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Congress

Under Pressure, EPA Extends Moratorium On Library Closures Indefinitely

EPA is assuring concerned House lawmakers that it will continue its moratorium on closing any of its technical libraries, Capitol Hill sources say, apparently in response to pressure from prominent House lawmakers who raised concerns that the closures would impair EPA's ability to conduct research and enforce environmental laws.

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House Spending Bill Creates EPA Panel On Climate Change Adaptation

House appropriators are calling for EPA to administer millions of dollars in new funding for climate change adaptation programs in a bill that would create a new scientific panel that would identify needed research on how to adjust to the effects of global warming.

The funding proposal would be part of a major increase in EPA's budget for climate change and other areas compared to the president's request, as outlined in a spending bill that a House subcommittee marked up on May 23.

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EPA Concerns Highlight Hurdles For Congress' Superfund Fix On Aviall

EPA officials and legal experts are raising concerns over a legislative proposal aimed at overturning the Supreme Court's ruling limiting liable parties' ability to recover cleanup costs from other polluters at Superfund sites, concerns that highlight the hurdles lawmakers may face should they seek a legislative fix to address the issue.

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House Bill Expanding EPA's Clean Water Powers Faces Constitutional Queries

A just-unveiled House bill expanding the scope of EPA's Clean Water Act jurisdiction is sparking debate among Senate lawmakers, industry and some conservationists who argue it could clash with the Constitution's commerce clause. H.R. 2421, introduced May 22 by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, would make all U.S. waters subject to the water law, rather than the law's current focus on "navigable" waters.

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California Waiver Bid Could Return EPA Vehicle CO2 Policies To Court

California's request for EPA to waive Clean Air Act requirements to allow the state to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vehicles appears likely to return the issue to federal court, weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency has authority to regulate the emissions.

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EPA Water Report May Spur House Action On Nonpoint Source Pollution

EPA is preparing in the coming weeks to release an eagerly awaited report to Congress detailing the quality of the nation's waters, and its findings could spur House lawmakers to ramp up pressure on the agency to impose stricter regulations on nonpoint source pollution including agricultural runoff.

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House, Senate Face Farm Bill Fight Over Key Environment Program

The House Agriculture Committee's decision to eliminate new funding for a key Farm Bill environmental protection program --- in part to free up funds for programs that help farmers comply with EPA rules --- is already drawing fire from the Senate agriculture committee chairman and could signal a protracted battle over the bill.

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Senate Leader Reid's Energy Bill Sets Clash Over Vehicle GHG Emissions

Upcoming Senate consideration of Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) energy bill, which could come as soon as next month, is likely to intensify a growing congressional debate over how to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector, which contributes as much as a third of domestic GHG emissions.

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Dingell Presses EPA For Clarity On Controversial Air Toxics Policy

The House energy committee chairman is pressing EPA for more information about what the agency considers to be the consequences of its change to a policy governing pollution control requirements for industrial facilities, following the agency's own admission that the policy could lead to an increase in toxic air emissions.

At the same time, many industry and environmental groups and some states submitted comments to the agency weighing in on the policy.

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Environmentalists Eye Cleanup Alternatives To Superfund Tax Legislation

Environmentalists and some Democrats may push legislative proposals aimed at speeding up cleanups at toxic sites and ensuring that polluters are held financially responsible as alternatives to reinstating the long-expired Superfund tax, activists close to the issue say.

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