Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Weekly Update Volume 39, Issue 2

01/20/2009

LITIGATION

CERCLA, EXPERT TESTIMONY:



The Fourth Circuit held that the lower court properly dismissed homeowners' CERCLA and state law claims against the former property owner. The homeowners alleged that the house and lot were contaminated by toxic substances. They hired an expert witness, but his opinions were not sufficient to allow a reasonable juror to find in the homeowner's favor. The expert stated that the detection of volatile organic compounds in the homeowners' sump "is indicative" of groundwater contamination. This phrase, however, does not show that he believed there actually was groundwater contamination or, more to the point, that he could testify that it was his scientific opinion that groundwater contamination existed. The homeowners, therefore, were unable to provide more than speculative evidence regarding the contamination of their home, and summary judgment in favor of the former property owner was appropriate. Miller v. Mandrin Homes Ltd., No. 07-1285, 39 ELR 20011 (4th Cir. Jan. 8, 2009).


FUEL EFFICIENCY, HYBRID VEHICLES:



A California appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an automobile manufacturer that was sued for breach of warranty and deceptive advertising with regard to a hybrid vehicle's fuel efficiency. An individual who purchased the manufacturer's hybrid vehicle was displeased with his purchase because the fuel efficiency was approximately half of what was disclosed on the federally mandated new car label. After the manufacturer refused to buy the hybrid back from him, he filed suit. The trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer on the purchaser's warranty claims. But there remain triable issues of material fact as to whether certain of the manufacturer's advertising claims were false and/or misleading. In addition, the purchaser's deceptive and/or misleading advertising claims are not preempted by federal law regarding EPA fuel economy estimates. The lower court, therefore, erred in dismissing these claims on summary judgment. Paduano v. American Honda Co., No. D050112, 39 ELR 20009 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Jan. 12, 2009).


INSURANCE, POLICY LIMITS:



A California appellate court held that a trial court erred by limiting the state's insurance coverage for cleanup costs at the Stringfellow hazardous waste site to the policy limits in effect for any one policy period. In California, when there is a continuous loss spanning multiple policy periods, any insurer that covered any policy period is liable for the entire loss, up to the limits of its policy. The trial court, therefore, correctly ruled that each of the insurers covered the total amount of the state's liability for property damage, including property damage that actually occurred before or after their policy periods. However, the state is entitled to "stack" the policy limits of the different policy periods. Based on the policy language and on a consistent line of authority in California that allows stacking in other multiple coverage situations, the state was entitled to stack the policy limits of all applicable policies across all applicable policy periods. The trial court's no-stacking ruling, which limited the state's recovery to $48 million, was therefore erroneous. State v. California Continental Insurance Co., No. E041425, 39 ELR 20010 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Jan. 5, 2009).


NUISANCE, SECONDHAND SMOKE:



A California appellate court held that the resident of an apartment complex that failed to limit secondhand smoke in outdoor common areas sufficiently pled a cause of action for public nuisance. The complex, by failing to act, created a condition that was harmful to health or obstructed the free use of the common areas of the apartment complex so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property. This condition affected a substantial number of people at the same time, an ordinary person would be reasonably annoyed or disturbed by this condition, and the seriousness of the harm outweighed the social utility of the complex's inaction. In addition, the resident did not consent to the conduct, she suffered harm that was different from the type of harm suffered by the general public, and the complex's conduct was a substantial factor in causing her harm. Accordingly, the resident pled a cause of action for public nuisance sufficient to withstand a demurrer. Birke v. Oakwood Worldwide, No. B203093, 39 ELR 20008 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Jan. 12, 2009).


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 revised the new source review program regarding the aggregation of emission increases and decreases. 74 FR 2376 (1/15/09).

  • EPA withdrew its September 14, 2007, rule proposal for debottlenecking--a concept used in the Agency's new source review program that refers to how emissions from units upstream and downstream from units undergoing a physical or operational change are included in the calculation of an emissions increase for the project. 74 FR 2460 (1/15/09).

  • EPA proposed to revise several portions of the rule for implementing the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS that was vacated by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. 74 FR 2936 (1/16/09).

  • EPA proposed to allocate essential use allowances for import and production of Class I ozone-depleting substances for calendar year 2009. 74 FR 2954 (1/16/09).

  • EPA found that 37 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands failed to submit for review and approval SIPs for improving visibility in the nation's national parks and wilderness areas. 74 FR 2392 (1/15/09).

  • SIP Approvals: Arkansas (emissions inventory and emissions statements requirements for the Crittenden County eight-hour ozone nonattainment area) 74 FR 2383 (1/15/09). Texas (maintenance plan for the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for El Paso County through 2014) 73 FR 2387 (1/15/09); (conditional approval of attainment for the Dallas/Fort Worth 1997 eight-hour ozone nonattainment area) 74 FR 1903 (1/14/09); (control of nitrogen oxide emissions from cement kilns operating in Bexar, Comal, Ellis, Hays, and McLennan counties) 74 FR 1927 (1/14/09). Utah (addition of consolidated emission reporting rule requirements) 74 FR 1899 (1/14/09). Washington (interstate transport of pollution) 74 FR 1591 (1/13/09). Washington, D.C. (attainment of the 1997 fine particulate matter NAAQS for the DC-MD-VA nonattainment area) 74 FR 1146 (1/12/09).

  • SIP Proposals: Arkansas (emissions inventory and emissions statements requirements for the Crittenden County eight-hour ozone nonattainment area; see above for direct final rule) 74 FR 2460 (1/15/09). New Jersey (reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, conformity budgets, and reasonably available control measure analysis for 2008) 74 FR 2945 (1/16/09). Texas (maintenance plan for the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for El Paso County through 2014; see above for direct final rule) 74 FR 2460 (1/15/09). Utah (addition of consolidated emission reporting rule requirements; see above for direct final rule) 74 FR 2018 (1/14/09).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:



  • EPA proposed to amend the spill prevention, control, and countermeasure rule to tailor and streamline requirements for the dairy industry. 74 FR 2461 (1/15/09).

LAND USE:



  • The Natural Resources Conservation Service proposed to amend the healthy forests reserve program to incorporate changes associated with enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. 74 FR 1954 (1/14/09).

MINING:



  • OSM proposed to approve an amendment to Pennsylvania's regulatory program under SMCRA concerning definitions, permit and reclamation fees, and the use of money. 74 FR 2005 (1/14/09).

WILDLIFE:



  • NOAA-Fisheries issued regulations to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to training activities within the Hawaii Range Complex for the period January 2009 through January 2014. 74 FR 1456 (1/12/09).

  • NOAA-Fisheries determined that black abalone should be listed as an endangered species under the ESA. 74 FR 1937 (1/14/09).

  • NOAA-Fisheries proposed to implement identification and certification procedures to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities and bycatch of protected living marine resources. 74 FR 2019 (1/14/09).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:



  • United States v. Citibank Global Market Holdings, Inc., No. 09-CV-4002-SAC (D. Kan. Jan. 9, 2009). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $1 million in U.S. response costs incurred at the National Zinc Superfund site in Cherryvale, Kansas. 74 FR 2617 (1/15/09).

  • United States v. Explorer Pipeline Co., No. 4:08-cv-2944 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 8, 2009). A settling CWA defendant must pay a $3,300,000 civil penalty for the discharge of jet fuel into navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines from a refined petroleum products pipeline near Huntsville, Texas. 74 FR 2100 (1/14/09).

  • United States v. Pacific Northern Environmental Corp., No. 3:08-cv-01513-HU (D. Ore. Dec. 31, 2008). A settling CWA defendant must pay a $74,272 civil penalty to the United States, must pay a $20,000 civil penalty to the state of Oregon, and must perform a supplemental environmental project at a cost of no less than $47,640 for a diesel fuel spill into the Umpqua River near Scottsburg, Oregon. 74 FR 2101 (1/14/09).

  • United States v. Savoy Senior Housing Corp., No. 6:06-cv-31 (W.D. Va. Jan. 7, 2009). Settling CWA defendants must pay a civil penalty, must restore certain areas on and adjacent to their 140-acre property in Campbell County, Virginia, and must fund off-site mitigation through the purchase of credits from stream and wetland restoration banks in the region for discharging dredged or fill material and sediment into waters of the United States. 74 FR 2101 (1/14/09).

  • United States v. Alcan Aluminum Corp., No. 7:09cv9 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 7, 2009). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $1,200,000 in U.S. response costs at the Sealand Restoration Superfund site in Lisbon, New York, and must pay a $100,000 civil penalty for failure to comply with an administrative order requiring specified cleanup actions at the site. 74 FR 2100 (1/14/09).

  • United States v. City of Ironton, No. 09-cv-00012 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 6, 2009). A settling CWA defendant must implement injunctive measures to eliminate all discharges from its combined sewer overflows at a total cost of approximately $12.5 million, must pay a $49,000 civil penalty to both the United States and the state of Ohio, and must implement municipal wastewater and sewer system improvements over an 18-year period for violations of the city's NPDES permit. 74 FR 1246 (1/12/09).

  • United States v. Rapanos, No. 94-CV-70788-DT (E.D. Mich. Dec. 29, 2008). Settling CWA defendants must perform mitigation and must pay a civil penalty for discharging pollutants without a permit into waters of the United States. 74 FR 1247 (1/12/09).

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



  • S. 22 (Lands Bill), which would to designate certain land components of the National Wilderness Preservation System and authorize certain programs and activities in the DOI and the USDA, was passed by the Senate. 155 Cong. Rec. S419 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009).

Bills Introduced



  • S. 209 (Boxer, D-Cal.) (alternative fuel) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify and extend the credit for alternative motor vehicles. 155 Cong. Rec. S308 (daily ed. Jan. 12, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • S. 215 (Hatch, R-Utah) (land exchange) would authorize the Boy Scouts of America to exchange certain land in the state of Utah acquired under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 216 (Hatch, R-Utah) (National Park System) would bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating Estate Grange and other sites related to Alexander Hamilton's life on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a unit of the National Park System. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 217 (Hatch, R-Utah) (National Trails System Act) would amend the National Trails System Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to update the feasibility and suitability studies of four national historic trails. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

  • S. 218 (Hatch, R-Utah) (land exchange) would require the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain BLM land to Park City, Utah. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 219 (Hatch, R-Utah) (land exchange) would provide for the sale of approximately 25 acres of public land to the Turnabout Ranch, Escalante, Utah, at fair market value. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 221 (Nelson, D-Fla.) (Commodity Exchange Act) would amend the Commodity Exchange Act to require energy commodities to be traded only on regulated markets. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

  • S. 222 (Feingold, D-Wis.) (energy) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the national limitation on qualified energy conservation bonds and to clarify that certain programs constitute a qualified conservation purpose. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • S. 223 (Feingold, D-Wis.) (energy) would amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to further the adoption of technologies developed by the USDA to encourage small business partnerships in the development of energy through biorefineries. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

  • S. 224 (Stabenow, D-Mich.) (green jobs) would promote economic recovery through green jobs and infrastructure. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 227 (Cardin, D-Md.) (National Parks) would establish the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, New York, and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties, Maryland. 155 Cong. Rec. S337 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 231 (Lieberman, I-Conn.) (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) would designate a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. 155 Cong. Rec. S388 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 232 (Alexander, R-Tenn.) (radioactive waste) would prohibit the importation of certain low-level radioactive waste into the United States. 155 Cong. Rec. S388 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 237 (Levin, D-Mich) (Great Lakes) would establish a collaborative program to protect the Great Lakes. 155 Cong. Rec. S388 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 247 (Feinstein, D-Cal.) (fuel efficiency) would accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high fuel consumption automobiles to replace such automobiles with fuel efficient automobiles or public transportation. 155 Cong. Rec. S388 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 268 (Murray, D-Wash.) (green jobs) would provide funding for a Green Job Corps program, YouthBuild Build Green Grants, and Green-Collar Youth Opportunity Grants. 155 Cong. Rec. S598 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

  • S. 271 (Cantwell, D-Wash.) (electric vehicles) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives to accelerate the production and adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and related component parts. 155 Cong. Rec. S598 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • H.R. 469 (Hall, R-Tex.) (energy) would encourage research, development, and demonstration of technologies to facilitate the utilization of water produced in connection with the development of domestic energy resources. 155 Cong. Rec. H194 (daily ed. Jan. 13, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology.

  • H.R. 493 (Rahall, D-W. Va.) (SMCRA) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations concerning the storage and disposal of matter referred to as "other wastes" in SMCRA. 155 Cong. Rec. H323 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 500 (Ehlers, R-Mich.) (Great Lakes) would establish a collaborative program to protect the Great Lakes. 155 Cong. Rec. H323 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committees on Natural Resources, Science and Technology, and House Administration.

  • H.R. 509 (Brown, R-S.C.) (Marine Turtle Conservation Act) would reauthorize the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004. 155 Cong. Rec. H324 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 513 (Forbes, R-Va.) (energy) would promote the energy independence of the United States by promoting research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of technologies through a system of grants and prizes on the scale of the original Manhattan Project. 155 Cong. Rec. H324 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology.

  • H.R. 515 (Gordon, D-Tenn.) (radioactive waste) would prohibit the importation of certain low-level radioactive waste into the United States. 155 Cong. Rec. H324 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means.

  • H.R. 526 (Marshall, D-Ga.) (National Heritage Corridor) would establish the Ocmulgee National Heritage Corridor in the state of Georgia. 155 Cong. Rec. H324 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 530 (Miller, R-Cal.) (Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act) would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Prado Basin Natural Treatment System Project, to authorize the Secretary to carry out a program to assist agencies in projects to construct regional brine lines in California, and to authorize the Secretary to participate in the Lower Chino Dairy Area desalination demonstration and reclamation project. 155 Cong. Rec. H324 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 545 (Simpson, R-Idaho) (National Conservation Area) would rename the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in the state of Idaho as the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in honor of the late Morley Nelson, an international authority on birds of prey, who was instrumental in the establishment of this National Conservation Area. 155 Cong. Rec. H325 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 546 (Thompson, D-Cal.) (solar energy) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat certain solar energy credits as refundable credits, to allow a new refundable credit for equipment used to manufacture solar energy property, and to waive the application of the subsidized financing rules to such property. 155 Cong. Rec. H325 (daily ed. Jan. 14, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

  • H.R. 551 (Giffords, D-Ariz.) (water augmentation) would to authorize the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, to conduct a feasibility study of water augmentation alternatives in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed. 155 Cong. Rec. H379 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 552 (Giffords, D-Ariz) (National Trails System Act) would amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Arizona National Scenic Trail. 155 Cong. Rec. H379 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 556 (Farr, D-Cal.) (sea otters) would establish a program of research, recovery, and other activities to provide for the recovery of the southern sea otter. 155 Cong. Rec. H379 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 567 (Calvert, R-Cal.) (Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act) would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in certain water projects in California. 155 Cong. Rec. H379 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 579 (Holt, D-N.J.) (energy) would provide for grants from the Secretary of Education to State and local educational agencies for EnergySmart schools and Energy Star programs. 155 Cong. Rec. H381 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor.

  • H.R. 585 (Lee, D-Cal.) (National Academy of Science) would direct the President to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate certain federal rules and regulations for potentially harmful impacts on public health, air quality, water quality, plant and animal wildlife, global climate, or the environment; and to direct Federal departments and agencies to create plans to reverse those impacts that are determined to be harmful by the National Academy of Sciences. 155 Cong. Rec. H381 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 594 (Stark, D-Cal.) (emissions) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by imposing a tax on primary fossil fuels based on their carbon content. 155 Cong. Rec. H381 (daily ed. Jan. 15, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

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 Massachusetts North Carolina
Florida Montana Pennsylvania
Indiana New Jersey Wisconsin
Maine    

CALIFORNIA


Air:



  • The Air Resources Board will hold a public hearing to consider adopting a regulation to reduce sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) use in non-semiconductor and non-utility applications and to consider adoption of a regulation to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from semiconductor and related devices (semiconductor) operations. The hearing will be February 26, 2009. Written comments are due February 25, 2009. See http://www.oal.ca.gov/pdfs/notice/2z-2009.pdf (pp. 66-73)

FLORIDA


Water:



INDIANA


Hazardous & Solid Waste:



  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks public comment on draft rule language for amendments to 329 IAC 11, concerning clarifications, consistency changes, and organizational changes to the rules for solid waste processing facilities, including transfer stations. The rulemaking proposes to clarify existing rule language for definitions, exclusions, zoning requirements, application and design standards, operating standards, closure, and post-closure requirements. Comments are due February 13, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20090114-IR-329060070SNA.xml.html

MAINE


Energy:



  • The Public Utilities Commission adopted amendments to Chapter 930, Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program. Chapter 930 governs the implementation of the state's solar energy rebate as well as the Commission's newly created wind energy rebate program. See http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=65866&an=1

MASSACHUSETS


Water:



  • The Department of Environmental Protection is postponing public hearings on proposed amendments to 310 CMR 4.00, Timely Action Schedule and Fee Provisions; 310 CMR 9.00, Waterways regulations; 314 CMR 21.00, Stormwater General Permit regulations; and 310 CMR 40.0000, Massachusetts Contingency Plan of the Waste Site Cleanup program. The hearing date was originally set for January 16 and 20, 2009. The Department will reschedule these hearings and send out the revised schedule and a copy of the proposed changes in the near future.

MONTANA


Air:



  • The Board of Environmental Review will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to ARM 17.8.102, Incorporation by Reference. The amendment would specifically exempt from the incorporation by reference 40 CFR Part 60, subpart HHHH, which establishes a scheme for regulating emissions of mercury under an emission credit trading program. The hearing will be February 4, 2009. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-281pro.pdf

Toxic Substances:



  • The Department of Environmental Quality adopted amendments to ARM 17.56.502, Reporting of Suspected Releases. The amendment requires records documenting the cause of and the investigative and corrective actions undertaken in response to suspected releases to be maintained for one year. See http://www.deq.state.mt.us/dir/legal/Notices/17-280adp.pdf

NEW JERSEY


Air:



  • The Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments and additions to N.J.A.C. 7:1G-3.1, 3.2, and 5.3; 7:27-21.1 through 21.3; 7:27-21.5; and 7:27-21.11 through 21.13, Greenhouse Gas Monitoring and Reporting Program. The proposed new rules and amendments require monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by electric generating facilities; fossil fuel manufacturers, distributors or wholesalers; gas public utilities and natural gas pipelines; and facilities that release or store greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide above thresholds proposed by the Department. The hearing will be March 3, 2009. Comments are due March 21, 2009. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/notices/012009a.html

NORTH CAROLINA


Water:



  • The Department of Environment and Natural Resources adopted amendments and additions to 15A NCAC 02B .0263 through .0273 and .0311(p). The purpose of the rules is to restore and maintain nutrient-related water quality standards in B. Everett Jordan Reservoir; protect its classified uses, including its use as a source of water supply for drinking water, culinary, and food processing purposes; and maintain or enhance protections currently implemented by local governments in existing water supply watersheds. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume23Issue13January022009.pdf (pp. 1248-86)

PENNSYLVANIA


Hazardous & Solid Waste:



  • The Environmental Quality Board amended Chapters 260a—266a, 266b, 269a, and 270a, Hazardous Waste Management. This rulemaking includes revisions to remove obsolete provisions and correct inaccurate references currently in the regulations, delete the outdated coproduct transition scheme, simplify the hazardous waste manifest system, update the financial assurance requirements for bonding, expand and clarify the universal waste requirements, correct an outdated reference to the Board in the hazardous waste facilities siting criteria, and add provisions for standardized permits. See http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol39/39-2/39.html

WISCONSIN


Hazardous & Solid Waste:



  • The Department of Natural Resources will hold two public hearings on the creation of Chapter NR 528, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to the management of accumulated sediment from stormwater management structures. This proposed rule would create a framework of self regulation for the management of sediment obtained when cleaning stormwater sediment control structures. The proposed rule would place the department in an oversight role, thereby minimizing and targeting uses of scarce staff resources, and provide a reasonable, safe, and consistent approach in managing end uses of accumulated sediment. The hearings will be February 11 and 12, 2009. See http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/register/reg636b.pdf (pp. 25-28)

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


INTERNATIONAL

FIRST SOLAR TO HELP POWER UAE "GREEN" CITY


Abu Dhabi's Masdar said on Thursday it is building the Middle East's largest solar power plant for the carbon-neutral Masdar City. The $22 billion Masdar City—the green city in the desert—will be home to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses. No cars will be allowed. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE50E41T20090115

NEW SOIL MAP FOR AFRICAN FARMERS


The first detailed digital soil map of sub-Saharan Africa is to be created. The £12.3m ($18m) project will offer farmers in 42 countries a "soil health diagnosis" and advice on crop yields. Scientists from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture will take soil samples from across the continent and analyze nutrient levels. These will be combined with satellite data to build a high-resolution map that will be disseminated freely to poor farmers by local extension workers. The interactive online map, known as the African Soil Information Service, will be accompanied by advice on how to tackle soil deficient in nutrients. It is the first stage of project to build a global digital map—called GlobalSoilMap.net— covering 80% of the world's soils. The initial four-year program is being funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. For the full story, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7826275.stm

TRANSPORT MINISTERS AGREE TO PROMOTE LOWER CO2 EMISSIONS


Top transport officials from 21 major countries agreed on Friday to promote the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the sector to combat climate change, aiming to drive talks under a broader U.N. framework. Shipping, airline, and inland transport, which together contribute over 20 percent of CO2 emissions, will be a key part of a new U.N. climate pact that about 190 nations will try to agree on at the year-end as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The officials, including ministers from the European Union, Australia, and Russia, met in Tokyo for a three-day meeting that ended on Friday. Malaysia attended as an observer, while China, now believed to be the world's top greenhouse gas polluter, pulled out at the last minute. "It is the first ministerial declaration ever and it was from major countries that account for about 70 percent of CO2 emissions from the global transport sector," said Japanese transport minister Kazuyoshi Kaneko, who chaired the meeting. "It is quite important to send a message that we have the political will (to address the transport sector)," Kaneko told a news conference at the end of the gathering. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE50E3CW20090116

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


Note: To request additional information, please call (800) 433-5120 or (202) 939-3844. Documents may also be available free or at a nominal charge from the applicable court or agency. Copyright© 2009, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


ELR STAFF

Leslie Carothers, Publisher
Scott Schang, Editor-in-Chief
Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Managing Editor
Erin Webreck, Associate Editor
Carolyn Fischer, Books Editor
William J. Straub, Desktop Publisher
Garrett VanPelt, Editorial Associate
Russell Husen, Legal Intern
Clint Morrison, Publications Intern
Hilary Nakasone, Publications Intern