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Toxics

California Chemical Testing Bill Clears First Hurdle Despite Industry Opposition

A controversial bill in California that aims to require chemical makers to provide the state with analytical methods to detect their compounds in the environment passed its first legislative test this week, but not without attracting significant industry opposition.

The legislation would establish a California requirement for chemical testing that on the national level is part of a voluntary initiative under an EPA program to address the most produced chemicals.

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Science Advisers Question EPA Pledge To Monitor Mercury 'Hot Spots'

EPA science advisers are challenging the agency's recent pledge to monitor for potential concentrations of mercury emissions as part of EPA's mercury air rule issued last month, arguing that the agency has no scientific means to track so-called "hot spots" of the contaminant.

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EPA Agrees To Review Restrictions On Disposing PCBs In Municipal Landfills

EPA has agreed to reconsider current restrictions on disposing of wastes containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in municipal landfills after industry groups petitioned the White House to examine whether the agency's position was overly restrictive, according to industry sources and White House documents.

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EPA LAUNCHES DEBATE OVER BEST WAY TO REGULATE NANOTECHNOLOGY

EPA is planning a stakeholder meeting to discuss whether to rely on current toxics law in establishing safeguards for nanotechnology-based manufacturing, signaling the agency is ready to begin the debate on one of most controversial questions about regulating the emerging science.

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OMB LANGUAGE IN CANCER GUIDE EASES USE OF NON-LINEAR RISK DATA

The White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) has inserted language into EPA's cancer guidance that agency sources say will allow regulators to weigh studies justifying lower risk and regulatory levels for some chemicals than EPA currently considers by making it easier to consider so-called non-linear cancer thresholds.

The OMB language allows regulators to consider the alternative studies where there is some scientific support for them even if there is not an overwhelming amount of evidence for the alternatives, according to EPA sources.

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OEHHA REGULATORY PROPOSAL LETS INDUSTRIES OFF HOOK FOR ACRYLAMIDE

The health hazard office is floating several long-awaited Proposition 65 regulatory proposals that would eliminate or significantly relax requirements that companies warn consumers about exposure to the food chemical and carcinogen acrylamide. Critics, including consumer health legal outfits, are blasting the proposals collectively as a monumental cave-in to powerful industry organizations, which have been lobbying the Schwarzenegger Administration and the federal government to shelve any Cal/EPA plan to require warnings for the chemical.

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Sen. Inhofe Drafts Bill To Exclude Pesticide Use From Water Permits

Senate environment committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) is drafting legislation that would excuse pesticide spraying and other applications from Clean Water Act (CWA) discharge permitting requirements, congressional and other observers say.

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Senators Drop Johnson Hold After EPA Ends Disputed Pesticide Plan

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) are dropping their hold on acting EPA administrator-nominee Stephen Johnson after he announced that he was canceling a controversial agency study on the impacts of pesticides on children that the lawmakers have criticized.

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Upcoming Medical Criteria Bill May Supplant Asbestos Trust Fund Plan

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) plans to reintroduce legislation that would create medical criteria that must be met for compensation to be awarded to victims of asbestos exposure. The legislation comes as some insurance industry officials are withdrawing their support for a proposed asbestos victim trust fund bill, which has floundered in the Senate, and are urging lawmakers to instead back a medical criteria approach to resolving asbestos liability claims.

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EPA REJECTS INDUSTRY ARGUMENTS FOR RE-HEARING IN TOXIC TESTING CASE

EPA is defending its whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests, and a federal court's calculations used in a decision upholding the tests, in a brief submitted to the court opposing industry efforts to have the court rehear arguments concerning WET's reliability.

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