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Bill May Expand EPA's Water Act Power Beyond Commerce Clause Limits

Supporters of a recently introduced House bill expanding the scope of EPA's Clean Water Act (CWA) powers appear to be seeking to protect the law from possible constitutional challenges alleging that it exceeds the scope of Congress' powers under the Constitution's Commerce Clause.

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Key Children's Health Study Moves Closer To Winning FY08 Funding Hike

A major federal study on children's health, which could provide significant data for EPA risk assessors, appears likely to win a major funding boost in the upcoming fiscal year 2008 budget, after a broad group of House lawmakers backed calls by Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) to increase funds for the study.

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House Spending Bill Seeks To Speed EPA Study On Endocrine Chemicals

Draft report language intended for the fiscal year 2008 House interior and environment appropriations bill includes several provisions aimed at speeding the pace of EPA's endocrine disruptor screening program originally mandated in federal laws passed in 1996, according to a source with Rep. James Moran (D-VA), a member of the House Appropriations environment subcommittee who has criticized EPA's efforts on the issue in the past.

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Lawmakers Seek To Broaden EPA's Role In Future GHG Regulations

Key members of Congress are introducing legislation giving EPA greater authority over tracking and managing the federal government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which could signal a clash over whether the agency or the Department of Energy (DOE) tracks emissions in any future climate change control regime.

Supporters of the bills say the legislation is intended to give EPA a significant new role in any future GHG program and also signals concerns that DOE's voluntary reporting mechanism --- known as the 1605(b) registry --- does not adequately track emissions.

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Under Pressure, EPA Extends Moratorium On Library Closures Indefinitely

EPA is assuring concerned House lawmakers that it will continue its moratorium on closing any of its technical libraries, Capitol Hill sources say, apparently in response to pressure from prominent House lawmakers who raised concerns that the closures would impair EPA's ability to conduct research and enforce environmental laws.

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House Spending Bill Creates EPA Panel On Climate Change Adaptation

House appropriators are calling for EPA to administer millions of dollars in new funding for climate change adaptation programs in a bill that would create a new scientific panel that would identify needed research on how to adjust to the effects of global warming.

The funding proposal would be part of a major increase in EPA's budget for climate change and other areas compared to the president's request, as outlined in a spending bill that a House subcommittee marked up on May 23.

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EPA Concerns Highlight Hurdles For Congress' Superfund Fix On Aviall

EPA officials and legal experts are raising concerns over a legislative proposal aimed at overturning the Supreme Court's ruling limiting liable parties' ability to recover cleanup costs from other polluters at Superfund sites, concerns that highlight the hurdles lawmakers may face should they seek a legislative fix to address the issue.

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House Bill Expanding EPA's Clean Water Powers Faces Constitutional Queries

A just-unveiled House bill expanding the scope of EPA's Clean Water Act jurisdiction is sparking debate among Senate lawmakers, industry and some conservationists who argue it could clash with the Constitution's commerce clause. H.R. 2421, introduced May 22 by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, would make all U.S. waters subject to the water law, rather than the law's current focus on "navigable" waters.

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California Waiver Bid Could Return EPA Vehicle CO2 Policies To Court

California's request for EPA to waive Clean Air Act requirements to allow the state to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vehicles appears likely to return the issue to federal court, weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency has authority to regulate the emissions.

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EPA Water Report May Spur House Action On Nonpoint Source Pollution

EPA is preparing in the coming weeks to release an eagerly awaited report to Congress detailing the quality of the nation's waters, and its findings could spur House lawmakers to ramp up pressure on the agency to impose stricter regulations on nonpoint source pollution including agricultural runoff.

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