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Senators Launch New Effort To Clarify TSCA Bill's Preemption Provisions

Senate supporters of a bipartisan bill reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are weighing several proposed amendments that they hope will eventually address concerns from Senate environment committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and other opponents who fear the current bill language will severely limit state toxics programs.

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Key Court Appears Open To Subjecting CWA Jurisdiction Findings To Review

A key appeals court at recent oral arguments seemed receptive to industry claims that agency determinations that waterbodies are subject to Clean Water Act (CWA) regulation are reviewable -- a step that courts have long refused to take, but which the circuits have yet to address in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in Sackett v. EPA when it opened some pre-enforcement regulatory determinations to judicial review.

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EPA Crafting Long-Sought PFC Screening Levels For Hazardous Waste Sites

EPA's waste office is crafting first-time technical guidance to be used at sites contaminated by two of the most common perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), a document that will eventually provide long-sought soil and drinking water screening values for regulators struggling to set cleanup levels for the ubiquitous but unregulated compounds.

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Planned New Jersey Suit Puts New Pressure On Regulators To Limit PFCs

A New Jersey municipality is is planning to sue a chemical manufacturer to cleanup perfluorochemicals (PFCs) that have contaminated public drinking water wells there, adding to growing pressure on state and federal regulators to set regulatory standards for the currently unregulated class of persistent and toxic chemicals.

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As Court Weighs Suit, Industry Fears EPA Stormwater Permit Limits 'Shield'

As a federal appellate court weighs whether dischargers covered by general permits are protected from citizen suits by the Clean Water Act's (CWA) “permit shield,” mining and other industry groups are raising concerns that EPA's proposed general permit for stormwater discharges from industrial sites may not provide them with an adequate shield.

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States Publish Broad Plan To Assess Alternatives To Toxic Chemicals

A group of eight states has published a framework for how to conduct assessments of alternatives to chemicals of concern, though the states' effort could make it more difficult for lawmakers and industry groups seeking to preempt state chemical control programs in pending legislation reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

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California Eyes Late 2014 For Key Green Chemistry 'Alternatives' Guidance

California toxics department officials say it will likely take until late 2014 to develop the key chemical "alternatives assessment" guidance document integral to the implementation of the state's pioneering green chemistry program, which requires companies to perform analyses to find less toxic alternatives to chemicals the state deems of concern.

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Industry Urges EPA To Expand Use Of Cleanup Waivers In Groundwater Plan

Industry groups say EPA's draft groundwater remedy completion strategy falls far short of recognizing and addressing the technical and cost impracticalities of cleaning up many groundwater contamination sites, and urge the agency to expand the use of technical impracticability (TI) waivers from cleanup standards when addressing the sites.

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OMB Said To Seek EPA Clarity On When Waters Have 'Significant' Nexus

White House budget officials are reportedly asking EPA to clarify whether the "significance" of a connection, or nexus, between smaller waterbodies and larger downstream waters marks a technical or policy issue -- echoing questions raised by industry and EPA advisers who fear the agency may not be adequately weighing the issue as it works to clarify the reach of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Case Testing Scope Of CERCLA Preemption

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a case that will test the scope of language in the Superfund law on preemption of state limits on when plaintiffs can file toxic tort claims, with industry seeking a narrow reading of the law to try and block such claims, while those pursuing such claims are seeking a broader reading.

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