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Toxics

Environmentalists Seek NAS Clarification On Perchlorate Study

Environmentalists are asking the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for a public statement clarifying that its recent perchlorate risk report was mischaracterized by mainstream media reports that said proposed regulatory standards for the pollutant should be relaxed.

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RULING COULD PROMPT SUIT TO FORCE EPA WATER PERMITS FOR PESTICIDE USE

A recent federal district court ruling could prompt a new round of litigation seeking to force EPA to issue clean water permits for pesticide use, because a pending agency guidance will likely say such permits are not required, attorneys following the issue say.

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PERCHLORATE STUDY UNLIKELY TO SOON SETTLE EPA-DOD CLEANUP FIGHT

The National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) recent study criticizing U.S. EPA's risk estimate for perchlorate is unlikely to quickly resolve the long-running dispute between the agency and the Department of Defense (DOD) over cleaning up the ubiquitous contaminant.

While the study criticized EPA's risk estimate for perchlorate as overly strict, the panel left it to the agency to translate the risk estimate into a drinking water standard, which regulators use as a cleanup level.

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INDUSTRY CONSIDERS MORE PROACTIVE STANCE ON BIOMONITORING LEGISLATION

Industry groups are considering taking a more proactive stance on biomonitoring this year, with some organizations even floating the possibility of introducing a biomonitoring bill in the Legislature. Industry sources say they have never been opposed to biomonitoring in general, but will continue to resist legislation with an anti-chemical bias, which they claim was contained in a bill last year.

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NAS PERCHLORATE STUDY MAY NOT FORCE WEAKER EPA STANDARDS

Despite finding that EPA's risk estimate for perchlorate is overly strict, the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) long-awaited report on the chemical may not force EPA to weaken its cleanup standard because the agency must still consider key policy questions that the NAS did not address.

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EPA REBUFFS STATE PUSH FOR CONSISTENT FISH-CONSUMPTION ADVISORIES

EPA and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) are rejecting several states' efforts to harmonize state and federal fish-consumption advisories in order to avoid confusing a population already afraid to eat fish due to mercury contamination, which is largely caused by air pollution. The federal government's stance is drawing criticism from environmentalists, who say it undermines the goal of the EPA and FDA last year in issuing a single, coherent message on fish consumption.

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SUPREME COURT JUSTICES APPEAR SKEPTICAL OF PESTICIDE PREEMPTION CASE

Many Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical that federal pesticide law preempts all litigation under state law seeking damages that occurred from use of an allegedly mislabeled pesticide, according to questions the judges asked during oral arguments in the key Bates v. Dow Agrosciences case.

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Sen. Murray To Reintroduce Bill Authorizing EPA To Ban Asbestos

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will reintroduce legislation in the coming months that would require EPA to ban all uses of asbestos, in an effort to offer an alternative to a proposed asbestos victim trust fund, which has floundered in Congress.

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Study Linking Mercury, Autism Prompts Calls For EPA To Tighten Rule

New evidence linking mercury exposure to autism in children is prompting calls for EPA to tighten its proposal to require first-time mercury reductions from the electric power sector. While the study does not claim to prove that mercury exposure causes autism, it provides further evidence that it may be a factor.

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NAS PERCHLORATE REPORT MAY NOT FORCE WEAKER EPA CLEANUP STANDARD

Despite finding EPA's risk estimate of perchlorate is overly strict, the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) long-awaited report on the chemical may not result in a significant weakening of EPA's cleanup standard because the agency must still consider key policy questions that the NAS did not address.

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