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Congress

Power Group Warns EPA Rule May Restrict 'Flexibility' In Climate Bills

A coalition of publicly owned utilities is warning that the design of upcoming EPA regulations to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vehicles could complicate efforts in Congress to provide industry flexibility in meeting emission-reduction goals.

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EPA Will Begin Final Review Of E-Manifest Waste Rule, Seeks Legislation

EPA this week will begin the last stages of reviewing a final rule that would replace the current paper system for tracking waste shipments with a centralized electronic mechanism, although before the new program can be effectively implemented Congress must first pass legislation amending the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA).

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Pallone Eyes Bill To Boost EPA Authority On Chemical Security Rules

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is drafting chemical security legislation that would make EPA the lead authority on new security rules rather than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a move that would shift the focus of regulations away from security improvements and toward reducing risks from substances that can cause environmental harm.

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KEY LAWMAKER SEEKS RISK EXPERTS' FY09 INPUT ON EPA DISASTER RESPONSE

DURHAM, NC -- The chairman of a key House subcommittee on disaster preparedness is calling on risk and exposure assessment experts to provide recommendations to Congress on improving the ability of EPA and other federal agencies to respond to future environmental disasters, commenting that members of Congress will likely increase their oversight on the politically contentious issue next year -- and opening the door to increased spending on disaster preparedness and response research.

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STORAGE AMENDMENT CONSENSUS CLEARS PATH FOR KEY MERCURY BILL

State regulators, environmentalists and chemical and mining industry groups are collectively endorsing a House Democratic plan for the long-term storage of elemental mercury, removing a major hurdle standing in the way of House approval of a bill that would ban exports of the toxic substance.

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FOR NOW, DEMOCRATS TARGET SPECIFIC TOXICS RATHER THAN TSCA REFORM

Congressional Democrats appear to be focusing on addressing individual toxic substances and laying the ground for a more sweeping reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) some time in the future, despite suggestions when they took control of Congress that they may seek to overhaul the law and seek stringent new regulations similar to those adopted by the European Union (EU) on chemical reporting, sources close to the issue say.

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REVISED LANGUAGE IN ASBESTOS BAN BILL PROMPTS EXPOSURE CONCERNS

A little noticed but significant change to a Senate bill intended to force EPA to ban asbestos could allow industry to continue using materials capable of producing dangerous exposure levels to the known carcinogen and is prompting proponents of stricter legislation to lobby House members to adopt the Senate's original legislative language, several informed sources say.

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EPA WILL BEGIN FINAL REVIEW OF E-MANIFEST WASTE RULE, SEEKS LEGISLATION

EPA this week will begin the last stages of reviewing a final rule that would replace the current paper system for tracking waste shipments with a centralized electronic mechanism, although before the new program can be effectively implemented Congress must first pass legislation amending the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA).

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BUDGET STALEMATE MAY RESULT IN HUGE CUTS TO EPA FY08 FUNDING BILL

The escalating stalemate between Democrats in Congress and President Bush over fiscal year 2008 appropriations bills may ultimately force lawmakers to abandon their efforts to increase funding levels for EPA and other agencies above the president's request, according to congressional staffers. Because it is unlikely Democrats have the votes to override threatened vetoes, the longer the standoff continues the stronger Bush's hand is in rejecting any increase over his original request, these sources believe.

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PALLONE EYES BILL TO BOOST EPA AUTHORITY ON CHEMICAL SECURITY RULES

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is drafting chemical security legislation that would make EPA the lead authority on new security rules rather than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a move that would shift the focus of regulations away from security improvements and toward reducing risks from substances that can cause environmental harm.

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