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Congress

CRS SAYS EXISTING PLANTS SPARED FROM MERCURY CONTROL REVIEW

The recent appellate ruling vacating EPA's clean air mercury rule (CAMR) will likely allow environmentalists to pursue their claims for strict mercury controls at new or modified power plants but will not likely trigger a Clean Air Act provision requiring states to impose strict mercury controls at existing plants, according to a Feb. 28 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Congress' nonpartisan research arm.

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CRS SAYS CONGRESS COULD SIMPLIFY COMPLEX EPA ENFORCEMENT LAWS

A new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report identifies several areas of overlap in EPA's enforcement of environmental laws that leads to ineffective implementation of the laws, and suggests that Congress could act to resolve the issues through oversight hearings or legislative fixes.

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Senate Democrats Eye CPSC Bill For Interim EPA Perchlorate Measures

Senate Democrats are seeking to attach an amendment to a pending consumer safety bill that would force EPA to set a new health advisory level and create new drinking water monitoring rules for perchlorate as an interim measure before the agency establishes a final drinking water standard for the ubiquitous chemical.

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GAO Finds DOD Has Not 'Made The Case' For Environment Law Waivers

A draft Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by the House Armed Services Committee has found that the Defense Department has not "made the case" for winning waivers from federal clean air and waste cleanup laws, according to a DOD source familiar with the draft document.

The finding, which echoes long-standing arguments from congressional Democrats and other DOD critics, appears likely to severely dampen, if not end, the department's long-running effort to seek the waivers, which the department has argued are needed to address training and readiness concerns.

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KEY SENATORS PRESSURE EPA ON MAJOR CHILDREN'S HEALTH RISK ISSUES

Two leading Senate Democrats are stepping up pressure on EPA to back down from the agency's proposal to limit the use of more protective calculations in assessing children's cancer risks, sending two letters in a week raising children's health-related concerns and laying the groundwork for possible oversight or legislative actions later this year.

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CRS SAYS CONGRESS COULD SIMPLIFY COMPLEX EPA ENFORCEMENT LAWS

A new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report identifies several areas of overlap in EPA's enforcement of environmental laws that lead to ineffective implementation of the laws, and suggests that Congress could act to resolve the issues through oversight hearings or legislative fixes.

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FACING HILL UNCERTAINTY, CRITICS EYE SUIT AS BEST PLAN TO HALT TRI RULE

Supporters of legislation that would reverse a highly controversial EPA rule easing reporting requirements for its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program are looking to a pending lawsuit as a more effective means of pressuring the agency in the near term, given the uncertainty of legislation passing this year, sources following the issue say.

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EPA CLIMATE BILL ANALYSIS MAY OVERSTATE COSTS BY IGNORING ENERGY LAW

An upcoming EPA analysis of climate legislation by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA) may overstate the costs of achieving the measure's emission-reduction targets by not taking into account emission cuts likely to occur under a new energy law approved by Congress in December, according to agency and Senate sources.

These sources say omitting the impact of the energy law could complicate an "apples to apples" comparison of the climate bill by several federal agencies as the Senate prepares for a possible floor vote this spring.

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DRAFT GAO REPORT FINDS DOD HAS NOT 'MADE THE CASE' FOR LAW WAIVERS

A draft Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by the House Armed Services Committee has found that the Defense Department has not "made the case" for winning waivers from federal clean air and waste cleanup laws, according to a DOD source familiar with the draft document.

The finding, which echoes long-standing arguments from congressional Democrats and other DOD critics, appears likely to severely dampen, if not end, the department's long-running effort to seek the waivers, which the department has argued are needed to address training and readiness concerns.

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Governors Urge Congress To Boost State Cleanup Powers At Federal Waste Sites

Governors are urging Congress to significantly bolster state enforcement authority at Defense Department (DOD), Energy Department (DOE) and other federal waste sites, calling on lawmakers to create a new Superfund process allowing states to use their own cleanup laws to oversee federal site cleanups.

The governors are also calling to reverse DOD limits on state reimbursement for military cleanup oversight.

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