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Congress

BOXER CONCEDES INSUFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR REINSTATING SUPERFUND TAX

Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is conceding that she likely does not have the necessary 60 votes to support reinstating the Superfund tax, but says she is working on building support among senators and that it remains an environment panel priority this year despite her committee's crowded agenda.

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WATER SECTOR SEEKS ROLE IN SENATE CLIMATE BILL'S TRADING SCHEME

PHOENIX -- The water sector is stepping up lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill in order to win a role in a carbon cap-and-trade scheme proposed by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA), a key initiative that comes as wastewater and drinking water officials are grappling with how their industries can adapt to climate change.

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GAO REVIEW OF KEY EPA DRINKING WATER POLICIES MAY SPUR LEGISLATION

Democrats on Capitol Hill are urging the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study EPA's efforts to resolve cited problems with a host of key drinking water policy decisions linked to the agency's standards for key contaminants, in addition to the waste impacts of bottled water, a move that may spur legislative action.

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WAXMAN URGES EPA TO ABANDON CONTROVERSIAL AIR MODELING PROPOSAL

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the powerful chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, is urging EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to abandon a "rulemaking gone awry" that would make it easier to build new emissions sources near national parks and pristine wilderness areas.

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BOXER CONCEDES INSUFFICIENT SUPPORT FOR REINSTATING SUPERFUND TAX

Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is conceding that she likely does not have the necessary 60 votes to support reinstating the Superfund tax, but says she is working on building support among senators and that it remains an environment panel priority this year despite her committee's crowded agenda.

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WYNN TOUTS ENVIRONMENTAL STRENGTH IN CLOSE ELECTION PRIMARY RACE

Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD), chairman of a key House Energy & Commerce Committee panel, is touting his seniority while seeking to bolster his environmental record in his campaign to defeat a primary rival who won endorsements from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the Sierra Club.

Wynn, seeking his ninth term in Congress, is facing a tough fight in Maryland's Feb. 12 primary against Donna Edwards, a public interest attorney who came within 3 percentage points of defeating Wynn in the 2006 primary.

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DEMOCRATS MAY IGNORE BUSH'S REQUEST FOR STEEP CUTS TO EPA FY09 BUDGET

Democratic lawmakers and others are harshly criticizing President Bush's plan to cut EPA's budget by $330 million in fiscal year 2009, to $7.14 billion -- the lowest requested funding level since 1997, according to a state source -- prompting suggestions that Congress will ultimately ignore the president's budget request by funding the agency through a continuing resolution until a new administration takes office in early 2009.

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Key Democrat Moves To Halt Nuclear Waste Import For U.S. Disposal

House Science & Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) is warning that the United States should solve its domestic capacity challenges for storing low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) before increasing its imports of the material for processing and disposal.

Gordon's concern stems from efforts by the country's largest handler of a certain class of LLRW to expand disposal operations of foreign waste in the United States at a time when the lawmaker says state and local regional authorities are "rapidly approaching" their limit to store the waste.

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Lawmakers To Ask GAO To Investigate FutureGen Restructuring

The Bush administration's effort to dramatically restructure the FutureGen program is facing growing opposition on Capitol Hill, with congressional sources suggesting the Government Accountability Office (GAO) could be asked as soon as next week to begin investigating the reasons for the administration's sudden change in policy.

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Waxman Subpoena Hikes Political Stakes In EPA Waiver Denial

House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) on Feb. 8 sent a subpoena to EPA seeking unredacted copies of a 2007 staff briefing to Administrator Stephen Johnson, which reportedly argues that a decision to deny California a Clean Air Act waiver to regulate greenhouse gas emissions would stand on a flimsy legal foundation.

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