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Government Roundup

May 27, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 21

Draft fracking rules for activities on public and American Indian lands were updated and released by the Interior Department. The draft rules—now open for comment until mid-June—would set up safety standards for hydraulic fracturing and reflect feedback from 177,000 public comments.

PCS Nitrogen, part of Canada-based PotashCorp, will pay a penalty of nearly $200,000 and curb release of hydrogen fluoride from its plant in Geismar, La., under a consent decree with EPA. Announced last week, the agreement resolves allegations that the phosphoric acid production facility violated the Clean Air Act.

Republican-sponsored draft legislation aimed at giving states a larger role in managing the cleanup of hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program “may not be necessary,” EPA told a panel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee on May 17. The draft bill could also result in significant delays and regulatory uncertainty, EPA said.

Sustainable production and consumption information from around the globe is being compiled online by the United Nations Environment Programme for public use. The website,, covers a variety of issues, including public procurement and sustainable education.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced on May 20 an amendment to the farm bill (S. 954) that would repeal recently enacted legislation that hamstrung judicial oversight of USDA’s regulation of genetically modified crops. The measure was “an outrageous example of a special-interest loophole,” Merkley said.


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