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State School Siting Law Points To Weakness In EPA Bill, Activists Say

Activists say a recently approved New Jersey law will loosen environmental requirements when siting schools, adding that the law's adoption highlights the lack of any federal jurisdiction over such decisions, despite pending legislation aimed at getting EPA to advise states on limiting school construction on polluted land.

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Bipartisan Senate Bill Puts New Pressure On EPA To Address TCE Risks

Led by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), a bipartisan group of senators is pressing EPA to quickly develop safe exposure and cleanup levels for the common Superfund contaminant trichloroethylene (TCE), shortly after EPA told a key House lawmaker it was unlikely to act quickly or aggressively to address the contaminant.

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Senate Call For Expert Panel May Aid EPA's 'Green' Infrastructure Push

In the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse, the Senate late last week passed a bill to create a national commission tasked with issuing plans for improving the nation's drinking water and wastewater systems, as well as other infrastructure needs, but amended the underlying bill to require the panel to also consider the benefits of "green" infrastructure.

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House Clean Energy Vote Hints At Future Support For Climate Bill

The House's overwhelming approval of a renewable electricity standard as part of comprehensive energy legislation appears to provide a rough guide to the level of support for comprehensive global warming legislation in the chamber, with proponents of aggressive action on global warming calling the vote a sign of growing momentum in Congress to act.

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Democrats Seek To Settle Mercury Storage Debate In Advance Of Ban

In upcoming talks, Democratic leaders on the House Energy & Commerce Committee will try to forge a consensus on the storage of elemental mercury --- including possibly tackling a long-time disagreement between industry and federal agencies --- in advance of moving a bill forward that would ban exports of the toxic substance.

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New Data May Allow EPA To Drop Strict Default Model From Vapor Guide

EPA has developed a new database of toxic vapor samples that observers say will allow the agency to drop strict default assumptions from a 2002 draft guidance for assessing whether vapors stemming from hazardous waste sites require cleanup, which industry criticized as overly conservative.

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Lieberman-Warner Plan Eyes Federal CO2 Storage Liability Protections

A newly unveiled Senate legislative proposal for a national climate program appears to tee up the most formal discussion to date within the environment committee over whether the federal government should assume liability related to underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a way to curb global warming.

The proposal appears to signal higher profile attention to --- though not resolution --- of questions about the treatment in federal climate legislation of liability issues regarding long-term CO2 storage.

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Bridge Collapse Could Spur New Focus On EPA Infrastructure Programs

The deadly collapse of a Minneapolis bridge Aug. 1 could spur a new focus on EPA's clean water and drinking water infrastructure programs as key senators are now calling for speedy passage of a bill aimed at creating a national commission to assess the need for infrastructure improvements. The bill, S. 775, introduced earlier this year by Sens.

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Senate Emerges As New Battleground For Farm Bill Environmental Measures

Environmentalists are looking to the Senate to include several measures in the upcoming Farm Bill on reducing pesticide health risks, including recordkeeping that could help researchers identify pesticide links to cancers and other illnesses, after the House defeated the measures last month.

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Water Resources Bill Draws Veto Threat Over Water, Mine Cleanup Measures

The Bush administration is threatening to veto the House-Senate conference report funding Army Corps of Engineers projects in part because lawmakers authorized funding for wastewater, drinking water and mine cleanup projects that frequently fall under EPA's purview.

The veto threat has drawn criticism from some environmentalists and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who have vowed to drum up enough votes to override the veto.

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