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Waste

DOD Objects To Stringent Colorado Indoor Air Rules For Pervasive Toxin

The Defense Department is calling Colorado's decision to adopt a stringent indoor air policy for trichloroethylene (TCE) premature, pointing to the unresolved controversy over the scientific values on which the state bases its screening and remediation policy.

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HIGH COURT SETS HEARING DATE FOR LANDMARK COST-RECOVERY CASE

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a closely watched Superfund cost-recovery case next month, according to a court official, which could affect the future of EPA's successful voluntary Superfund cleanup initiative.

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NUCLEAR INDUSTRY MAY ASK SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW YUCCA RULING

The industry association representing nuclear utilities will likely ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a federal appellate ruling that threatens the planned nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, after the appeals court refused to reconsider its earlier decision.

"There's a good chance [we] will eventually appeal to the Supreme Court," says an official with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

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INDUSTRY, ACTIVISTS SPAR IN CHALLENGE TO EPA LANDFILL INNOVATION RULE

Environmental groups are urging a federal appeals court to prevent waste industry groups from weighing in on their legal challenge to an EPA rule waiving certain landfill requirements in order to foster innovation.

A coalition of activist groups late last month urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to deny a motion by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) to jointly file an amicus brief in the case.

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DOJ APPEAL APPEARS TO CHANGE TACK IN FIGHT OVER COAL MINING PERMITS

The Justice Department (DOJ) appears to be contradicting its earlier legal position in a new appeal challenging a successful environmentalist lawsuit that froze clean water permitting for coal mining operations in a key part of West Virginia, environmentalists say.

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INTERIOR DENIES SUPERFUND LIABILITY FOR OVERSIGHT OF PUBLIC LANDS

The Department of Interior is rejecting mining company charges that its Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cannot oversee a Nevada site's Superfund cleanup because it owns public lands on the site and therefore faces cleanup liability there.

Mining giant Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) recently called on BLM to acknowledge its status as a potentially responsible party (PRP) at the Anaconda Copper Mine in Yerington, NV, and withdraw from a memorandum of understanding granting it oversight over the cleanup because it owns 49 percent of the property.

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NEW MEXICO APPEAL OF NRD CLAIM MAY AFFECT STATES' RESOURCE RIGHTS

The New Mexico attorney general (AG) is appealing its loss in a natural resource damage (NRD) suit that may set a precedent limiting states' rights to pursue NRD claims for groundwater, which the federal government has already cited to support limits at another site.

According to documents the state recently filed with a federal appeals court, the AG is arguing that a federal district court made procedural errors and ignored technical expertise when it rejected the state's claims over groundwater contamination at an Albuquerque Superfund site.

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LATE SESSION MOVES PROPEL BROWNFIELDS BILL TO SCHWARZENEGGER'S DESK

In a late-session move, one of the year's most controversial environmental initiatives -- liability relief for brownfield developers under some circumstances -- cleared the Legislature and is being sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), who will almost certainly sign it. While developers are pleased with the final product, some environmentalists say the measure is deeply flawed and resent the last-minute maneuvering that led to the bill's passage.

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DATA-QUALITY PETITION CHALLENGES EPA'S SUPERFUND RISK RANKING PROCESS

An industry challenge to EPA's cleanup decision for an abandoned waste disposal site in Louisiana is targeting the agency's scientific review practices for determining the toxicity of contaminated sites slated for possible addition to the Superfund list. Industry officials claim EPA is violating Bush administration guidelines on the quality of data underlying government regulations.

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STATE SUPPORT BOOSTS TRIBE'S LANDMARK CROSS-BORDER WASTE SUIT

Washington state's decision to join a Native American tribe's landmark suit against a Canadian company for cross-border mining contamination will likely boost the tribe's litigation, according to a tribal official.

"It reinforces what we've been saying all along," the source says.

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