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States Urge EPA To Push For Sufficient Funds In FY05

SALT LAKE CITY -- State environmental commissioners are urging EPA to recommend to the White House that the agency's fiscal year 2005 budget adequately fund state waste programs so that states continue to effectively implement delegated programs.

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Environmentalists Seek Senate Sponsors For House Riders To EPA Funding Bill

Environmentalists are seeking Senate sponsors for key funding and policy amendments the House attached to EPA spending legislation late last week that boost EPA enforcement and waste cleanup funding, while barring the Bush administration from implementing contentious pesticide and cost-benefit policies.

The amendments' backers say their passage shows conservatives are wary of opposing environmentalists and Democrats on several high profile green issues.

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Budget Cuts May Force Changes In EPA Process For Distributing Water Grants

The allotment formula EPA uses to distribute millions of dollars in state loans for drinking water system improvements may undergo a significant change because of the anticipated reduction in data gathered by states as a result of federal budget cuts and less assistance to states from the federal government.

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OMB Revises EPA Privatization Plan, But Fails To Quell Criticism

The Office of Management and Budget's announcement that it is dropping its controversial plan setting quotas for EPA and other agencies to open half of all jobs to private competition, replacing it with an agency-specific approach, is drawing bipartisan criticism that the administration is still arbitrarily seeking to cut the federal workforce.

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House Committee Urges EPA To Fully Fund Energy Star Conservation Program

The House Appropriations Committee has urged EPA to spend more than $50 million on its Energy Star program in the upcoming fiscal year. The committee's decision comes amid reports that EPA has cut the operating budget for the current fiscal year by as much as one-third for the highly touted program, which provides a federal seal of approval for energy-efficient consumer products.

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House Appropriators Order EPA To Seek NAS Oversight On Biomonitoring Data

House appropriators are raising concerns about EPA's use of human chemical data in developing regulations, and are directing the agency to seek assistance from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in interpreting such biomonitoring data. The committee's direction comes as industry officials are raising concerns that the increasing use of such data in tort litigation and by federal regulators will result in large damages awards and tighter environmental regulations.

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Democrats Consider Ways To Boost FY04 Superfund Appropriations

Senate Democrats are meeting to discuss ways to boost funding for EPA's Superfund program in fiscal year 2004, after EPA officials acknowledged this week that shortfalls in the program's FY03 budget have prevented them from starting remediation at 10 of 20 Superfund sites nationwide that are ready for cleanup.

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House Panel Hands EPA FY04 Funding Increase Over Bush Request

A House appropriations subcommittee has approved $8 billion for EPA's fiscal year 2004 budget, a $375 million boost above the Bush administration's funding request.

But House Democrats are blasting the amount as inadequate because they say it is still $74 million less than FY03 funding, and are vowing to restore some agency funding before the bill comes to the floor for a vote.

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Climate Change Dispute Delays Overdue EPA FY03 Operating Plan

The Bush administration is struggling to finalize EPA's operating plan for fiscal year 2003, in part, because White House officials fear proposed EPA cuts to voluntary climate programs like Energy Star could undercut administration efforts to convince critics it is making a serious effort to deal with climate change through voluntary initiatives, according to agency, congressional and other sources.

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States Seek Federal Budget Support Despite New Study's Findings

State environmental officials are using a new report on state environmental budgets to argue for continued federal support for state environmental programs, even though the report found that the federal share of environmental spending increased relative to states' own spending in fiscal year 2003.

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