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Water

NEW EPA RISK PLAN COULD LIMIT DREDGING AT SEDIMENT CLEANUPS

EPA is urging its project managers to conduct more detailed risk analyses of dredging and other methods for cleaning up contaminated sediment, which will likely limit the use of dredging as a cleanup method, agency and industry sources say. The Defense Department has also expressed an interest in using the new approach at its sites.

An agency source says the new approach aims to focus on other remedies beyond dredging in cleaning up contaminated sediment sites and to place a greater emphasis on using a mix of remedies.

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ACTIVISTS, BOXER PUSH STATE TO LOWER PERCHLORATE PHG, SET INTERIM MCL

Citing new scientific studies and a recently enacted law, environmentalists are petitioning California regulators to lower their public health goal (PHG) for perchlorate and set an emergency, interim drinking water standard for the chemical. The groups have a powerful ally in Sen. Barbara Boxer, who urged the same course of action in a letter submitted last month to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

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EPA SEEKS FDA SUPPORT IN FIGHT WITH DOD ON PERCHLORATE LEVELS

EPA water officials are seeking support from Food & Drug Administration (FDA) scientists to help the agency translate the National Academy of Science's (NAS) recent risk estimate for perchlorate into a strict regulatory standard, government sources say.

The agency is asking FDA to defend preliminary data on perchlorate levels in foods, such as milk and lettuce, which could help the agency set a strict drinking water standard -- and cleanup level -- for the ubiquitous contaminant.

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SETTLEMENT COULD END KEY LAWSUIT OVER INVASIVE SPECIES TMDLS

Environmentalists and EPA have reached a deal that will delay, and possibly call off, landmark litigation over whether aquatic invasive species constitute pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA) -- and whether EPA and states must set total maximum daily loads for waters impaired by them.

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FIGHT OVER MARYLAND 'FLUSH TAX' MAY SET BAR FOR FEDERAL AGENCIES

A dispute between Maryland and the Navy over the state's landmark effort to raise new wastewater infrastructure funds could set the bar for whether federal agencies are subject to similar state environmental fundraising efforts.

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IDAHO MOVES TO IMPLEMENT EPA MERCURY CRITERION ABSENT AGENCY POLICY

The Idaho legislature appears likely to codify a contentious state plan to implement EPA's landmark fish-tissue criterion for mercury even though the agency is still struggling to develop its own guidance for how to implement the criterion. In addition, it is unclear whether recent changes to the state's program will satisfy EPA Region X concerns with a draft version of the plan.

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UTILITIES SEEK QUICK PERCHLORATE RULE AS ALTERNATIVE TO DEMOCRATS' BILLS

The American Water Works Association (AWWA), a group representing drinking water suppliers, is opposing Democratic bills mandating a date for EPA to regulate perchlorate and is instead urging the agency to quickly develop an enforceable drinking water standard for the ubiquitous contaminant.

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EPA SEEKS FDA SUPPORT IN FIGHT WITH DOD ON PERCHLORATE LEVELS

EPA water officials are seeking support from Food & Drug Administration (FDA) scientists to help the agency translate the National Academy of Science's (NAS) recent risk estimate for perchlorate into a strict regulatory standard, government sources say.

The agency is asking FDA to defend preliminary data on perchlorate levels in foods, such as milk and lettuce, which could help the agency set a strict drinking water standard -- and cleanup level -- for the ubiquitous contaminant.

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WASTEWATER OFFICIALS CRITICIZE EPA DRAFT EFFLUENT TOXICITY TESTING GUIDE

SAN ANTONIO -- EPA's draft guidance on setting toxicity limits in industrial discharge permits fails to clarify a host of wastewater industry concerns and does not provide sufficient flexibility for treatment systems seeking to meet mandatory toxics standards, industry sources say.

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STATES CHALLENGE HOMEBUILDERS' SUIT ON CORPS' WETLANDS GENERAL PERMIT

New York and New Mexico are urging a federal appeals court to reject an industry push for judicial review of changes to Army Corps of Engineers general wetlands permits, arguing that plaintiffs have not suffered an injury subject to court review because the permit changes are not final agency actions.

The states say that contrary to industry's claims, the Corps' new permit conditions assist states in protecting wetlands while conserving limited administrative resources.

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