards a repeal.  

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said he’s putting new limits on which scientific studies can be factored into the nation’s environmental laws and policies. He told the conservative web site, The Daily Caller, last week that he wants more “transparency” in scientific research.

Bob Beck

The EPA’s announcement that it’s rolling back an Obama-era rule to expand regulations on the nation’s waters and streams is being cheered by Wyoming lawmakers who now are offering input on how to rewrite it.

Farmers and ranchers across Wyoming were up in arms over the regulation commonly referred to as the Waters of the U.S. rule. It would have expanded the scope of what the EPA and other federal agencies regulate, which had many fearing the government would be monitoring dry stream beds and puddles. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso praised the move.

The Trump administration’s announcement that it’s rolling back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan is being greeted with glee by energy state lawmakers. The Clean Power Plan set goals for each state to reduce their carbon emissions in an effort to get the nation to move off dirty coal in favor of natural gas and renewable fuels.

That’s why Republicans like Wyoming Senator John Barrasso are glad the new administration has scrapped the plan.

Well with holes rusted through on John Fenton's property
John Fenton

Pavillion homeowner John Fenton is questioning whether abandoned wells near his home were properly addressed to eliminate contamination. The Fremont County town has been plagued since 2008 with contaminated water from underground natural gas with citizens complaining of discolored and foul smelling water. Since then, gas-producer EnCana has worked to plug abandoned wells and pressure test them to ensure there’s no interaction between gas and water.  

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