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Water

LANDMARK APPELLATE RULING ALLOWS GROUPS TO SUE FOR CLEAN WATER DATA

A federal appeals court has for the first time clearly stated that environmental groups have standing to sue dischargers to disclose monitoring and reporting data under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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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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EPA AIMS TO CUT IMPLEMENTATION UNCERTAINTY IN BEACH BACTERIA STANDARD

EPA's new bacteria standard for coastal recreational waters appears aimed at reducing uncertainty over how states should incorporate the standard into their 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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EPA Study Could Affect New Limits On Water Discharges

EPA is revising a decades-old study on the amount of pollutants publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) remove from industrial discharges, which could show that few new industry sectors require technology-based controls to meet water quality standards, wastewater treatment officials say.

The officials say the study will likely reveal higher pollutant removal rates than prior analyses, which could indicate that POTWs have been more effective than previously thought in removing pollutants of concern.

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WATER RESEARCHERS PUSH EPA TO ALLOW 'ADAPTIVE' TMDL CLEANUP PLANS

A group of water researchers is urging EPA to allow states to avoid setting strict numeric limits in total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) in favor of implementing more flexible measures that could be revised to reflect changing water quality conditions, the researchers and wastewater treatment industry sources say.

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EPA STUDY COULD LIMIT NEED FOR NEW EFFLUENT LIMITS, POTW OFFICIALS SAY

EPA is revising a decades-old study on the amount of pollutants publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) remove from industrial discharges, which could show that few new industry sectors require technology-based controls to meet water quality standards, wastewater treatment officials say.

The officials say the study will likely reveal higher pollutant removal rates than prior analyses, which could indicate that POTWs have been more effective than previously thought in removing pollutants of concern.

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POTWS EYE NEW DATA TO FORCE EPA COST ANALYSIS OF MERCURY WATER LIMITS

Wastewater treatment industry officials say new data showing that separators used to remove mercury from dental fillings are not effective in preventing mercury from reaching wastewater streams could force EPA to reconsider whether publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) can afford to comply with strict mercury discharge limits.

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SUCCESS OF L.A. STORMWATER BOND MAY SPUR 2006 COPYCAT MEASURES

Voter approval of a $500-million bond to clean up stormwater in the city of Los Angeles is leading other major city and county officials to consider their own initiatives in the 2006 election. Also known as the Clean Water, Ocean, River, Beach, Bay Storm Water Clean-Up Bond, Measure O levies a $35-per-house tax on homeowners to increase funding for stormwater operations and maintenance.

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WRCB ASSERTS COURT REQUESTING UNNECESSARY STUDIES IN L.A. TMDL CASE

Alleging the court has asked the state to perform unnecessary evaluations, the water board has appealed a 2003 judgment in a lawsuit over a trash total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Los Angeles River. The allegedly unnecessary evaluations include an "assimilative capacity study" not required by law, and a cost-benefit analysis that takes into account the cost of monitoring and reporting, according to a water board lawyer's brief.

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STAKEHOLDERS DUBIOUS ABOUT WRCB PLAN TO PREVENT SEWER OVERFLOWS

Environmentalists and sewage agencies are wary for different reasons of a water board proposal mandating the reporting and prevention of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) statewide. The agencies complain the water board plan could double service rates and attract lawsuits, while environmentalists argue the plan may not go far enough to prevent overflows.

If an SSO resolution passes next week, Water Resources Control Board staffers will begin crafting a full-scale SSO regulatory proposal for consideration by November 2005, according to a WRCB staffer.

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