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Budget

DPR BUDGET CHANGE EXPECTED TO IMPROVE MILL DISBURSEMENT TO CACS

The Fiscal Year 2004-05 budget changes the way the Department of Pesticide Regulation distributes money to county agriculture commissioners (CACs) for work they do in issuing restricted materials permits. The proposal only changes the way the money is distributed and does not affect the level of funding the commissioners receive. However, it is intended to streamline the disbursement process at the state level and should provide some administrative relief to the department, according to legislative and CAC sources.

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APPROPRIATORS FUND DEFENSE CLEANUP ACCOUNTS AT BUDGET REQUEST

House and Senate conferees to the fiscal year 2005 defense appropriations bill last month agreed to fund the Army and Navy's cleanup accounts at the president's request, reversing a move by the Senate to boost funding for those programs by more than $160 million each. The House and Senate approved the bill July 22.

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SENATE VIEWED AS BEST HOPE FOR RESTORING HOUSE CUTS TO EPA FY05 BUDGET

Water utilities, environmentalists and EPA officials say they are placing their hopes on the Senate to restore funding for several EPA programs, after a House subcommittee approved a fiscal year 2005 spending bill that significantly cuts many agency programs from FY04 levels.

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ACTIVISTS SEEK TO LINK SUPERFUND PERFORMANCE TO FUNDING SHORTFALLS

Environmentalists have released a report that claims EPA has failed to adequately protect human health and groundwater at all Superfund sites, in an effort to pressure the Bush administration to drop its opposition to renewing the expired taxes that once funded the program.

EPA is rejecting the report as misleading.

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House Report Language Unlikely To Solve Sewer Rule Disputes

House report language on EPA's combined sewer overflow (CSO) policy appears unlikely to clarify possible inconsistencies in the policy that have sparked disputes between regulators and wastewater industry officials over its implementation, sources on all sides of the issue say.

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Senate Targeted To Restore House Panel's Cuts To EPA FY05 Budget

EPA officials, environmentalists and water utilities say they are placing their hopes on the Senate to reverse proposed funding cuts to several EPA programs, after a House panel approved a fiscal year 2005 spending bill that would significantly reduce the agency's current funding level.

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House Subcommittee Approves Funding Cuts For EPA FY05 Budget

A key House subcommittee has cut EPA's fiscal year 2005 budget by more than $600 million from FY04 spending levels.

The House Appropriations' VA-HUD and Independent Agencies subcommittee on July 20 approved $7.8 billion for EPA in FY05, which would be a cut of $613 million from the agency's FY04 spending level. The subcommittee plan also would be a reduction of $36 million from President Bush's FY05 request, according to a summary provided by the subcommittee.

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EPA Wins White House Approval For Studying Endocrine Disruptors

EPA has won approval from White House budget officials for its endocrine disruptor programs, relieving concerns by agency officials that a low rating would result in spending cuts, government sources say.

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EPA Imposes New Cost-Benefit Reviews To Comply With OMB Guidance

EPA is expanding its internal review process for assessing pending regulations to comply with recent White House requirements for agency cost-benefit and other economic analyses, according to a recent agency memo obtained by Inside EPA.

The new process, which requires EPA's Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation (OPEI) to conduct additional reviews of regulatory cost-benefit analysis for major rules, is drawing strong criticism from officials across the agency, who expect the additional reviews to add months to the current review process.

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House Approval Of Ethanol Incentive Heightens Chance For Congressional Passage

The House's approval of an ethanol incentive as part of a massive industry tax-cut plan makes it nearly certain the provision will survive a congressional conference committee that will attempt to produce a final tax bill. A Senate-approved version of the tax bill contains an almost identical measure that would promote the use of the corn-based fuel.

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