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Waste

CPR CAL/EPA OVERHAUL VISION EXPECTED TO SPARK DEBATE, SOME BILLS

The California Performance Review (CPR) recommendations to eliminate Cal/EPA boards and convert all entities into divisions under an overarching department are expected to spark weighty discussion among officials and stakeholders, but very likely will not all come to fruition, sources said. A scenario may emerge where disparate interests will latch on to specific recommendations in the report, which could lead to pitched battles in the Legislature next year.

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TAMMINEN PRESSES WRCB, DTSC TO COORDINATE BROWNFIELDS PROGRAMS

Cal/EPA Secretary Terry Tamminen is pressing the water board and toxics department to better coordinate their brownfield cleanup and certification programs, which sources say reflects growing concern among agency officials, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature over brownfields management in general. The agency's brownfields activities are also expected to be discussed at separate meetings planned by the Los Angeles regional water board and Assemblywoman Cindy Montañez (D-San Fernando).

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EPA Targets Key Issues For Reforming Hazardous Waste Rules

EPA officials appear to have identified three priority issues for reforming the agency's hazardous waste generator program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in response to comments by various industry groups and the U.S. Navy.

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Nuclear Commission Eyes Industry-Wide Insurance For Power Plant Cleanups

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering for the first time the use of an industry-wide insurance policy that utilities could purchase to cover the cost of shutting down and cleaning up nuclear power plants. The proposal would allow nuclear power generators to pool their "decommissioning" resources into an insurance fund that would be available in the event that a particular plant needs to be dismantled.

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EPA Backs Role For Bilateral Panel To Avoid Cross-Border Pollution Disputes

EPA, state officials and a key senator are suggesting that the U.S. and Canada seek the advice of a bilateral commission to prevent future cross-border environmental disputes over proposed Canadian mining and drilling projects near the U.S. border.

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DOE Supports EPA Plan To Ease Regulatory Burdens For Waste Generators

The Department of Energy (DOE) is backing an EPA proposal to offer regulatory relief for hazardous waste facilities that adopt pollution-reduction practices known as environmental management systems (EMSs). The department's support could be a major boost for EPA efforts to expand the use of the management approach by industry and the government.

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House GOP Bill May Foreshadow Debate Next Year On Interstate Waste Limits

A key House subcommittee chair has introduced bipartisan legislation to limit solid waste imports as a way to initiate what is likely to be a heated debate in the next Congress over restricting Canadian and interstate trash shipments.

One source says it is unlikely the latest legislative effort to restrict trash shipments will pass this year because it was introduced late in the congressional session.

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SEC DOWNPLAYS CALL FOR PACT WITH EPA TO IMPROVE DISCLOSURE SCRUTINY

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) appears to be resisting calls from congressional investigators to formalize a data-sharing agreement with EPA to improve its oversight of corporate environmental disclosure, according to EPA and SEC officials.

A top EPA enforcement official says SEC scrutiny of corporate environmental disclosures is not a top priority for commission officials. SEC officials also told Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigators that they see no need to improve the current data-sharing regime.

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APPEALS COURT ALLOWS LANDFILL TO PROCEED, DESPITE AIRPORT PROXIMITY

A federal appeals court is allowing a controversial landfill to proceed, finding that construction work performed at the site qualifies it for protection under a "grandfather" clause in a law that otherwise limits new landfills from being built near airports.

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EPA TO CONDUCT TESTING ON DISPUTED ASBESTOS DEMOLITION METHOD

EPA is delaying a decision on whether to approve a controversial method for demolishing asbestos-contaminated buildings until it completes additional testing on the technique's safety, despite previously backing the method.

The delay comes after agency scientists questioned the safety of the method -- known as wet demolition -- and environmentalists said its use may violate federal environmental laws, including the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act and Superfund.

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