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Toxics

ACRYLAMIDE REG PLAN NOT EXPECTED IN 2004; CRITICS BLAME FOOD INDUSTRY

Health hazard assessment officials are unlikely to propose a safe exposure limit or warning label language for the food chemical acrylamide before the end of the year, officials indicated this week. Attorneys representing groups critical of the delay charge it is being driven by high-level Schwarzenegger Administration officials under pressure from a broad coalition of industry organizations and the federal government.

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Environmentalists Reject EPA Call To Limit Scope Of Suit On Lead Rules

Environmentalists have rebuffed a suggestion by EPA to limit the geographic scope of a lawsuit, which would require a comprehensive agency review of national lead emissions standards, to Missouri and several other states with metals smelters. The environmentalists say EPA needs to evaluate and strengthen safety standards for the toxic metal beyond those states directly affected by the smelters.

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EPA Likely To Exclude Health Benefits Of Mercury Rule From New Study

An EPA cost-benefit review of a rule regulating mercury emissions from utilities will likely exclude possible cardiovascular benefits associated with reducing exposure to the toxin and benefits from limiting mercury exposure from marine fish because the agency lacks adequate scientific data, EPA and other sources say.

One EPA economist says the agency's cost-benefit review will only quantify the benefits of reducing IQ losses in children born to mothers who ingest mercury-contaminated freshwater fish. This is the "one area where we can quantify" benefits, the source says.

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EPA Study On Particulate Matter Controls Finds Substantial Benefits

A major new EPA study of the benefits of particulate matter (PM) controls suggests that costly air quality regulations -- like the Clean Air Interstate Rule and diesel rules -- surpass by three times the threshold for being considered cost-effective.

The finding could give agency officials leeway to argue for strict regulatory requirements because they can justify the high costs the regulations may impose on regulated entities.

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EPA COST-EFFECTIVENESS STUDY ON PM CONTROLS FINDS HUGE BENEFITS

A major new EPA study of the benefits of particulate matter (PM) controls suggests that costly air quality regulations -- like the clean air interstate rule and diesel rules -- have almost three times as many benefits as necessary to be considered cost-effective.

The finding could give agency officials leeway to argue for strict regulatory requirements because they can justify high costs the regulations may impose on regulated entities.

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EPA Plan Aims To Overcome Fight On Pollutant Detection Methods

A new EPA plan to obtain a consensus from outside groups to help establish methods for setting the lowest detectable level of a pollutant appears aimed at overcoming broad disagreement on a 2003 agency proposal for changes to EPA's current methods for setting the detection levels.

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Critics Say Unclear EPA Role At Ground Zero May Undermine Cleanup

EPA critics say the agency's recent reluctance to outline its possible indoor cleanup responsibilities for parts of Manhattan affected by the World Trade Center attacks three years ago may undermine upcoming efforts to test the area for contamination, since property owners and businesses may avoid testing if it could require them to pay for cleanups.

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Activists Say Court Settlement May Undercut DOD Push For Environmental Exemptions

Environmentalists say the Pentagon's recent agreement to settle litigation by local residents over contamination at the Army's Fort Richardson could undermine the military's ability to continue arguing that it needs an exemption from certain environmental requirements to maintain training and readiness.

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EPA Poised To Issue Guidelines Reforming Children's Risk Reviews

An EPA science policy group is putting the finishing touches on two guidance documents that will standardize the age-range groups the agency uses to study exposure to environmental toxins and outline cancer susceptibility from early-life exposures. The guidelines, combined with an upcoming EPA framework on measuring children's risks, could significantly overhaul the analytical methods used by the agency's program offices and outside experts.

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SCIENTISTS TAG EPA-APPROVED PESTICIDES IN STUDY ON GULF WAR ILLNESSES

A federal advisory panel has identified a class of EPA-regulated pesticides as a possible cause of illnesses suffered by veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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