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Litigation

EPA REJECTS INDUSTRY ARGUMENTS FOR RE-HEARING IN TOXIC TESTING CASE

EPA is defending its whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests, and a federal court's calculations used in a decision upholding the tests, in a brief submitted to the court opposing industry efforts to have the court rehear arguments concerning WET's reliability.

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Court Decision Narrows Federal Protection For Rural Water Districts

A recent federal appellate court decision could make it more difficult for rural water districts to claim federal protection from municipal water system expansion into areas previously viewed as falling within the purview of rural districts, attorneys say.

The case is a victory for municipal systems, many of which are trying to increase their customer base in order to boost revenues -- and offset the cost of replacing aging infrastructure and meeting new drinking water standards, the attorneys say.

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Industry Eyes Supreme Court Precedent In Push For Data Act Review

Industry attorneys are arguing that a 1979 Supreme Court ruling could help convince an appellate court that industry has the right to sue EPA and other government agencies under the Information Quality Act (IQA) even though the law is silent on the issue.

The industry also plans next week to cite in the litigation -- Salt Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. Tommy Thompson -- legislative language suggesting that it was Congress' intent to grant judicial review of agency decisions on corrections sought to government-disseminated information.

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Split Ruling Allows GE To Challenge EPA Enforcement Of Superfund Law

A federal judge is allowing General Electric (GE) to continue its landmark challenge to the way EPA administers a key cleanup enforcement provision of the federal Superfund law, despite also ruling for EPA that the company had failed to show the provision was unconstitutional on its face.

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In Fight Against New Exemptions, Critics Cite Pentagon's Failure To Use Existing Waivers

Opponents of Defense Department (DOD) efforts to win waivers from key environmental requirements are arguing that the military's acknowledged failure to use existing national security exemptions demonstrates that additional legislative exemptions are not needed.

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ACTIVISTS FEAR LOSS IN CHEM WEAPONS SUIT COULD LIMIT RCRA OVERFILING

A federal judge's rejection of a citizen suit seeking to shut down an Army chemical weapons incinerator in Anniston, AL, could undermine plaintiff's ability to file suit in federal court under Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) targeting state permit actions, according to sources involved in the suit.

An attorney for the plaintiffs is recommending the groups appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. But an environmentalist says the groups have not yet decided whether to mount an appeal.

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INDUSTRY CONCERNS MAY LIMIT SCOPE OF EPA PACT FOR CAFOS

EPA is meeting resistance from many sectors of the agriculture industry over its clean air and Superfund enforcement agreement for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), raising the prospect that the agreement could be less effective if these businesses decline to participate.

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HIGH COURT LETS STAND RULING ALLOWING CITIZEN SUITS AFTER STATE ACTION

In a victory for environmentalists, the Supreme Court has decided not to review an appellate ruling upholding citizens' rights to file suit against a wastewater treatment plant, even when the plant is already facing a state enforcement action.

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APPEALS RULING MAY LIMIT SUITS OVER FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES

A recent federal appellate decision finding that the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) does not contain a right to sue could complicate efforts for individuals and outside groups to challenge the actions of federal advisory panels, observers say.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled March 17 that the act does not contain a private right of action -- or right to sue -- making it the only federal circuit to have ruled on the issue.

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TRIBE EYES NOVEL SUIT THAT MAY SET PRECEDENT ON CERCLA CONSULTATION

A northeastern Native American tribe is planning a novel lawsuit seeking greater involvement in cleanup decision-making and a stricter cleanup plan at a heavily contaminated lake in upstate New York, which could set a precedent on tribal consultation requirements under Superfund, according to tribal attorneys.

In another novel lawsuit, the tribe is seeking control over territory in the state in order to demand remediation of multiple other sites the tribe maintains are on its historical tribal lands.

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