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The Flint, MI, drinking water crisis is spurring new dialogue between water industry groups and lawmakers about water utilities' longstanding fiscal and policy priorities such as affordability, the value of water and funds to repair aging water infrastructure systems -- issues that are likely to be a major part of the debate over EPA's imminent fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, water industry sources say.

EPA has finalized, largely unchanged, a rule to allow three categories of materials to be burned as fuel without triggering stringent hazardous waste combustion emissions requirements, rejecting an industry push to expand the types of preservative-treated railroads covered by the rule.

Environmentalists are citing Canada's recent decision to stop conditionally registering pesticides in reiterating their calls for EPA to end its own conditional registration process, which advocates have long argued is a regulatory "loophole" that allows harmful pesticides on the market without adequate data or review.

EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) will hear oral argument next week in a novel Clean Water Act (CWA) permit challenge that could set new standards for how regulators must justify discharge limits on nutrients and test the agency's deference on crafting such permits, though EPA claims the challenge has major factual errors.

EPA scientists and risk assessors are weighing the complexities of exposure assessments and seeking to overcome research gaps and needs in addressing the complicated issue, an effort that stems in part from the challenges the agency faced in recent risk reviews where chronic risk estimates were based on developmental endpoints.

EPA is citing the lack of a national Clean Water Act (CWA) policy on restricting “blending” of partially and fully treated wastewater in wet weather events as a central argument in its bid for an appellate court to reject a lawsuit that claims two agency letters from 2014 show EPA is trying to limit the scope of an adverse ruling on the issue.