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Waste

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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EPA DECIDES STATES CAN KEEP UNIVERSAL WASTE RULES FOR CATHODE TUBES

EPA has decided that states can retain the so-called universal waste rules they have promulgated for cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which could alleviate state concerns that EPA may force them to amend the rules to match a pending CRT regulation from the agency.

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EPA WEIGHING NEW STUDY SHOWING E-WASTE IS HAZARDOUS UNDER RCRA

EPA is evaluating a recent agency-backed study showing a variety of electronic products -- including cell phones and computer mice -- would be considered hazardous under agency tests used to decide whether to regulate waste materials, an EPA official told state waste managers last month.

EPA does not currently regulate the materials as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA).

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BILL MAY FORESHADOW DEBATE ON INTERSTATE WASTE LIMITS NEXT YEAR

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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EPA STRUGGLING TO MEASURE BENEFITS OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH GRANTS

EPA is finalizing a policy to ensure agency grants result in measurable environmental benefits, but is still struggling to develop ways of quantifying environmental results stemming from research grants.

EPA officials expect to issue a final "order on environmental results under assistance agreements" in January 2005, but agency and congressional sources say EPA is still not sure how it will be able to measure the results of grants that are made for research into environmental issues.

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INDUSTRY-ENVIRONMENTAL COALITION FIGHTING IRS PLAN FOR WASTE FACILITIES

An unusual coalition of industry groups and environmentalists is opposing an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposal to fix long-standing limits on the use of tax-exempt financing for waste disposal facilities that recycle, coalition sources say.

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EPA MULLS CHEMICAL MAKERS' CALL FOR INCREASED RCRA FUELS RELIEF

EPA is weighing a chemical industry proposal to expand a Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) rule exempting hazardous wastes burned as fuel from some permitting requirements if they are comparable to traditional energy sources like fuel oils, according to EPA and industry sources.

The recent proposal, if adopted, would allow the chemical industry to decrease reliance on expensive natural gas to power its operations, industry sources say.

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DOE BACKS EPA PLAN TO EASE WASTE RULES FOR VOLUNTARY MANAGEMENT

The Department of Energy (DOE) is backing an EPA proposal to grant relief from hazardous waste requirements if regulated entities are implementing voluntary management practices known as environmental management systems (EMSs), one of a host of agency proposals to boost EMS use through regulatory relief.

DOE and industry both use EMSs at their facilities in an effort to improve environmental compliance, and argue that EMS compliance can substitute for certain prescriptive regulatory requirements, such as recordkeeping and paperwork mandates.

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EPA NARROWS ISSUES FOR REFORMING HAZWASTE GENERATOR PROGRAM

EPA officials appear to have identified three priority issues for reform in the agency's Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste generator program in response to comments the agency received from industry and the U.S. Navy.

While the agency is also considering a number of other issues for reform, one EPA source agrees that the three major issues targeted by industry and the Navy for reform are valid.

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