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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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Seeing Opportunity, ACC Seeks House Vote On TSCA Reform Bill In 2014

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is pressing House lawmakers to bring legislation reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to the floor for a vote in 2014, saying the group believes there is an "opportunity" to get a bill enacted before next November's election, though some warn there is only a narrow window for lawmakers to act.

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Industry Fears Novel EPA Analysis Of Dermal Risks Will Drive PAH Cleanups

A host of major industry groups is pressing EPA to re-do the risk estimates in its draft Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessment of benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), the index chemical EPA is using to measure risks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and to "abandon" its effort to create a first-time dermal risk estimate, arguing that it would lead to a "staggering" increase in the number and scale of contaminated site cleanups.

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Divided Court Weighs Reach Of Water Act's 'Shield' For General Permits

A divided appellate panel is weighing arguments in a closely watched case that could narrow the “permit shield” that protects dischargers from citizen suits when they operate under a Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit, but the judges reviewing the suit appeared split during oral arguments, signaling the possibility of further appeals.

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Communities Blast Rule Limiting DOE Post-Transfer Cleanup Guarantees

A national group representing local governments in communities surrounding Energy Department (DOE) facilities is panning a new land transfer rule that the group says narrows the indemnification for communities that acquire DOE land when contamination is discovered on the site post-transfer and the community is sued by a third party.

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House Hearing Airs New Concerns On TSCA Bill But May Focus Talks

The recent House hearing on the bipartisan Senate bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has highlighted new concerns from EPA and others that will require reforms to some of the bill's key provisions, though industry sources that may be opposed to any changes are nevertheless welcoming the effort, saying it could help focus stalled talks on the bill between Senate leaders.

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Advisors Press EPA To Consider Non-Chemical Stressors In Assessments

EPA's children's health advisors are close to formally urging the agency to more holistically consider risks by broadly accounting for non-chemical stressors, such as income, housing and education levels, in cumulative risk assessments (CRA), issues that have long complicated officials' efforts to adopt guidance for how to perform such assessments.

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Industry Urges High Court To Overturn CERCLA State Preemption Ruling

A company allegedly responsible for contaminating drinking water wells in a North Carolina community is urging the Supreme Court to overturn an appellate ruling that found the Superfund law broadly preempts state limits on when plaintiffs can bring toxic tort claims, arguing the ruling deepened a split in lower courts and raises federalism questions.

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