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Dispute Leaves Yucca Nuclear Waste Site Facing Major Funding Cut

Disagreement between the Bush administration and Congress over the budgeting process for the Yucca Mountain project is likely to result in a major funding reduction for the planned nuclear waste disposal site in fiscal year 2005, according to industry, congressional and administration officials.

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EPA Science Advisers Urge Shift In Drinking Water Research Funding

EPA science advisers are urging the agency to shift its drinking water research focus from long-standing concerns about arsenic exposure and disinfection byproducts to other emerging issues, such as the development of a list of potential contaminants, the protection of watershed areas and upgrades in water distribution systems.

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Democrats Charge Administration Plans $150 Million Cut To EPA's FY06 Budget

House Democrats are citing a recently issued White House guidance to charge that the Bush administration plans to slash EPA's fiscal year 2006 budget $150 million from spending levels the administration requested for the agency in FY05. The charge comes as EPA officials have begun meeting to develop the agency's proposed FY06 budget request. Agencies generally submit their proposed budgets to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shortly after Labor Day.

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Draft Senate GOP Bill Proposes Funding Hike For Water Treatment Loans

Senate Republican staff are circulating draft legislation that would boost funding for the clean water and drinking water revolving loan funds and impose new management requirements on utility operators.

But the draft bill is silent on federal wage requirements and funding allocation provisions that key senators say have stalled bipartisan negotiations on the bill.

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House Committee Rejects Senate Plan To Double Water Infrastructure Spending

House lawmakers appear unlikely to back Senate efforts to more than double current spending on wastewater and drinking water infrastructure maintenance and improvements, despite lobbying efforts by a broad coalition of environmentalists and water utility officials.

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EPA Officials Question Reform Plan For Superfund Oversight

EPA officials say scarce enforcement resources may make it difficult to implement a key staff recommendation that the agency's enforcement office replace regional program offices in overseeing Superfund cleanups at the 70 percent of sites where polluters conduct remediation.

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EPA Program Offices Warn Security Directives Sap Environmental Efforts

EPA program officials are warning that, without increased funding, White House counter-terror directives will have "serious consequences for our environmental programs," according to an internal agency budget document on agency security activities obtained by Inside EPA.

The document, dated April 30, was prepared for a recent briefing with agency Acting Deputy Administrator Stephen Johnson and describes the agency's fiscal year 2006 security goals under various budget scenarios.

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Budget Woes Threaten Proposed Overhaul Of EPA Criminal Investigations Office

Budget shortfalls within EPA's criminal investigative division have thrown into doubt the adoption of an internal plan for overhauling the program that was prepared in response to allegations of broad mismanagement of the agency's investigators, according to EPA agents.

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EPA Struggles To Show Cleanup 'Outcomes' For OMB Budget Reviews

EPA is struggling to develop an "outcome-based" approach to measuring the success of cleanup programs, in advance of White House reviews that may prompt budget cuts if the agency cannot demonstrate environmental, human health and economic benefits from the programs, top waste officials say.

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EPA Cites New Study To Justify Request For Superfund Budget Increase

In an effort to justify funding increases, EPA is planning to highlight preliminary findings by a university economist that Superfund site cleanups provide significant real estate and public health benefits.

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