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Toxics

New Findings May Encourage Air Pollution Cuts To Reduce Heart Disease Risks

A yet-to-be published study suggesting that exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is as much a contributor to heart disease as poor diet, stress and lack of exercise could help policymakers justify further reductions in the acceptable level of the pollutant, according to sources familiar with PM research.

Researchers for the first time tested humans to examine what impact PM2.5 has on atherosclerosis -- a narrowing of the arteries that can lead to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. It found that artery wall thickness rose as PM2.5 levels increased.

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EPA Delays Action On Chemical Sector Plan To Boost Waste-To-Energy Projects

EPA has delayed action on a chemical industry proposal to expand regulatory exemptions for hazardous waste burned as fuel because the agency is awaiting industry data and must first respond to an upcoming court-ordered deadline for revising an unrelated hazardous waste incinerator rule, agency and industry sources say.

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Endangered Species Act Critics Push Budget 'Riders' Seeking Broad Exemptions

Critics of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are circulating legislation that environmentalists say would allow EPA to exempt all pesticide-approval decisions from the law. Proponents of the plan are trying to convince lawmakers to include it in omnibus appropriations legislation that is steamrolling through Congress, according to several environmentalists.

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EPA Sees Boost To Air Rules From Data On Ozone And Mortality Rates

EPA will include for the first time new information about ozone and mortality rates that could support federal ozone controls as part of an upcoming cost-benefit review of the agency's Clean Air Act program. The move will likely boost the estimated benefits, and garner broader support, for a number of air quality standards, including the administration's upcoming mercury, particulate matter and regional haze rules.

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Endangered Species Act Critics Push Budget 'Riders' Seeking Broad Exemptions

Critics of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are circulating legislation that environmentalists say would allow EPA to exempt all pesticide-approval decisions from the law. Proponents of the plan are trying to convince lawmakers to include it in omnibus appropriations legislation that is steamrolling through Congress, according to several environmentalists.

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EPA Offers State Flexibility In Monitoring Of Beach Water Bacteria

EPA's new bacteria standards for coastal recreational waters appear aimed at reducing uncertainty over how states should incorporate the requirements into their own clean water programs given the agency's failure to issue guidance on how to implement the bacteria criteria it promulgated in 1986.

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California Study Expected To Favor Adopting EU Chemical Testing Plan

A study commissioned by the California legislature is likely to conclude that the European Union's (EU) controversial chemical testing and registration plan would serve as a good model for revamping the state's toxic-control statutes.

But industry officials say the state's adoption of the policy would be unconstitutional under the federal Interstate Commerce Clause.

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BASEL CONVENTION RULES TOXIC VESSELS ARE SUBJECT TO TREATY LIMITS

International participants in a treaty that limits hazardous waste exports are proceeding with plans to regulate contaminated ships under the treaty, which environmentalists say will further discourage developing nations' plans to scrap the vessels abroad.

The move -- which occurred over U.S. objections -- comes as the U.S. government is struggling with its efforts to ship former naval vessels abroad for scrapping, which has been tied up in federal court for more than a year.

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EPA DELAY OF CHILDREN'S STUDY CITED IN PUSH AGAINST HUMAN TESTING POLICY

Opponents of pesticide testing on humans say they will use a recent EPA decision delaying a controversial study on children's exposures to pressure the agency to revise an upcoming human testing policy that is expected to allow EPA to accept findings from such studies when setting regulatory limits governing the use of pesticides.

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EPA DELAY OF CHILDREN'S STUDY CITED TO OPPOSE HUMAN TESTING POLICY

Opponents of pesticide testing on humans say they will use a recent EPA decision delaying a controversial study on children's pesticide exposures to pressure the agency to revise an upcoming human testing policy expected to allow EPA reliance on such studies when setting regulatory limits.

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