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CRS Says Regulatory Uncertainty Could Hinder 'Nano' Competitiveness

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) says a lack of certainty on rules aimed at ensuring nanotechnology products do not adversely impact environmental health and safety (EHS) could hinder U.S. competitiveness in the emerging sector, which could put pressure on EPA to move several stalled rules on nanomaterials.

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DOD Rejects GAO Advice To Better Address Past Exposures At Bases

The Defense Department (DOD) is dismissing calls from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to better identify and possibly address potential health risks from past toxic exposures at military bases, according to a just-released GAO report, despite concerns that DOD is not adequately responding to past exposures at Camp Lejeune, NC, and other bases.

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Activists Sue Over ‘Quiet’ EPA Extension Of Contested PM NAAQS Guide

Environmentalists are suing EPA for its “quiet” extension of a guidance first issued by the Bush administration in 2007 on how states should implement the agency’s particulate matter (PM) ambient air standards, claiming EPA violated procedural requirements in its extension of a guide that activists are already contesting in a separate suit.

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EPA Said To Float Strict Dioxin Site Cleanup Goal Based On New Risk Study

Based on its recently released non-cancer risk assessment of dioxin, EPA scientists are said to have calculated a strict new health goal of 50 parts per trillion (ppt) for use in determining cleanup levels for the ubiquitous contaminant in soil -- a limit that could pressure several major industrial states to strengthen their current cleanup requirements.

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White House Opposes GOP's NEPA Reform Bill, Warning Of Suits, Delays

The White House is raising serious concerns with a House bill intended to speed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process and related federal permits for construction projects, charging it will lead to confusion, litigation and more delays in the approval process, while undercutting public participation.

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Virginia Retreats On Stricter Bay Pollutant Reductions For Federal Facilities

Virginia regulators have pulled back on their demands that the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal agencies meet water pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay watershed that are stricter than local government agencies, following pressure from the military, which argued the Clean Water Act (CWA) does not allow regulators to hold federal facilities to stricter standards than other entities.

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U.S. Fights Cities' Bid To Require Retroactive Payment Of Stormwater Fees

The Justice Department (DOJ) is arguing that a 2011 Clean Water Act (CWA) amendment requiring federal facilities to pay local stormwater fees does not require payments retroactively, charging in the first test of the legislation that Congress only provided for a narrow waiver of sovereign immunity for assessing such fees prospectively and did not provide explicit language requiring payments retroactively.

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Perchlorate Industry Urges EPA To Submit Cost-Benefit Analysis To SAB

The makers and users of the rocket fuel ingredient perchlorate are urging EPA to submit not only its draft health effects document to the agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB) for review, but also a draft cost-benefit analysis of promulgating a federal drinking water standard for the chemical.

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Activists Resist DOD Bid To Block EPA Policy Changes During Cleanups

Environmentalists are pushing back against Defense Department (DOD) efforts to prevent EPA from revising remedial requirements midway through cleanups and are seeking a role in talks between the two agencies as they weigh how to address DOD concerns that new EPA risk assessments and policy interpretations are driving stricter cleanups.

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EPA's Draft Petroleum Vapor Guide Expected To Curtail Investigations

EPA has floated a draft guidance for assessing and remediating risks of vapor intrusion caused by petroleum leaks stemming from underground storage tanks (USTs), a document that uses a less conservative approach than a widely used screening model which is expected to result in fewer investigations than states and industry currently conduct.

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