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Federal Facilities

EPA Moves To Settle DOD Challenge To Stormwater Retention Permits

EPA and the Department of Defense (DOD) have stayed a pair of closely-watched stormwater permit appeals for settlement talks, raising the possibility that the cases could be dropped before a ruling, potentially averting new precedent on whether the agency can set strict stormwater retention mandates in permits for municipal storm sewers.

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Region IX's Short-Term Limits For TCE Exposure May Guide National Policy

EPA Region IX is urging California state regulators to implement strict action levels and strengthened sampling strategies at certain Superfund sites in the San Francisco Bay area to protect against short-term exposures to the solvent trichloroethylene (TCE), measures that likely indicate how EPA will address TCE's short-term risks nationwide, according to an informed source.

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EPA Official Floats New Insurance Mandate To Limit Chemical Disaster Risks

An EPA Region IV emergency response official is suggesting that federal agencies developing plans to improve the safety and security of industrial plants craft regulations to require facility owners to model potential risks from their plants and then require them to purchase liability insurance -- with premiums correlated to risks -- that would cover damage from a catastrophic release.

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Communities Ask EPA To Ensure Protections Under Groundwater Strategy

A multitude of community and environmental groups is expressing general support for EPA's draft framework for assessing groundwater cleanup remedies, while seeking assurances the policy will be uniformly implemented, require maximum protection of public health and mandate community input in cases where cleanup goals are weakened due to technical impracticalities or other remedy failures.

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Groundwater Study At Key Nuclear Site Raises Questions About EPA Plan

New groundwater monitoring data from a high-profile Superfund site with radioactive contamination appears to show migration of the contamination, potentially giving weight to environmentalists' calls for a more comprehensive cleanup plan although EPA Region VII continues to emphasize the buried waste poses no current threat to public health and safety.

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Environmentalists Appeal Failed Efforts To Limit Use Of Lead Ammunition

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has filed appeals in two federal circuits as part of its continuing push to compel federal agencies, including EPA, to restrict the use of lead bullets, contesting district court dismissals of two cases on procedural grounds rather than on the merits.

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Camp Lejeune TCE Findings May Prompt New Drinking Water Policies

Authors of a federal epidemiological study say they found links between exposure to contaminated drinking water, particularly trichloroethylene (TCE), and birth defects at a Marine Corps base and that the findings may be used to guide future regulations on drinking water contaminants, but one outside risk assessor is disputing that the study actually shows such a link to TCE.

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States Show Initial Support For ASTM 'Greener Cleanup' Standard

State regulators are beginning to encourage the use of a just-released private-sector voluntary "greener cleanup" standard aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of remediation projects across the spectrum of state and EPA cleanup programs through the use of best management practices (BMPs) -- ahead of an expected endorsement by EPA.

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Congress' Budget Pact May Help EPA Prospects For FY14 Funding Boost

The tentative House-Senate two-year budget deal could help prospects for boosting EPA's fiscal year 2014 funding slightly over its existing $8.4 billion level, because the agreement would increase non-defense discretionary spending -- from which the agency's funds are drawn -- by more than $22 billion over existing funding levels.

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Echoing Water Sector, EPA Seeks Overhaul Of NIST's Cybersecurity Guide

EPA is urging the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to drop a controversial implementation concept from its preliminary cybersecurity framework and tighten its description of recommended functions, generally echoing a water industry critique that the proposed plan is vague and difficult to follow.

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