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Waste

LANDMARK APPELLATE RULING ALLOWS GROUPS TO SUE FOR CLEAN WATER DATA

A federal appeals court has for the first time clearly stated that environmental groups have standing to sue dischargers to disclose monitoring and reporting data under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The Nov. 1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is "critically important" to citizens' ability to enforce the CWA, an environmental attorney familiar with the case says, noting that the CWA permitting program is a self-monitoring system. "We think it is an important victory for environmental groups."

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EPA EYES EXTENDING RCRA EXEMPTION FOR REFINERY WASTE GASIFICATION

Under scrutiny from a White House energy task force, EPA may extend its current policy exempting some refinery wastes from regulation so that refineries that gasify the waste to produce electricity on-site can also sell the electricity to off-site facilities, according to industry and EPA sources.

The move comes as the agency continues to mull how to move forward with a long-pending rule aimed at encouraging gasification by exempting a host of waste streams from regulation.

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OEHHA EYES FORTHCOMING EPA PAPERS REFORMING CHILDREN'S RISK REVIEWS

A U.S. 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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CIWMB RE-ISSUES DISPOSAL REPORTING RULES AS CRITICS MAINTAIN CONCERNS

A waste board committee this week approved an industry request to release for an additional 45-day comment period a regulation package seeking to improve the disposal reporting system (DRS) the state uses to track local jurisdictions' progress toward meeting a 50% waste-diversion mandate. Major waste companies, however, appear to still have fundamental concerns with the rules, and one board member openly questioned whether the regulations will actually accomplish their intended goal.

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LAWMAKERS PROBE STATE SITE-CLEANUP POLICIES AT LOCAL VENUE

Lawmakers are scheduled this weekend to probe a disputed Bay Area marsh cleanup that is expected to shed light on controversial issues regarding Cal/EPA collaboration and public participation at contaminated site cleanups statewide. Community residents, nearby business owners and a county health official are expected to complain at the hearing that the cleanup at the Bay Area site has suffered from inadequate interagency cooperation and community involvement.

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OEHHA TRAFFIC STUDY MAY BOLSTER CALLS FOR VEHICLE CRACKDOWNS

A health hazard assessment office study that shows a possible link between heavy vehicle traffic near schools and increased respiratory problems in students may bolster calls for more regulatory crackdowns on mobile source pollution. While the study examined students' exposure to traffic-caused air pollution while at school, the office plans a follow-up study on children's exposure to mobile source pollution while at home, according to a spokesman with the office.

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CHEMICAL COMPANY COMPLAINTS SEEN KILLING DTSC PORTABLE TANK REGULATIONS

Complaints by chemical company representatives this summer have killed draft toxics department regulations for portable hazardous waste tanks, according to a Cal/EPA source. The industry representatives had told department officials that the proposal was too costly and unnecessary.

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EPA May Expand RCRA Waiver For Refining Wastes Used To Produce Electricity

Under scrutiny from a White House energy task force, EPA may expand a current regulatory exemption to allow refiners to gasify and burn wastes to generate and sell electricity. The move would broaden a current waste exemption that is limited to the generation of electricity for use on-site by refiners.

The effort comes as the agency continues to mull how to move forward with a long-pending rule aimed at encouraging gasification by exempting a host of waste streams from regulation.

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Court Decision Forces Senator To Reconsider Strategy On CAFO Exemptions

Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig is reconsidering his legislative strategy for exempting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from Superfund reporting requirements in light of a new federal appellate decision expected to vastly increase the number of agricultural facilities required to report hazardous emissions, Craig's staff says.

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Reid Would Bring Varying Environment Stances To Senate Leadership Post

The likely selection of Harry Reid as the new Senate Democratic leader will bring into power a lawmaker who is backed by the environmental community for being an outspoken opponent of storing nuclear waste in his home state of Nevada and for his support of fuel economy standards and renewable energy.

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