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Weekly Update Volume 39, Issue 21

07/27/2009

LITIGATION

WATER SUPPLY ACT, REALLOCATION:



A district court sitting in a multi-district litigation concerning water disputes between Alabama, Florida, and Georgia held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer violated §301 of the Water Supply Act (WSA) when it failed to seek congressional approval for actions it took with respect to water supply in Lake Lanier, a reservoir created in 1956 by the completion of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River. In 1989, the Corps decided that the WSA did not require it to seek congressional authorization for the reallocation of significant amounts of Lake Lanier's storage to water supply for the Atlanta metropolitan region. The WSA provides that the Corps may set aside storage for water supply in a previously constructed reservoir as long as: (1) the beneficiaries of that storage pay a proportionate share of the costs of the project; and (2) the modification does not seriously affect the project's purposes or constitute a major structural or operational change. Although the water supply users have not paid a proportionate share of the project's costs, the court assumed for purposes of this case that the beneficiaries would pay a proportionate share of the cost of the project. Nevertheless, based on the legislative history and the record, water supply, at least in the form of withdrawals from Lake Lanier, is not an authorized purpose of the Buford project. Both before and during construction of Buford Dam, as well as in the decades after Buford Dam was completed, the Corps consistently described the primary purposes of the project as flood control, navigation, and hydropower. Although Congress and the Corps anticipated some benefits to water supply from the project, the water supply benefit was not from storage for water supply provided by Lake Lanier. Moreover, the Corps' reallocation of nearly a quarter of Lake Lanier's conservation storage to support water supply is a major operational change. The Corps argued that any storage reallocation to accommodate existing water supply needs will have an insignificant impact on the project's authorized purposes of hydropower generation and downstream navigation, but the court found the Corps's calculations suspect. Accordingly, the Corps should have sought congressional approval. The court stayed this phase of the litigation for three years to allow Congress' approval for the operational changes requested. During the stay, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia may continue to operate at current water supply withdrawal levels but may not increase those withdrawals absent the agreement of all other parties to this matter. In re Tri-State Water Rights Litigation, No. 3:07-md-01, 39 ELR 20160 (M.D. Fla. July 17, 2009) (Magnuson, J.).


APA, NATIONAL PARKS, MOTORIZED ACTIVITIES:



The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision upholding the National Park Service's (NPS') management plan for the Colorado River that permits the continued use of motorized rafts and support equipment in Grand Canyon National Park. Environmental groups argued that such motorized activities impair the wilderness character of the Canyon and that NPS' decision is arbitrary and capricious under the APA. They asserted that it violates the NPS' own management policies as well as various federal statutes. But the agency's 2001 policies requiring the NPS to treat the Colorado River Corridor as wilderness or potential wilderness are not enforceable against the NPS. The policies do not prescribe substantive rules and were not promulgated in conformance with the procedures of the APA. Moreover, the NPS complied with the NPS Organic Act, the NPS Concessions Act, and NEPA in promulgating the management plan. In sum, the group simply failed to satisfy the high threshold required to set aside federal agency actions under the APA. River Runners for Wilderness v. Martin, No. 08-15112, 39 ELR 20158 (9th Cir. July 21, 2009).


LICENSING RENEWALS, INTERVENTION:



The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of a FERC decision denying environmental groups' motion to intervene in a license renewal proceeding for a dam. Although the groups' motion to intervene was late, they argued that FERC abused its discretion in denying their late intervention motion since their late intervention would not prejudice FERC's proceeding. But the court ruled that FERC's decision was not an abuse of its discretion. As long as an agency's procedural rules do not afford petitioners less protection than the minimum mandated by the APA and the U.S. Constitution, a court may not intrude into an agency's decisionmaking process and second-guess its administrative tradeoffs. The regulation at issue explicitly confers on FERC a broad power to differentiate among untimely interveners and permits it to summarily reject a prospective intervener who cannot demonstrate "good cause" for its untimely motion. Here, FERC reasonably determined that the groups lacked good cause for their untimely attempt to intervene. Accordingly, the groups' petition for review was denied. California Trout v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nos. 07-73664 et al., 39 ELR 20157 (9th Cir. July 20, 2009).


CWA, ATTORNEYS FEES:



The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision denying an organic farm's application for attorneys fees in its underlying CWA action against a county for discharging pesticides into U.S. waters without an NPDES permit. Below, the farm and county entered into a settlement agreement that limited the county's pesticide spraying in several ways and provided that an application for attorneys fees under the CWA's citizen suit provisions, §505(d), could be made to the district court. The district court denied the farm's request for attorneys fees, holding that the farm was not a "prevailing or substantially prevailing party" and, in the alternative, that it was not "appropriate" to grant fees to the farm. Contrary to the district court's ruling, the farm was a prevailing party under §505(d). The terms of the agreement are judicially enforceable, it effected a material alteration in the legal relationship between the parties, and the farm achieved actual relief on the merits of its claim. The court also held that attorneys fees may only be denied to a prevailing plaintiff under §505(d) where there are "special circumstances." Since the lower court did not have the opportunity to apply this standard, the court remanded the case for the lower court to determine whether attorneys fees are appropriate. St. John's Organic Farm v. Gem County Mosquito Abatement District, No. 07-35797, 39 ELR 20156 (9th Cir. July 16, 2009).


WATER POLLUTION, NATIVE AMERICANS, JOINDER:



A district court dismissed Oklahoma's claims for monetary damages against poultry companies for injury caused to the Illinois River watershed stemming from the their storage and disposal of poultry waste. The state failed to join the Cherokee Nation as a required party. The Cherokee Nation possesses significant, legally protected interests in lands, waters, and other natural resources in the watershed that will be impaired or impeded by its absence, and joinder of the Cherokee Nation is not feasible because of tribal sovereign immunity. The state relied on an agreement entered between the Attorney Generals of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation in which the Nation delegated and assigned to Oklahoma any and all claims it has or may have against the defendants in this case. But the state failed to follow the requirements for entering into cooperative agreements with tribes. The court therefore concluded that under Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 19, the state's claims for monetary damages should not proceed. However, the Cherokee Nation is not a required party to the state's claims for injunctive relief. Those claims, therefore, remain viable. Oklahoma v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 05-cv-329, 39 ELR 20162 (N.D. Okla. July 22, 2009) (Frizzell, J.).


LAND USE, CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS:



The Supreme Court of South Dakota held that a town had the power to waive the distance requirements set forth in a county ordinance regulating the location of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Several residents filed suit challenging the town's power to execute such a waiver. They argued that merely because the county's zoning ordinance gave the town the power to waive the distance requirements does not mean that the town had the legal authority to do so. They maintained that absent a grant of authority from the state legislature, the town cannot act under the county's zoning ordinance. But state law gives every municipality the power to contract in its corporate name. Here, the county enacted a zoning plan for the county, which includes the area within the city limits of the town. In this zoning plan is an ordinance that gives an incorporated community the right to waive certain distance restrictions for a CAFO. Because state law gives a municipality the power to contract, and the county ordinance gave the town the option to determine whether a waiver should be executed, the town had the authority to waive the distance requirements under the ordinance. Anderson v. Town of Badger, No. 2009-SD-61, 39 ELR 20161 (S.D. July 15, 2009).


CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, MITIGATION:



A California appellate court upheld a lower court decision denying an environmental group's petition seeking to force a city to set aside a resolution determining that the group is not a qualified conservation entity, thereby preventing the group from receiving mitigation lands under the California Environmental Quality Act in conjunction with a residential development project. The group argued that the city denied the group due process by engaging in backroom dealing to establish criteria that would exclude the group as a qualified conservation entity, adopting those criteria, and then finding the group did not meet them without providing meaningful notice and an opportunity to be heard. But the group failed to show how the city's action deprives it of a liberty or property interest for which due process attaches. Even if the group had demonstrated its right to due process, the record demonstrates that it was aware of the conditions under consideration by the city and was in fact heard prior to the city's vote on the resolution. Similarly, the group failed to support its argument that the city' criteria for determining what was a qualified conservation entity were vague and uncertain and conflicted with federal and state law. And the city's findings in support of its resolution are supported by substantial evidence. The lower court, therefore, properly refused to grant the group's petition. In addition, the lower court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the developer on the group's claims that the developer breached a contract when, based on the city's resolution, it did not grant mitigation land to the group. The group's qualification to receive and hold the mitigation land was an implied condition to the formation of the agreement. Since the group did not meet that condition, there was no contract to breach. Habitat Trust for Wildlife v. City of Rancho Cucamonga, Nos. E042229 et al., 39 ELR 20159 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. July 21, 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 proposed to extend until June 2010 the administrative stay of the grandfathering provision for fine particulate matter requirements in the PSD program promulgated on May 16, 2008. 74 FR 36427 (7/23/09).

ENERGY:



  • EPA proposed to establish the criteria for including sources or sites in a registry of recoverable waste energy sources, as required under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. 74 FR 36430 (7/23/09).

GENERAL:



  • EPA announced that instead of using a single protocol to evaluate performance criteria, it will use principles that reflect flexible approaches to environmental measurement. 74 FR 36198 (7/22/09).

MINING:



  • OSM approved, on an interim basis, an amendment to West Virginia's regulatory program under SMCRA concerning its alternative bonding system. 74 FR 36113 (7/22/09).

WATER:



  • EPA Region 8 announced that it intends to issue six NPDES general permits for wastewater lagoon systems that are located in Indian country in Region 8 and that are treating primarily domestic wastewater. 74 FR 36705 (7/24/09).

WILDLIFE:



  • NOAA-Fisheries announced that the draft recovery plan for the southern California steelhead distinct population segment is available for public review and comment. 74 FR 36460 (7/23/09).

  • FWS and the U.S. Forest Service announced the withdrawal of a proposed rule to create an additional subsistence resource region for the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska due to significant adverse comment. 74 FR 36131 (7/22/09).

  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the white-sided jackrabbit as an endangered species and to designate critical habitat under the ESA; the Agency found that listing may be warranted and initiated a status review. 74 FR 36152 (7/22/09).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:



  • United States v. Tyler Holding Co., No. 6:09cv319 (E.D. Tex. July 20, 2009). A CAA defendant that violated the Act at a petroleum refinery in Tyler, Texas, must implement air pollution control practices to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the refinery, must adopt a refinery-wide enhanced flaring protocol to investigate the root cause of flaring incidents, and must undertake an enhanced fugitive emission control program to minimize emissions of VOCs; a second CAA defendant must pay a $624,000 civil penalty. 74 FR 36745 (7/24/09).

  • United States v. American Laboratories, Inc., No. 8:09-CV-00194 (D. Neb. June 16, 2009). A settling CAA defendant must pay a $440,000 civil penalty and must implement best available control technology and recover and reuse 93% of total isopropyl alcohol at its pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Omaha, Nebraska. 74 FR 36746 (7/24/09).

  • United States v. George A. Whiting Paper Co., No. 1:09-cv-00692 (E.D. Wis. July 16, 2009). Eleven settling CERCLA defendants must collectively pay $1,875,000 to the United States and Wisconsin for past response costs and natural resource damages incurred at and near the Lower Fox River and Green Bay site in northeastern Wisconsin. 74 FR 36254 (7/22/09).

  • United States v. Landia Chemical Co., No. 8:09-cv-01325-VMC-TBM (M.D. Fla. July 15, 2009). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay any future U.S. response costs incurred above $796,454.46 at the Landia Chemical Company site in Lakeland, Florida, and must implement the EPA-selected remedy to remediate soil contamination and address groundwater contamination at the site. 74 FR 35888 (7/21/09).

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. 1018 (wildlife), which would amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to improve the management and long-term health of wild free-roaming horses and burros, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H8306, H8315 (daily ed. July 17, 2009).

  • H.R. 1622 (alternative fuels), which would provide for a program of research, development, and demonstration on natural gas vehicles, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H8446 (daily ed. July 21, 2009).

  • H.R. 2729 (National Environmental Research Parks), which would authorize the designation of National Environmental Research Parks by the Secretary of Energy, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H8445 (daily ed. July 21, 2009).

  • H.R. 2938 (renewable energy), which would extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H8511 (daily ed. July 22, 2009).

  • H.R. 3183 (appropriations), which would make appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H8328-40 (daily ed. July 17, 2009).

  • H. Res. 270 (hunting), which would recognize the establishment of Hunters for the Hungry programs across the United States and the contributions of those programs' efforts to decrease hunger and help feed those in need, was passed by the House. 155 Cong. Rec. H8455 (daily ed. July 21, 2009).

Committee Action



  • S. 529 (conservation) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 111-52, 155 Cong. Rec. S7699 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill would assist in the conservation of rare felids and canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of countries within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and canid populations.

  • S. 849 (carbon emissions) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 111-58, 155 Cong. Rec. S7868 (daily ed. July 22, 2009). The bill would require the Administrator of EPA to conduct a study on black carbon emissions.

  • H.R. 80 (wildlife) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 111-53, 155 Cong. Rec. S7699 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill would amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to treat nonhuman primates as prohibited wildlife species under that Act and make corrections in the provisions relating to captive wildlife offenses under that Act.

  • H.R. 388 (wildlife) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 111-54, 155 Cong. Rec. S7699 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill would assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes and the ecosystems on which they depend.

  • H.R. 2093 (water) was reported by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. H. Rep. No. 111-214, 155 Cong. Rec. H8409 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as it pertains to beach monitoring.

Bills Introduced



  • S. 1470 (Tester, D-Mont.) (land conveyance) would sustain the economic development and recreational use of National Forest System lands and other public lands in the state of Montana, add certain lands to the National Wilderness Preservation System, release certain wilderness study areas, and designate new areas for recreation.155 Cong. Rec. S7699 (daily ed. July 17, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 1471 (Vitter, D-La.) (water) would direct the Secretary of the Army to carry out certain water control projects at Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. 155 Cong. Rec. S7699 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 1501 (Murray, D-Wash.) (bonds) would provide a federal tax exemption for forest conservation bonds. 155 Cong. Rec. S7869 (daily ed. July 22, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • S. 1502 (Casey, D-Pa.) (carbon emissions) would establish a program to be managed by DOE to ensure prompt and orderly compensation for potential damages relating to the storage of carbon dioxide in geological storage units. 155 Cong. Rec. S7869 (daily ed. July 22, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 1509 (Stabenow, D-Mich.) (harbors) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt from the harbor maintenance tax certain commercial cargo loaded or unloaded at U.S. ports in the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway System. 155 Cong. Rec. S8039 (daily ed. July 23, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • H.R. 3254 (Lujan, D-N.M.) (water) would approve the Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement. 155 Cong. Rec. H8355 (daily ed. July 17, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 3258 (Waxman, D-Cal.) (SDWA) would amend the SDWA to enhance the security of the public water systems of the United States. 155 Cong. Rec. H8409 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 3260 (Becerra, D-Cal.) (appropriations) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make the expensing of environmental remediation costs permanent law. 155 Cong. Rec. H8409 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

  • H.R. 3265 (Connolly, D-Va.) (Federal Water Pollution Control Act) would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reduce pollution resulting from impervious surfaces within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 155 Cong. Rec. H8409 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

  • H.R. 3270 (Bishop, D-N.Y.) (fisheries) would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to add New York to the New England Fishery Management Council. 155 Cong. Rec. H8494 (daily ed. July 20, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 3294 (Bilirakis, R-Fla.) (Ocean for Life Program) would amend title 10, U.S. Code, to authorize DOD to support the Ocean for Life Program of the National Marine Sanctuaries under NOAA, including covering the cost of participants in the Ocean for Life Program. 155 Cong. Rec. H8585 (daily ed. July 22, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

  • H.R. 3307 (Mica, R-Fla.) (fisheries) would direct the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a study of the population of the South Atlantic red snapper fishery but limit the Secretary's authority to promulgate any interim rule that prohibits fishing in the South Atlantic red snapper fishery. 155 Cong. Rec. H8706 (daily ed. July 23, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 3311 (Blumenauer, D-Or.) (fuels) would direct the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a pilot program to study alternatives to the current system of taxing motor vehicle fuels, including systems based on the number of miles traveled by each vehicle. 155 Cong. Rec. H8707 (daily ed. July 23, 2009). The bill was referred to the Committees on Ways and Means, Transportation and Infrastructure, Energy and Commerce, and Science and Technology.

  • H. Res. 670 (Dent, R-Pa.) (Hawk Mountain Sanctuary) would congratulate and salute the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary for celebrating its 75th anniversary and commend it for its contributions to the preservation of wildlife and the native ecology of the Appalachian Mountains and eastern Pennsylvania as well as for its dedication to educating the public and the international community about wildlife conservation. 155 Cong. Rec. H8585 (daily ed. July 22, 2009). The resolution 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:













Alabama Colorado Indiana
Arizona Florida Massachusetts
California Illinois Minnesota

ALABAMA


Toxic Substances:



  • The Department of Environmental Management will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to Ala. Admin. Code r. 335-6-15-.02, Definitions; 335-6-15-.04, Interim Prohibition for Deferred UST Systems; 335-6-15-.10, Operation and Maintenance of Corrosion Protection; 335-6-15-.13, Reporting and Recordkeeping; 335-6-15-.45, Delivery Prohibition; 335-6-15-.46, Operator Training; and 335-6-15-.47, Severability. The amendments are being proposed to provide updated regulations to meet the requirements of the Operator Training Provisions of the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, to revise certification requirements for cathodic protection testers, and other necessary updates. The hearing will be September 4, 2009. See http://www.adem.state.al.us//PublicNotice/July09/7div6.htm

ARIZONA


Water:



  • The Department of Environmental Quality seeks public comment on amendments to Ariz. Admin. Code §18-6-301, Groundwater Protection List (GWPL). The GWPL is a list of agricultural use pesticide active ingredients that have the potential to pollute groundwater. Comments are due August 16, 2009. See http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Register/2009/29/pubinfo.pdf (pp. 1196-98)

  • The Department of Environmental Quality seeks public comment on proposed amendments to Ariz. Admin. Code §18-9-A316(E)(1), relating to delegation of responsibilities. The amendments would revise the delegation of Water Quality Management general functions and duties pertaining to the administration of Type 1 and Type 4 General Aquifer Protection Permits delegated to Yuma County by expanding delegation of authority subject to certain conditions and limitations described in the delegation agreement. Comments are due August 16, 2009. See http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Register/2009/29/propdele.pdf

CALIFORNIA


Water:



COLORADO


Air:



Hazardous & Solid Waste:



Water:



FLORIDA


Water:



  • The St. Johns River Water Management District will hold a public hearing on proposed new rule Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 40C-1.1101, Amendments to and Releases of Regulatory Conservation Easements. The proposed rule would be used to address requests to the district to amend or release a conservation easement previously conveyed to the district solely for mitigation or in compliance with other regulatory requirements of the district or another governmental entity. The hearing will be October 13, 2009. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=7371823&type=1&File=40C-1.1101.htm

  • The Southwest Florida Water Management District proposed amendments to Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 40D-4.091, Publications and Agreements Incorporated by Reference. The changes would amend the district's Environmental Resource Permit Information Manual, Part B, Basis of Review, to protect the nesting habitat of bald eagles. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=7386567&type=1&File=40D-4.091.htm

ILLINOIS


Air:



  • The Pollution Control Board adopted amendments to Ill. Admin. Code tit. 35, §225, Control of Emissions from Large Combustion Sources. The adopted rules, in the absence of the vacated Clean Air Mercury Rule program, replace federal monitoring references by incorporating the sections that were previously relied upon. The adopted amendments include the appropriate monitoring requirements, with changes such as removing provisions that were appropriate only with the existence of a national mercury trading program and a state-by-state emissions cap. See http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/register_volume33_issue29.pdf (pp. 10427-0756)

INDIANA


Air:



Water:



  • The Natural Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to 312 Ind. Admin. Code 6 and 10, addressing general licenses and individual licenses that govern prospecting for hard mineral resources in waterways. The proposed rule amendments would not impose requirements or costs on any small business under Ind. Code §4-22-2-24(d)(3). The hearing will be August 24, 2009. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/irtoc.htm?view=list&lsadocnum=09-80

MASSACHUSETTS


Air:



  • The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to 310 Mass. Code Regs. 6.00 and 7.00, Air Pollution Control PM 2.5. These amendments would apply to all air pollution control districts. The changes amend the state ambient air quality standards to bring them into conformance with the current NAAQS for lead, ozone, and fine particulate matter. The hearing will be August 4, 2009. See http://www.mass.gov/dep/service/regulations/newregs.htm#aaqs

MINNESOTA


Air:



  • The Pollution Control Agency seeks public comment on the Draft Regional Haze SIP. The purpose of this SIP revision is to address visibility protection at national parks, wildernesses, and scenic areas, also referred to as mandatory Class I federal areas. Class I areas within Minnesota are the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. The SIP lays out how Minnesota intends to implement the Regional Haze Rule. Comments are due August 19, 2009. See http://www.pca.state.mn.us/news/data/bdc.cfm?noticeID=281485&blobID=25110&docTypeID=4

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


INTERNATIONAL

INDIA SAYS NO TO EMISSION REDUCTION



Jairam Ramesh, India's Minister of Environment and Forests, has ruled out the country's agreeing to specific targets for reducing carbon emissions. "There is simply no case for the pressure that we [India]--who have among the lowest emissions per capita--face to reduce emissions," Ramesh told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week. "And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours," Ramesh continued. These tariffs are charges levied on companies for the carbon dioxide they produce while manufacturing goods. Ramesh says that detailed modeling studies carried out in India show that even if gross domestic product grows by 8-9 percent over the next two decades, India's emissions will be below that of developed countries. He also said India sees "a critical role for international technology cooperation in enabling countries like India to adapt to climate change." For the full story, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/21/india-emissions


KENYA ADDS TEETH TO LAW PROTECTING WATER RESOURCES



Efforts to preserve Kenya's water resources and avert a looming crisis received a boost last Thursday when President Kibaki assented to amendments in the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) 1999. The changes give sweeping powers to the Environment Minister and the National Environment Management Authority's (NEMA's) Director-General in the exercise of their mandate to protect the country's rivers, lakes, and wetlands. "This new Act reverses an earlier amendment of the EMCA that limited our proactive role in protecting water resources. It now paves way for the implementation of the Wetlands Regulations gazette notice issued by the Minister early this year," said Dr. Muusya Mwinzi, NEMA's Director-General. News of the presidential assent came just a day after Prime Minister Raila Odinga told parliament that the current food and water shortage being experienced in the country could degenerate into a crisis if the weather did not improve by October. For the full story, see http://allafrica.com/stories/200907230984.html


EU SETS NEW ECODESIGN RULES FOR FREEZERS, TVS



The European Commission on Wednesday targeted industrial motors, television sets, refrigerators, and other appliances with new eco-design rules aimed at improving energy efficiency. The Commission said four eco-design regulations that included circulators, found in buildings' boiler or heating systems, and freezers will save about 190 Terrawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year by 2020 if fully implemented. This is comparable to the combined annual electricity consumption of Sweden and Austria, the Commission said. "It will save impressive amounts of electricity, carbon dioxide emissions, and electricity costs, while creating jobs," European Union (EU) Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said in a statement. The EU has pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a fifth below 1990 levels by 2020. These new rules follow a raft of other regulations introduced by the EU executive to curb the environmental impact of consumerism in the bloc by supporting eco-friendly products, innovation, and technology. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-GreenBusiness/idUSTRE56L4CT20090722


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


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