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Congress

Key Congressional Leaders Pushing To Pass Coastal Water Pollution Bill

Key congressional leaders are drumming up support for an expanded beach water quality bill, which would allow states flexibility to use grants for discovering the source of particular cases of coastal pollution, with the Senate holding a hearing late last month and the House scheduling a hearing for this week.

But EPA, while not yet taking an official position in the legislation, is expressing some reservations.

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Superfund Office Fears IG Funding Boost May Drain Cleanup Resources

EPA's pending fiscal year 2008 spending bill would give the agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) a boost in funds to conduct reviews of the Superfund program, which is prompting concern from EPA waste officials who say that responding to the audits could drain vital office funds and resources.

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Hill Rebuke Of IG Staff Cuts Signals 'Lost Confidence' In Acting Official

Language in both the House and Senate versions of EPA's fiscal year 2008 spending bill requiring acting EPA Inspector General (IG) Bill Roderick to restore controversial staffing cuts he has pushed through signals lawmakers have "lost confidence" in Roderick, EPA and congressional sources say, suggesting that Roderick may not serve in the position much longer.

The language is a "real slap down" on Roderick that shows he has "lost the confidence" of Democratic lawmakers and raises questions about his future tenure at EPA, according to a key Hill Democratic source.

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Democrats Eye Stand-Alone Bill To Block Controversial EPA TRI Rules

Democratic lawmakers and activists opposed to controversial changes to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) requirements are shifting their focus away from blocking the changes via amendments to EPA's fiscal year 2008 spending bill and are instead renewing their push to pass stand-alone legislation that would achieve the same goal, sources say.

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House FY08 Funding Bill Blocks Controversial EPA Air Toxics Policy

Lawmakers have included an amendment in the recently passed House version of EPA's fiscal year 2008 spending bill that would block the agency from finalizing a controversial proposal to lower the threshold for facilities to win exemptions from strict air toxics requirements.

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Late Bulb Efficiency Deal Could Be Model For Climate Preemption Issue

An 11th-hour deal between environmentalists and industry for a light bulb efficiency standard could provide a model for how activists and industry officials resolve the thorny issue of federal preemption of state greenhouse gas (GHG) control rules, observers of the deal say.

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Bush G-8 Agreement May Aid Greenhouse Gas Provision In Defense Bill

Proponents of linking global warming and national security say President Bush's recent commitment to a new round of international climate change talks will help pave the way for lawmakers to require the Pentagon to consider the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on military operations.

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Clinton Asks GAO To Study 'Gaps' In EPA Emergency Response Plans

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a new study on EPA's ability to handle the environmental impacts of catastrophic events like the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, which could prompt new legislative and regulatory efforts to address "gaps" in the agency's emergency response authority, including its ability to address indoor air contamination.

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Despite GOP Claims, EPA FY08 Spending Bill Faces White House Veto

President Bush is threatening to veto the House version of EPA's fiscal year 2008 appropriations legislation due to the bill's "excessive" spending levels, despite suggestions from GOP lawmakers that the bill could avoid a veto because it includes significant funding for key administration priorities, such as national park funding.

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House Funding Bill Requires EPA Study Of Boiler Additive Health Risks

Amid growing concerns about potential health risks from a chemical that is increasingly being used to control emissions from power-generation boilers, the House Appropriations Committee has directed EPA to conduct a first-time assessment of the material, called trona, which has already prompted citizen complaints about adverse effects on their breathing.

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