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Congress

ACTIVISTS CRITICIZE DHS FOR OMITTING EPA CHEMICAL RISK THRESHOLDS

Activists say a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) list of chemical thresholds used to determine whether facilities are subject to its contentious security rules are far weaker than EPA's own chemical thresholds, renewing their call for EPA to take the lead on issuing strict new chemical security rules.

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SENATE FARM BILL SEEKS CAFO STUDY AS ALTERNATIVE TO SUPERFUND WAIVER

Senate agriculture committee leaders have granted a small concession to a bipartisan group of lawmakers seeking to exempt farming operations from Superfund liability by requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the pending Farm Bill to study the cost of using animal manure as a feedstock in bioenergy production.

Lawmakers who support the waiver argue that the cost of bioenergy production will be excessively high if farming operations are not exempt from Superfund liability.

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EPA BEGINS FINAL REVIEW OF E-MANIFEST WASTE RULE, SEEKS LEGISLATION

EPA is in the last stages of reviewing a final rule that would replace the current paper system for tracking waste shipments with a centralized electronic mechanism, although before the new program can be effectively implemented Congress must first pass legislation amending the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA).

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HOUSE OVERSIGHT PANEL QUERIES CONTROVERSIAL EPA PESTICIDE APPROVAL

The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee is seeking more information about EPA's controversial decision to grant a one-year approval for the pesticide iodomethane, an inquiry that could bolster environmentalist efforts to overturn the decision which has already drawn high-profile criticism from prominent scientists, activists and others.

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GOP SEEKS TO LIMIT BILL REQUIRING EPA PERCHLORATE CLEANUP LEVEL

House Republicans are hoping to scale back long-sought Democratic legislation requiring EPA to set by a date certain an enforceable cleanup level for perchlorate, the ubiquitous rocket fuel component and munitions ingredient that contaminates drinking water.

Democrats on a key House Energy & Commerce Committee panel are planning a Nov. 8 markup of H.R. 1747, a bill that would require EPA to propose a drinking water standard, known as a maximum contaminant level (MCL), for perchlorate within 12 months of enactment.

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Clinton Questions Progress Report On EPA Child Health Program

As EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson is signaling the prospect of funding cuts to EPA's children's health program, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is asking the agency to account for what she says is a lack of progress on children's health risk research and is questioning whether a new agency report highlighting the accomplishments of the children's health program in the last 10 years shows strong results.

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Waxman Accuses EPA Of Plotting Weak Power Plant CO2 Rule

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, is accusing EPA of coordinating with the White House on a plan to finalize the "weakest possible" carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for power plants at the end of next year, with the motivation to make it difficult for the next administration to move forward with stricter rules in 2009.

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Activists Fault DHS For Omitting EPA Risk Levels From Chemical Security Rule

Activists say a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) list of chemical thresholds used to determine whether facilities are subject to its contentious security rules are far weaker than EPA's own chemical thresholds, renewing their call for EPA to take the lead on issuing strict new regulations.

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GOP Seeks To Limit Democrats' Bill Requiring EPA Perchlorate Cleanup Level

House Republicans are hoping to scale back long-sought Democratic legislation requiring EPA to set by a date certain an enforceable cleanup level for perchlorate, the ubiquitous rocket fuel and munitions ingredient that contaminates drinking water.

Democrats on a key House Energy & Commerce Committee panel are planning a Nov. 8 markup of H.R. 1747, a bill that would require EPA to propose a drinking water standard, known as a maximum contaminant level (MCL), for perchlorate within 12 months of enactment.

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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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