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Congress

GOP Seeks To Limit Democrats' Bill Requiring EPA Perchlorate Cleanup Level

House Republicans are hoping to scale back long-sought Democratic legislation requiring EPA to set by a date certain an enforceable cleanup level for perchlorate, the ubiquitous rocket fuel and munitions ingredient that contaminates drinking water.

Democrats on a key House Energy & Commerce Committee panel are planning a Nov. 8 markup of H.R. 1747, a bill that would require EPA to propose a drinking water standard, known as a maximum contaminant level (MCL), for perchlorate within 12 months of enactment.

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As Democrats Step Up Probes, EPA Enforcement Chief Defends Record

EPA's top enforcement official is stepping up his defense of recent settlements and the longer-term track record of the agency's Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance (OECA) amid an intensifying and widening House Democratic investigation of the office.

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Senate Farm Bill Seeks CAFO Study As Alternative To Superfund Waiver

Senate agriculture committee leaders have granted a small concession to a bipartisan group of lawmakers seeking to exempt farming operations from Superfund liability by requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the pending Farm Bill to study the cost of using animal manure as a feedstock in bioenergy production.

Lawmakers who support the waiver argue that the cost of bioenergy production will be excessively high if farming operations are not exempt from Superfund liability.

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GOP PLANS ALTERNATIVE TO REQUIRING EPA PERCHLORATE CLEANUP LEVEL

House Republicans are planning to offer an alternative to long-sought Democratic legislation requiring EPA to set an enforceable drinking water standard -- which in effect is a cleanup level -- for perchlorate, a rocket fuel and munitions ingredient that proponents of the bill argue is widely prevalent in drinking water, according to an informed source.

The chemical can impair thyroid function and affect fetal development, according to EPA.

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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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