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Toxics

EPA PLAN FOR ADVISORS AIMS TO OVERCOME FIGHT ON DETECTION METHODS

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

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EPA Support For Animal Testing Alternative May Signal Major Policy Shift

EPA is seeking to approve animal testing alternatives for some home cleaning products that could prompt a fundamental shift in the agency's testing practices for these widely used chemicals, and could affect policies for other industries such as cosmetics and pesticide makers, sources involved with the effort say.

Advocates of the testing methods say they are more cost-effective and relevant to humans, and would spare laboratory animals from tests that critics argue are cruel and unnecessary.

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California Floats Perchlorate Standard Weaker Than EPA Proposal

California has floated an enforceable cleanup standard for the chemical perchlorate in drinking water that is weaker than the level EPA has suggested.

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EPA Deputy Chief Defends Industry-Funded Study On Childhood Toxins

EPA's Deputy Administrator Stephen Johnson is defending the importance of a planned study that will rely on some industry funds to examine children's exposure to indoor toxins, saying information gathered about residential exposures will be critical in reducing the agency's controversial reliance on computer modeling to establish pesticide safety standards.

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EPA Absence At International Meeting May Undercut Global Chemical Safety Initiative

EPA went unrepresented earlier this month at a United Nations-organized conference on standardizing chemical safety requirements, prompting some U.S. participants to complain about the delegation's diminished role while others are accusing the Bush administration of attempting to undermine the effort's success by overruling the agency's decision to attend.

The agency said it decided not to attend the meeting, in Nairobi, Kenya, because of security concerns, though other government and non-government representatives from the United States attended.

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EPA TO ISSUE INTERIM POLICY ON ACCEPTING HUMAN TOXICITY TESTING DATA

Within a matter of months, EPA will release its interim policy on accepting testing on humans to determine pesticide toxicity, which will define its approach while it works on a rulemaking to resolve the controversial issue.

Crafting the interim guidance is a "very high priority" for the agency's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and could be in force for years, said senior policy adviser William Jordan at an agency conference Oct. 21. It should be ready "within months," he added.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS QUESTION EPA STUDY ON STREAMLINING TRI REPORTING

An EPA analysis on streamlining requirements for industry to report its use and release of lead and other persistent toxins is drawing criticism from environmentalists, who say the agency is relying on exaggerated industry estimates of reporting burdens that exclude previous burden reduction efforts.

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EPA PROMOTION OF NON-ANIMAL CHEMICAL TESTS MAY SPARK MAJOR SHIFT

EPA is seeking to approve alternatives to animal testing for some home cleaning products that could prompt a fundamental shift in the agency's testing practices for household chemicals -- and possibly for other industries such as cosmetics and pesticide producers, sources involved with the effort say.

Advocates of the testing methods say they are more cost-effective and relevant to humans, and would spare laboratory animals from tests that critics argue are cruel and unnecessary.

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EPA Rebuffs States' Request To Endorse Use Of Sewage Sludge As Fertilizer

EPA has declined the request of numerous states to explicitly endorse disposing of biosolids by using them as fertilizer, an endorsement states had sought to protect them against lawsuits challenging the practice, state sources say.

States had been seeking EPA's endorsement, a Wisconsin source says, because it could help fend off lawsuits from environmentalists and local municipalities that have continually questioned publicly owned treatment works' (POTWs) authority to land-apply biosolids.

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EPA To Issue Interim Policy On Accepting Human Toxicity Testing Data

Within a matter of months, EPA will release a statement outlining its interim policy on accepting testing on humans to determine pesticide toxicity, which will define its approach while it works on a rulemaking to resolve the controversial issue.

Crafting the interim guidance is a "very high priority" for the agency's Office of Pesticides Programs (OPP) and could be in force for years, said senior policy adviser William Jordan at an agency conference Oct. 21. It should be ready "within months," he also said.

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