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Water

OIL INDUSTRY QUESTIONS EPA PLAN TO STUDY DRILLING DISCHARGES IN GULF

The oil industry is urging EPA to conduct a limited review of whether discharges from offshore oil and gas operations affect an oxygen-depleted area in the Gulf of Mexico before launching a more extensive study, saying a broad evaluation could "consume significant time and financial resources," according to industry comments.

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EPA OUTLINES CLEANUP STEPS FOR SHIPS TO BE USED AS ARTIFICIAL REEFS

EPA has issued new draft guidance outlining steps to be taken by federal agencies preparing vessels for sinking to create artificial reefs, breakwaters or other barriers. The goal of the guide is to limit the amount of pollutants that may be introduced into the water when the ships are sunk, which could potentially cause significant water quality problems.

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EPA STAFF PREPARE TO RECOMMEND STRICTER RISK ASSESSMENT FOR ARSENIC

An EPA workgroup will soon advise the agency to adopt a stricter estimate of the risks posed by arsenic, EPA and industry sources say, which will allow the agency to eventually adopt more stringent drinking water and hazardous waste cleanup standards for the ubiquitous contaminant.

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ELECTION FEARS PROMPT EPA TO DELAY GUIDE ON MERCURY DISCHARGE PERMITS

EPA is delaying the release of a controversial draft guidance that critics say could allow states to avoid setting strict clean water permit limits for mercury over fears that Democrats and environmentalists will criticize the administration's mercury control efforts in an election year, several EPA sources say.

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EPA Focuses Underground Tank Inspections Near Drinking Water Sources

EPA is encouraging its regional offices to focus state underground storage tank (UST) inspections on tanks adjacent to drinking water sources in an effort to better protect drinking water supplies.

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EPA PLAN FOR CHANGING WATERBODIES' DESIGNATED USES DRAWS CRITICISM

A new EPA plan to ease states' ability to meet water quality standards by changing the intended use of their waterbodies is drawing criticism from wastewater treatment industry officials, who say the plan offers no concrete advice on how states can more effectively complete this process.

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U.S. EYES INTERNATIONAL PANEL TO EASE FUTURE CROSS-BORDER DISPUTES

EPA, state officials and a key senator are suggesting that U.S. and Canadian officials seek advice from an international commission to prevent future cross-border environmental disputes that could rise from proposed Canadian mining and drilling projects near the U.S. border.

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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 decisionmaker on administrative appeals under all major environmental statutes that EPA administers.

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OIL INDUSTRY QUESTIONS EPA PLAN TO STUDY DRILLING DISCHARGES IN GULF

The oil industry is urging EPA to conduct a limited review of whether discharges from offshore oil and gas operations affect an oxygen-depleted area in the Gulf of Mexico before launching a more extensive study, saying a broad evaluation could "consume significant time and financial resources," according to industry comments.

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RESEARCH TYING AIR POLLUTION TO WESTERN DROUGHT MAY PROMPT EPA STUDY

New research showing a link between transported air pollution and drought could bolster staff calls within EPA's research office to study the growing body of scientific evidence linking this pollution to broader disruptions in weather patterns, agency sources say.

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