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Water

DOJ CONCEDES POTENTIAL FLAWS IN EPA'S EFFLUENT TOXICITY TESTING METHOD

Justice Department (DOJ) attorneys appear to be conceding that the test EPA uses to measure the toxicity of industrial and wastewater treatment discharges may not be accurate at low levels of toxicity, according to DOJ testimony Oct. 15 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The concession may be significant because it could provide the court with justification to overturn a test the agency uses to determine whether industry discharges exceed allowable toxicity levels and should be subject to enforcement penalties.

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STATE EYES GRAVEL MINING PERMIT TO READY FOR WATER ACT EXPANSION

A California regulatory board is developing a Clean Water Act (CWA) general permit for gravel mining excavation activities, in light of concerns that a federal appellate court will uphold a ruling that could require many gravel mining operations to obtain CWA permits for the first time, state sources say.

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EPA ISSUING NEW GUIDANCE GOVERNING WATER PERMITS FOR PESTICIDE USERS

EPA is preparing to release new guidance addressing whether aerial pesticide applications that affect waterbodies will face Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting requirements to replace existing interim guidance exempting many pesticide users from the water permit program, agency officials say.

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AMSA PLANS NAME CHANGE TO BOOST ENVIRONMENTAL IMAGE, FUNDING APPEAL

The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) is planning to change its name to create a more environmentally friendly image as the group seeks widespread public support for creating a trust fund to finance infrastructure upgrades, among other objectives, AMSA sources say.

"When people say 'environmentalists,' we want them to think of us first," one AMSA source says.

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KEY DEMOCRAT SAYS NYC WASTE SCHEME MAY UNDERMINE CLEAN BEACH PLAN

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) says New York City's recently announced 20-year waste management plan may undermine an EPA strategy aimed at preventing medical waste and other garbage from washing onto the state's beaches by authorizing new garbage barges.

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EPA UNLIKELY TO DEVELOP REGULATIONS GOVERNING COALBED METHANE MINING

EPA appears unlikely to develop regulations to address coalbed methane (CBM) mining operations' effects on the nation's waterbodies and drinking water supplies, despite recent concerns raised by some agency staff and environmentalists about the practice's environmental risks, EPA sources say.

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EPA Rejects Developing Water Rules For Coalbed Methane Drilling

EPA appears unlikely to develop regulations to address the effects of coalbed methane (CBM) drilling on the nation's water bodies and drinking water supplies, according to agency sources. The apparent decision comes in response to allegations by some EPA staff and environmentalists that the agency is not doing enough to protect water quality from the drilling practice.

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EPA Region Likely To Approve Novel Colorado Plan On Water Discharges

EPA Region 8 officials will likely approve a novel plan by Colorado to set a "range" of water-discharge limits --- rather than strict numeric limits --- for some chemical discharges into surface and groundwater bodies that serve as drinking water sources, an EPA source says.

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ACTIVISTS URGE WRCB TO UPHOLD PERCHLORATE ORDER ON FLARE MAKER

Environmentalists recently urged the California state water board to uphold a decision requiring a major flare manufacturer to continue supplying bottled water to residents serviced by perchlorate-contaminated wells, even if they are contaminated at levels lower than the state's public health goal.

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FLORIDA TMDL RULING MAY BOOST EPA SCRUTINY OF STATE IMPAIRED WATER LISTS

A recent appellate ruling requiring additional lower court scrutiny of Florida's methodologies for listing impaired waters could bolster EPA scrutiny of proposed state lists of impaired waters and force other states with similar methodologies to change their rules for determining whether waterbodies are impaired, environmentalists say.

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