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Federal Facilities

Panel Attacks EPA's TCE Assessment But Eyes Easing Its Implementation

Members of a private sector risk assessment group reviewing EPA policy related to trichloroethylene (TCE) are criticizing the study that forms the foundation of EPA's recent Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment for TCE, while at the same time working to help regulators to protect against a key risk -- cardiac birth defects -- highlighted in the study.

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Federal Facilities Brace For Cleanup Impacts Due To Budget Sequestration

The pending budget sequester is threatening to stymie cleanup work at heavily contaminated federal facilities, potentially delaying dozens of compliance milestones at the Energy Department’s (DOE) nuclear weapons complex and hampering the Defense Department’s (DOD) environmental cleanup programs, federal sources say.

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Claims Judge Sets High Bar For U.S. Stormwater Fees, Creating Court Split

A federal claims judge has set a high bar for state and local governments to retroactively recover stormwater fees from federal agencies, rejecting a Georgia county's suit against the U.S. Postal Service on the grounds that the charges at issue are an unauthorized tax on the federal government and cannot be assessed retroactively -- contrary to a district court ruling in a similar case last year.

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Defense Law Requires Action On Military Base Exposures, Uranium Mines

Under newly enacted defense legislation, the Defense Department (DOD) is required within the next six months to issue guidance establishing criteria for public health assessments addressing environmental contamination at military bases and set procedures and actions to be taken to assess past environmental exposures to military personnel and civilians on bases.

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GOP Senators Warn EPA Perchlorate Rule Data 'Corrupts' SDWA Mandates

Two key Republican senators are criticizing EPA's scientific basis for a pending perchlorate drinking water rule, saying the review process for the data “corrupts” Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) data requirements and will lead to an excessively costly regulation, warning that EPA by law could never soften the rule after its issuance.

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DOE, Regulators Spar Over FY13 Cleanup Delays, Hinting At Bigger Battles

The Energy Department (DOE) and its regulators are battling over a small but growing number of cleanup delays at several sites due to budget constraints imposed by the fiscal year 2013 continuing resolution (CR), hinting at even bigger disputes that could arise over much larger, long-term DOE-wide cleanup budget gaps in the future.

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New EPA Guidance Aims To Make Cleanups More Efficient, Transparent

Following an analysis conducted as part of its Integrated Cleanup Initiative (ICI), EPA has updated Superfund guidance for its regional offices in an effort to quicken stalled negotiations with potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and ensure its Superfund authority is consistently applied at Superfund Alternative sites as well as sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).

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Senators Plan Legislation To Speed NEPA Reviews Of Canal Projects

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is preparing to introduce a bill to accelerate canal dredging projects, including streamlined review of the projects' environmental impacts, in order to accommodate a new class of massive vessels able to transit the widened Panama Canal.

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House GOP Unlikely To Push Major Energy Bill In 2013, Curbing RFS Reform

Biofuel advocates say senior Republican staff and members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee are signaling that legislative debate over reforming EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) is highly unlikely in 2013, saying there appears to be little interest among GOP leadership in moving a comprehensive energy bill next year.

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Marketer: Gas Boom Drives Demand For Ethanol, Making RFS Waiver Moot

Eco-energy, a large biofuel marketer, expects demand for ethanol to remain high regardless of whether EPA grants a petition from the livestock industry and others to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), due in part to refiners' need to find low-cost alternatives to profitable synthetic octanes that have been replaced by cheap shale gas byproducts.

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