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Water

DRAFT 2006 ENVIRONMENTALIST WATER BOND EMPHASIZES CONSERVATION

Environmentalists are drafting a major resources bond they hope to land on the 2006 ballot that will likely stress conservation as the primary means to help the state meet its water supply needs. But water agency officials say conservation alone cannot solve all the state's water supply needs and additional infrastructure projects should also be considered.

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CPR PANEL SIGNALS SUPPORT FOR SOME CAL/EPA REORGANIZATION

The California Performance Review (CPR) Commission supports "in concept" the bulk of a sweeping government reorganization plan, particularly as it pertains to a new Department of Environmental Protection, but falls short of explicitly endorsing many of the plan's specific recommendations, in a newly released report. The commission singles out the air board as worthy of retention, but is silent on other hot-button CPR proposals, including recommendations to transform the water and waste boards into department-like divisions.

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Lawmakers Seek Deal On Army Corps Reforms In Water Resources Bill

House and Senate lawmakers are negotiating whether to mandate reforms to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' method for approving navigation and other water resource projects in the agency's 2005 authorization bill, in the hopes of attaching the measure to an upcoming omnibus spending bill, environmentalists and congressional sources say.

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Clean Water Funding Cuts Likely In FY05 Omnibus Spending Legislation

Clean water grants are likely to face a 20 percent cut below fiscal year 2004 levels in the FY05 omnibus appropriations legislation, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) told lawmakers Nov. 17.

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EPA Offers State Flexibility In Monitoring Of Beach Water Bacteria

EPA's new bacteria standards for coastal recreational waters appear aimed at reducing uncertainty over how states should incorporate the requirements into their own clean water programs given the agency's failure to issue guidance on how to implement the bacteria criteria it promulgated in 1986.

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Water Officials Say New Data May Force EPA Easing Of Mercury Limits

Wastewater treatment officials say new data that questions the effectiveness of efforts to reduce the amount of mercury that washes down the drains of dental offices could force EPA to re-examine its strict new limits for the pollutant on public sewer systems.

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EPA WITHDRAWS DETECTION METHOD RULE, PROPOSES STAKEHOLDER PROCESS

EPA earlier this month withdrew a proposed rule on detection methods for contaminants in water and announced that it will launch a stakeholder process to address outstanding technical issues about the detection methods before pursuing any new regulations.

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RELEASE OF CALIFORNIA PERCHLORATE PLAN MAY HINDER INDUSTRY EFFORTS

The California health department's inadvertent posting of an internal draft drinking water standard for perchlorate could hinder industry efforts to weaken the 6-parts-per-billion (ppb) level set in the draft rule, environmentalists and a state water agency source say.

The department's draft standard is weaker than the 1-ppb standard EPA has suggested but is still significantly stricter than levels around 200 ppb the Defense Department and some industry officials favor.

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NAVY RESEARCHERS CRITICIZE INTERSTATE CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS GUIDE

The Navy is criticizing an interstate coalition's draft evaluation of methods for addressing contaminated sediments, arguing that the group is downplaying the use of monitored natural attenuation (MNA) to clean up these sites.

The Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC), a national coalition of environmental agency personnel from 40 states, three federal agencies, tribes, activists and industry groups, is finalizing a draft guidance that lays out different options for addressing contaminated sediments.

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DISTRICT COURT IN CALIFORNIA VACATES MMPA JUDGMENT IN LFA SONAR CASE

In light of 2003 legislation that amended the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), a federal district court in late September vacated a landmark judgment issued in August 2003 that found the Navy and federal marine regulators had violated aspects of the MMPA and other environmental laws with regard to the Navy's permitted use of low frequency active sonar. Congress' passage last year of measures that relaxed the military's requirements under MMPA, effectively mooted the judgment, the court ruled Sept. 21.

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