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Toxics

AGENCIES MAY FINALIZE DATA QUALITY GUIDANCE BY END OF SEPTEMBER

EPA, DOD and the Department of Energy (DOE) are striving to finalize guidance documents for creating quality assurance project plans (QAPPs) for federal facility cleanups, which will fulfill the last of three initial data quality goals that an intergovernmental task force developed. The guidance could be signed by the three agencies as early as the end of the month, an EPA source says.

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JUDGE QUESTIONS INDUSTRY STANDING TO SUE OVER DATA QUALITY PETITIONS

Litigation challenging the data used to support EPA and other agencies' decision-making may have suffered a setback as a federal judge questioned whether industry groups in a key case have standing to sue and suggested that the data quality law does not allow courts to review the information.

"I'm having trouble seeing [statutory] language that provides for judicial review" of data quality decisions, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee said during Sept. 3 oral arguments in a case that industry sources are hoping will establish courts' rights to review agency data decisions.

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HOUSE GOP RENEWS CALLS FOR ACTIVE WHITE HOUSE SUPPORT OF POPS BILL

House Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans are reiterating calls for the White House to actively support legislation to implement an international treaty banning persistent organic pollutants (POPs), congressional and EPA sources say, while also launching staff discussions with the panel's Democrats in the hopes of crafting a bipartisan compromise on the bill.

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VETO SEEN FOR ESCORT MANDATE ON SHIPS CARRYING AMMONIA, LIQUID GAS

Opposition by the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) may result in a veto of a bill that would require tug boat escorts of vessels carrying certain hazardous materials into some state ports. The measure was narrowed during the last hours of the legislative session to target three chemical compounds and ports in San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun bays.

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OEHHA SLOWS ACRYLAMIDE REGULATORY ACTION TO CONFER WITH FDA

Health hazard assessment officials have slowed their proposed Proposition 65 regulatory plan for the food chemical acrylamide to confer further with federal officials over existing and planned research. Officials are not expected to propose a new exposure threshold or draft warning label language for the chemical until late October at the earliest, according to sources. An office source denied the delay has anything to do with increasing industry pressure on the Schwarzenegger Administration to pull back the regulatory proposal.

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EPA To Form Internal Workgroup On Overhauling Risk Reviews

High-ranking EPA officials have decided to form a workgroup to examine how the agency selects relevant data for assessing the potential public health risks from environmental pollutants. The new group, which could lead to sweeping changes in the way EPA conducts risk reviews, reflects an industry request, but falls short of industry's proposal that the findings of the workgroup should be applied to past agency decisions.

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House GOP Renews Calls For Active White House Support Of POPs Bill

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are reiterating calls for active White House support for legislation to implement an international treaty banning persistent organic pollutants (POPs), congressional and EPA sources say, while also launching staff discussions with the panel's Democrats in the hopes of crafting a bipartisan compromise on the bill.

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States Say Short Comment Period Hurt Study Of Air Rule's Modeling Changes

States are continuing to criticize EPA for allegedly providing inadequate time to review and comment on new modeling techniques for the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which addresses transported air pollution.

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FEDERAL AGENCIES LAUNCH EFFORTS TO BEGIN REGULATING NANOMATERIALS

Federal agencies are taking a number of steps to begin regulating nanomaterials, a new set of substances with unusual properties due to the extremely small size of their components. These efforts could ultimately include far-reaching changes in the approaches EPA takes to classifying and monitoring chemicals.

Nanomaterials are one of many unregulated and emerging contaminants that DOD is closely tracking.

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ARMY PLANS TO DEVELOP CRITERIA FOR NEW CHEMICAL WEAPONS MONITORING

Following congressional and citizen pressure, the Army is planning to work with a small group of stakeholders to develop objectives and criteria for evaluating new technology to better monitor air emissions at chemical weapons storage and disposal facilities.

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