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Water

IG PRETREATMENT REPORT DRAWS CRITICISM FROM WASTEWATER INDUSTRY

Wastewater treatment industry officials are faulting a report by EPA's inspector general (IG) that criticizes the water office's pretreatment program for failing to issue many technology-based standards for industrial discharges.

Industry officials say there has been little need for these standards because other components of the pretreatment program have been effective in removing the toxins.

"The IG completely missed the boat here," one wastewater official says. "The pretreatment program is one of the most effective programs under the Clean Water Act."

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ACTIVISTS VOW SUIT OVER NOVEL ON-SITE MIXING ZONE AT WISCONSIN UTILITY

We Energies' proposal to enhance coal-fired electric generation at a Wisconsin facility could spark a lawsuit from environmentalists, who are opposing an unusual plan to meet water quality standards through an on-site mixing process that dilutes mercury discharges with water used to cool the generation system.

Environmentalists say the plan violates EPA's ban on so-called mixing zones in the Great Lakes. Mixing zones are generally defined as areas beyond a discharge point where facilities can exceed pollution standards.

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S.F. OFFICIALS SAY CPR PLAN ELIMINATING BOARDS WOULD HURT WETLANDS

The San Francisco Bay regional water board believes a California Performance Review (CPR) proposal to replace the water boards with a division of water quality would hamper the state's ability to protect and restore wetlands. The regional board's arguments add to a chorus of criticism that the CPR proposal to eliminate the water boards would limit public participation and hurt the environment.

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STATES, ENVIRONMENTALISTS URGE CAUTION OVER EPA ARTIFICIAL REEFS PLAN

States and environmentalists are urging U.S. EPA to adopt additional protective measures and limit the

use of a controversial guidance on preparing contaminated vessels for sinking as artificial reefs, which could be a key disposal method for older U.S. government ships, according to recent comments submitted on the plan.

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WRCB DELAYS ADOPTION OF OCEAN PLAN CHANGES OPPOSED BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS

The water board has delayed consideration of amendments to the California Ocean Plan due to concerns raised over the plan at a workshop last week, according to a water board spokesperson. The board was scheduled to consider adopting the amendments at an Oct. 21 hearing, but has postponed that item.

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BOAT INDUSTRY SAYS INBOARD CATALYSTS STILL UNPROVEN IN SALTWATER

Despite promising results from an air board-funded study on the durability of catalysts to reduce emissions from inboard and stern-drive boat engines, industry representatives say the new technology still has not been tested in saltwater, which could affect their ability to meet looming California exhaust emission standards.

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FUNDING SHORTFALL COMPLICATES IN-STREAM FLOW LAW IMPLEMENTATION

Funding shortfalls may hold up the implementation of a new law requiring the water board to develop guidelines for maintaining adequate in-stream flows in northern California waterways when allocating water rights. When the governor signed the law last month, he ordered its provisions be implemented only if a proposed funding shift is made; but the finance department is now indicating that the money will probably not be available to make the fund shift, according to sources.

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ACTIVISTS URGE WRCB TO UPHOLD PERCHLORATE ORDER ON FLARE MAKER

Environmentalists last week urged the state water board to uphold a regional board decision requiring a major flare manufacturer to continue supplying bottled water to residents serviced by wells tainted with perchlorate pollution, even if the wells are contaminated at levels lower than the state's public health goal.

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ECONOMIC CONCERNS EMERGE IN DEBATE OVER PENDING ARSENIC LIMIT

With a draft arsenic drinking water standard reportedly undergoing internal review at the health department, environmentalists are making the case that the forthcoming state limit should be set at 2 parts per billion (ppb), which would be significantly more stringent than a 10-ppb federal standard due to take effect in 2006. But water agency officials believe a 2-ppb standard would be economically impossible to meet and say the state and federal governments must provide significant financial assistance to poorer, rural areas just to meet the 10-ppb standard.

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Wastewater Treatment Officials Defend EPA Record On Pretreatment Standards

Wastewater treatment officials are questioning a report by EPA's inspector general (IG) that criticizes the agency's implementation of its pretreatment program as failing to issue a sufficient number of technology-based standards for industrial discharges. The industry officials say there has been little need for these standards because other components of the pretreatment program have been effective in removing the toxins.

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