Industry groups representing companies such as DowDuPont Inc., Chevron Corp., and Exxon Mobil Corp. in federal court could have a stronger hand now that the EPA has relaxed safety provisions for U.S. chemical facilities.

Judges are weighing if the Environmental Protecting Agency improperly held up an Obama administration update to its risk management program rules, which required companies handling large volumes of toxic substances to report information to the agency, local communities, and first responders.