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Groups Target Bush Hydrogen Car Plan Among Wasteful Programs

A coalition of environmental and tax reform advocates is calling the Department of Energy's hydrogen car initiative one of the most wasteful government programs. The $1.2 billion initiative announced by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in January 2002 was designed to replace a Clinton-era program the coalition also criticized.

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Water Treatment Industry Fights EPA Push For Better Asset Management

EPA water chief Tracy Mehan and water treatment industry officials are squaring off over Mehan's push to require treatment facilities seeking federal infrastructure loans to adopt techniques to better manage assets, which the utilities say will be expensive to implement and demonstrate even greater future funding needs that utilities are unable to address.

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Budget Blueprint Cuts Leave Water Infrastructure Funding In Doubt

Drinking water sources say that a recent decision by Congress to cut a proposed amendment to the budget resolution that would have provided a $3.5 billion increase to water infrastructure funding will leave any legislation this year authorizing additional funding for infrastructure unfunded for at least a year.

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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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