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Toxics

EPA May Join Administration Panel Reviewing Regulatory Burdens

The Commerce Department plans to ask EPA and other agencies to join a new advisory panel that will examine the impact of federal regulations on the manufacturing industry. The effort is intended to ease government burdens and reinvigorate the industry sector, but critics say it could undermine environmental and public health safeguards.

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EPA To Answer Alleged Children's Risk From Methyl Bromide Substitute

EPA will soon respond to objections by environmentalists over pesticide tolerances for an agricultural fumigant that could serve as an alternative to the ozone-depleting chemical methyl bromide. EPA's response would be the agency's first public statement on a potential substitute to the widely used substance which is being phased out under an international agreement.

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EPA Claims Limited Powers To Control Major Source Of Dioxin Pollution

A new draft EPA report on dioxin emissions finds that backyard burning of trash is now the largest source of the pollutant, a development that may limit the agency's ability to further curtail exposures to the neurotoxin because EPA says it lacks regulatory authority over such waste disposal practices.

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EPA MAY JOIN NEW ADVISORY GROUP TO BACK MANUFACTURERS' RULE REFORM

The Commerce Department will soon ask EPA and other agencies to join a new advisory panel it is creating that environmentalists say is intended to help the administration reinforce and justify its reviews of EPA and other agencies' rules as part of its broader effort to assist the manufacturing sector.

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DHS KEEPS HAZMAT LABELS AFTER FIRST RESPONDERS CRITICIZE PLAN

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue labeling rail shipments of hazardous materials because there is no viable alternative that can ensure the safety of first responders, after numerous stakeholders opposed a DHS plan to remove the labels.

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NEW DEBATE OVER CHEMICAL PLANT SECURITY COULD PRODUCE STRICTER BILL

House and Senate lawmakers are renewing long-stalled efforts to enact nationwide security requirements at chemical facilities, which proponents and detractors say could produce a bill that is more stringent and could gain more steam than a controversial measure Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced last Congress.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS CALL FOR C-8 BAN UNDER INTERNATIONAL TREATY

Environmentalists recommended to an international panel last week that the widely used chemical C-8, and 19 other toxins, be included as part of a treaty that bans worldwide use of persistent pollutants.

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EPA REMOVAL OF TRI DATA FROM INDICATOR REPORT SPARKS STAFF CONCERNS

EPA's decision to remove Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data from a key report on environmental conditions is raising concerns among EPA air and information office sources that significant pollution trends will not be reflected in the indicators report.

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SCIENCE ADVISERS MAY URGE UPDATE TO EPA'S ECOLOGICAL RISK REVIEWS

EPA science advisers are planning to review the state of the science on ecological risk assessment (ERA) in a potentially far-reaching evaluation that could update the agency's seven-year-old guidelines on conducting such reviews and revise environmental decision-making.

The evaluation will draw on the experience of outside experts to advance techniques in the field and is part of a broader agency effort to consider recent breakthroughs in risk assessment procedures.

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EPA ECONOMISTS SAY CANCER GUIDE MAY LIMIT BENEFIT TALLIES IN NEW RULES

EPA economists say new cancer risk guidelines will make it harder to demonstrate the benefits of regulating carcinogenic chemicals because the policy's attempt to address complex biological processes makes it more difficult to quantify results.

Industry and agency officials are reviewing the guidelines to consider the policy implications of abandoning a traditional linear approach to risk assessment in favor of a more nuanced approach that can take into account new science about effects at low levels of exposure.

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