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Water

EPA FACES TOUGH CHOICE IN RE-REGISTRATION OF KEY WOOD PRESERVATIVE

EPA is facing a tough choice over whether to re-register a controversial wood preservative that the electric utility industry says is vital to transmitting power nationwide via wooden poles, but which states and environmentalists say harms human health and water quality through runoff to surface waters.

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EPA CHILDREN'S HEALTH ADVISERS TOLD PERCHLORATE LIMIT IS ADEQUATE

Researchers from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) told an EPA advisory panel on children's health that an exposure limit the agency recently adopted for the contaminant perchlorate is adequate to protect children and pregnant women.

The exposure limit could be the basis of upcoming drinking water standards and cleanup requirements for the pollutant, and the EPA advisory panel is considering whether those measures are sufficient to protect children.

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NEW PERCHLORATE LEVELS COULD COMPLICATE FUTURE EPA EFFORT

EPA's adoption of risk and exposure levels for perchlorate is sparking a heated debate that sources say could complicate EPA consideration of how -- and perhaps whether -- to set an enforceable drinking water standard for the contaminant.

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EPA REJECTS INDUSTRY OPPOSITION TO STUDY BENEFITS OF WATER INTAKE RULE

EPA appears to have rejected industry opposition to its plans to study the intrinsic and other so-called non-use benefits of its proposed rule regulating cooling water intakes at small power plants and industrial facilities, such as chemical plants, refineries and offshore oil and gas facilities.

Such a study could help EPA justify the costs of the proposed rule that imposes technology requirements to limit the impact of the intakes on aquatic organisms. EPA is scheduled to issue the rule ahead of a June 2006 judicial deadline.

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DESPITE PACT, BUILDERS CITE NEW DATA TO LIMIT SCOPE OF STORMWATER RULE

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is urging EPA to limit the application of its stormwater rules for small construction sites, even though the group recently settled a lawsuit with EPA to scale back enforcement under the general permit governing those sites.

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BUSH PLAN TO COUNT CORPS WATER PROJECT BENEFITS DRAWS SENATE IRE

Key senators are raising concerns over Bush administration budget plans to change the method used to measure the environmental and economic benefits of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water projects, a plan backed by environmental and taxpayer groups because it could limit the number of Corps projects.

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SENATORS SEEK INCREASED COASTAL MONEY AS BUSH BUDGET SLASHES FUNDS

Key senators are seeking to increase funding for coastal nonpoint source pollution control even as the Bush administration has eliminated dedicated nonpoint source control from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) budget and reduced other funding that could be used for such controls.

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COURT'S CAFO RULING MAY UNDERMINE EPA STORMWATER PERMIT REQUIREMENT

The recent federal appellate ruling striking down key portions of EPA's rule on large animal feedlots could also undermine EPA stormwater requirements for industrial facilities and construction sites where the agency also places the onus on the facilities to obtain permits or prove they do not need them.

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Draft EPA Guidelines Ease TMDL Listing Requirements For Polluted Waters

In new draft guidance, EPA has removed a requirement on states for listing water bodies as polluted by allowing for greater flexibility on which areas are added to the so-called impaired waters list, agency source say. This language is a notable change from EPA's guidance issued last year, which allowed voluntary programs to substitute for strict discharge caps only when existing local, state or federal laws ensured states would meet water quality standards in a timely manner.

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House Opposition To EPA Wastewater Blending Gains Momentum

Critics of EPA's controversial plan to allow wastewater blending have garnered a significant boost in support among House lawmakers, with a recent letter to EPA opposing the policy having attracted twice the number of signatures it did last year.

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