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Litigation

REPORT MAY BOLSTER PUSH TO RESTRICT STATE USE OF PRIVATE LAWYERS

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce report could bolster efforts to pass new state laws that would increase scrutiny of the relationship between state attorneys general and private lawyers in filing lawsuits, including environmental cases. The industry group argues that state's use of private lawyers creates an inappropriate incentive to pursue unnecessary lawsuits, and legal experts say the study could prompt a renewal of efforts to restrict such arrangements.

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NEW CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT OFFICE POLICY TO ADDRESS EEO COMPLAINTS

EPA's criminal enforcement chief Peter Murtha will soon issue a new policy on hiring, promotions and staff transfers to address Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints and longstanding concerns -- which were highlighted in a recent report on improving the program -- about the fairness of personnel decisions in the office, Murtha said in an interview with Inside Washington Publishers.

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69005

FORMER EPA GENERAL COUNSEL RECOMMENDS DATA QUALITY REFORMS

EPA's former general counsel is suggesting that the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) require federal agencies to reference the Information Quality Act (IQA) in rulemaking preambles, effectively paving the way for certain data-based disputes to be challenged in federal court. The recommendation is likely to be controversial, and has already prompted protests from environmentalists who say the move could complicate ongoing efforts to clarify the role of courts in determining data quality.

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INDUSTRY FEARS RULING ON EPA REMINING RULE CREATES LEGAL LIMBO

A recent federal appellate decision invalidating an EPA rule easing Clean Water Act (CWA) effluent requirements for companies that remine once-abandoned coal mines leaves the industry in legal limbo because it also criticizes case-by-case permitting that could be required until the agency issues a new rule, an industry source says.

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69007

LANDMARK APPELLATE SUIT COULD EXPAND WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS

A federal appellate court is considering a landmark case that could expand whistleblower protections under federal environmental laws by clarifying whether an "authorized representative" of federal employees is allowed to challenge official retaliation for reporting environmental misconduct.

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LOS ANGELES JOINS SUIT TO FORCE DOE COMPLIANCE WITH EPA CLEANUP PACT

In a dispute over a contaminated California site, the city of Los Angeles has joined environmentalists in litigation to force the Department of Energy (DOE) to comply with a Clinton-era cleanup agreement with EPA that the agency claims it lacks the authority to enforce.

If the suit -- filed Oct. 21 in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California -- is successful, it could force DOE compliance with strict Superfund cleanup standards at more than 100 contaminated sites nationwide.

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69023

D.C. CIRCUIT WEIGHS NEED TO CONSIDER EXPOSURE ROUTES FOR NPL LISTINGS

In a case of first impression that could have broad implications for future Superfund listings, a key federal appeals court will decide whether EPA must consider a chemical's likely exposure pathway when evaluating whether contaminated sites should be placed on the National Priorities List (NPL).

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REPORT MAY BOLSTER PUSH TO RESTRICT STATE USE OF PRIVATE LAWYERS

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce report could bolster efforts to pass new state laws that would increase scrutiny of the relationship between state attorneys general and private lawyers in filing lawsuits, including environmental cases. The industry group argues that state's use of private lawyers creates an inappropriate incentive to pursue unnecessary lawsuits, and legal experts say the study could prompt a renewal of efforts to restrict such arrangements.

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NEW CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT OFFICE POLICY TO ADDRESS EEO COMPLAINTS

EPA's criminal enforcement chief Peter Murtha will soon issue a new policy on hiring, promotions and staff transfers to address Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints and longstanding concerns -- which were highlighted in a recent report on improving the program -- about the fairness of personnel decisions in the office, Murtha said in an interview with Inside EPA.

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Report Could Bolster Push To Restrict State Use Of Private Lawyers

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce report could bolster efforts to pass new state laws that would increase scrutiny of the relationship between state attorneys general and private lawyers in filing lawsuits, including environmental cases. The industry group argues that state's use of private lawyers creates an inappropriate incentive to pursue unnecessary lawsuits, and legal experts say the study could prompt a renewal of efforts to restrict such arrangements.

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