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Toxics

OIL INDUSTRY PUSHING TO RELAX EPA CHEMICAL INVENTORY DATA RULES

Key oil industry groups will push the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to recommend that EPA scale back rules requiring a broad swath of industry to provide local emergency response personnel information on chemicals stored at their facilities, according to industry representatives.

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PROP. 65 LAWYERS SAY 'DETECTION METHOD' DELETION WILL IMPROVE LAW

Most lawyers tracking a health hazard assessment process to modify a controversial Proposition 65 regulation that lays out acceptable chemical detection methods say they support a new proposal by the office to delete the section entirely. While some industry attorneys had argued that amending the section could clarify and improve the process, most concluded that relying on existing evidence law is preferable and deleting the section will lessen confusion over the regulation.

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GOVERNOR VETOES ESCORT MANDATE FOR SHIPS CARRYING AMMONIA, LIQUID GAS

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week vetoed a bill that would have required tug boat escorts in all California ports for ships carrying ammonia and liquid gas, citing existing local and Coast Guard authority to enact such requirements if deemed necessary.

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GOVERNOR NAMES LONGTIME STATE OFFICIAL BLEVINS TO TOP DTSC POST

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week officially appointed B.B. Blevins as director of the toxics department, where he has been serving as acting director since Ed Lowry stepped down from the post after learning that the governor was looking to replace him. Blevins' appointment was expected by stakeholders, one of whom described him as "reasonable, thoughtful and experienced."

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RISK, ENFORCEMENT DEBATED IN ARB WOOD-PRODUCT FORMALDEHYDE RULE

Air board officials and industry representatives are continuing to debate enforcement issues and the risk assessment basis of an evolving control measure to reduce formaldehyde emissions from a variety of composite-wood products. The rule -- the first of its kind in the nation -- has potentially widespread impacts, including that it may be copied by other states looking to reduce indoor pollution. But it also threatens to hurt U.S. industry if enforcement is insufficient to target furniture and other products imported from overseas, industry officials say.

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NEW DPR CHIEF'S FARM TIES SPUR CONCERN, BUT ACTIVISTS 'OPEN MINDED'

After raising initial concerns over the appointment of a longtime agribusiness official to head the pesticides department, environmentalists now say they will evaluate Mary-Ann Warmerdam's performance in her first months in the post before deciding whether to oppose or support her confirmation by the Senate. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's appointment of Warmerdam, who worked for the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) for two decades, is supported by agriculture officials, who believe she will be a "fair" and "judicious" director.

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EPA Regions Urge States To Adopt Strict Mercury Limits In Water Permits

Regional EPA officials are urging state and local regulators to require strict numeric discharge limits in their water permits based on the amount of mercury in fish tissue -- despite the agency's support for a more flexible approach in a pending draft guidance. The issue has attracted the attention of both industry and environmentalists who say it may foreshadow how EPA will implement mercury water limits in other parts of the country.

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Oil Industry Seeks Exclusions From EPA's Toxics Reporting Rule

The petroleum industry is planning to urge the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to recommend that EPA scale back rules requiring various industrial facilities to provide local emergency response officials with information about the potential hazards from chemicals stored in their communities, according to industry representatives.

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Oil Industry Seeks Exclusions From EPA's Toxics Reporting Rule

The petroleum industry is planning to urge the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to recommend that EPA scale back rules requiring various industrial facilities to provide local emergency response officials with information about the potential hazards from chemicals stored in their communities, according to industry representatives.

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Facing Suit, EPA To Impose New Controls On Emissions From Motor Vehicles

EPA plans next year to propose new controls on air toxic emissions from motor vehicles -- one of the largest sources of hazardous air pollutants in the country -- amid a lengthy court battle with environmentalists who claim the agency missed a self-imposed deadline to finalize rules this year.

Petroleum industry officials say they have not yet taken a position on such a rule, but raise concerns that it could be more difficult to control vehicle emissions following an expected phase-out of the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

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