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Water

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EPA's draft guidance on setting toxicity limits in industrial discharge permits fails to clarify a host of wastewater treatment industry concerns and does not provide sufficient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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SETTLEMENT COULD END LANDMARK LAWSUIT OVER INVASIVE SPECIES TMDLS

Environmentalists and EPA have reached a deal that will delay, and possibly call off, landmark litigation over whether aquatic invasive species constitute pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA) -- and whether EPA and states must set total maximum daily loads for waters impaired by them.

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EPA SEPTIC SYSTEM PACT LACKS NEW AGENCY RESOURCES, KEY STATE SUPPORT

EPA's recently signed agreement with stakeholders that is intended to curtail water pollution from septic systems will not receive any new agency funds to implement its goals and does not have backing from state officials who oversee septic management programs.

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SETTLEMENT COULD END LANDMARK LAWSUIT OVER INVASIVE SPECIES TMDLS

Environmentalists and U.S. EPA have reached a deal that will delay, and possibly call off, landmark litigation over whether aquatic invasive species constitute pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA) -- and whether EPA and states must set total maximum daily loads for waters impaired by them.

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CALEXICO, WATER BOARD MULL ACTION AGAINST EPA OVER RIVER POLLUTION

Fed up with six decades of contaminated river flow from Mexico, the city of Calexico is mulling a lawsuit asking U.S. EPA or an international commission to compel actions against alleged polluters in Mexico. A regional water board may seek to join any lawsuit that is pursued, according to sources.

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WRCB DENIES ACTIVISTS' THP STAY REQUEST, CITING ECONOMIC CONCERNS

An environmental group's petition to block the Pacific Lumber Co. (PALCO) from logging along the northern coast of California failed to earn the backing of the state water board last week. At a Jan. 19 hearing, the petition for a stay was denied in part due to the economic burden potentially placed on the troubled company, causing the group to worry that PALCO's apparent financial trouble may allow it to avoid future efforts by environmentalists to improve its environmental stewardship.

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CARLTON'S WRCB POST SEEN THREATENED BY CHEESE PLANT CONTROVERSY

State water board member Gary Carlton stands little chance of being reappointed to that panel based largely on allegations of lax enforcement at a major cheese plant in the Central Valley while he was the chief executive of that region's water board, according to several sources tracking the issue. Also, board member Nancy Sutley will likely not be reappointed either, according to these sources, creating two vacancies at the board that several candidates have already sent in applications to fill.

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ACTIVISTS CHARGE WATER BOARDS FAIL TO IMPOSE STRICT DISCHARGE LIMITS

Environmentalists are alleging that regional water boards are not creating and enforcing water quality based effluent limits (WQBELs) for dischargers, and have turned to the courts to try and compel stronger enforcement of water quality laws. Environmentalists say the water boards' policy of setting compliance schedules instead of effluent limits for wastewater discharges runs counter to the Clean Water Act.

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ACTIVISTS, BOXER PUSH STATE TO LOWER PERCHLORATE PHG, SET INTERIM MCL

Citing new scientific studies and a recently enacted law, environmentalists are petitioning the state to lower its public health goal (PHG) for perchlorate and set an emergency, interim drinking water standard for the chemical. The groups have a powerful ally in U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who urged the same course of action in a letter submitted this week to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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