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Toxics

ARMY CORPS CLAIMS EXEMPTION FROM REMEDIATING BANNED PESTICIDE

The Army Corps of Engineers says it is legally exempt from having to remediate a highly toxic pesticide called chlordane -- banned since 1988 -- that is present at dozens of contaminated military sites around the country.

But an EPA official is disputing the Corps' arguments -- detailed in a guidance released last year -- saying the military is misconstruing federal cleanup laws.

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RULING FORCES USDA TO DISCLOSE LOCATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS

A federal district court recently required the Agriculture Department (USDA) for the first time to disclose the location of genetically modified crops to ensure the environmental integrity of nearby plants, attorneys following the issue say.

The ruling affirms environmentalists' long-standing contention that producers of crops that are genetically modified to produce drugs, cosmetics or other substances are not protected by "confidential business information" provisions of the Plant Protection Act.

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OSWER LOSES BID TO INCLUDE PROGRAM MEASURES IN EPA INDICATORS REPORT

EPA waste officials have reportedly failed in a bid to include measures for evaluating progress at contaminated sites in a high-profile agency report on environmental trends, jeopardizing the office's role in agency strategic planning and budget allocations.

EPA's waste office has been in a dispute with agency research officials over what indicators of environmental conditions are defensible enough to include in an upcoming version of the agency's Report on the Environment, (ROE) a summary of information on environmental trends.

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EPA STAFF SAY OMB PEER REVIEW MAY DELAY CHILDREN'S CANCER GUIDE

EPA officials fear that a peer review of the agency's cancer risk guidelines for children being quietly conducted at the White House's request may weaken or rescind proposed protections against cancer-causing chemical exposures.

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State Lawmakers Launch Push To Ban Widely Used Flame Retardant

Lawmakers in several states across the country are drafting legislation that would ban the sale and use of a widely used flame retardant, deca-BDE, an effort that goes beyond recent EPA regulations to control similar chemicals. The legislation, which is expected to prompt similar proposals in other states, has attracted opposition from industry officials who say the restrictions would hamper emerging efforts to recycling discarded electronics and other consumer goods that contain the fire retardants.

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Victims Group Cites W.R. Grace Indictment In Push To Alter Asbestos Bill

A group representing asbestos exposure victims is citing recent indictments of W.R. Grace & Company and several of its executives in opposing draft Senate legislation for a compensation trust fund, arguing that the bill would ease the company's liability for the pollutant. The indictments are a result of EPA enforcement actions against the company for allegedly obstructing federal environmental cleanup efforts at a Montana mine.

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OMB REPORTEDLY SEEKS ALTERNATIVE RISK ESTIMATES IN EPA CANCER GUIDE

White House regulatory officials are reportedly seeking to include language in EPA's long-awaited revisions to its cancer risk assessment guidelines that would require the agency to present chemical safety estimates to protect a smaller percentage of the general population alongside its more conventional estimates.

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Environmentalists Raise Concern Over Wide Impact Of Class-Action Bill

A major coalition of environmental groups is raising concerns that a class-action reform bill would have an "overreaching" impact on pollution lawsuits that are not filed as class-action suits. The legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate, as well as backing by the Bush administration, and is generally seen as on a fast-track for a Senate floor vote possibly within days.

Environmentalists say they have had discussions with lawmakers about a possible amendment that would exempt environmental lawsuits from the legislation, but offer no details about the talks.

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Epidemiology Study Key To Environmental Analysis Of Missile Defense Radar

Air Force officials are awaiting the results of an ongoing epidemiological study on possible health effects from a radar system that is expected to play a significant role in development of a national missile defense system, Air Force sources say. The study represents a final component of the Air Force's ongoing analysis of the radar system's environmental impacts, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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EPA Official Disputes Army Corps Claims About Pesticide Cleanup Exemption

The Army Corps of Engineers says it is legally exempt from having to remediate a highly toxic pesticide called chlordane -- banned since 1988 -- that is present at dozens of contaminated military sites around the country. But an EPA official is disputing the Corps' arguments -- detailed in a guidance released last year -- saying the military is misconstruing federal cleanup laws. In a Sept.

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