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Litigation

INDUSTRY FEARS SWEEPING IMPACT FROM TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTION SUIT

U.S. industry groups are urging a federal appeals court to overturn a recent district court ruling that found federal Superfund law can apply to transboundary contamination, saying the decision could prompt widespread retaliation against U.S. companies by a host of foreign governments over air and water pollution that crosses international borders.

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CAL/EPA UNVEILS NOVEL EJ PILOTS, NEW DEFINITIONS FOR DISPUTED TERMS

Newly proposed Cal/EPA environmental justice (EJ) pilot projects for the pesticides department, water board and toxics department are focused on improving children's health and set out to establish novel programs to be implemented in various regions in the state.

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CRITICS SAY WATER BOARD ENFORCEMENT SUFFERS FROM SOURCE 'CODDLING'

Some water board staff and environmentalists say local and state regulators must be much firmer with dischargers who violate permit conditions to achieve any significant enforcement improvements sought by Cal/EPA management. Regional water boards are not issuing straightforward and timely notices of violation (NOVs), mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) or more serious enforcement actions when permits have clearly been violated, and some of the problems stem from management's preference that dischargers be "worked with," rather than directly penalized, sources said.

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ACTIVISTS' SUIT ACCUSES DPR OF VIOLATING TOXIC AIR CONTAMINANT ACT

Environmentalists are suing the pesticides department, alleging it has not submitted nearly enough chemicals for consideration as toxic air contaminants (TACs) and has failed to develop regulatory controls for the few chemicals it has sent through the TAC process. Environmentalists also allege in the suit that a new risk assessment process developed by the department is an underground regulation that should be set aside.

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Court Ruling May Spur New Lawsuits Over Water Permits For Pesticide Spraying

A recent federal district court ruling could prompt a new round of litigation seeking to force EPA to issue clean water permits for pesticide use because the court declined to require the agency to declare such permits are required. The controversy centers on an upcoming EPA guidance that is expected to say water permits for pesticide spraying are not necessary. A Jan. 4 ruling by the U.S.

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Industry Fears Sweeping Impact From Transboundary Pollution Suit

U.S. industry groups are urging a federal appeals court to overturn the recent district court ruling that found federal Superfund law can apply to transboundary contamination, saying the decision could prompt widespread retaliation against U.S. companies by a host of foreign governments over air and water pollution that crosses international borders.

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Key Utility Lawyer Suggests 'Global Settlement' To Resolve NSR Suits

A key industry lawyer is suggesting that EPA, states, utilities, environmentalists and others involved in ongoing new source review (NSR) lawsuits may need to enter "global settlement" talks to resolve the litigation in exchange for the industry agreeing to implement standards contained in the agency's pending Clear Air Interstate Rule (CAIR).

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APPEALS COURT BACKS EPA APPLICATION OF SUPERFUND LISTING PROCESS

A key federal appeals court has upheld EPA's application of the process used to determine whether hazardous waste sites should be placed on Superfund's National Priorities List (NPL), agreeing that agency regulations require it to consider the exposure pathway that poses the greatest risk to human health and the environment, even if that pathway is not present at the site.

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RESIDENTS' DIOXIN TORT LAWSUIT MAY PROMPT EPA-MONITORED CLEANUP

A lawsuit alleging widespread dioxin contamination near a closed Pharmacia Corp. chemical plant raises the prospect of a massive cleanup that could prompt EPA oversight even though the agency has no legal obligation to act, according to agency officials and sources involved in the suit. The case could demonstrate whether a class action lawsuit can force a federal cleanup response.

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NEW JERSEY CLEANUP MAY TEST NEW STRATEGY FOR COST CONTRIBUTION SUITS

New Jersey officials' efforts to require liable parties to remediate a former military ordnance-making site could test whether settling plaintiffs can use an alternative provision of Superfund law to recover cleanup costs after the Supreme Court limited the more widely used part of the law in its Aviall ruling.

The case could test whether administrative settlements are sufficient to meet requirements in alternative sections of the law for settling plaintiffs to bring contribution suits against non-compliant parties.

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