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Toxics

EPA Researchers Reject Industry-Backed Method For Assessing Risks

EPA researchers say they lack sufficient background knowledge to support use of a new method favored by industry for evaluating how people respond differently to toxic exposures. The finding is part of a draft agency article that will soon be issued for publication in a scientific journal, and is part of a broader agency effort to examine the scientific basis of so-called "safety factors" in EPA risk approaches.

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DOJ Argument Poses Test For State Laws Governing Use Of NRD Funds

In a case of first impression, the Justice Department (DOJ) is urging a federal court to reject plans by the U.S. Virgin Islands to use state law to allocate funds from a natural resource damage (NRD) settlement, saying the state has to comply with restrictions in federal Superfund law when allocating the funds.

State and federal sources say the case is significant because while many states have laws that allow for the recovery of NRD claims, few of the state laws contain language restricting the use of such funds, as Superfund does.

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LAWSUIT MAY OVERHAUL EPA PESTICIDE REVIEWS, ADVISORY PANEL PROCESS

Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit against EPA that could significantly overhaul the way it reviews pesticide registrations and seeks advice from outside experts on a broad range of policy issues. At the same time, the suit may force the agency to release more information about the controversial pesticide dichlorvos (DDVP), which environmentalists say is dangerous to the nervous system of humans and animals.

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INDUSTRY, GOP LAY GROUNDWORK FOR PUSH TO BOOST DATA QUALITY ACT

Key Republicans and industry officials appear to be laying the groundwork to expand the reach of the Information Quality Act (IQA) and resolve whether courts can review rulings by agencies -- such as EPA -- on petitions challenging the quality of agency data.

The development comes as a key industry official is arguing that the current act allows outside groups to challenge studies federal advisory committees conduct, an argument that IQA critics refute.

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EPA SCIENCE ADVISERS SUGGEST GREATER CANCER POTENCY OF C-8

EPA science advisers are recommending that the agency consider elevating its cancer-causing classification of the controversial chemical C-8 and conduct a more thorough review of the substance, which is used to make numerous consumer products.

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EPA SEEKS BROADER NAS INPUT ON TOXICS REVIEWS TO FEND OFF CRITICISM

EPA is asking the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to increase its involvement in the agency's chemical risk assessments as a way to fend off attacks from industry and other federal agencies on the validity of agency scientific judgments that are the basis of environmental regulations.

The proposal would involve more frequent NAS peer reviews and informal "pre-meetings" of academy-convened experts on draft risk assessments and issues related to the environmental risks posed to children and other sensitive sub-populations.

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EPA FACES TOUGH CHOICE IN RE-REGISTRATION OF KEY WOOD PRESERVATIVE

EPA is facing a tough choice over whether to re-register a controversial wood preservative that the electric utility industry says is vital to transmitting power nationwide via wooden poles, but which states and environmentalists say harms human health and the environment.

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LAWMAKER RENEWS PUSH TO ESTABLISH NOVEL BIOMONITORING PROGRAM

Public health advocates and a leading lawmaker are again seeking to establish a first-of-its kind state biomonitoring program, introducing last week a similar, but scaled-down version of a measure that died last legislative session. Last year's bill was hotly debated and encountered fierce industry opposition, but the measure's proponents believe that changes made to the legislation and a growing public awareness of biomonitoring could bolster the bill's chances of passage this year.

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EPA's Perchlorate Exposure Level May Prompt DOD Cleanups

EPA's new risk and exposure levels for perchlorate appear likely to increase the number of military sites to be cleaned up, Defense Department (DOD) and other sources say. But critics of the EPA levels say cleanups at some sites appear likely to be less stringent than what EPA may have sought in the past.

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EPA Science Advisers Suggest Greater Cancer Potency Of C-8

EPA science advisers are recommending that the agency consider elevating its cancer-causing classification of the controversial chemical C-8 and do a more thorough review of the substance, which is used to make numerous consumer products.

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