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Toxics

SENATE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE TO LOSE CHEMICAL SECURITY JURISDICTION

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee is expected to lose jurisdiction next year over legislation requiring security improvements at chemical plants, bringing new lawmakers to the debate and making the fate of the contentious bill uncertain in the next Congress.

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EPA Delays Action On Chemical Sector Plan To Boost Waste-To-Energy Projects

EPA has delayed action on a chemical industry proposal to expand regulatory exemptions for hazardous waste burned as fuel because the agency is awaiting industry data and must first respond to an upcoming court-ordered deadline for revising an unrelated hazardous waste incinerator rule, agency and industry sources say.

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New Findings May Encourage Air Pollution Cuts To Reduce Heart Disease Risks

A yet-to-be published study suggesting that exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is as much a contributor to heart disease as poor diet, stress and lack of exercise could help policymakers justify further reductions in the acceptable level of the pollutant, according to sources familiar with PM research.

Researchers for the first time tested humans to examine what impact PM2.5 has on atherosclerosis -- a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. It found that artery wall thickness rose as PM2.5 levels increased.

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UC STUDY EXPECTED TO FAVOR ADOPTING EU CHEMICAL TESTING PLAN

A University of California (UC) study commissioned by the Legislature is likely to conclude that the European Union's (EU) controversial chemical testing and registration plan would serve as a good model for revamping the state's toxic-control statutes.

But industry officials say the state's adoption of the policy would be unconstitutional under the federal Interstate Commerce Clause.

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INDUSTRIES SAY SOUTH COAST SCHOOL-BUFFER RULE WASTEFUL, DUPLICATIVE

A proposed South Coast air district rule that would place new risk thresholds and restrictions on new or relocated industrial facilities within 1,000 feet of schools is unnecessary and a waste of staff resources, according to industry sources. District staff counters that the rule, which is being touted as a major breakthrough in environmental justice, is intended as a precautionary step to protect children and other "sensitive" populations, and is therefore justified.

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CAL/EPA SHIFTS OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITY OVER DISPUTED BAY AREA SITE

Responding to intense community and political pressure, Cal/EPA is transferring lead agency oversight of a controversial site cleanup from the San Francisco Bay regional water board to the toxics department. The shift is being welcomed by community members and legislators, who are now exploring ways to develop state policies that could prevent similar controversies from erupting in the future.

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EPA Delays Action On Chemical Sector Plan To Boost Waste-To-Energy Projects

EPA has delayed action on a chemical industry proposal to expand regulatory exemptions for hazardous waste burned as fuel because the agency is awaiting industry data and must first respond to an upcoming court-ordered deadline for revising an unrelated hazardous waste incinerator rule, agency and industry sources say.

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Endangered Species Act Critics Push Budget 'Riders' Seeking Broad Exemptions

Critics of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are circulating legislation that environmentalists say would allow EPA to exempt all pesticide-approval decisions from the law. Proponents of the plan are trying to convince lawmakers to include it in omnibus appropriations legislation that is steamrolling through Congress, according to several environmentalists.

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EPA Sees Boost To Air Rules From Data On Ozone And Mortality Rates

EPA will include for the first time new information about ozone and mortality rates that could support federal ozone controls as part of an upcoming cost-benefit review of the agency's Clean Air Act program. The move will likely boost the estimated benefits, and garner broader support, for a number of air quality standards, including the administration's upcoming mercury, particulate matter and regional haze rules.

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Endangered Species Act Critics Push Budget 'Riders' Seeking Broad Exemptions

Critics of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are circulating legislation that environmentalists say would allow EPA to exempt all pesticide-approval decisions from the law. Proponents of the plan are trying to convince lawmakers to include it in omnibus appropriations legislation that is steamrolling through Congress, according to several environmentalists.

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