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Toxics

DOE Role In Energy Law Air Toxics Study Draws Widespread Skepticism

Environmentalists and industry sources claim a new study the energy law requires Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct on the health impacts of refinery air toxics may have little value, because DOE has limited experience in the area compared to EPA.

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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 ASBESTOS TEST MAY HELP LAWSUIT CHALLENGING CLEANUP PROJECT

A lawyer representing a group of Missouri residents says an EPA pilot project on disposal methods for asbestos may assist their citizen 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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CHEM DEMIL PROGRAM CONSIDERING GULF WAR NERVE AGENT FINDINGS

A recent study finding that nerve agent exposure during the first Gulf War may increase brain cancer deaths has prompted the Army to investigate whether the study is relevant to its chemical agent destruction program, which is incinerating chemical weapons at four of its eight remaining stockpiles.

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AMENDMENT SEEKS NEW COST ESTIMATE FOR CHEM WEAPONS PROGRAM

Senate supporters of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative (ACWA) program are trying to force the Defense Department to update the lifecycle cost estimate for the program, which is using non-incineration methods to destroy stockpiled chemical munitions. The move follows criticism over DOD's self-imposed cost cap based on an original program cost number that ACWA proponents say largely underestimated the full cost.

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

Despite offering initial praise, EPA science advisers say additional review of a pending test case is needed to confirm the validity of novel environmental risk models the Navy intends to use to support an 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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DOD PLAN MAY CLASH WITH INDUSTRY PUSH FOR QUICKER EPA RISK REVIEWS

Efforts by the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to secure a greater say in EPA toxics reviews are raising concerns among agency career staff -- and the chemical industry -- who say the push may slow down risk assessments.

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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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EPA FACES OPPOSITION TO DRAFT RISK STUDY LINKING NAPHTHALENE TO CANCER

A draft EPA risk study labeling naphthalene, a ubiquitous chemical compound, as a "likely" carcinogen is sparking heated opposition from the Defense Department and major industry sectors because it could result in costly new cleanup requirements and health and safety standards.

Naphthalene is a natural component of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum and is extracted for use in a broad array of commercial and consumer products. According to market analysts, 408,000 metric tons of naphthalene was consumed in 2003 in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

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PENNSYLVANIA SBCT CREATION POSES MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

A proposal to transform the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's (PAARNG) 56th Brigade into a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) would create significant and unaddressable harm to air quality, farmland and forested land, according to a recently released environmental impact analysis on the project.

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