The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear & Biological Attack has passed a bill (H.R. 3197) to regulate the sale and storage of ammonium nitrate. Backed by industry groups that wish to reduce their legal liabilities, the bill would require buyers and dealers of the chemical to register with the Department of Homeland Security.
Methamphetamine laboratory cleanup is the focus of a bill (H.R. 798) passed by the House on Dec. 13. The legislation would provide guidance to first responders who enter illicit labs where the street drug was produced and would establish a research program to study health and environmental risks associated with methamphetamine contamination (C&EN, March 28, page 25).
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation, formed in conjunction with the North American Free Trade Agreement, is investigating allegations that the U.S. is failing to enforce the Clean Water Act. The investigation is targeted at airborne mercury released from electricity power plants that ends up in waterways and water bodies.