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DOD Plans To Reprioritize FUDS Cleanups In Light Of FY13 Budget Cuts

A Pentagon official says a proposed 15 percent cut to the Defense Department's (DOD) fiscal year 2013 cleanup budget for Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS), a program long criticized for having a backlog of cleanups, will force DOD to reprioritize work at the sites, though sources say funds remaining from past years will limit slowdowns.

The planned cuts to the FUDS program -- one of several DOD cleanup programs facing cuts in FY13 -- are prompting state environmental organizations to consider urging Congress to provide "adequate" funds for the program, a state source says.

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EPA Withdrawal Of Dioxin Remediation Goals Creates Cleanup Uncertainty

EPA’s decision to scrap its interim remediation goals for dioxin-contaminated sites is creating major uncertainty over how the agency will determine cleanup standards for the sites, sources say, because EPA says it will make decisions using its new dioxin risk assessment -- even though the agency has yet to release a key portion of that study.

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DOJ Asks Congress To Reinstate Broad FOIA Waiver After High Court Loss

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is urging Congress to reinstate a broadly construed exemption from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that had allowed agencies to withhold environmental and other data that could be used to circumvent legal requirements, an exemption that the high court significantly pared back in a landmark ruling last year.

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DOE Will Seek State Regulators' Approval To Slow Cleanups After FY13

Budget constraints hitting the Department of Energy (DOE) will force it in the next several months to pursue talks with state regulators to stretch out time lines under enforceable agreements for accomplishing its nuclear waste cleanups in fiscal year 2014 and beyond. A top DOE official says the department will lack the funds to meet existing, enforceable cleanup milestones after FY13.

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County Resists DOJ Bid To Prevent Novel Revision Of 'Flawed' Cleanup Pact

A California county is urging a federal appellate court to reject Department of Justice (DOJ) efforts to reverse a precedent-setting lower court ruling that allowed the county to renegotiate its Superfund cleanup agreement with another liable party, saying the pact amounts to a contract that can be revised when it contains design and other flaws.

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Advocates Renew Bid To Tighten EPA E-Waste Rules In Wake Of GAO Study

Recyclers, environmentalists, and other advocates are intensifying their push for legislation strengthening EPA's oversight of electronic wastes (e-waste) in order to remedy concerns the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in the administration's programs to manage federal e-waste -- one of the largest sources of the waste.

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States Affirm Calls For More Defined EPA Role, Limited CERCLA Immunity

AUSTIN, TX -- State regulators are updating their long-standing positions that EPA should play a limited "oversight and funding support" role when states are implementing federal programs, while also saying that Congress should pass legislation waiving federal sovereign immunity to ease states' ability to pursue Superfund cleanups at federal facilities.

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States Warn EPA Designation Plan Will Prevent Ozone NAAQS Attainment

Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states are warning that EPA's plan to designate much of the country in "marginal" nonattainment of the agency's 2008 ozone standard will prevent them from meeting the standard, as it sets impossible deadlines for cutting ozone and would not reduce ozone in Western states that hinders air quality in the East.

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EPA Guide On PCB Ship Waste May Not Quell Concerns On MARAD Policy

EPA is crafting guidance to advise ship owners on how to comply with its rules governing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) before exporting ships for scrapping but the guide may not quell concerns that a 2011 Maritime Administration (MARAD) policy allowing owners to self-certify removal of PCBs circumvents EPA's toxics law authority.

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Despite Concerns, White House Backs EPA's RFS, Drop-In Biofuels

The White House is voicing new support for EPA's renewable fuel standard (RFS) and a multi-agency effort to develop “drop-in” fuels to advance energy independence and clean energy goals -- even as some on Capitol Hill clamor to dismantle the RFS program and environmental groups oppose recent EPA feedstock approvals for drop-in fuels.

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