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Toxics

CALIFORNIA READIES PERCHLORATE DATA FOR POTENTIAL PROP. 65 LISTING

A special California scientific committee is expected later this summer to vote on whether to include as a reproductive toxicant the rocket fuel component perchlorate under the state's Proposition 65 list, a move that could lead to new regulatory requirements and legal liability for businesses that use and make the chemical. Environmentalists, who had petitioned the health hazard office to fast track the listing of perchlorate, say it is a "no-brainer" that the contaminant belongs on the Prop. 65 list, though industry groups are expected to resist the move.

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EPA Staff Raise Concerns Over Denial Of Security Research Grant Applications

EPA research officials are raising concerns about the disqualification of applications for a grant being offered jointly by the agency and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to study microbes that could pose security threats.

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EPA Toxics Review Plan To Allow Error Correction By Outside Groups

EPA plans to add a series of new steps to incorporate federal agency and stakeholder input into agency chemical risk assessments used in setting cleanup levels, air toxics standards and other regulatory limits, according to a copy of the proposed plan obtained by Inside EPA. Agency sources have said they fear the proposed process could delay new rules and standards that rely on the assessments.

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EPA TOXICS REVIEW PLAN TO ALLOW ERROR CORRECTION BY OUTSIDE GROUPS

EPA plans to add a series of new steps to incorporate federal agency and stakeholder input into agency chemical risk assessments used in setting cleanup levels, air toxics standards and other regulatory limits, according to a copy of the proposed plan obtained by Inside EPA. Agency sources have said they fear the proposed process could delay new rules and standards that rely on the assessments.

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KEY REPUBLICAN TO OPPOSE HOUSE LANGUAGE ON HUMAN PESTICIDE TESTING

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees EPA spending, will likely oppose a provision in the House version of the agency's appropriations bill that bans the agency from using data generated from pesticide testing on humans, after EPA and industry lobbied against the House language, a congressional source says.

"We've heard numerous expressions of concern about the House language from the science community, the agency and industry, and we're not likely to follow along," the source says.

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GAO SEEKS TO SCALE BACK INHOFE BID FOR STUDY OF EPA RISK ASSESSMENTS

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is exploring ways to pare down a request by Senate environment committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) for a broad evaluation of EPA risk assessment practices, according to GAO sources.

GAO officials June 7 sought input from members of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies & Toxicology (BEST) as the part of a study design exercise in preparation for upcoming talks with Senate environment committee staff on the study's focus, according to a GAO official.

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KEY REPUBLICAN TO OPPOSE HOUSE LANGUAGE ON HUMAN PESTICIDE TESTING

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees U.S. EPA spending, will likely oppose a provision in the House version of the agency's appropriations bill that bans the agency from using data generated from pesticide testing on humans, after EPA and industry lobbied against the House language, a congressional source said.

"We've heard numerous expressions of concern about the House language from the science community, the agency and industry, and we're not likely to follow along," the source said.

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EPA DEFENDS PESTICIDE PROTECTION IN RESPONSE TO TOLERANCE-LEVEL SUIT

U.S. EPA is defending its pesticide residue tolerance levels as fully protective of infants and children, in the face of a lawsuit filed this week by mostly California-based environmentalists and a farm labor union group. If the lawsuit is successful, farmers may eventually face tighter restrictions on pesticide applications, according to an environmental organization attorney.

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STAKEHOLDERS DISAGREE OVER RAMIFICATIONS OF PHTHALATE PROP. 65 LISTING

Environmentalists and consumer health legal outfits believe more notices to sue and lawsuits against companies will result if the health hazard office adds four phthalate chemicals to its Proposition 65 list of reproductive toxicants. But industry representatives say they do not expect the listing to lead to legal attacks that would require new warning labels on their products, nor do they expect a Prop. 65 listing to bolster legislation that would seek to ban the chemicals from products.

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SENATORS ENDORSE DPR DIRECTOR SUPPORTED BY AG, ENVIRONMENTALISTS

Pesticides department director Mary-Ann Warmerdam's confirmation was approved by a Senate panel this week, with the former agriculture industry official receiving endorsements from environmental groups that had previously held reservations about her appointment. While these groups had raised concerns about her ties to the industry, several witnesses at her confirmation hearing testified to her objectivity and competence.

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