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Waste

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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CONSERVATIVE GROUP MAY PUSH FAILED IOWA CAFO BILL IN OTHER STATES

Iowa legislators are expected to revive their proposal that sharply curbs states' authority to issue clean air standards for animal feedlots and other pollution sources EPA does not already regulate.

Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled Iowa legislature passed a bill that would have set specific standards for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from which state regulators could not deviate, but Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) vetoed the legislation amid a contentious and largely partisan debate.

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EPA OPENS DOOR TO FINALIZING CAFO AIR PACT WITHOUT PUBLIC INPUT

EPA officials may bar the public from commenting on a controversial agreement temporarily exempting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from enforcement, despite a commitment to a key Democratic senator last year that the agency would seek public comment on a draft version of the agreement before it was finalized.

One EPA source would not discuss specific plans on the agreement, but said the agency has made no final decisions on its release. "We're still considering how to proceed with this," the source says.

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EPA Agrees To Conduct Analysis Of Solid Waste Regulation's Environmental Risks

EPA will analyze 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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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 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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ARMY INVESTIGATING SCOPE OF UXO IN DELAWARE PAVING MATERIAL

The Army Corps of Engineers is investigating the extent of potential unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination in clamshell paving material in Delaware, after three Air Force ordnance disposal experts were injured late last month by a World War I-era chemical agent-filled munition found in a driveway.

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