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Weekly Update Volume 39, Issue 17

06/15/2009

LITIGATION

CIVIL PROCEDURE, RECUSAL:



The U.S. Supreme Court held that a justice sitting on West Virginia's highest court should have recused himself from a case involving a coal company that contributed large sums of money toward the judge's election campaign. In that case, a jury found the company liable for fraudulent misrepresentation, concealment, and tortious interference with existing contractual relations and awarded petitioners $50 million in damages. Due to the company's involvement with the newly elected justice's campaign, petitioners moved to disqualify him. The justice denied the motion, indicating that he found nothing showing bias for or against any litigant. The court then reversed the $50 million verdict. The Supreme Court ruled that there was a serious, objective risk of actual bias that required the justice's recusal. In an election decided by fewer than 50,000 votes, the justice's campaign contributions—compared to the total amount contributed to the campaign, as well as the total amount spent in the election—had a significant and disproportionate influence on the outcome. The temporal relationship between the campaign contributions, the justice’s election, and the pendency of the case is also critical, for it was reasonably foreseeable that the pending case would be before the newly elected justice. Kennedy, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Roberts, C.J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, JJ., joined. Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., No. 08-22, 39 ELR 20125 (U.S. June 8, 2009).


CWA, SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY:



The Eighth Circuit, in a CWA enforcement action filed by the United States and the state of Missouri against a water district, affirmed a lower court decision denying the state's motion to dismiss the district's counterclaims and to strike its affirmative defenses claiming financial inability to comply with the Act's requirements. The state argued that the water district's requested actions were barred by sovereign immunity and the Eleventh Amendment. But by choosing to join in the CWA enforcement action as a plaintiff, the state waived its sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. Although CWA §309(e) compels a state to become a party in federal court whenever a municipality in that state is a party to a civil action brought by the United States, it does not compel the state to take any action that would waive its sovereign immunity. The filing of a complaint in a federal district court is the quintessential means of invoking its jurisdiction. There is no indication in the record that Missouri was reluctant to proceed as co-plaintiff since it participated in filing the original complaint with the United States rather than being forcibly joined in the litigation at a later time. United States v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, No. 08-3399, 39 ELR 20123 (8th Cir. June 9, 2009).


EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT, ATTORNEYS FEES:



The Ninth Circuit held that an environmental group is not entitled to attorneys fees in their action challenging a USDA regulation that the agency withdrew while the case was pending. The group alleged that the USDA violated NEPA, the ESA, and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) in promulgating a rule governing the U.S. Forest Service's administration and management of National Forest System lands. After the group filed suit, the USDA announced it would withdraw the rule and issue a new one in its place. The group then stayed its substantive NFMA claim but moved for summary judgment on its NEPA and ESA procedural claims. A district court denied their motion on ripeness and standing grounds, but the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the case to the district court to determine whether injunctive relief was appropriate. Soon after, the USDA withdrew the rule and replaced it with a new one. The group then sought attorneys fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). It argued that it should be considered a prevailing party because the Ninth Circuit ruled that the USDA violated its' procedural rights under NEPA. The group, however, never received a formal declaratory judgment or other relief from the courts. Because the group received no relief from any court, it does not qualify as a prevailing party under the EAJA. Citizens for Better Forestry v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, No. 07-16077, 39 ELR 20122 (9th Cir. June 9, 2009).


SMCRA, ATTORNEYS FEES:



The Fourth Circuit held that an environmental group was entitled to attorneys fees in their action challenging an OSM decision that resulted in a remand to the agency for additional investigation. The group filed a citizen complaint with the OSM alleging that a reclaimed surface mining site, which had been authorized by a West Virginia permit, was violating effluent standards for acid mine drainage. OSM inspected the site but declined to take further action. The group then filed an administrative appeal before the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA). The IBLA set aside OSM's decision to take no further action and remanded for OSM to determine whether jurisdiction terminated at the site and whether or not a basis for reasserting jurisdiction has been established under SMCRA. The group then sought attorneys fees from OSM under SMCRA's fee-shifting provision. The IBLA denied their request. On appeal, the district court reversed. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the reversal. A party who obtains a remand order requiring an administrative agency to properly perform its regulatory duties has achieved some degree of success on the merits. Here, the IBLA's remand order required OSM to properly carry out its regulatory duty to determine whether it was required to reassert regulatory jurisdiction over the reclamation site. That achievement by the group amounts to some degree of success on the merits. West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Inc. v. Kempthorne, No. 07-2189, 39 ELR 20121 (4th Cir. June 10, 2009).


NATIONAL FORESTS, APA:



The D.C. Circuit upheld the dismissal of land rights groups' complaint against the U.S. Forest Service in which they challenged its management of the Flathead National Forest in northwest Montana. The groups want more of the forest to be made available for timbering and recreational activities. But as argued by the Forest Service and environmental organizations that intervened on behalf of the government, the groups failed to demonstrate that the Forest Service has violated any federal law or otherwise taken action that is arbitrary and capricious under the APA. On the contrary, it is clear that their grievance lies with legally permissible policy decisions made by U.S. Congress and the Forest Service. The groups' plea for a new approach to management of the Flathead Forest is therefore best directed to the legislative and executive branches. Montanans for Multiple Use v. Barbouletos, No. 08-5131, 39 ELR 20124 (D.C. Cir. June 5, 2009).


INSURANCE, POLLUTION EXCLUSION CLAUSE:



A district court held that the pollution exclusion clause contained in a transport company's insurance policy does not cover bodily injuries stemming from the release of a naturally occurring gas. The case arose after dock workers were fatally asphyxiated due to argon leaking from one of the company's containers. While argon gas appears naturally in the atmosphere without causing injury, the concentration allegedly present in the instant case was sufficient to cause death. The hazardous materials exclusion in the company's insurance policy excludes coverage for all damages related to the release of pollutants. But because argon gas is a naturally occurring element present in the air we breathe, it is not a pollutant. Accordingly, the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify the shipping company for the underlying claims. Colony National Insurance Co. v. Specialty Trailer Leasing, Inc., No. 2:09-CV-005-J, 39 ELR 20127 (N.D. Tex. June 2, 2009) (Robinson, J.).


CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS:



A California trial court held that a city's environmental impact report for a major expansion of an oil refinery in Richmond, California, violated the California Environmental Quality Act's new greenhouse gas requirements. Although the city identified a standard of no net increases in greenhouse gas emissions, it failed to identify any means of achieving that standard. In addition, the city improperly deferred its formulation of greenhouse gas mitigation measures until a future date. The court also ruled that the environmental impact report failed to clearly state whether the expansion project will allow the refinery to process heavier crude oil than it is currently processing and, thus, fails as an informational document. Communities for a Better Environment v. City of Richmond, No. N08-1429, 39 ELR 20126 (Sup. Ct. Cal. June 4, 2009) (Zuniga, J.).


Copyright© 2009, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register (FR).


AIR:



  • EPA reaffirmed the promulgation of certain revisions to the Acid Rain Program that were contained in the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and CAIR federal implementation plan. 74 FR 27940 (6/12/09).

  • EPA entered into a proposed consent decree under the CAA that establishes deadlines for EPA to act on a California SIP revision concerning payment of fees for failure to attain certain air quality standards by a specified date. 74 FR 27790 (6/11/09).

  • EPA approved the Memphis, Tennessee, CAA §§111(d)/129 plan for existing HMIWI units that commenced construction on or before June 20, 1996. 74 FR 27444 (6/10/09).

  • EPA approved negative declarations under CAA §§111(d) and 129 certifying that there are no existing hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerator (HMIWI) units in areas covered by the Tennessee and Kentucky air pollution control programs. 74 FR 27718 (6/11/09).

  • EPA approved negative declarations under CAA §§111(d) and 129 certifying that there are no HMIWI units in areas covered by the local air pollution control programs of Jefferson County, Kentucky; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Knox County, and Nashville/Davidson County, Tennessee. 74 FR 27720 (6/11/09).

  • EPA approved negative declarations under CAA §§111(d) and 129 certifying that there are no large municipal waste combustion units in areas covered by the local air pollution control programs of Nashville/Davidson, Knox, and Memphis-Shelby Counties, Tennessee. 74 FR 27722 (6/11/09).

  • EPA proposed to approve the Memphis, Tennessee, CAA §§111(d)/129 plan for existing HMIWI units that commenced construction on or before June 20, 1996; see above for direct final rule. 74 FR 27484 (6/10/09).

  • SIP Approvals: California (volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the Monterey Bay unified air pollution control district and the Placer County air pollution control district) 74 FR 27714 (6/11/09); (fine particulate matter (PM) emissions in the Antelope Valley and South Coast air quality management districts) 74 FR 27716 (6/11/09). Georgia (definitions and emission limitations and standards) 74 FR 27711 (6/11/09). Hawaii (nonregulatory provisions and quasi-regulatory measures) 74 FR 27708 (6/11/09). Indiana (definition of hazardous air pollutant) 74 FR 27442 (6/10/09).

  • SIP Proposals: California (VOC emissions in the Monterey Bay unified air pollution control district and the Placer County air pollution control district; see above for direct final rule) 74 FR 27738 (6/11/09); (fine PM emissions in the Antelope Valley and South Coast air quality management districts; see above for direct final rule) 74 FR 27738 (6/11/09); (VOC emissions from organic solvent cleaning and degreasing operations in the San Joaquin Valley unified air pollution control district) 74 FR 27084 (6/8/09). Georgia (definitions and emission limitations and standards; see above for direct final rule) 74 FR 27737 (6/11/09). West Virginia (internal combustion engines and cement kilns subject to the nitrogen oxide (NOx) SIP call) 74 FR 27731 (6/11/09). Ohio (Cleveland-Akron-Lorain ozone nonattainment area) 74 FR 27957 (6/12/09); (Columbus ozone nonattainment area) 74 FR 27973 (6/12/09).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:



  • EPA Region 2 entered into a proposed administrative agreement under CERCLA that requires the settling party to lease to residents relocated from the Crumb Trailer Park Superfund site in West Winfield, New York, adjacent property at current rental rates for at least 42 months; to impose institutional controls to prohibit residential use of the site; and to perform specified post-removal site controls. 74 FR 27790 (6/11/09).

  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative agreement under CERCLA that requires the settling party to pay $60,000 in U.S. response costs incurred at the State Road 144 Ground Water Plume Superfund site in Levelland, Texas. 74 FR 27542 (6/10/09).

WILDLIFE:



  • NOAA-Fisheries issued its 12-month finding on a petition to expand the critical habitat of the Hawaiian monk seal in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands and to designate additional critical habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands and announced that it will revise the seal's critical habitat. 74 FR 27988 (6/12/09).

DOJ NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT:



  • United States v. AK Steel Corp., No. 97-1863 (W.D. Pa. June 1, 2009). Nine settling CERCLA defendants must pay $3,037,491.61 in past U.S. response costs incurred at the Breslube Penn Superfund site in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania; must pay $41,356.04 in past response costs to the state of Pennsylvania; must pay all future response costs; and must fund and perform the EPA-selected remedy at an estimated cost of at least $8,070,000. 74 FR 27181 (6/8/09).

Copyright© 2009, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


THE CONGRESS

Note: Citations below are to the Congressional Record (Cong. Rec.).


Chamber Action



  • H.R. 2751 (Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act), which would accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high polluting automobiles to replace such automobiles with new fuel efficient and less polluting automobiles, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H6345 (daily ed. June 9, 2009)

Committee Action



  • H.R. 2454 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 111-137 Pt. 1, 155 Cong. Rec. H6305 (daily ed. June 8, 2009). The bill would seek to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition the United States to a clean energy economy.

Bills Introduced



  • S. 1214 (Lieberman, I-Conn.) (conservation) would conserve fish and aquatic communities in the United States through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation to improve the quality of life for the people of the United States. 155 Cong. Rec. S6364 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 1215 (Casey, D-Pa.) (SDWA) would amend the SDWA to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing. 155 Cong. Rec. S6364 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 1216 (Klobuchar, D-Minn.) (Consumer Product Safety Act) would amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to require residential carbon monoxide detectors to meet the applicable ANSI/UL standard by treating that standard as a consumer product safety rule and encourage states to require the installation of such detectors in homes. 155 Cong. Rec. S6364 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

  • S. 1224 (Warner, D-Va.) (NOAA) would reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Office of NOAA. 155 Cong. Rec. S6452 (daily ed. June 10, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

  • S. 1225 (Sanders, I-Vt.) (energy) would require the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to take certain actions to prevent the manipulation of energy markets. 155 Cong. Rec. S6452 (daily ed. June 10, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

  • S. 1238 (Isakson, R-Ga.) (Workforce Investment Act) would amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to make non-union training programs eligible for federal funding the Green Jobs program. 155 Cong. Rec. S6542 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

  • S. 1245 (Whitehouse, D-R.I.) (lead removal) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit for property owners who remove lead-based paint hazards. 155 Cong. Rec. S6542 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • S. 1246 (Sanders, I-Vt.) (energy) would establish a home energy retrofit finance program. 155 Cong. Rec. S6542 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 1248 (Casey, D-Pa.) (fuel efficiency) would establish a program in the DOE to encourage consumers to trade in older vehicles for more fuel-efficient vehicles and motorcycles. 155 Cong. Rec. S6542 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • S. 1250 (Nelson, D-Fla.) (biofuel) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the definition of "cellulosic biofuel" to include algae-based biofuel for purposes of the cellulosic biofuel producer credit and the special allowance for cellulosic biofuel plant property. 155 Cong. Rec. S6542 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • S. 1255 (Schumer, D-N.Y.) (fisheries) would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to extend the authorized time period for rebuilding certain overfished fisheries. 155 Cong. Rec. S6542 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

  • H.R. 2751 (Sutton, D-Ohio) (fuel efficiency) would accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high-polluting automobiles to replace such automobiles with new fuel efficient and less polluting automobiles. 155 Cong. Rec. H6305 (daily ed. June 8, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means.

  • H.R. 2766 (Degette, D-Colo.) (SDWA) would repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the SDWA. 155 Cong. Rec. H6413 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 2768 (Wamp, R-Tenn.) (energy) would declare nuclear energy to be clean energy for purposes of federal law. 155 Cong. Rec. H6413 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 2775 (Higgins, D-N.Y.) (hazardous substances) would prohibit, as a banned hazardous substance, certain household dishwashing detergent containing phosphorus. 155 Cong. Rec. H6413 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 2781 (Schrader, D-Or.) (Wild and Scenic Rivers Act) would amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the Molalla River in Oregon as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. 155 Cong. Rec. H6413 (daily ed. June 9, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 2806 (Hastings, R-Wash.) (national parks and wilderness) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the boundary of the Stephen Mather Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park to allow the rebuilding of a road outside of the floodplain while ensuring that there is no net loss of acreage to the park or the wilderness. 155 Cong. Rec. H6538 (daily ed. June 10, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 2807 (Kind, D-Wis.) (public lands) would sustain fish, plants, and wildlife on America's public lands. 155 Cong. Rec. H6538 (daily ed. June 10, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committees on Natural Resources and Agriculture.

  • H.R. 2809 (Lamborn, R-Colo.) (Wilderness Act) would amend the Wilderness Act to allow recreation organizations consisting of hikers or horseback riders to cross wilderness areas on established trails. 155 Cong. Rec. H6538 (daily ed. June 10, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 2828 (Bishop, R-Utah) (energy) would seek to provide the United States with a comprehensive energy package to place Americans on a path to a secure economic future through increased energy innovation, conservation, and production. 155 Cong. Rec. H6617 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committees on Ways and Means, Natural Resources, Energy and Commerce, Science and Technology, Rules, and Oversight and Government Reform.

  • H.R. 2834 (Faleomavaega, D-Am. Sam. ) (NOAA) would direct the Administrator of NOAA to conduct a technological capability assessment, survey, and economic feasibility study regarding recovery of minerals, other than oil and natural gas, from the shallow and deep seabed of the United States. 155 Cong. Rec. H6617 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 2838 (Norton, D-D.C.) (land use) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a long-term ground lease for the operation and maintenance of Rock Creek, Langston, and East Potomac as golf courses. 155 Cong. Rec. H6618 (daily ed. June 11, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

Copyright© 2009, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


IN THE STATES

Note: The entries below cover state developments since the last issue of Update. The entries are arranged by state, and within each section, entries are further subdivided by subject matter area. To access material previously reported in 2009, visit our list of Cumulative State Developments. For state material reported prior to 2009, visit the ELR Archives.


The states below have updates this week:









California Indiana Nevada
Idaho Iowa  

CALIFORNIA


Air:



  • The Air Resources Board will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to Cal. Code Regs. tit. 13. §§2449 through 2449.3, In-Use Off-Road Diesel-Fueled Fleets. The hearing will be July 23, 2009. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2009/offroad09/offroad09.htm

  • The South Coast Air Quality Management District will hold a public workshop on proposed amendments to Rule 1145, Plastic, Rubber, Leather, and Glass Coatings. This proposal will add a new category and volatile organic compound emission limit for the refrigerated glass door coating industry and align the rule with U.S. EPA's most current Control Techniques Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coatings. The workshop will be June 25, 2009. See http://www.aqmd.gov/pub_edu/notice_1145_Jun_25_09.html

IDAHO


Air:



  • The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public hearing on the proposed implementation of Idaho Admin. Code r. 58.01.01, Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho. The amendments would establish the minimum requirements for a vehicle emissions testing program. The hearing will be held July 14, 2009. See http://adm.idaho.gov/adminrules/bulletin/bul/09bul/09jun.pdf (pp. 105-09)

Water:



  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed amendments to Idaho Admin. Code r. 58.01.16, Wastewater Rules. The amendments would allow for the creation of a combined very small wastewater treatment and collection system classification for communities with 500 connections or less. See http://adm.idaho.gov/adminrules/bulletin/bul/09bul/09jun.pdf (pp. 111-122)

INDIANA


Air:



  • The Air Pollution Control Board will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to 326 Ind. Admin. Code 8-1-3 and 8-4, concerning stage I vapor recovery at gasoline dispensing facilities. The hearing will be held September 2, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=07-353

  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) seeks public comment on amendments to 326 Ind. Admin. Code 4-1, concerning open burning. Open burning is generally prohibited in Indiana; however, state law exempts certain open burning activities under conditions that minimize impact on air quality and public health. IDEM has determined that five additional categories of open burning may be suitable for exemption from the current IDEM approval process. Comments are due July 6, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=09-362

  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks public comment on amendments to rules at 326 Ind. Admin. Code 14-10 and 326 Ind. Admin. Code 18, concerning asbestos management. The amendments would clarify and update Indiana's existing asbestos management program rules and ensure consistency in the program. Comments are due July 6, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=09-363

  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) seeks public comment on amendments to 326 Ind. Admin. Code 8-1 and 8-5-6 concerning fuel grade ethanol production at dry mills. IDEM is proposing to allow dry mills to install and operate additional types of control devices for volatile organic compound emissions, in addition to a thermal oxidizer, wet scrubber, or enclosed flare, such as carbon adsorption, as long as the control device achieves the required overall control efficiency of not less than 98% and the owner or operator of the plant verifies initial and continuing compliance with the control efficiency requirement. Comments are due July 6, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20090603-IR-326090364FNA.xml.html

  • The Air Pollution Control Board adopted amendments to326 Ind. Admin. Code 24-1-2, 24-1-7, 24-1-8, 24-1-9, 24-1-12, 24-2-2, 24-2-7, 24-2-8, 24-2-11, 24-3-1, 24-3-2, 24-3-7, 24-3-8, 24-3-9, and 24-3-12 concerning the Clean Air Interstate Rule. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=08-5

Toxic Substances:



  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks public comment on new rules and amendments to 329 IAC 3.1, concerning temporary storage of spent lead acid batteries. The rulemaking will propose requirements for the management of spent lead acid batteries, including transportation and storage, by retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, auto salvage yards, other storage facilities, and reclamation facilities. Comments are due July 6, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=09-365

Water:



  • The Water Pollution Control Board adopted amendments to327 Ind. Admin. Code 11-1-2, 11-1-3, and 11-1-4; added 327 Ind. Admin. Code 11-3; and repealed 327 Ind. Admin. Code 11-1-1, 11-1-5, and 327 Ind. Admin. Code 11-2, concerning implementation of Indiana law regarding EISs for major state actions that may significantly affect the quality of the human environment. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=08-210

IOWA


Water:



  • The Environmental Protection Commission proposed amendments to Iowa Admin. Code r. 62, Effluent and Pretreatment Standards: Other Effluent Limits or Prohibitions; and Iowa Admin. Code r. 63, Monitoring, Analytical and Reporting Requirements. The proposed amendment to chapter 62 is designed to address new technical data received from U.S. EPA. The proposed amendment to Table II of Chapter 63 is intended to reduce the burden on smaller communities in regard to nutrient monitoring requirements. See http://www.legis.state.ia.us/aspx/ACODOCS/DOCS/06-03-2009.Bulletin.pdf (pp. 2644-45)

NEVADA


Air:



  • The State Environmental Commission adopted amendments to Nev. Admin. Code §445B, Electrical Generation Unit Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mandatory Reporting Requirements. The amendments establish mandatory reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions for electrical generation units. See http://www.leg.state.nv.us/register/2009Register/R004-09I.pdf

Copyright© 2009, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


INTERNATIONAL

CHINA HALTS JINSHA RIVER DAM PROJECT


The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection said it would not approve any further dams on the Jinsha River in the southern province of Yunnan. The ministry reacted furiously after discovering that China's two largest power companies, Huadian and Huaneng, had started work on two hydroelectric dams in January without permission. The two companies, which generate around one-fifth of China's electricity combined, were planning to spend 200 billion yuan (US $24 billion) on eight dams along the Jinsha, which turns into the Yangtze river as it flows into Sichuan. The project is a similar size to the Three Gorges Dam project. A statement on the ministry's website said both companies had breached the law and that it would not issue any permits to either of them for any new project. A spokesman for the ministry said the construction of the two dams without proper designs and environmental protection measures would damage the ecology of the river and hurt the local communities. "The hydropower resources along the Jinsha River are already being over exploited, which will damage the ecological security in the region," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. He added that Jinsha has some of China's rarest fish species. For the full story, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/5513499/China-halts-20bn-dam-project.html

"BOOM AND BUST" OF DEFORESTATION


A study of 286 Amazon municipalities found that deforestation brought quick benefits that were soon reversed. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say the deforestation cycle helps neither people nor nature. They suggest that mechanisms to reward people in poorer countries for conserving rainforest could change this "lose-lose-lose" situation. The Brazilian government has long had a twin-track approach to the Amazon, which contains about 40% of the world's remaining rainforest. While the land development agency Incra settles people in the region as a way of giving them land and livelihoods--a policy that dates from the 1970s--the environment ministry is trying to reduce the rate of deforestation. Last year the environment ministry named Incra as the country's worst illegal logger. For the full story, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8095833.stm

U.N. CLIMATE TALKS MADE PROGRESS, BUT MORE WORK LIES AHEAD


Climate talks ending on Friday made progress toward a new U.N. treaty to curb global warming but fell short of calls by developing nations for the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Four years of talks to widen the existing Kyoto Protocol have struggled to agree how to share the cost. The United States and Europe warned in closing remarks in Bonn that the private sector would finance the climate fight, not their governments. "I look back on this as a significant session that has advanced our work in important ways," Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told a news conference of the June 1-12 meeting among 183 nations. He said governments staked out far clearer views after a first review of a draft legal text of a treaty due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE55B2Y020090612

 

Copyright© 2009, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


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