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Water

STATES EYE TRANSFER OF CAFO WATER PERMITS TO AGRICULTURE AGENCIES

New plans by at least three states to transfer concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) water permitting authority from their environmental to agricultural departments are drawing concerns from some states and environmentalists, who say agriculture department staff may lack the water quality expertise to issue the permits.

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NEW EPA RISK PLAN COULD LIMIT DREDGING AT CONTAMINATED SEDIMENT SITES

EPA is urging its project managers to conduct more detailed risk analyses of dredging and other methods for cleaning up contaminated sediments, which will likely limit the use of dredging as a cleanup method, agency and industry sources say.

An agency source says the new approach aims to focus on other remedies beyond dredging in cleaning up contaminated sediment sites and to place a greater emphasis on using a mix of remedies.

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CALFED 'BENEFICIARY PAYS' BILL MAY LEAD TO CALLS FOR INCREASED SERVICE

Water agencies and environmentalists say new user fees proposed to fund CALFED will likely raise expectations from water agencies for better service from the water authority. The "beneficiary pays" principle for CALFED funding is contained in a recently introduced bill, which is expected to be closely watched and controversial, sources said.

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REVISIONS TO DISPUTED L.A. STREAM POLICY QUIET CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

A Los Angeles regional water board plan to tackle erosion and flooding in area streams has earned general, if tentative, support from industry groups and environmentalists. Both sides await the board's evaluation of its own hydromodification policies after the passage of an initially controversial resolution. Construction industry officials had originally thought the resolution could put a monkey-wrench in any planned streamside development, and now plan to watch as the board revisits its policies, a construction industry source said.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS SLAM WATER BOARD TOXICS POLICY CHANGES

Implementing proposed water board changes to the state's inland surface water toxics policy may result in backsliding on water quality, environmentalists charged at a hearing this week. But industry groups are applauding the Water Resources Control Board's proposed revisions to the policy, which would implement discharge-specific water effects ratios (WERs) and could eliminate unpopular reasonable potential trigger requirements.

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SIDES BATTLE OVER DRAFT NPDES INDUSTRIAL STORMWATER PERMIT

Environmental and industry organizations this week clashed over the water board's draft general industrial stormwater permit. Environmental groups argue the permit will not protect California waterways, while industry maintains the permit's monitoring requirements will cost too much. The Water Resources Control Board's draft statewide permit sets discharge and monitoring requirements for about 100,000 industrial sites in California.

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ACTIVISTS BLAST WRCB IMPAIRED WATERS GUIDANCE AS 'GIVEAWAY' TO INDUSTRY

Environmentalists are slamming a water board total maximum daily load (TMDL) guidance, saying it relies too much on voluntary efforts and is devoid of recommendations they made during the document's development. But state board officials maintain the guidance is consistent with current regional board policies.

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Environmentalists Urge High Court To Deny Review Of Major Citizen Suit Case

Environmentalists are urging the Supreme Court to deny review of a landmark federal appeals court ruling that protects the ability of citizens to sue industry for alleged environmental violations even when a state enforcement action is underway, according to a recently filed brief.

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Wastewater Officials Blast EPA Draft Effluent Toxicity Testing Guidance

EPA's draft guidance on setting toxicity limits in industrial discharge permits fails to clarify a host of wastewater treatment industry concerns and does not provide sufficient flexibility for treatment systems seeking to meet mandatory toxics standards, industry sources say.

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New EPA Guide Could Limit Dredging Of Contaminated Sediments

EPA is urging its project managers to conduct more detailed risk analyses of dredging and other methods for addressing contaminated sediments at the bottom of various water bodies, a move that would likely limit use of dredging as a cleanup method, agency and industry sources say.

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