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Drinking Water Officials Seek Security Funding On Capitol Hill

Drinking water utilities have made significant progress in implementing post-Sept. 11 security measures, but substantial money is needed for systems to continue improving safeguards against terror attacks, according to a new American Water Works Association (AWWA) report. The water systems are using the report to seek increased federal security funding on Capitol Hill this week. The report shows "an incredible mobilization in a short period of time, and a change in attitude and culture," says an AWWA source.

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House Bipartisan Group Seeks To Reverse Bush Renewable Energy Funding Cut

House members of a bipartisan caucus of renewable energy advocates are criticizing the Bush administration's proposed funding cuts for clean-energy and efficiency projects at the Department of Energy, stressing the need for long-term solutions to reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

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EPA Weighs Costs In New Superfund Listings To Address Budget Woes

Despite strong state opposition, EPA's most recent round of Superfund listing decisions -- set to be promulgated next week -- is for the first time based on considerations of how much the cleanups will cost, among several other factors, in an effort to address the program's budget woes, according to EPA sources.

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Diesel, Natural Gas Interests Compete For Clean Bus Funding

Natural gas interests and diesel engine makers are competing over potential federal funds to replace and retrofit older school buses, with the Senate energy bill emerging as a battleground over which industry segment will benefit from federal efforts to sharply reduce school bus pollution in coming years.

The battle comes as EPA is launching an effort to encourage eventual retrofit and replacement of virtually the entire school bus fleet nationwide, and EPA is publicly steering clear of indicating a preference for which sector should supply the new equipment.

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EPA Eyes Regulatory Flexibility To Ease State Budget Crunch

EPA has launched an internal review to determine ways to ease the impact of current fiscal crises around the country on state environmental agencies, with the review focusing heavily on options such as increased flexibility rather than more federal funding.

EPA Deputy Administrator Linda Fisher told Inside EPA, "We are trying to look state by state," to assess the current fiscal problems facing states and determine possible solutions.

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Environmentalists Say War Funding Amendment Signals NEPA Assault

A little-noticed provision on cattle grazing in a wartime supplemental appropriations bill has sparked outcry from environmentalists who say the plan represents a broader GOP push to ease requirements for environmental impact reviews.

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EPA Eyes Multi-Year Strategy To Ease Superfund Budget Woes

EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is developing a multi-year Superfund cleanup planning and funding strategy in an effort to address the program's budget constraints. Sources say dwindling funds have already contributed to cleanup delays at a number of waste sites, including the highly publicized cleanup effort for New York's Hudson River.

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Senate Rejects Superfund Tax Renewal

The Senate has soundly defeated an effort by a largely Democratic coalition to reauthorize the Superfund taxes as part of a fiscal year 2004 budget resolution. But the sponsors of the renewed tax say they will continue to push for passage.

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Senate Adds $3.5 Billion To Bush Clean Water Loan Funding Request

The Senate has added $3.5 billion to the administration's request for funding EPA's state revolving loan fund (SRF) programs, approving a total of $5.2 billion for the programs. The efforts come as the Senate is considering a non-binding congressional blueprint for fiscal year 2004, and may foreshadow budget battles in the upcoming months as Congress works to complete appropriations legislation by this fall.

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White House Seeks To Reform Budget Process For Waste Cleanups

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is drafting legislation that would drastically alter the way the government budgets for future hazardous waste cleanups by requiring that cleanup funds be set aside at the time that federal agencies procure assets that generate such waste.

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