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Toxics

STATES PRESS EPA TO REJECT PAINT INDUSTRY ATTACK ON OZONE PLANS

Eastern states are pressing EPA to reject a paint industry data quality challenge that alleges EPA should not approve several state ozone reduction plans, claiming the Information Quality Act (IQA) does not apply to the challenged information and industry's effort threatens existing regulatory review procedures.

The dispute is significant because it addresses the degree to which information supporting state regulations that are subject to EPA approval are subject to the IQA.

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DOI FEARS CLEANUP COST PRECEDENT IN CROSS-BORDER SUPERFUND CASE

Top Interior Department (DOI) officials are concerned that EPA's efforts to require a Canadian company to clean up a Washington state lake may subject DOI's Bureau of Reclamation, which operates a nearby dam, to Superfund liability at the lake and hundreds of other dams it operates, government sources say.

DOI's concerns could put further pressure on EPA to retreat from its efforts to hold Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco liable under Superfund for mining releases that originated in Canada but eventually settled in Lake Roosevelt.

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GROUPS URGE SUPERFUND LISTING FOR NEVADA PERCHLORATE SITE

Environmentalists have petitioned U.S. EPA to place a Nevada chemical plant on the National Priorities List (NPL), arguing that because the site is releasing significant quantities of perchlorate into the Colorado River -- impacting water supplies in California, Arizona and Mexico -- it clearly merits Superfund status. However, officials with the chemical company, the state of Nevada and EPA question the value of putting the facility on the Superfund list and say because a state-led remediation effort is proceeding sufficiently, it will likely not end up on the NPL.

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CAL/EPA ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ACTION PLAN FEATURES PILOT PROJECTS

Cal/EPA last week released a draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Action Plan for public comment that lays out specific responsibilities for the agency's individual outfits and details a set of pilot projects Cal/EPA intends to initiate. These projects include examining mobile and stationary source emissions in southern California and pesticide exposure in rural farming towns. Comments on the plan are due Sept. 13.

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CHLORINE INDUSTRY RIPS POTENTIAL CHLOROFORM PROP. 65 LISTING

Chlorine industry representatives are challenging the potential listing of chloroform as a developmental and/or reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65, saying it would conflict with conclusions by other scientific bodies and needlessly alarm the public. But health hazard assessment officials say newer studies show that exposure to chloroform from tap water can cause developmental problems. The listing is scheduled to be considered in November by Prop. 65's Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity Identification Committee (DART).

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NEW PRESS ON ADMINISTRATION OVER PERCHLORATE MCL TARGETS COST

Environmentalists and industry groups are focusing on the potential cost impacts of a forthcoming perchlorate maximum contaminant level (MCL) in pressing the health department and Schwarzenegger Administration to follow markedly different approaches in setting the cleanup standard. Activists are pushing for a 1-part-per-billion (ppb) MCL, arguing that there will be no costs to the state from such a stringent standard because responsible parties should be held liable for cleaning up pollution they caused.

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Toxicology Group Cancels Controversial Workshop On Flame Retardants

Facing criticism that it was working at cross purposes with EPA, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) has canceled a controversial workshop exploring alternatives to a popular flame retardant due to be phased out.

One of the workshop's main backers is now thinking about reversing course and cooperating with the agency.

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DOI Fears Liability Precedent From Cross-Border Toxics Case

Top Interior Department (DOI) officials are raising concerns about EPA efforts to force a Canadian company to clean up contamination in a Washington state lake because of fears DOI's Bureau of Reclamation, which operates a nearby dam, could face Superfund liability at the lake as well as hundreds of other dams it operates, government sources say.

DOI's concerns could put further pressure on EPA to retreat from its efforts to hold Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco liable under CERCLA for mining releases that originated in Canada but eventually settled in Lake Roosevelt.

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JUDGE'S COMMENTS PROMPT EPA RULE ON EXPORT OF PCB-TAINTED SHIPS

EPA is considering a petition from the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to conduct a formal rulemaking exempting ships laden with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from legal requirements banning PCB export after a federal judge questioned whether EPA's earlier plan to grant an exemption without a rulemaking was lawful.

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NRC EYES INDUSTRY-WIDE INSURANCE FUND FOR POWER PLANT CLEANUPS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering for the first time the use of an industry-wide insurance policy that utilities could purchase to cover the cost of shutting down and cleaning up nuclear power plants. The proposal would allow nuclear power generators to pool their "decommissioning" resources into an insurance fund that would be available in the event that a particular plant needs to be dismantled.

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