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Water

DESPITE PACT, BUILDERS CITE NEW DATA TO LIMIT SCOPE OF STORMWATER RULE

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is urging EPA to limit the application of its stormwater rules for small construction sites, even though the group recently settled a lawsuit with EPA to scale back enforcement under the general permit governing those sites.

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70964

LITIGATION EXPECTED TO FOLLOW NORTH COAST WATER BOARD'S PALCO WDRS

Litigation from environmentalists, the timber industry, or both is expected to result from the North Coast regional water board's soon-to-be-issued temporary waste discharge requirements (WDRs) for Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO), according to a Cal/EPA source. Meanwhile, PALCO critics wonder whether news of the company's reportedly impending bankruptcy will mean easier standards from the regional water board.

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70968

ENVIRONMENTALISTS, EPA RAISE CONCERNS OVER BAY AREA MERCURY TMDL

Environmentalists are condemning a new San Francisco Bay regional water board plan to deal with mercury contamination as a "behind-doors compromise." Meanwhile, U.S. EPA still has "concerns" over the regional board's total maximum daily load (TMDL) for mercury.

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70976

WATER BOARD STAFF CLAIMS SITE-CLEANUP REFORM WILL SLOW PROCESS

Some regional water board staffers and environmentalists are claiming that the proposed consolidation of toxics department and water board cleanup operations could halt or severely slow cleanup activities. Meanwhile, legislation was introduced this week directing the governor to create a task force to oversee the consolidation of Cal/EPA's site-cleanup functions into a new Department of Environmental Management.

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70979

NEW EPA PERCHLORATE LEVEL DRAWS FIRE, DIFFERS FROM OEHHA APPROACH

Some lawmakers and environmentalists are ripping the method U.S. EPA has used to set a new perchlorate drinking water limit, arguing the level will not sufficiently protect the most vulnerable populations -- infants and pregnant women. EPA's approach differs from a more conservative route taken by the state's health hazard office, and could lead to conflicting federal and state drinking water standards for the chemical.

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70980

EPA's Perchlorate Exposure Level May Prompt DOD Cleanups

EPA's new risk and exposure levels for perchlorate appear likely to increase the number of military sites to be cleaned up, Defense Department (DOD) and other sources say. But critics of the EPA levels say cleanups at some sites appear likely to be less stringent than what EPA may have sought in the past.

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EPA To Expand Voluntary Programs Amid Deepening Budget Cuts

Senior EPA officials and regional directors are trying to improve and increase the agency's use of voluntary programs that encourage pollution cuts by industry, EPA sources say, as the agency is facing long-term budget shortfalls that could make it more reliant on such programs in future years.

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EPA Urges Sewer Systems To Hike Rates To Fund Sustainable Infrastructure

EPA officials are re-emphasizing the agency's philosophy that the rates charged by sewer systems should reflect the full cost of treating wastewater discharges, in an effort to achieve a sustainable water infrastructure. The push comes as some members of Congress are raising concerns about the Bush administration's proposed fiscal year 2006 budget for the clean water state revolving loan fund (SRF), which finances infrastructure projects.

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EPA Children's Health Advisers Told Perchlorate Limit Is Adequate

Researchers from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) told an EPA advisory panel on children's health that an exposure limit recently adopted by the agency for the contaminant perchlorate is adequate to protect children and pregnant women. The exposure limit could be the basis of upcoming drinking water standards and cleanup requirements for the pollutant, and the EPA advisory panel is considering whether those possible measures are sufficient to protect children.

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EPA PREPARES TO REVIVE CONTROVERSIAL RADIATION PROTECTION STANDARD

EPA is planning to re-propose a controversial radiation protection guidance that includes an annual exposure limit for radiation that the agency and environmentalists have repeatedly criticized as unsafe, government and other sources say.

One environmentalist is vowing "the mother of all fights" if the guide includes the same numeric exposure limit as an earlier Clinton-era proposal, which was tabled after an internal dispute between the agency's Superfund program and the Office of Radiation & Indoor Air (ORIA).

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