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Water

States, Environmentalists Urge Caution Over EPA Artificial Reefs Plan

States and environmentalists are urging 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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EPA Targets Arsenic Reductions Through Water Distribution Rule

EPA is considering requiring drinking water systems to place controls in their distribution systems that minimize arsenic and other contaminants after a recent agency study revealed higher arsenic levels in the systems than the federal limit allows, agency sources say. The study shows higher levels of arsenic in the piping systems of 15 Midwestern drinking water utilities than found after utilities have treated the water.

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Environmentalists Eye Suit Against Utility Plan For Diluting Mercury Discharges

Environmentalists are considering filing a lawsuit to challenge a Wisconsin utility's novel proposal to enhance its coal-fired electric generation that would also meet federal 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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STAKEHOLDERS URGE CAUTION OVER EPA ARTIFICIAL REEFS GUIDANCE

States and environmentalists are urging 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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KEY GOP SENATOR REJECTS EPA CONCERNS IN PUSH FOR CAFO EXEMPTION

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) is proceeding with legislative attempts to exempt concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from environmental reporting requirements, despite EPA concerns that the push could hamper agency efforts to obtain additional data on CAFO emissions, a Craig staffer says.

"We're moving ahead," the source says. Craig, who is the fourth most senior Republican in Senate, is planning to push the reporting exclusions as a floor amendment to the VA-HUD appropriations bill that funds EPA.

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Study Downplays Clean Water Effect Of Future Acid Rain Regulations

A preliminary EPA-New York state analysis downplays the likelihood that EPA's pending clean air interstate rule or other stringent future air emissions requirements will reduce high acidity levels in some Northeast lakes without additional acid neutralizing measures, agency sources say.

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EPA Seeks State Talks To Preserve Rights On Sewer Overflow Agreements

OKLAHOMA CITY --- EPA has asked states to join a working group that would consider whether states should file combined sewer overflow (CSO) consent decrees in federal court, rather than state court, in order to preserve the agency's ability to overfile if state enforcement is inadequate, EPA enforcement chief Tom Skinner said at a meeting here.

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EPA Water And Pesticide Offices Fight Over New Arsenic Risk Value

EPA water officials are raising concerns over an effort by the agency's pesticide office to adopt a less stringent risk assessment value for arsenic that is based on new studies showing the chemical is less toxic to animals, while downplaying competing studies on the substance's toxicity to humans, according to EPA and industry officials.

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EPA Fights Competing Lawsuits On Stormwater Discharge Permit

EPA is rejecting competing legal challenges by industry and environmentalists against its stormwater general permit for construction sites, arguing that the agency has discretion under existing legal precedents to develop strict, yet flexible, requirements to accommodate a broad range of sites, according to a recent EPA response brief.

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Water Conservation Efforts Expected To Boost Utility Use Of Coal Gasification

Increasing concerns about water conservation, particularly in the West, are likely to boost the use of a new advanced coal gasification technology that is more efficient than traditional coal-fired power plants, with environmentalists already citing the issue in questioning proposed permits for new conventionally designed facilities, according to utility regulators, environmentalists and industry analysts.

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