EPA overhauls permit appeals process

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“EPA yesterday finalized a rule to speed up industry permit appeals, overhauling the decades-old process at the agency.

In past decades, more states and tribes have assumed permitting authority under the law, EPA added. The final rule, the agency said, “clarifies the EAB’s scope of reviews and makes permits effective more quickly.”

The changes will establish a 60-day deadline for final decisions, with a one-time extension, according to EPA. It would also limit the availability of filing extensions and curtail the amicus process, limiting briefs to 15 pages.

But Tim Whitehouse, a former EPA attorney and current executive director at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, charged that the rule “allows for a political takeover of the independent EAB by the Administrator.””

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