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Toxics

PANELS EYE NARROW FIFRA BILLS TO AVOID PARTISAN CLASH OVER POPS PACT

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are preparing to introduce narrow, bipartisan legislation to amend federal pesticide law so the United States can implement an international toxics treaty in an effort that Capitol Hill sources say is intended to avoid partisan controversy that prevented passage of the legislation in the last Congress.

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EPA FOCUS ON COSTS OF LEAD PAINT RULE LEADS ACTIVISTS TO CONTINUE SUIT

Although EPA has decided, under pressure from lawmakers and activists, to pursue lead paint regulations in lieu of an earlier voluntary program, the agency's focus on the costs of different regulatory options has led activists to continue their pledge to sue the agency.

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EPA ASBESTOS TEST MAY HELP LAWSUIT CHALLENGING CLEANUP PROJECT

A lawyer representing a group of Missouri residents says an Arkansas-based EPA pilot project on disposal methods for asbestos may assist their lawsuit challenging the demolition of asbestos-containing buildings by the city of St. Louis

But at the same time, the citizens' group will closely watch EPA's test project -- being conducted at a military base -- to ensure it offers an alternative disposal method for the cancer-causing contaminant that would better protect public health and environment.

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EPA SCIENCE ADVISERS QUESTION NAVY PLAN TO SINK PCB-CONTAINING SHIPS

Despite offering initial praise, EPA science advisers say they need to conduct additional review of a pending test case to confirm the validity of novel environmental risk models the Navy intends to use to support its application for a national permit for sinking vessels as artificial reefs. The decommissioned vessels to be sunk contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other potential toxins.

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FAILED TALKS PROMPT EPA, INDUSTRY TO START DUAL TESTS ON KEY C-8 SOURCE

EPA and industry officials are moving forward with separate testing programs on what experts say could identify the main source of human exposure to C-8, a potentially toxic chemical used to make common consumer products, after the officials failed to agree on a testing program late last year.

The failed talks focused on a testing program investigating exposure to C-8 resulting from biodegradation of related chemical compounds, known as telomers, which many experts believe are the main exposure source for humans.

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COUNTIES FEAR LINGERING MTBE CONCERNS MAY DIVERT TANK CLEANUP FUNDS

County officials are mounting a lobbying campaign to ensure Congress lives up to its pledge outlined in recently approved energy legislation to increase cleanup funding for contamination from leaking underground storage tanks. At the same time, the officials are raising concerns that the funds could be diverted to clean up the controversial gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), which the officials say may not necessarily leak from underground tanks.

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DOD, REGULATORS DISMISS THINK TANK'S RECOMMENDATION ON UXO CLEANUP

A major research organization is urging the federal government to spearhead new policy guidelines for cleaning up unexploded ordnance (UXO) at closing military ranges -- but officials with DOD, EPA and state environmental agencies say the recommendations are outdated and ill-advised. They say the report ignores several efforts already underway by DOD, EPA and states to assess and address UXO contamination.

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DISPUTE OVER LOWRY CLEANUP OVERSIGHT COSTS DELAYS ASBESTOS STUDY

A dispute over the costs Colorado officials are charging the military for cleanup oversight of a BRAC base, which could embroil Gov. Bill Owens (R) and the Air Force's acting secretary, is delaying work on a controversial asbestos risk assessment the service wants to use as a national model for asbestos cleanups, sources say.

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INDUSTRY ATTACK ON NIH DATA MAY UNDERMINE EPA NAPHTHALENE REVIEW

A pending information quality challenge brought by industry against a National Institutes of Health (NIH) cancer rating for naphthalene may undermine an EPA plan to classify the widely used chemical as a "likely" carcinogen, and thereby sharply reduce new cleanup liability and safety standards for the military and industry.

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STATES PUSHING EPA TO SLOW DECISION ON MAJOR OVERHAUL OF VOC POLICY

State officials are urging EPA to delay announcing its recent decision to initiate a rulemaking for overhauling the way it regulates ozone-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs), charging that EPA developed the proposal after consulting mainly with industry groups.

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