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Bush Officials Claim $1 Billion Boost In New FY04 Environment Budget

Bush administration officials are touting an estimated $1 billion increase in broad federal spending on the environment in their proposed fiscal year 2004 budget, while emphasizing ongoing interagency initiatives, voluntary conservation efforts and public-private partnerships.

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Battle Lines Drawn On Environmental Amendments In Upcoming Appropriations Debate

As lawmakers are gearing up for negotiations on an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2003, a number of provisions have sparked concern among environmentalists and some state officials, including plans to impose tougher federal oversight requirements on state air quality standards and an industry-backed to allow continued uses of an internationally banned chemical that has been linked with the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer.

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EPA, Mayors Seeking Fix To Brownfields Law To Expand Cleanup Funds

EPA and the U.S. Conference of Mayors are working together to amend language in the recently enacted brownfields law they say improperly prevents parties, including numerous municipalities, from qualifying for cleanup grants because they purchased contaminated property before the law went into effect.

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Dingell Targets Whitman In Attack On Enforcement Decline

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is strongly urging EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman to avoid risking the same fate as disgraced former Administrator Anne Gorsuch and strongly boost the agency's enforcement efforts because figures for the past two years "show an extremely disturbing trend towards weaker enforcement."

As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the 1980s, Dingell led a congressional investigation that eventually forced Gorsuch and a host of other senior EPA officials to resign as a result of their efforts to limit enforcement.

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Farm State Lawmakers Seek Biodiesel Funds In Upcoming Highway Bill

Members of Congress representing farm states are hoping to rewrite the federal highway funding law to steer money aimed at cutting vehicle air emissions to the purchase of biodiesel fuels by public bus fleets and other diesel fleet operators.

Biodiesel, which some have touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional diesel fuel despite skepticism by environmentalists, is made from vegetable oils, such as soybean and grapeseed oils, so expanded use of the fuel could increases sales for farmers.

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