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Water

EPA Rejects Developing Water Rules For Coalbed Methane Drilling

EPA appears unlikely to develop regulations to address the effects of coalbed methane (CBM) drilling on the nation's water bodies and drinking water supplies, according to agency sources. The apparent decision comes in response to allegations by some EPA staff and environmentalists that the agency is not doing enough to protect water quality from the drilling practice.

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EPA Region Likely To Approve Novel Colorado Plan On Water Discharges

EPA Region 8 officials will likely approve a novel plan by Colorado to set a "range" of water-discharge limits --- rather than strict numeric limits --- for some chemical discharges into surface and groundwater bodies that serve as drinking water sources, an EPA source says.

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ACTIVISTS URGE WRCB TO UPHOLD PERCHLORATE ORDER ON FLARE MAKER

Environmentalists recently urged the California state water board to uphold a decision requiring a major flare manufacturer to continue supplying bottled water to residents serviced by perchlorate-contaminated wells, even if they are contaminated at levels lower than the state's public health goal.

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FLORIDA TMDL RULING MAY BOOST EPA SCRUTINY OF STATE IMPAIRED WATER LISTS

A recent appellate ruling requiring additional lower court scrutiny of Florida's methodologies for listing impaired waters could bolster EPA scrutiny of proposed state lists of impaired waters and force other states with similar methodologies to change their rules for determining whether waterbodies are impaired, environmentalists say.

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INDUSTRY EYES ACHIEVABLE MONITORING FOR STRICT WATER STANDARD

Industry groups are fighting Colorado regulators' plans for a first-time enforceable water quality standard for a widespread chemical contaminant by lobbying for a monitoring standard to be implemented in individual permits that would effectively nullify the state's new standard, state and industry sources say.

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EPA TARGETS ARSENIC REDUCTIONS THROUGH WATER DISTRIBUTION RULE

EPA is considering requiring drinking water systems to place controls in their distribution systems that minimize arsenic and other contaminants after a recent agency study revealed higher arsenic levels in the systems than the federal limit allows, agency sources say.

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STAKEHOLDERS URGE CAUTION OVER EPA ARTIFICIAL REEFS GUIDANCE

States and environmentalists are urging EPA to adopt additional protective measures and limit the use of a controversial guidance on preparing contaminated vessels for sinking as artificial reefs, which could be a key disposal method for decommissioned military and other government ships, according to recent comments submitted on the plan.

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NAVY DENIES ACTIVISTS' REQUEST FOR SEPARATE DISCUSSIONS ON SONAR

The Navy recently told environmentalists it would prefer to address their concerns about the service's use of mid-frequency sonar -- which has been implicated in at least one occurrence of whale strandings -- through an existing federal advisory panel rather than the separate discussions activists were seeking, according to the Navy's top environmental official.

But environmentalists say the advisory committee is not the place to resolve issues over the Navy's alleged non-compliance with environmental laws in using mid-frequency sonar.

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NEPA STUDY OF COALBED METHANE DRILLING COULD PROMPT NEW WATER RULES

A pending Bush administration review of the environmental impacts of coalbed methane (CBM) drilling in Wyoming's energy-rich Powder River Basin could lead regulators to require oil and gas companies to install costly new clean water technologies on their operations in a slew of western states, government and environmental sources say.

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WATER CONSERVATION MAY BOOST UTILITY USE OF COAL GASIFICATION

Increasing concerns about water conservation, particularly in the West, are likely to boost the use of a new advanced coal gasification technology that is more efficient than traditional coal-fired power plants, with environmentalists already citing the issue in questioning proposed permits for new conventionally designed facilities, according to utility regulators, environmentalists and industry analysts.

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