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Water

GROUPS URGE SUPERFUND LISTING FOR NEVADA PERCHLORATE SITE

Environmentalists have petitioned U.S. EPA to place a Nevada chemical plant on the National Priorities List (NPL), arguing that because the site is releasing significant quantities of perchlorate into the Colorado River -- impacting water supplies in California, Arizona and Mexico -- it clearly merits Superfund status. However, officials with the chemical company, the state of Nevada and EPA question the value of putting the facility on the Superfund list and say because a state-led remediation effort is proceeding sufficiently, it will likely not end up on the NPL.

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NEW PRESS ON ADMINISTRATION OVER PERCHLORATE MCL TARGETS COST

Environmentalists and industry groups are focusing on the potential cost impacts of a forthcoming perchlorate maximum contaminant level (MCL) in pressing the health department and Schwarzenegger Administration to follow markedly different approaches in setting the cleanup standard. Activists are pushing for a 1-part-per-billion (ppb) MCL, arguing that there will be no costs to the state from such a stringent standard because responsible parties should be held liable for cleaning up pollution they caused.

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EPA, Corps Undertake Comprehensive Review Of Clean Beach Plan

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have launched a comprehensive review of a 15-year-old initiative for finding and cleaning up floatable debris -- including medical waste -- that washes up onto beaches, after a House Democrat raised concerns about beach contamination incidents this summer.

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Errors Delay Publication Of Major EPA Air Toxics, Water Rules By Months

Minor errors are causing lengthy delays in promulgating at least three court-ordered air toxics and water pollution rules, delaying industry compliance and impeding litigation.

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Oceans Panel Retreats From Plan To Consolidate Key Water Programs

A panel charged with recommending new federal policies to protect and improve ocean health has backed off a draft recommendation to consolidate certain federal nonpoint water pollution programs currently administered by EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), according to documents released by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.

The change is among a host of key modifications the panel made when finalizing a draft report it released earlier this year.

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EPA OUTLINES BEST PRACTICES FOR TURNING SHIPS INTO ARTIFICIAL REEFS

EPA is soliciting public comment on draft guidance outlining environmentally sound best management practices for preparing decommissioned government and commercial vessels for use as artificial reefs, an option that could be more economical than trying to recycle ships.

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OCEANS PANEL RETREATS FROM PLAN TO CONSOLIDATE NONPOINT PROGRAMS

A panel charged with recommending new federal policies to protect and improve ocean health has backed off a draft recommendation to consolidate certain federal nonpoint water pollution programs currently administered by EPA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), according to documents released by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.

The change is among a host of key modifications the panel made when finalizing a draft report it released earlier this year.

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INSPECTOR GENERAL CONSIDERS BROAD REPORT ON EPA WATER PROGRAMS

CHICAGO -- EPA's internal watchdog may conduct an unusually broad study of various Office of Water programs in order to identify common problems and trends, according to an official with the agency's Office of Inspector General (IG).

The report would be unusual for the office because while the IG commonly reviews specific agency programs and management issues, it generally does not issue studies evaluating overall agency efforts to address broad media such as air and water.

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EPA LENGTHENS COMPLIANCE DATE EXTENSION FOR TROUBLED OIL SPILL RULE

EPA has added 18 months to the already extended compliance deadline for facilities that store oil to implement spill prevention measures, bowing to industry pressure to lengthen a planned one-year delay proposed in June to meet deadlines in the agency's revised spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) rule.

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SENATORS, ACTIVISTS CITE BUSH WETLANDS GOAL TO OVERTURN KEY POLICIES

A bipartisan group of senators -- including the Democratic presidential ticket of John Kerry (MA) and John Edwards (NC) -- and two key environmental groups are citing President Bush's goal of "gaining" a significant amount of wetlands acreage to press for reversal of controversial wetlands policies, claiming the policies undermine the president's new goals.

The calls to reverse the policies come as Bush is highlighting his wetlands protection initiatives on the campaign trail to boost support from key hunting and fishing groups (see related story).

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