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Water

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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Water Utility Officials Fear Consequences Of New Homeland Security Network

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) creation of a new information network for giving utilities water security updates may cause confusion and tax existing security resources, water utility sources say, since it is unclear how the new network will affect the existing, privately-run water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) that fulfills a similar function.

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EPA MAY DROP SOME CHEMICALS FROM NEW DRINKING WATER RULE LIST

EPA is unlikely to regulate a dozen contaminants it was considering for new drinking water regulations but remains uncertain whether it will develop rules governing two other high-profile contaminants -- perchlorate and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) -- until after scientists complete ongoing risk assessments, agency sources say.

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UTILITIES URGE EPA TO DELAY ISSUING CONTENTIOUS DRINKING WATER RULE

Drinking water utility officials are urging EPA not to finalize a rule that could force them to change the disinfectant they use to treat drinking water because of concerns raised in a recent study that the new disinfectant -- intended as an alternative to chlorine -- creates more toxic byproducts than those the rule was intended to minimize.

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RULING PROMPTS LOBBYING FOR LIMITING WATER ACT CITIZEN SUIT PROVISIONS

Wastewater and municipal groups are asking Congress to narrow the conditions for filing Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits to stem the potential widespread impact of a landmark California ruling requiring facilities to obtain clean water permits for discharges to waterbodies with only groundwater connections to navigable waters, sources say.

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NATIONAL COMMISSION SUGGESTS MARINE SPECIES PROTECTION CHANGES

A national commission on ocean policy is recommending changes to laws and management governing marine species protection that would affect regulation under marine mammal and endangered species laws. The suggestions are among more than 200 recommendations included in An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century, a report released Sept. 20 that advises the federal government and Congress on strengthening national ocean policy to ensure sustainable use and protection of the oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.

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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 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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WATER UTILITY OFFICIALS FEAR CONSEQUENCES OF NEW DHS SECURITY NETWORK

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) creation of a new information network for giving utilities water security updates may cause confusion and tax existing security resources, water utility sources say, since it is unclear how the new network will affect the existing, privately-run water Information Sharing & Analysis Center (ISAC) that fulfills a similar function.

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CALIFORNIA LAWS MAY BE MODEL FOR SCALING BACK CRUISE SHIP POLLUTION

Environmentalists plan to urge other states to follow California's lead by passing legislation that seeks to ban wastewater dumping from cruise ships, included in one of three new California state laws addressing pollution from the vehicles.

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