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Federal Facilities

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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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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