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Water

EPA PUSHES SAN FRANCISCO WATER BOARD TO BEEF UP MERCURY TMDL

U.S. EPA officials have begun talks with the San Francisco Bay regional water board to beef up proposed mercury discharge requirements, based on claims the limits will not meet federal water quality standards. The regional board may not be able to meet short-term total maximum daily load (TMDL) goals and a long-term management strategy, according to EPA.

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Court Victory May Aid Citizen Enforcement Of Clean Water Act

A federal appeals court has for the first time clearly stated that environmental groups have standing to sue water dischargers to disclose monitoring and reporting data under the Clean Water Act. A ruling earlier this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is "critically important" to the ability of environmentalists and other citizen groups to enforce the water act, an environmental attorney familiar with the case says, noting that the discharge permitting program is a self-monitoring system.

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Wastewater Industry Urges EPA To Consider Aquatic Life In Pesticide Reviews

The wastewater treatment industry is urging EPA to more carefully consider the aquatic life impacts of pesticides during their re-registration to ensure the compounds do not cause publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) to violate water quality standards for toxicity, industry sources say.

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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 (DOD) 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 cleanup 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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KEY DECISION MAY SLOW GOP SENATOR'S PUSH FOR CAFO EXEMPTIONS

Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig is rethinking his legislative strategy for exempting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from Superfund reporting requirements in light of a new federal appellate decision expected to vastly increase the number of agricultural facilities required to report hazardous emissions, Craig's staff says.

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POTWS URGE EPA TO DROP AIRPORT, DRINKING WATER EFFLUENT PLANS

NORFOLK -- Wastewater treatment industry officials are urging EPA not to move forward with plans to develop technology-based effluent limits for the airport de-icing and drinking water sectors, saying there are existing measures in place to control discharges from these sectors.

One industry official says publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) have adapted their treatment processes over the years to accommodate these wastes, using tools such as "local limits" under the pretreatment program to meet discharge limits.

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EPA WITHDRAWS DETECTION METHOD RULE, PROPOSES STAKEHOLDER PROCESS

EPA this week 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.

The planned stakeholder consensus process will help establish methods for setting the lowest detectable level of a pollutant, and also appears aimed at overcoming broad stakeholder disagreement on the now-withdrawn 2003 proposal to change EPA's current methods for setting the detection levels.

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EPA REJECTS INDUSTRY PLAN TO NARROW SCOPE OF PRETREATMENT RULE

NORFOLK -- EPA is not likely to move forward with a key wastewater industry proposal that would limit agency application of wastewater pretreatment requirements by narrowing its definition of what constitutes a "significant user" of pretreatment services, a top agency water official says.

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KEY DECISION MAY SLOW GOP SENATOR'S PUSH FOR CAFO EXEMPTIONS

Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig is rethinking his legislative strategy for exempting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from Superfund reporting requirements in light of a new federal appellate decision expected to vastly increase the number of agricultural facilities required to report hazardous emissions, Craig's staff says.

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