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Water

EPA Rejects Industry Plan To Narrow Scope Of Key Wastewater Rule

NORFOLK -- EPA is not likely to move forward with a key wastewater industry proposal that would limit agency application of wastewater pretreatment requirements by narrowing its definition of what constitutes a "significant user" of pretreatment services, a top agency water official says.

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California Floats Perchlorate Standard Weaker Than EPA Proposal

California has floated an enforceable cleanup standard for the chemical perchlorate in drinking water that is weaker than the level EPA has suggested.

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EPA To Clarify When States Can Downgrade Designated Uses Of Waterways

EPA officials are seeking to help states clarify long-standing questions over when they can downgrade waterbodies' designated uses, which is a necessary step regulators must take to weaken water quality standards when waterways are not meeting existing standards.

The agency's efforts could help industry sectors struggling to meet current water quality requirements, such as wastewater treatment facilities with combined sewers and oil and gas production operations whose discharges create so-called effluent-dependent streams.

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EPA DECLINES SHIFT IN MINE WASTE POLICY DESPITE FLORIDA HURRICANE SPILLS

EPA appears to be rejecting suggestions that it end the agency's ban on recycling the one billion tons of radioactive phosphate mining waste in the state, which is currently stored in enormous stacks, even after millions of gallons of contaminated water spilled from some stacks following this summer's Hurricane Frances.

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EPA DECLINES STATES' CALL TO ENDORSE LAND APPLICATION OF BIOSOLIDS

EPA has declined the request of numerous states to explicitly endorse disposing of biosolids by using them as fertilizer, an endorsement states had sought to protect them against lawsuits challenging the practice, state sources say.

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LOUISIANA HIGH COURT TAKINGS DECISION HELPS BUSH PLAN TO GAIN WETLANDS

The Louisiana Supreme Court has reversed a $1.3 billion takings award that could have threatened the state's coastal wetlands restoration effort, which the Bush administration is relying on to help meet its ambitious goal of "gaining" 3 million acres of wetlands in five years, state sources and environmentalists say.

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EPA TO CLARIFY WHEN STATES CAN DOWNGRADE WATERS' DESIGNATED USE

EPA officials are seeking to help states clarify long-standing questions over when they can downgrade waterbodies' designated uses, which is a necessary step regulators must take to weaken water quality standards when waters are not meeting existing standards.

The agency's efforts could help industry sectors struggling to meet current water quality requirements, such as wastewater treatment facilities with combined sewers and oil and gas production operations whose discharges create so-called effluent-dependent streams.

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EPA DECLINES STATES' CALL TO ENDORSE LAND APPLICATION OF BIOSOLIDS

U.S. EPA has declined the request of numerous states to explicitly endorse disposing of biosolids by using them as fertilizer, an endorsement states had sought to protect them against lawsuits challenging the practice, state sources said.

"As to the request that EPA should issue a statement favoring the beneficial reuse of biosolids over other uses, we do not believe that EPA should be involved in determining the biosolids management options most suitable for a particular community," acting water chief Ben Grumbles said in an Oct. 7 letter.

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DESPITE COST CONCERNS WRCB APPROVES BACTERIA TMDL FOR L.A. HARBOR

Despite complaints of significant cost pressures, the water board last week approved a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for coliform bacteria in the Los Angeles Harbor. While Los Angeles city and county officials are unhappy with the board's decision to uphold the regional board-issued TMDL, they say they will not further challenge it in court.

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BRACING FOR CWA EXPANSION, WRCB DEVELOPS FIRST-TIME MINING PERMIT

Water board regulators are developing a Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit for gravel mining excavation activities because of concerns that a federal appellate court will uphold a ruling that could require many gravel mining operations to obtain CWA permits for the first time, state sources say.

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