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Water

DELTA DECISION MAY MUDDY WATER RIGHTS PROCESS, ATTORNEYS SAY

A recent appeals court decision will likely make it more difficult for private companies to receive and alter water rights permits, according to attorneys tracking the case. The judgment directs a private company, Delta Wetlands (DW), to redraft a water rights agreement it reached with the water board and sets a precedent for greater board oversight of private companies in water rights issues, according to these attorneys.

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EPA Funding Crunch May Hamper Research On Gulf Of Mexico Pollution

A federal budget crunch could prevent EPA and other agencies from conducting research to determine whether to alter their approach for reversing low oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico caused by pollution, one EPA source says.

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Landmark Georgia Supreme Court Ruling Broadens Water Discharge Controls

The Georgia Supreme Court recently issued a landmark interpretation of the Clean Water Act's anti-degradation provisions, saying the law forbids sewer plants from discharging water pollutants if the facilities have the technology to remove them, attorneys following the case say.

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Environmentalists Argue Water Act Requires Ballast Discharge Permits For Ships

Environmentalists are rejecting EPA claims that its regulatory exemption for ballast water discharges from seagoing vessels is sanctioned by the Clean Water Act -- in a case that may result in a significant expansion of the water permitting program to address aquatic invasive species.

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EPA Funding Crunch May Hamper Research On Gulf Of Mexico Pollution

A federal budget crunch could prevent EPA and other agencies from conducting research to determine whether to alter their approach for reversing low oxygen levels in the Gulf of Mexico caused by pollution, one EPA source says.

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OTHER STATES UNLIKELY TO FOLLOW NEW JERSEY WITH STRICTER ARSENIC LEVEL

Other states are unlikely to follow New Jersey's lead in setting drinking water standards for arsenic that are more stringent than the federal level, according to state drinking water sources.

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MERCURY STUDY COULD BOOST EFFORTS TO IMPLEMENT EPA FISH TISSUE CRITERION

A new EPA-backed study showing increased effectiveness of state mercury control programs that assess mercury based on fish tissue levels rather than the amount in the water column could boost efforts to implement the agency's 2001 fish tissue-based water quality criterion, sources familiar with the study say.

EPA and several New England states will soon publish the study indicating that state water quality programs to control mercury are more effective when they measure mercury levels in fish tissue rather than the total amount of the pollutant found in a waterbody.

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ACTIVISTS MAY FIGHT NEW ARGUMENT LIMITING CORPS ROLE OVER WETLANDS

A national environmental group may intervene in a lawsuit to challenge a novel industry argument that wetlands connected to a manmade discharge pond are not protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA) because the pond severs any significant link to navigable waters.

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EPA WETLANDS MITIGATION GUIDE TO INCLUDE INDUSTRY REQUEST FOR FLEXIBILITY

A pending EPA guidance that will outline the conditions under which wetlands mitigation projects can be constructed off site from the original impact is likely to include language favored by the wetlands mitigation banking industry that drops the agency's previously stated preference for on-site mitigation, EPA and other sources say.

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POTWs SEEK RULING IN BLENDING LAWSUIT REGARDLESS OF EPA GUIDANCE

Wastewater industry attorneys are urging a federal appeals court to rule in a pending suit against EPA on whether publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) are allowed to blend treated and untreated wastewater -- regardless of whether the agency finalizes an interim guidance that may allow the practice early next year, according to an industry brief.

"Even if EPA finalizes its draft blending policy this matter will not be mooted," three municipal wastewater groups say in their Nov. 17 brief. Relevant documents are available on InsideEPA.com.

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