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Water

New Report Aims To Help Utilities Gain Support For Water Rate Increases

The American Water Works Association (AWWA), a drinking water supply organization, has developed a set of recommendations to help water utilities build public support for increasing water rates, which the group says is a crucial step in ensuring a safe drinking water supply.

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Agencies Draft Water Quality Monitoring Strategy Despite GAO Proposal

EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are launching a new collaborative water quality monitoring strategy that sources say is designed to improve the accuracy and decrease the cost of compiling integrated impaired waters and state water quality reports required under the Clean Water Act.

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EPA Officials Say Election Concerns Delay Guidance On Mercury In Water

EPA is delaying the release of a controversial draft guidance that critics say could allow states to avoid setting strict clean water permit limits for mercury, according to several agency officials involved with developing the documents. These sources say release of the guidance has been postponed indefinitely over concerns that Democrats and environmentalists could attack the document as part an election-year effort to criticize the administration's mercury control efforts.

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HOUSE REPORT LANGUAGE UNLIKELY TO SOLVE SEWER RULE DISPUTES

House report language on EPA's combined sewer overflow (CSO) policy appears unlikely to clarify possible inconsistencies in the policy that have sparked disputes between regulators and wastewater industry officials over its implementation, sources on all sides of the issue say.

The report language, which accompanied the agency's fiscal year 2005 spending bill, also appears unlikely to push EPA to grant dischargers flexibility in how they comply with the CSO policy as part of a guidance the agency is developing to clarify the issue.

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EPA OUTLINES BEST PRACTICES FOR TURNING SHIPS INTO ARTIFICIAL REEFS

EPA is soliciting public comment on draft guidance outlining environmentally sound best management practices for preparing decommissioned government and commercial vessels for use as artificial reefs, an option that could be more economical than trying to recycle ships.

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ACTIVISTS TARGET FARMS IN LAWSUIT EYEING WATER PERMITS FOR PESTICIDES

Environmentalists are threatening to sue New England blueberry farmers for aerial application of pesticides without Clean Water Act (CWA) permits, backing industry fears that prior court decisions requiring the permits for applications under other conditions could prompt activists to target agricultural spraying.

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PLAINTIFFS EYE KEY COURTS FOR REVIEW OF EPA COOLING WATER INTAKE RULE

States, industry groups and environmentalists challenging EPA's cooling water intake rule have filed a flurry of separate legal petitions in different federal appeals courts in the hope the case is heard in a venue likely to be more amenable to their concerns, sources say.

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WATER ACT HISTORY CITED IN EFFORT TO EXEMPT GROUNDWATER CONNECTIONS

Municipal wastewater treatment officials are citing legislative history to argue that Congress never intended to regulate groundwater under the Clean Water Act (CWA), as a federal appeals court prepares to hear a landmark case that could determine whether discharges to waterbodies with groundwater connections to navigable waters are subject to federal jurisdiction.

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APPELLATE RULING ALLOWS OUTSIDE PARTIES TO APPEAL EAB DECISIONS

In a landmark ruling, a federal appeals court has found that stakeholders have standing to appeal decisions by EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), even if they were not allowed to intervene in the initial case.

The EAB is the final EPA decision-maker on administrative appeals under all major environmental statutes that EPA administers.

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NEW YORK BRIEF CITES NATIONWIDE IMPACT OF WATER-TRANSFER PERMITS CASE

A key case weighing whether water transfers between two waterbodies require clean water permits may hamper state and federal regulators' ability to permit a wide range of activities that rely on similar transfers, including pollution from irrigation, transfer of invasive species, and coalbed methane gas extraction, according to a brief filed by New York state lawyers.

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