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Waste

IG EYES EPA PROCESS FOR CRAFTING EXEMPTIONS FROM WIPES RULE

EPA's Inspector General (IG) may investigate the agency's process for developing exemptions to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for contaminated industrial towels in response to Democrats' concerns over the influence some industry sectors had in the rule's development.

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EPA AGREES TO PROPOSE PUERTO RICO MILITARY SITES FOR NPL

Following a push by House Democratic leadership and extensive interagency negotiations, EPA is proposing former military training sites on two Puerto Rico islands to the National Priorities List (NPL), the first time the Bush administration has proposed listing a federal facility.

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APPELLATE COURT EXPANDS EARLIER RULING ON WORLD WAR II LIABILITY

A federal appeals court appears to have broadened an earlier landmark ruling that exempts government contractors from World War II (WWII) Superfund liability if their contracts contain indemnification clauses.

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CONTRACTOR FACES MULTIPLE TORT SUITS OVER SUPERFUND CLEANUP

A cleanup contractor specializing in treating contaminated soil at hazardous waste sites is facing multiple class-action lawsuits from its investors for allegedly overstating the value of a cleanup contract at a New Jersey Superfund site.

Already, plaintiffs' attorneys have filed four separate suits against Bennett Environmental Inc., a Canadian company that treats contaminated soil by heating it to high temperatures.

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EPA CITES LITTLE-USED POWER TO INCLUDE NAVIGATION DREDGING IN CLEANUP

EPA is close to finalizing an agreement with Massachusetts that relies on little-used Superfund authority allowing states to "enhance" some cleanup plans that will allow the state to include navigational dredging as part of EPA's plans to dredge contaminated sediments from portions of New Bedford harbor.

Invoking the authority will allow Massachusetts to streamline permitting requirements for disposal of sediment from the two projects, reduce disposal costs, coordinate monitoring and increase coordination between the two dredging projects, EPA says.

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NOVEL SUIT MAY BE TEST FOR 'EQUIVALENCY' UNDER CERCLA'S NRD PROVISIONS

A Virgin Islands resident is filing an unusual challenge to a natural resource damages (NRD) settlement plan stemming from groundwater contamination, charging that the territory's plans to use settlement funds to purchase beachfront property violates provisions in Superfund law requiring funds be spent only on "equivalent" resources.

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DOI FEARS CLEANUP COST PRECEDENT IN CROSS-BORDER TOXICS CASE

Top Interior Department (DOI) officials are raising concerns about EPA efforts to force a Canadian company to clean up contamination in a Washington state lake because of fears DOI's Bureau of Reclamation, which operates a nearby dam, could face Superfund liability at the lake as well as hundreds of other dams it operates, government sources say.

DOI's concerns could put further pressure on EPA to retreat from its efforts to hold Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco liable under CERCLA for mining releases that originated in Canada but eventually settled in Lake Roosevelt.

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EPA MAY USE REGION III GUIDE TO PERMIT REMAINING UNREGULATED RCRA UNITS

EPA may adopt Region III guidelines for permitting the bulk of remaining unregulated Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) facilities, including a host of munitions disposal sites, to help meet the agency's ambitious goal of preventing releases at 95 percent of hazardous waste facilities by 2008, according to an Office of Solid Waste (OSW) official and agency documents.

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EPA AGREES TO ANALYZE SOLID WASTE RULE'S ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

EPA will study the environmental risks posed by its plan to exempt over one million tons of hazardous waste from regulation, after the waste treatment industry and environmentalists criticized the agency's failure to study those risks when developing the proposal, according to an Office of Solid Waste (OSW) official.

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Nuclear Waste Storage Settlement Increases Pressure To Open Yucca Site

The first settlement between the U.S. government and a utility over the government's failure to assume control over commercial nuclear waste by a statutorily mandated deadline is likely to increase pressure on the federal government to open the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, by 2010, industry sources say.

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