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As EPA Talks Fail, Activists Will Urge Congress To Tighten Fluoride Limits

Environmentalists and health experts are planning to step up an anti-fluoride campaign by urging Congress to draft legislation tightening EPA's contaminant limits for fluoride in drinking water after their private talks with EPA late last year failed to yield an agreement on stricter standards.

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The Air Force's commitment to protecting its bases from encroachment by development is being called into question by two Colorado senators facing problems keeping military installations in their state free from urban sprawl.

Sens. Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) wrote to Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne on Aug. 2, demanding to know why, in their view, the Air Force has not taken full advantage of DOD's anti-encroachment program known as the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) as the other armed services have done.

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Bipartisan Bill Aims To Restore CWA Waiver For Recreational Vessels

Key House lawmakers from both parties are backing legislation that would codify an EPA exemption for recreational boats from certain Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements, after a federal district court ruled EPA did not have the authority to make such an exemption and must begin issuing discharge permits by September 2008.

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Democrats Launch Investigation Into EPA Cuts In Criminal Agent Force

House Democrats are investigating EPA's ongoing reductions of staff in its criminal enforcement division amid claims that the agency is bound by a 1990 law to employ at least 200 agents, and as EPA's top enforcement official says the agency is reviewing whether the statute still applies.

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Activists Look To Reid To Boost Chances For Mining Reform, Cleanup Bill

Environmentalists and key Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee are looking to keep Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) closely involved in early discussions on a mining reform and cleanup bill the House is currently considering in the hopes that the senator -- who hails from a key mining state -- will be able to broker a deal on the difficult to resolve issue.

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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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