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Toxics

OEHHA READIES PERCHLORATE MATERIALS FOR POTENTIAL PROP. 65 LISTING

A special scientific committee is expected later this summer to vote on whether to include as a reproductive toxicant the rocket fuel component perchlorate under the state's Proposition 65 list, a move that could lead to new regulatory requirements and legal liability for businesses that use and make the chemical. Environmentalists, who had petitioned the health hazard office to fast track the listing of perchlorate, say it is a "no-brainer" that the contaminant belongs on the Prop. 65 list, though industry groups are expected to resist such a listing.

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Industry Backs EPA Against State Charges Of Weak Child Pesticide Standards

The manufacturer of a widely used pesticide is commenting publicly for the first time on a petition by four states that accuses EPA of failing to adequately protect infants and children from the company's product, as well as several other commonly used pesticides. The petition comes after a federal district court dismissed a lawsuit last year in which the states made the same claims. The court dismissed the case because the states had not exhausted all administrative options.

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RULING OPENS DOOR TO NEW TRI EXEMPTIONS FOR OZONE-FORMING CHEMICALS

A federal appellate ruling backing a chemical industry petition to exempt a widely used solvent from reporting under EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) could help industry seek similar exemptions for a host of other chemicals the agency has regulated because they become toxic after release.

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EPA CLAIMS LIMITED POWERS TO CONTROL LARGEST SOURCE OF DIOXIN

A new draft EPA report on dioxin emissions finds that backyard trash burning is now the largest source of the pollutant, which may limit the agency's ability to further reduce dioxin emissions because EPA says it lacks regulatory authority over the burning.

But activists say the draft report, which shows dramatic reductions in U.S. dioxin emissions over the last decade, is based on limited data that ignores community-led efforts to shut down dioxin-emitting facilities and overstates the success of regulatory policies.

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OEHHA SAYS SLIGHT BUDGET INCREASE WILL AID CHILDREN'S HEALTH WORK

The health hazard office's chief deputy director this week told lawmakers that a slight increase to the office's proposed budget, while not meeting its general needs, should help give children's health programs a boost. Lawmakers this week voted for only a slight increase to the office's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2005-06, which provides less funding than the current year budget, because various fund shifts to provide significantly more money are not viable, officials said.

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UNDER PRESSURE, CAL/EPA AGREES TO GIVE DTSC LEAD AT DISPUTED SITE

Richmond city officials who challenged a regional water board's "expertise" to properly clean up a disputed site are claiming victory after Cal/EPA last week agreed to give full oversight of the project to the toxics department.

Cal/EPA officials, however, are maintaining that their decision is not a slight to the water board's capabilities, but reflects unique "challenges" presented at the site.

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'COMPROMISE' OVER DISPUTED DPR RISK ASSESSMENTS ADVANCES

Seeking to address criticism of the pesticides department's risk assessment activities, lawmakers this week moved a "compromise" proposal that would create an interagency committee with final say over appropriate chemical exposure levels. Lawmakers and environmentalists had previously favored simply shifting the department's risk assessment program to the health hazard office, but Senate staffers found that would be overly complicated, because risk assessment functions are not confined to one division but diffused throughout the pesticides department.

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EPA, States Tap Environmental Data To Target Security Vulnerabilities

EPA and state officials are planning an information exchange network that will use industry-generated and other environmental data to assess homeland security vulnerabilities. The project is being funded by an EPA grant, and is part of a national homeland security strategy.

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EPA, States Tap Environmental Data To Target Security Vulnerabilities

EPA and state officials are planning an information exchange network that will use industry-generated and other environmental data to assess homeland security vulnerabilities. The project is being funded by an EPA grant, and is part of a national homeland security strategy.

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PESTICIDE MAKERS MULL EPA RULES TO ADDRESS HIGH COURT BATES RULING

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The pesticide industry may urge EPA to promulgate new rules under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to address the Supreme Court's recent Bates ruling, which curtailed federal preemption of state claims based on pesticide labels, industry officials say.

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