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Committee Clash Over Superfund Waiver Could Stall House Farm Bill

As the House Agriculture Committee prepares to begin marking up the 2007 Farm Bill, other House committees are vowing to block the bill if agriculture committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) attaches an amendment exempting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from federal Superfund law.

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Environmentalists Rally Around Boxer After Breach On Climate Change

Environmental groups are rallying around Senate environment committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) after some activists questioned her ability to move climate change legislation and many others declined her request to tamp down lobbying on the Senate's first vote this year on climate change, which posed a dilemma for the senator.

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EPA Plans Alternative Fuels Rule In Response To High Court CO2 Ruling

EPA is developing a major rule to encourage use and development of controversial high-emitting alternative fuels, such as coal-to-liquids (CTL) fuels, as part of its response to the Supreme Court's ruling granting the agency authority to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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Critics Cite EPA Data To Block Coal-To-Liquid Fuels Bills

Opponents of legislative proposals seeking to boost controversial coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuels are citing EPA data showing that producing the fuel could more than double carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to conventional gasoline.

House Democrats recently pointed to the agency's findings at a recent hearing on alternative fuels to show that CTL should not be promoted despite strong interest from coal-producing states. Senate energy committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has also cited the EPA data in his opposition to the measure.

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Environmental Justice May See Increased Attention In Wake Of EPA Report

Efforts by Democratic lawmakers and civil rights activists to force EPA to consider environmental justice concerns in its policies may see a push after findings in the agency's Report on the Environment (ROE) show minorities face extensive risks of adverse health effects due to contaminants.

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Mining Reform Could Be Battleground For Voluntary Cleanup Legislation

A recently introduced House bill reforming federal mining laws could become a battleground for controversial proposals exempting parties who voluntarily clean up abandoned mines --- known as Good Samaritans --- from environmental requirements.

Mining industry sources say they may seek to attach the Good Samaritan legislation granting broad environmental exemptions from Superfund and clean water requirements to the mining reform bill, even though environmentalists say they are only willing to consider narrowly tailored waivers.

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New EPA Concerns Over Acting IG May Intensify Democratic Scrutiny

New EPA staff concerns over apparent attempts by acting Inspector General (IG) Bill Roderick to ramp up staff buyouts, close regional IG offices and possibly scale back program evaluations could intensify already growing Democratic scrutiny of Roderick and his recent actions, sources say.

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House Panel Seek GAO Probe Of Environmental Law's Impacts On DOD

House defense authorizers are calling on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study both the impact of environmental laws on military training and readiness as well as the environmental impact of the Defense Department's (DOD) existing exemptions from aspects of environmental laws.

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Early Missteps Raise Doubts About Boxer's Leadership On Climate Change

Early legislative missteps by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee, are prompting growing concerns by environmentalists, Democrats and Republicans over her ability to lead the committee, particularly in her effort to address climate change --- her stated priority.

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Push For New Nanotech Funds Drives Debate On Regulatory Limits

Upcoming legislation to reauthorize the federal government's nanotechnology program is likely to increase spending on environmental, health and safety research, while also requiring improved coordination among EPA and other federal agencies involved in the research, congressional and other sources say.

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