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Review Panelists Question Scope, Purpose Of EPA TCE Risk Assessment

Panelists peer reviewing EPA's draft assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE), the first such analysis produced by the agency's toxics office for its priority program for existing chemicals, are questioning the scope and purpose of the assessment, an issue that could determine the level of scientific review for this and future analyses.

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Private Sector Group Calls For EPA To Re-Analyze TCE Risk Assessment

A coalition of mostly private sector risk assessors is urging EPA to re-analyze its 2011 assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE) and its inclusion of cardiac birth defects following short-term TCE exposures, which the group considers inappropriate, and is pushing an alternate assessment that includes a range of risk values that could guide site-specific cleanups.

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Obama Plan To Weigh Climate In EPA Brownfields Grants Draws Concern

EPA plans to soon require brownfields grant applicants to consider how a proposed cleanup remedy will withstand climate change impacts such as sea-level rise, prompting concern among some lawyers who question the technical burden it may place on grant applicants and whether it will curb interest in some development projects.

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EPA Moves To Accept Updated Private-Sector Brownfields AAI Standard

EPA has announced that it plans to endorse a stringent private-sector standard for assessing contamination at brownfields sites, deeming it equivalent to the agency's due diligence requirements that are used to determine whether certain parties are exempt from cleanup liability.

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Appellate Court Finds Broad Application Of CERCLA State Preemption

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has become the second appellate court to read the Superfund law as broadly preempting state limits on when individuals can bring toxic tort claims, despite calls from the Justice Department (DOJ) for a narrow reading of the statute based in part over federal liability for exposures at a major Marine Corps base.

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CBD Vows To Appeal Rulings Blocking Suits Seeking Ban On Lead Bullets

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is continuing its push to compel EPA and other federal agencies to restrict the use of lead bullets and plans to appeal two recent federal court rulings dismissing their suits that the group says failed on procedural grounds rather than on the merits.

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Obama Plan Stays Silent On NEPA Climate Guide, Worrying Environmentalists

Despite a long list of measures to address climate change, President Obama's climate action plan is silent on whether the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) will complete long-pending guidance on how agencies should assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of federal decisions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), prompting concern from environmentalists that the administration may abandon the effort.

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Industry Criticizes Review Process For First In Series Of TSCA Assessments

Industry is broadening its criticism of the peer review process EPA has undertaken for its assessments of dozens of existing chemicals for possible regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), arguing that agency charge questions that will guide the first of those peer reviews fail to follow Information Quality Act (IQA) guidelines and recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

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Group Seeks Stronger Oversight At Hanford After EPA Criticizes State Action

An environmental group is calling on Washington state regulators to strengthen their oversight of the Energy Department's (DOE) Hanford nuclear waste cleanup site, after releasing a recent EPA Region X audit that in part found significant lapses in inspections the state was supposed to conduct at the massive complex.

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Facing Legal Concern, Vitter Seeks To Clarify TSCA Bill's Tort Preemption

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has developed language to clarify a provision in the bipartisan Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill that some lawyers and others have charged limits the ability of private plaintiffs to bring toxic tort claims in state courts for harms caused by chemicals that EPA has deemed to be safe.

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