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Toxics

INDUSTRY, GOP LAY GROUNDWORK FOR PUSH TO BOOST DATA QUALITY ACT

Key Republicans and industry officials appear to be laying the groundwork to expand the reach of the Information Quality Act (IQA) and resolve whether courts can review rulings by agencies -- such as EPA -- on petitions challenging the quality of agency data.

The development comes as a key industry official is arguing that the current act allows outside groups to challenge studies federal advisory committees conduct, an argument that IQA critics refute.

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EPA SCIENCE ADVISERS SUGGEST GREATER CANCER POTENCY OF C-8

EPA science advisers are recommending that the agency consider elevating its cancer-causing classification of the controversial chemical C-8 and conduct a more thorough review of the substance, which is used to make numerous consumer products.

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EPA SEEKS BROADER NAS INPUT ON TOXICS REVIEWS TO FEND OFF CRITICISM

EPA is asking the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to increase its involvement in the agency's chemical risk assessments as a way to fend off attacks from industry and other federal agencies on the validity of agency scientific judgments that are the basis of environmental regulations.

The proposal would involve more frequent NAS peer reviews and informal "pre-meetings" of academy-convened experts on draft risk assessments and issues related to the environmental risks posed to children and other sensitive sub-populations.

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EPA FACES TOUGH CHOICE IN RE-REGISTRATION OF KEY WOOD PRESERVATIVE

EPA is facing a tough choice over whether to re-register a controversial wood preservative that the electric utility industry says is vital to transmitting power nationwide via wooden poles, but which states and environmentalists say harms human health and the environment.

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LAWMAKER RENEWS PUSH TO ESTABLISH NOVEL BIOMONITORING PROGRAM

Public health advocates and a leading lawmaker are again seeking to establish a first-of-its kind state biomonitoring program, introducing last week a similar, but scaled-down version of a measure that died last legislative session. Last year's bill was hotly debated and encountered fierce industry opposition, but the measure's proponents believe that changes made to the legislation and a growing public awareness of biomonitoring could bolster the bill's chances of passage this year.

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EPA's Perchlorate Exposure Level May Prompt DOD Cleanups

EPA's new risk and exposure levels for perchlorate appear likely to increase the number of military sites to be cleaned up, Defense Department (DOD) and other sources say. But critics of the EPA levels say cleanups at some sites appear likely to be less stringent than what EPA may have sought in the past.

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EPA Science Advisers Suggest Greater Cancer Potency Of C-8

EPA science advisers are recommending that the agency consider elevating its cancer-causing classification of the controversial chemical C-8 and do a more thorough review of the substance, which is used to make numerous consumer products.

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Child Health Advisers Unmoved By EPA Air Chief's Mercury Rule Push

EPA air chief Jeff Holmstead appears to have failed in convincing some agency advisers that an upcoming rule on mercury emissions from power plants would be protective enough of children's health. Holmstead spoke before an advisory committee on children's health after more than a year of requests by the group to meet with top agency officials about the rule, which is slated to be released within weeks. But some members of the advisory panel say they remain unconvinced of the upcoming rule's adequacy, with little time remaining for the group to affect changes in the upcoming standard.

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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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EPA Children's Health Advisers Told Perchlorate Limit Is Adequate

Researchers from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) told an EPA advisory panel on children's health that an exposure limit recently adopted by the agency for the contaminant perchlorate is adequate to protect children and pregnant women. The exposure limit could be the basis of upcoming drinking water standards and cleanup requirements for the pollutant, and the EPA advisory panel is considering whether those possible measures are sufficient to protect children.

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