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Toxics

DOD Objects To Stringent Colorado Indoor Air Rules For Pervasive Toxin

The Defense Department is calling Colorado's decision to adopt a stringent indoor air policy for trichloroethylene (TCE) premature, pointing to the unresolved controversy over the scientific values on which the state bases its screening and remediation policy.

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White House Questions EPA's Data Request For Widely Used Pesticides

A long-standing EPA effort to require industry to conduct new studies on the health impacts of atrazine and more than a dozen other widely used pesticides appears to be coming to a head, with the agency slated to meet with the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which earlier this summer questioned the need for the additional data.

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KIDS' HEALTH MONTH GIVES ACTIVISTS NEW CHANCE TO BLAST BUSH POLICIES

Environmental and public health advocates are planning to use an upcoming series of EPA events highlighting the agency's children's health activities to underscore what they say are inadequacies in the Bush administration's efforts to protect children from environmental harm, activists say.

The groups are timing their attack to coincide with children's health month in October, during which EPA will be touting its children's health activities, issuing outreach tools such as a calendar of tips to protect children and holding public events at schools.

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EPA, INDUSTRY TO STUDY CHILDREN'S RISKS FROM C-8, OTHER CHEMICALS

EPA has reached an agreement with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to conduct a landmark study on how young children are exposed to household pesticides and other chemicals, including a widely used chemical known as C-8 that is a key ingredient in Teflon products.

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TOXIC TORT RULING FURTHERS SPLIT OVER THRESHOLD FOR CLASS ACTION SUITS

A recent federal appellate ruling in a toxic tort case that lowers the bar for bringing class-action suits in federal court furthers a split among appellate circuits and makes it more likely the Supreme Court will address the issue, according to legal observers.

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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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E-REPORTING RULE SEEKS TO ALLAY COMPETING STATE, ENFORCEMENT FEARS

EPA's recently completed rule establishing long-delayed requirements for submitting reports and other documents to the agency electronically appears to ease competing state and enforcement office concerns about the rule's method of authenticating the electronic reports, according to EPA and state sources familiar with the issue.

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EPA TO FORM INTERNAL WORKGROUP ON OVERHAULING RISK ASSESSMENTS

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 recommend 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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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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