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Water

EPA SEEKS TO HEAD OFF FY06 HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING SHORTFALL

EPA is looking to prevent possible homeland security funding shortfalls in its fiscal year 2006 budget, asking the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for at least 25 percent more money than agency projections from earlier this year showed EPA was likely to receive, according to budget documents obtained by Water Policy Report.

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EPA PLANS STORMWATER ENFORCEMENT LIMITS IN PACT WITH BUILDERS

EPA will soon propose changes to its controversial general permit for stormwater discharges at construction sites that industry and state sources say may limit the ability of the agency and private parties to sue builders for violations that occurred prior to receiving a permit.

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EPA OFFSHORE PERMIT WILL TEST USE OF STATE STANDARDS IN U.S. WATERS

EPA's recent decision to incorporate California water standards into a permit for oil drilling discharges into federal waters will likely spark litigation on whether states can force their pollutant limits on facilities beyond state boundaries, an EPA source says.

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ACTIVISTS BELIEVE FINAL OCEANS REPORT WILL SPARK LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

Activists are optimistic that the final version of a landmark oceans study will spur a host of legislative efforts in the next Congress to mandate broad ocean protection efforts, one environmentalist says.

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GREAT LAKES STATES WIN VOICE IN SUIT OVER PERMITS FOR BALLAST WATER

A federal district court is allowing attorneys general from a host of Great Lakes states to support a landmark environmentalists' lawsuit seeking to force EPA to regulate ships' ballast water discharges under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

An environmentalist involved in Northwest Environmental Advocates, et al. v. EPA says states' support for their position in the case in 'friends of the court' briefs is significant, in part, because it highlights the importance of the issue for the court.

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APPELLATE RULING MAY LIMIT GROUPS' ACCESS TO COURTS, LEGAL EXPERTS SAY

A recent appellate ruling dismissing an environmental group's attempt to stop a Forest Service timber sale on the grounds that a different environmental group had already sought to litigate the issue sets a disturbing precedent that could block industry and environmental groups' access to courts, legal experts and some environmentalists warn.

These sources say the ruling may set a precedent by expanding a legal doctrine -- known as privity -- that is used to determine when parties in litigation share similar interests that may bar them from pursuing separate litigation.

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APPEALS BOARD URGES EXPANDED EPA ACCESS TO DATA FOR SETTING FINES

A recent decision by EPA's Environmental Appeals Board on wetlands penalties may expand the agency's ability to gather information about a defendant's finances when the party claims an inability to pay a fine, according to an attorney familiar with the case.

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GROUP SEEKS TO MOVE APPELLATE SUIT OVER WATER INTAKE RULE TO NEW CIRCUIT

Environmentalists are filing a motion to move a lawsuit challenging EPA's cooling water regulations for large power plants from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to the 2nd Circuit -- which ruled against the agency in a similar suit last year.

Environmentalists filed the suit against EPA over provisions in its recently released rule governing cooling water intakes at existing large power plants that allow facilities to restore aquatic habitat rather than install expensive technological upgrades.

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STAKEHOLDERS CHALLENGE EPA INACTION ON CONSTRUCTION EFFLUENT GUIDE

States and environmentalists have filed separate petitions in federal appellate courts asking the courts to review EPA's decision not to finalize proposed clean water effluent regulations governing stormwater runoff from the construction and development industry. The suits are the latest chapter in a long-running debate over how best to address construction site runoff.

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ACTIVISTS MULL SUIT TO FORCE EPA CONTROL OF 'DOWNSTREAM' WATER USES

Environmentalists may sue EPA for failing to promulgate water quality standards for nutrients and other pollutants in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, arguing that the agency may be violating the Clean Water Act's (CWA) obligation to protect downstream waterbodies from pollution generated in upstream states, environmentalists tracking the issue say.

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