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Congress

Key EPA Official Cautions Against Restrictions In Water Resources Bill

EPA water chief Benjamin Grumbles is cautioning against specific legislative language that would impose limits on diversions of water from the Great Lakes in a bill creating a presidential commission to assess the nation's water resources, saying that existing law already gives governors from Great Lakes states the ability to block such diversions.

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Lawmakers Use New Biomonitoring Report To Push For TSCA Reform

Prominent lawmakers are citing a new biomonitoring report, which found toxic chemicals in blood and urine samples of people around the country, to argue for revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) -- saying the report shows that the existing law governing chemical safety is inadequate to protect human health.

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Democrats Press DHS To Justify Environmental Waivers For Border Fence

In a move that could embolden a court challenge by environmentalists, key House Democrats are seeking to force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to justify its recent decision to waive a slew of environmental laws in order to make way for a controversial immigration control fence on the U.S.-Mexico border. In a Nov.

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DEMOCRATS PUSH PERCHLORATE BILL DESPITE GOP LITIGATION CONCERNS

House Democrats are pushing forward with legislation that would force EPA to set an enforceable drinking water standard for the ubiquitous rocket fuel ingredient perchlorate despite House Republicans' concerns that passage of the bill could lead to contentious litigation.

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HOUSE AMENDS BEACH ACT PROVISIONS FOR EPA-REQUESTED FLEXIBILITY

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee has passed a reauthorization of the Beaches Environmental Assessment & Coastal Health (BEACH) Act that increases funding for protecting coastal recreational water quality, while at the same time modifying requirements on determining the source of pollution to address EPA concerns.

The committee action comes as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has released a study criticizing coastal cleanup efforts as too disjointed and funded in piecemeal efforts by disconnected agencies.

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EPA WATER CHIEF CAUTIONS AGAINST RESTRICTIONS IN WATER RESOURCES BILL

EPA water chief Benjamin Grumbles is cautioning against specific legislative language that would impose limits on diversions of water from the Great Lakes in a bill creating a presidential commission to assess the nation's water resources, saying that existing law already gives governors from Great Lakes states the ability to block such diversions.

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EPA IG FY08 PLAN MAY SIGNAL SHIFT IN PRIORITY BACK TO PROGRAM REVIEWS

The EPA inspector general's (IG) just-released annual plan for fiscal year 2008, which outlines the office's priorities, may signal a partial retreat from the IG's controversial audit focus back to conducting broad programmatic reviews, according to agency staff, who are also lauding a separate plan to hire new IG staff to boost manpower for such reviews.

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STATES FAULT EPA PUSH TO BOOST REGIONS' FUNDS IN FY08 SPENDING BILL

State environmental officials are criticizing a new EPA push to boost funding for an obscure regional agency program at the same time the administration is seeking major cuts to the agency's state and tribal assistance grant (STAG) account that states use to fund core environmental work.

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BUDGET STALEMATE MAY RESULT IN HUGE CUTS TO EPA FY08 FUNDING BILL

The escalating stalemate between Democrats in Congress and President Bush over fiscal year 2008 appropriations bills may ultimately force lawmakers to abandon their efforts to increase funding levels for EPA and other agencies above the president's request, according to congressional staffers.

Because it is unlikely Democrats have the votes to override threatened vetoes, the longer the standoff continues, the stronger Bush's hand is in rejecting any increase over his original request, these sources believe.

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AS DEMOCRATS STEP UP PROBES, EPA ENFORCEMENT CHIEF DEFENDS RECORD

EPA's top enforcement official is stepping up his defense of recent settlements and the longer-term track record of the agency's Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance (OECA) amid an intensifying and widening House Democratic investigation of the office.

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