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Water

EPA CITES LITTLE-USED POWER TO INCLUDE NAVIGATION DREDGING IN CLEANUP

EPA is close to finalizing an agreement with Massachusetts that relies on little-used Superfund authority allowing states to "enhance" some cleanup plans that will let the state include navigational dredging as part of EPA's plans to dredge contaminated sediments from portions of New Bedford harbor.

Invoking the authority will allow Massachusetts to streamline permitting requirements for disposal of sediment from the two projects, reduce disposal costs, coordinate monitoring and increase coordination between the two dredging projects, EPA says.

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'HABITAT BANKING' COULD HELP MILITARY MANAGE ENDANGERED SPECIES

Land conservation experts may support allowing the military to receive credit for off-base efforts to protect threatened and endangered species, thereby lessening the pressure on the military to maintain habitat on its installations.

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DEFENSE DEPARTMENT DEVELOPING NEW GREEN PROCUREMENT POLICY

The Defense Department is close to finalizing a new policy on so-called green procurement, reiterating the military's requirement under several laws and executive orders to buy a range of environmentally friendly products, and outlining a strategy for meeting those requirements along with metrics for measuring progress.

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ACTIVISTS SEEK PERMITS FOR WETLANDS CONNECTED BY GROUNDWATER

Environmentalists are seeking to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to regulate construction projects on wetlands in Georgia and Tennessee as part of a broader effort to require Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for discharges to wetlands and other waterbodies connected to navigable waters by groundwater.

If environmentalists file suit, the cases -- for an airport expansion project in Tennessee and a titanium mine in Georgia -- would broaden environmentalists efforts to force regulation of waterbodies that are connected to navigable waters by groundwater.

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SENATORS, ACTIVISTS CITE BUSH WETLANDS GOAL TO OVERTURN KEY POLICIES

A bipartisan group of senators -- including the Democratic presidential ticket of John Kerry (MA) and John Edwards (NC) -- and two key environmental groups are citing President Bush's goal of "gaining" a significant amount of wetlands acreage to press for reversal of controversial wetlands policies, claiming the policies undermine the president's new goals.

The calls to reverse the policies come as Bush is highlighting his wetlands protection initiatives on the campaign trail to boost support from key hunting and fishing groups (Water Policy Report, Aug. 9, p22).

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS EYE WAYS TO CUT COSTS FOR NEW CAFO TECHNOLOGIES

Environmentalists are trying to identify financial incentives to push forward several new technologies to treat waste on large animal feedlots to ensure the technologies will be an economically viable option for feedlots in North Carolina. The feedlots are required to adopt the technologies under a statewide agreement to curb pollution.

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ERRORS DELAY PUBLICATION OF MAJOR WATER, AIR TOXICS RULES BY MONTHS

Minor errors are causing lengthy delays in promulgating at least three court-ordered water pollution and air toxics rules, delaying industry compliance and impeding litigation.

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CHALLENGES TO EPA COOLING WATER INTAKE RULE TO BE HEARD IN 9TH CIRCUIT

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is widely considered friendly to environmental concerns, will be hearing state, industry and environmentalists' challenges to EPA's cooling water intake rule governing existing power facilities.

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WATER GROUP SURVEY TO HIGHLIGHT DISINFECTION OPTIONS FOR NEW RULES

A water utility group is conducting a survey of drinking water suppliers to catalogue the type of disinfectants systems use in order to inform EPA of the consequences of recommending any one method to comply with forthcoming rules, one drinking water official says.

The move is part of an ongoing debate over whether drinking water systems should use a disinfection treatment technique utilizing chloramines -- which some stakeholders fear may cause an increase in lead levels in drinking water.

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EPA LAUNCHES MAJOR STATE ENFORCEMENT REVIEW TO ENSURE CONSISTENCY

CHICAGO -- EPA has launched an effort to craft uniform procedures for assessing state enforcement programs -- including water programs -- following concerns that inconsistent federal oversight creates competitive disadvantages among states, an EPA enforcement official said at a state regulators' meeting here.

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