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Waste

Environmentalists Cite 'Dirty-Bomb' Cleanup Standard In Attack On Bush 9/11 Response

The Sierra Club says upcoming federal cleanup standards for "dirty-bomb" attacks that will be weaker than acceptable Superfund cleanup levels are key pieces of evidence that the Bush administration is developing policies based on failed government efforts to protect public health in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Following Democratic Push, EPA Agrees To Add Puerto Rico Sites To Superfund List

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

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DOI Fears Liability Precedent From 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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IG May Review EPA Process For Granting 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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JUDGE'S COMMENTS PROMPT EPA RULE ON EXPORT OF PCB-TAINTED SHIPS

EPA is considering a petition from the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to conduct a formal rulemaking exempting ships laden with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from legal requirements banning PCB export after a federal judge questioned whether EPA's earlier plan to grant an exemption without a rulemaking was lawful.

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NRC EYES INDUSTRY-WIDE INSURANCE FUND FOR POWER PLANT CLEANUPS

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering for the first time the use of an industry-wide insurance policy that utilities could purchase to cover the cost of shutting down and cleaning up nuclear power plants. The proposal would allow nuclear power generators to pool their "decommissioning" resources into an insurance fund that would be available in the event that a particular plant needs to be dismantled.

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SKULL VALLEY NUCLEAR WASTE SITE CLEARS ANOTHER LEGAL HURDLE

The proposed temporary nuclear waste repository at Skull Valley, UT, is one step closer to reality after a federal appeals court rejected efforts by the state of Utah to regulate the facility.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Aug. 4 found that a series of laws Utah enacted between 1998 and 2001 to regulate the transportation and storage of spent nuclear fuel are preempted by federal laws. "[I]n the matter of nuclear safety, Congress has determined that it is the federal government, and not the states, that must address the problem," the ruling states.

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NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE SETTLEMENT INCREASES PRESSURE FOR YUCCA

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 will likely increase pressure on the federal government to open the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, by 2010, industry sources say.

"From an industry standpoint, it creates more impetus to build it on schedule," a nuclear industry source says.

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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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