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Waste

6TH CIRCUIT DECLINES TO BROADEN LANDMARK AIR RULING TO SUPERFUND

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to expand to the Superfund law the application of a landmark decision in which the 11th Circuit invalidated on constitutional due process grounds administrative penalties EPA levied under the Clean Air Act.

In Gurley v. United States, the 6th Circuit ruled that the 11th Circuit's landmark decision in Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) v. Whitman did not apply to Superfund law provisions allowing EPA to collect penalties when a defendant fails to respond to agency information requests.

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REVIEW SOUGHT FOR RULING ON RECOVERY FOR ESTIMATED CLEANUP COSTS

A waste transportation company is urging a federal appeals court to review its earlier precedent-setting ruling that allowed two chemical companies to seek Superfund cleanup contribution costs based on the estimated costs of a remedy that has yet to be completed.

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CASE MAY ALLOW DOJ TO TARGET LIMITS ON OVERSIGHT COST RECOVERY

A recent federal district court decision may present an opportunity for the federal government to challenge a long-standing legal precedent that prevents recovery of Superfund oversight costs, industry attorneys say.

The ruling also sets a precedent that limits the government's ability to recover attorneys' fees, according to the ruling.

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EPA NIXES REGIONAL CALL TO RETURN SUPERFUND STAFF FROM OTHER OFFICES

EPA has rejected a call from its regional offices to return Superfund staff who conduct Superfund-related work for other programs, according to an EPA source familiar with meetings on the issue. The source says there are more Superfund staff in other offices than the waste cleanup program itself.

A high-level EPA waste official declined to comment on the regional request, saying, "That whole discussion took place as part of the [fiscal year] '06 budget discussions. That was the context in which it played out."

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INDUSTRY-OPPOSED S.F. BAG FEE MAY BOOST STALLED STATE EFFORTS

In a move some observers say could help revive a statewide initiative to boost recycling and cut the amount of garbage going to landfills, San Francisco officials this week are expected to take a step toward enacting a 25-cent fee on paper and plastic bags distributed at grocery stores. But industry groups are opposing the city of San Francisco's efforts, arguing, among other things, that a "bag tax" is unnecessary and will likely hit the poorest consumers the hardest.

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Waste Office Warns New Children's Toxics Website May Alarm Public

Officials in EPA's Superfund program are raising concerns about new information posted on EPA's website about toxins and children's health, warning that the information could unnecessarily alarm communities that live near contaminated sites, agency sources say.

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Doubts Remain On EPA FY05 Spending Levels, Despite Senate Budget Boost

Uncertainty about the congressional schedule and major cuts pending in the House version of EPA's funding bill have observers doubting that the agency's fiscal year 2005 budget will include the more than $700 million boost above the administration's request that Senate appropriators approved this week.

"It looks like EPA did well [in the Senate VA-HUD bill]," an agency official says. "We would love to be able to sustain the Senate level. . . but history tells us it probably won't happen."

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Sixth Circuit Declines To Broaden Landmark TVA Ruling To Superfund

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to expand to the Superfund law the application of a landmark decision in which the 11th Circuit invalidated on constitutional due process grounds administrative penalties EPA levied under the Clean Air Act.

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Draft Blueprint Lays Out Revenue Options For Clean Water Trust Fund

Municipal wastewater treatment officials are circulating a draft blueprint for a clean water infrastructure trust fund that suggests financing the fund by taxing bottled drinks or reinstating an expired Superfund tax targeting large corporations, sources say.

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Senate GOP 'Riders' Target Environmentalists' Lawsuits Against Factory Farms

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) may seek to prevent future citizen lawsuits against concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) by attaching legislative riders to EPA's spending bill that exempt the facilities from Superfund and other environmental reporting requirements, according to a Craig staffer.

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