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Weekly Update Volume 30, Issue 25

09/11/2000

LITIGATION

 red bar graphic  BREACH OF CONTRACT, NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL:

The Federal Circuit held that three electric utilities may maintain their breach of contract claim against the government for failure to begin by January 1, 1998, the disposal of spent nuclear fuel waste produced at the utilities' plants as agreed to in a 1983 contract. The government conceded that it would not be able to begin disposal until at least 2010 because the repository it planned to build would not be ready until that time. Although the contract contains a dispute clause that provides that any claims arising under the contract require the filing of an administrative claim, the contractual provisions would not provide adequate relief for the utilities' damages. The avoidable delay clause relied on by the government deals with delays in delivery, acceptance, or transportation. Here, however, the utilities contend that the government breached a critical and central obligation of the contract by failing to begin disposal by January 1, 1998, which is much broader than a claim for improper delay. Moreover, the limited relief of equitable adjustment available under the contract's avoidable delay provision would provide virtually no basis for compensating the utilities for any damages sustained from the government's failure to perform its obligations. Additionally, the Court of Federal Claims properly denied the government's motion to dismiss the utilities' takings and breach of good faith and fair dealing claims. Maine Yankee Atomic Power Co. v. United States, Nos. 99-5138 et al. (Fed. Cir. Aug. 31, 2000) (8 pp.).

red bar graphic  BREACH OF CONTRACT, NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL:

The Federal Circuit reversed a Court of Federal Claims decision dismissing a utility's breach of contract claim against the government for failing to dispose of the utility's spent nuclear waste beginning no later than January 1, 1998, as agreed in a 1983 contract. The government notified the utility that it would be unable to begin disposal before 2010 because the repository it planned to build to store the waste would not be ready before that time. The Court of Federal Claims held that the utility could not seek damages in court because it had not first filed an administrative claim as required under the contract's dispute clause. However, the Court of Federal Claims' decision was based on an earlier proceeding in the litigation in which the utility sought a petition for mandamus ordering the government to meet the contractual deadline. The petition for mandamus was denied because there was an alternative potential remedy in the form of the equitable adjustment remedy provided for in the dispute clause. In that decision, however, the court only addressed whether an alternative remedy existed and did not determine the precise scope of that remedy. Here, the court is determining whether the dispute clause precludes the present suit for breach of contract. Because the equitable adjustment remedy contained in the contract cannot offer the utility adequate relief, it cannot preclude the utility from seeking judicial relief before exhausting its administrative remedies. Northern States Power Co. v. United States, No. 99-5096 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 31, 2000) (8 pp.).

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red bar graphic  CAA, FINAL AGENCY ACTION:

The Tenth Circuit dismissed a power plant's motion to challenge EPA's determination that a proposed new plant, when combined with an existing plant, would constitute a single source of air emissions for permitting purposes under the CAA. The plants were, in part, under common ownership and management and entered an agreement whereby the existing plant would purchase all the energy output from the new plant. The state environmental agency solicited EPA's opinion about whether the two plants would constitute a single source and, in two opinion letters, EPA replied in the affirmative. The opinion letters, however, do not constitute final agency action under the CAA. The existing plant is not the plant seeking a permit and, therefore, EPA's opinion regarding the type of permit required does not directly impact the existing plant. Similarly, the opinion letters do not directly impact the company seeking to build the new plant because it is the state environmental agency, not EPA, that will initially determine the type of permit required. Additionally, the opinion letters do not signify the culmination of EPA's decisionmaking process, which cannot occur until the state agency has acted on the permit application. Even if the state agency agrees with EPA's opinion and denies the new plant a permit, the new plant can appeal the decision to the state air quality commission. Finally, the opinion letters do not determine any rights or obligations of the existing plant, and no legal consequences flow from them. Public Service Co. of Colorado v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 99-9542 (10th Cir. Aug. 29, 2000) (6 pp.).

red bar graphic  CAA §110, SIPs, NAAQS, STARTUP, SHUTDOWN, OR MALFUNCTION (SSM):

The Sixth Circuit affirmed EPA's disapproval of a revision to the Michigan SIP that permitted an automatic exemption for a source that violates emissions standards if that violation results from SSM. EPA issued a memoranda stating that it interprets the CAA as disallowing a broad exclusion from source compliance with emissions limitation in SIPs during SSM periods. Under EPA's statutory interpretation, such an exclusion is inconsistent with the purpose of the CAA's criteria pollutant provisions, which mandate that NAAQS be attained and maintained by SIPs. Thus, EPA's deference to a state is conditioned on the state's submission of a plan that satisfies the standards of CAA §110(a)(2) and that includes emission limitations that result in compliance with the NAAQS. Given the deference afforded an agency, EPA's interpretation of CAA §110(a)(2) is not unreasonable. Under EPA's interpretation SIPs cannot provide broad exemptions from compliance with emission limitations during SSM periods. Michigan's proposed rules jeopardize ambient air quality, EPA properly found, because the rules excuse compliance from applicable emission limitations and provide no means for the state to enforce the NAAQS. Michigan Manufacturers Ass'n v. Browner, Nos. 98-3399, -3400 (6th Cir. Aug. 24, 2000) (7 pp.).

red bar graphic  CERCLA, INSURANCE LAW, GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION:

The Ninth Circuit, applying California law, held that an insurer has a duty to defend an insured in an underlying CERCLA groundwater contamination suit when the damage occurred during the policy period even though the insured did not purchase the property until after the policy period expired. The policy language is clear and unambiguous in stating that the insurer will defend any suit seeking damages on account of property damage caused by an occurrence. Moreover, there is no language in the policy stating that the insured's liability, as opposed to the damage that serves as the basis for that liability, must arise within the policy period. An exclusion or limitation on policy coverage cannot be read into the insurance contract, it must be conspicuous, plain, and clear. Therefore, because the policy clearly states that damage to the insured is the event that triggers coverage, and there are no exclusions or limitations in the policy, the insurer must defend the insured. K.F. Dairies, Inc. & Affiliates v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 97-55941 (9th Cir. Aug. 25, 2000) (9 pp.).

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red bar graphic  LACEY ACT, MAGNUSON-STEVENS FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT ACT:

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision and held that a fisherman could be prosecuted under the Lacey Act for violating individual fishing quota regulations for halibut promulgated under the Halibut Act. Under an exception to the Lacey Act, an individual cannot be charged  for violating regulations promulgated under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Because the council that issued the halibut regulations was created by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the fisherman argued that any regulations developed by the council must be fishery management plans in effect under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. However, the Halibut Act, not the Magnuson-Stevens Act, vested in the council the authority and responsibility to develop regulations governing the harvesting of halibut. Additionally, explanatory notes accompanying the individual fishing quota regulations made clear the the council was acting under the Halibut Act, not the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and that the council did not have a fishery management plan for halibut. United States v. Ertsgaard, No. 99-30242 (9th Cir. Aug. 25, 2000) (5 pp.).

red bar graphic  FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT (FTCA), DISCRETIONARY FUNCTION EXCEPTION, OFF-ROAD VEHICLE (ORV):

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court decision that an individual injured while using an ORV on an unmarked road that was closed to ORVs in the Manistee National Forest in Michigan cannot file a claim under the FTCA. The U.S. Forest Service's decision to mark open ORV trails but not closed ORV trails was within its discretion. There was no mandatory regulation or policy that precluded the Forest Service from making a judgment of choice on how to mark the ORV trails. Further, the Forest Service's conduct was the type that the discretionary function exception to the FTCA is designed to shield because the "closed unless posted open" policy was based on a variety of public policy considerations. Reetz v. United States, No. 99-1601 (6th Cir. Aug. 22, 2000) (6 pp.).

red bar graphic  FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT (FTCA), DISCRETIONARY FUNCTION EXCEPTION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:

The Third Circuit reversed a district court decision and held that an individual could not bring a claim under the FTCA for the National Park Service's decision not to repair or improve a drainage ditch and head-wall along a road in the Delaware Water Gap. After running off the road and into a drainage ditch and the head-wall, the individual brought a suit under the FTCA claiming that the Park Service was negligent in failing to make the necessary repairs. However, the determination of how and when to reconstruct the road was within the Park Service's discretion. Further, that decision implicated a number of policy considerations. It therefore fell within the discretionary function exception to the FTCA. Mitchell v. United States, No. 99-3357 (3d Cir. Aug. 28, 2000) (8 pp.).

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red bar graphic  ASBESTOS EXPOSURE, SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE, CHOICE OF LAW:

The Second Circuit upheld a jury verdict finding a manufacturer of asbestos-containing sealing devices liable to an individual for injuries sustained due to asbestos exposure in the workplace. There was sufficient evidence to support an inference that the individual's work with the manufacturer's product produced dangerous levels of asbestos exposure, and although doubt was cast on both expert witnesses' testimony, it was in the province of the jury to assess their credibility. Further, the district court properly denied the manufacturer's motion for a new trial. The district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting expert testimony and "state-of-the-art" documents. Moreover, none of the manufacturer's claims concerning the jury charge justify granting a new trial. Additionally, the district court was correct in applying Rhode Island law to the issue of joint and several liability. However, it erred in applying New York rather than Rhode Island law in computing prejudgment interest. Caruolo v. John Crane, Inc., Nos. 99-7430(L), -7501(XAP) (2d Cir. Aug. 31, 2000) (12 pp.).

red bar graphic  CWA, CITIZEN SUIT, DILIGENT PROSECUTION, NOTICE:

A district court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction community groups' and individual plaintiffs' CWA citizen suit alleging that a Maryland city routinely violated its NPDES discharge permit. In 1993, the state environmental agency issued a complaint against the city for violating effluent discharge limits in its NPDES permit. The city and the agency agreed to a consent order under which repairs would be made to fix the discharge problem. Subsequently, the groups and individuals brought this action based on alleged continued dry weather discharges from the city's sewer system. However, under CWA §505, a citizen suit may not commence if a state is diligently prosecuting an action against the alleged violator. Here, the state environmental agency brought a judicial action against the city. It sought and obtained a monetary penalty from the city. The agency limited further connections to the city's sewer system, and it required, reviewed, and approved the planning, development, and construction of a  new system to eliminate wastewater problems and alleviate unauthorized discharges. Further, the consent order addressed all sewer overflows, including dry weather discharges. Moreover, 1999 amendments to the consent order required actions to prevent dry weather discharges. Also, the agency's discretionary decision not to impose a significant monetary penalty on the city does not support a lack of due diligence. Thus, the agency is engaged in diligent prosecution of the city for failure to comply with its NPDES permit. In addition, by failing to specifically identify all individual plaintiffs, the individuals failed to provide sufficient notice to the city under the CWA §505(b) citizen suit notice requirements. Thus, the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and the complaint against the city was dismissed. Community of Cambridge Environmental Health & Community Development Group v. City of Cambridge, No. CCB-98-1612 (D. Md. Aug. 28, 2000) (Blake, J.) (28 pp.) (The city counsel included Lydia Duff of Miles & Stockbridge P.C. in Baltimore, MD).

red bar graphic  INSURANCE, DUTY TO DEFEND, COMPREHENSIVE GENERAL LIABILITY (CGL) POLICY:

Applying Virginia law, a district court held that an insurer has a duty to defend operators of a dry cleaning business in a lawsuit seeking to hold the operators liable for soil and groundwater contamination. The insurer issued CGL policies that covered the operators from 1991 to 1995. Because the contamination was discovered in 1996, the insurer argued that 1996 is the date that the contamination manifested itself, thereby excusing the insurer from the duty to defend under the 1991 through 1995 policies. However, the presence of the contaminating chemical could only be discovered through testing and, thus, manifested itself when it reached a legally detectable significant level in the soil or groundwater. Therefore, although the contamination may not have been discovered until 1996, it is possible it manifested itself during the period of time that the policies were in effect. Further, ambiguous language should be cosnstrued in favor of the insured. Additionally, the insurer has a duty to defend the operators against the entire suit, including claims for damages attributable to the non-covered period. Morrow Corp. v. Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co., No. Civ.A. 99-1782-A (E.D. Va. Aug. 24, 2000) (16 pp.). 

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red bar graphic  NEPA, NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT (NHPA), APA:

A district court held that the city of Cape May, New Jersey, did not violate NEPA or the NHPA in approving the proposed plans of an owner of a historic hotel to restore the hotel and build a conference center on the property. The city was not arbitrary or capricious in determining that 202 parking spaces are permitted on the hotel premises or in refusing to consider whether the use of the lawn for parking is a preexisting nonconforming use of the premises. Additionally, the city adequately took into account the potential adverse effects of parking, and it included provisions in the programmatic agreement (PA) that sought to mitigate potential harm. Further, the decision to use a PA, rather than a memorandum of agreement, was not arbitrary or capricious. The complex nature of the project and the inability to assess the potential adverse effects of the second phase of the project justify the use of a PA. Moreover, the city did not violate NEPA by bifurcating the project during the environmental review process. The design and construction plans for the second phase of the project remain uncertain, making the determination of environmental effects unascertainable. Also, both phases have independent utility and lack cumulative and synergistic environmental effects. Additionally, the city properly conducted an independent review of the proposed project under the NHPA, and its original finding of no adverse effect was not procedurally flawed. Finally, the city's reliance on the recommendations and findings of outside environmental consultants do not suggest that the city abdicated its responsibility to conduct an independent environmental review of the project. Lesser v. City of Cape May, No. 99-5575(JAP) (D.N.J. Aug. 16, 2000) (Pisano, J.) (31 pp.).

red bar graphic  FALSE CLAIMS ACT (FCA), LITIGATION COSTS:

A district court held that litigation costs would not be awarded to a construction company that prevailed at trial in an FCA suit brought by an individual who alleged that the company and several of its subcontractors violated the FCA when company towboats under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers illegally discharged bilge slop into the Ohio River. Because the company allegedly violated contractual provisions requiring compliance with all federal environmental laws, the individual contended that the company's request for payment amounted to fraudulent demands that violated the FCA. A jury found in favor of the company, and the company subsequently submitted its litigation costs, which were charged to the individual. However, several factors must be considered to determine if a prevailing party can be denied litigation costs. Here, considering the totality of the circumstances and the record evidence, the case was close and difficult, the individual acted in good faith and with propriety, the public received a significant benefit from the individual's intervention, and an award of costs to the company would have a chilling effect on future FCA relators. Thus, it is equitable for the individual and the company to bear their own costs. United States ex rel. Pickens v. GLR Constructors, Inc., No. C-1-93-790 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 16, 2000) (Spiegel, J.) (10 pp.). 

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red bar graphic  SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, EXPERT TESTIMONY, FIFRA, PREEMPTION:

The Minnesota Supreme Court held that the standard for admissibility of novel scientific evidence set forth in Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), and State v. Mack, 292 N.W.2d 764 (Minn. 1980), rather than the standard set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmacheuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 23 ELR 20979 (1993), remains the controlling standard in Minnesota. The court, therefore, upheld a district court decision excluding a married couple's expert testimony as unreliable in their case against a pesticide manufacturer. The couple alleged that they were injured by the manufacturer's product after they moved into a home sprayed with the manufacturer's product. The Frye-Mack standard, which requires novel scientific evidence to be both generally accepted and reliable, ensures that the persons most qualified to assess scientific validity of a technique have the determinative voice. Moreover, the standard is not incompatible with the state and federal rules of evidence. Further, the Frye-Mack standard is more apt to ensure objective and uniform rulings as to particular scientific methods or techniques. Applying the standard to the instant case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the methodologies used by the couple's experts were unreliable. The expert testimony, therefore, was properly excluded, and summary judgment was properly granted to the pesticide manufacturer on the issue of medical causation. In addition, FIFRA preempted the couple's failure to warn and inadequate labeling claims against the manufacturer. Goeb v. Tharaldson, No. CX-98-2275 (Minn. Aug. 17, 2000) (16 pp.).

red bar graphic  USTs, ACCIDENTAL RELEASES, REPORTING:

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the validity of a state regulation that requires owners and operators of USTs who wish to receive compensation from the state's UST fund to submit an eligibility application to the state UST compensation board within one year of the date that an accidental release of petroleum should be reported to the state fire marshal. The one-year time limit is necessary and appropriate because the information sought is time sensitive, and it allows the board to better forecast its budget. Moreover, the regulation does not conflict with or add to other provisions of the state's legislative enactment pertaining to the regulation of USTs. It merely provides a time limitation that is within the board's rulemaking authority. Further, the time limit does not violate public policy, and the one-year time limit is reasonable. Amoco Oil Co. v. Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Compensation Board, Nos. 99-1481, -1780 (Ohio Aug. 30, 2000) (7 pp.).

red bar graphic  ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, "LANDFILL OPERATOR":

An Illinois appellate court affirmed a lower court decision holding an individual liable as an operator of a landfill under the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. Although the individual never signed the permit application for the landfill, he is listed as an operator on the permit and has done nothing to disavow his status as an operator. Moreover, the individual pledged financial assurances for the landfill. He also maintained the landfill and its equipment, hired an engineer to assist the the landfill's closure and post-closure, and deducted his landfill expenses from his federal taxes. Further, the individual listed the landfill as a principle business on his income tax returns. The record as a whole, therefore, demonstrates that he was an operator of the landfill. People ex rel. Ryan v. Bishop, No. 5-99-0111 (Ill. App. Ct. Aug. 29, 2000) (4 pp.).

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Copyright© 2000, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES
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Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register.

red bar graphic  AIR:

  • EPA amended the pharmaceuticals production NESHAP. 65 FR 52587 (8/29/00).
  • EPA proposed NESHAPs for cellulose products manufacturing.  65 FR 52165 (8/28/00).
  • EPA indefinitely stayed the compliance date for the process contact cooling tower provisions for existing affected sources producing poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) using the continuous terephthalic acid high viscosity multiple end finisher process. 65 FR 52319 (8/29/00). 
  • EPA set forth procedures for establishing alternative compliance periods under the CAA anti-dumping program and the standards applicable to refineries operating under such compliance periods. 65 FR 54423 (9/8/00). 
  • EPA extended the time period during which certain alternative analytical test methods may be used in the federal reformulated gasoline program to September 1, 2004.  65 FR 53185 (9/1/00). 
  • EPA entered into a proposed settlement agreement under CAA in the litigation entitled Zinc Corp. of America v. EPA, No. 97-1734 (D.C. Cir.), in which EPA's promulgation of two final rules under CAA Title IV pertaining to the control of acid rain were challenged. 65 FR 52424 (8/29/00).
  • EPA announced the availability of responses to comments on the Agency's proposed rulemaking for CAA §126 petitions to reduce interstate ozone transport.  65 FR 52931 (8/31/00). 
  • EPA announced the availability of additional data that supplement the database of emissions test reports used in developing the final regulations for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. 65 FR 52058 (8/28/00). 
  • EPA withdrew its approval of a revision to the opacity limit for drier stacks at the Georgia Pacific Corporation softboard plant in Jarratt, Va.  65 FR 52650 (8/30/00). 
  • EPA determined that Muskegon County, Mich., attained the 1-hour ozone NAAQS and approved the state's request to redesignate the county to attainment for the 1-hour ozone standard.  65 FR 52651 (8/30/00). 
  • EPA approved Maryland's CAA §§111(d)/129 plan for controlling air pollutant emissions from hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators. 65 FR 53605 (9/5/00). 

red bar graphic  DRINKING WATER:

  • EPA announced that it has decided to tentatively approve revisions to Virginia's public water system supervision primacy program. 65 FR 53304 (9/1/00). 

red bar graphic  HAZARDOUS AND SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA entered into a proposed prospective purchaser agreement under CERCLA in connection with the North Penn Area 6 Superfund site in Lansdale Borough, Pa. 65 FR 52753 (8/30/00). 
  • EPA announced that it entered into a proposed administrative order on consent under RCRA in connection with the Charnock methyl tertiary-butyl ether contamination site in California. 65 FR 54024 (9/6/00).
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA §122(h)(1) in connection with the Powell Road Landfill site in Montgomery County, Ohio. 65 FR 54523 (9/8/00). 

red bar graphic  NEPA:

  • The Department of the Army proposed to adopt revised policy and procedures for implementing NEPA. 65 FR 54347 (9/7/00).
  • DOI announced that it has proposed revisions to the departmental policies and procedures for complying with NEPA. 65 FR 52211 (8/28/00). 

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red bar graphic  PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability of the interim risk management decision documents for three organophosphate pesticides: bensulide, cadusafos, and chlorethoxyfos. 65 FR 54002 (9/6/00).
  • EPA announced the availability of the revised version of the pesticide science policy document entitled The Use of Data on Cholinesterase Inhibition for Risk Assessments of Organophosphorus and Carbamate Pesticides. 65 FR 54521 (9/8/00).

red bar graphic  RADIOACTIVE WASTE:

  • EPA announced the availability of a DOE document applicable to the characterization of transuranic radioactive waste at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site proposed for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. 65 FR 52061 (8/28/00). 

red bar graphic  SMCRA PROGRAM APPROVAL:

red bar graphic  WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA issued a notice describing its ongoing effluent guidelines development efforts as required by the CWA.  65 FR 53008 (8/31/00). 
  • EPA proposed a Class I administrative penalty under CWA §309(g) against Rego Trucking Limited, Inc.,  for the unauthorized discharge of material into a wetland identified as the "jailhouse swamp" in Kauai, Haw. 65 FR 52116 (8/28/00). 
  • EPA announced the reissuance of two general NPDES permits for Alaskan Mechanical Placer Mining and Alaskan Medium-Size Suction Dredging. 65 FR 53013 (8/31/00). 
  • EPA announced the availability of a proposed NPDES general permit for discharges from concentrated animal feeding operations in Arizona. 65 FR 53301 (9/1/00). 
  • EPA and NOAA announced their intent to fully approve the Puerto Rico coastal nonpoint pollution control program.  65 FR 53703 (9/5/00). 
  • EPA announced that TMDLs are not needed for 46 waterbody/pollutant combinations in the Mermentau and Vermilion/Teche river basins and for 2 waterbody/pollutant combinations in the Pearl River Basin in Louisiana.  65 FR 54032 (9/6/00).

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red bar graphic  DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • U.S. v. Amoco Pipeline Co., No. H-00-2847 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 17, 2000) (a settling CWA defendant must pay a $1,043,000 civil penalty, must reimburse the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund $7,000 for EPA oversight costs, and must install a spill alarm system at its Genoa Junction meter station in Houston, Tex.), 65 FR 52786 (8/30/00);
  • U.S. v. Appleton Papers, Inc., No. 00-216-J (W.D. Pa. Aug. 16, 2000) (a settling defendant that violated the CAA at its Roaring Spring, Pa., facility must pay a $490,000 civil penalty and must construct a pulp project that will bring the defendant into compliance with the CAA and applicable new source performance standards no later than January 31, 2002), 65 FR 52787 (8/30/00);
  • U.S. v. Davidson Sales & Maintenance, Inc., No. 99-73518 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 18, 2000) (CWA and OPA defendants that discharged oil into Wilkensen Creek in Chelsea, Mich., must pay $80,000 to satisfy the claim for costs that the U.S. Coast Guard paid to a contractor who performed removal activities), 65 FR 52787 (8/30/00);
  • U.S. v. Metropolitan Council, No. 99-CV-1105 (DFW/AVB) (D. Minn. Aug. 11, 2000) (a settling CAA defendant that operates a wastewater sewage treatment plant in St. Paul, Minn., must undertake a series of compliance measures designed to eliminate future violations of applicable emission limitations until new control equipment is installed, must expend not less than $1.6 million to perform a supplemental environmental project--the installation of a dry electrostatic precipitator--that will result in an additional 40% removal of particulate matter from emissions, and must pay a $250,000 civil penalty), 65 FR 52787 (8/30/00);
  • U.S. v. Operating Industries, Inc., No. CV 00-08794 SVW (CWX) (C.D. Cal. Aug. 18, 2000) (settling CERCLA defendants must fund and perform future response actions at the Operating Industries, Inc., Superfund site in Monterey Park, Cal.; the consent decree also imposes obligations on, and provides benefits to, an entity that intends to purchase a portion of the site for redevelopment purposes), 65 FR 52788 (8/30/00);
  • U.S. v. Sapo Corp., No. 97-2271 (D.P.R. Aug. 17, 2000) (settling CWA defendants that allegedly discharged wastewater into the Caribbean Sea in Cana Gorda Ward, Guanica, P.R., without an NPDES permit must pay a $200,000 civil penalty), 65 FR 52789 (8/30/00);
  • U.S. v. American Cyanamid Co., No. 00-Civ.-6015 (LMM) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 14, 2000) (settling CERCLA defendants must pay $1.8 million in past U.S. response costs incurred at the Sarney Farm Superfund site), 65 FR 53224 (9/1/00);
  • U.S. v. Lord Corp., No. 4:89-CV-2001 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 16, 2000) (11 settling CERCLA defendants, which have been designated as settling performing parties, must finance and perform the remedy modification and operation and maintenance of the remedial action at the Lyme Landfill Superfund site in Ashtabula County, Ohio, at an estimated coast of $800,000; must pay $16.2 million, plus interest, in past U.S. response costs; must pay $1.8 million, plus interest, in past Ohio response costs; and must reimburse EPA's and the state's future response costs at the site as well as documented oversight costs accruing since December 1, 1996; the remaining settling parties, which have been designated as settling non-performing parties or settling de minimis parties, will pay amounts to the settling performing parties in facilitation of their obligations under the proposed consent decree), 65 FR 53224 (9/1/00);
  • U.S. v. Estate of Taylor, No. C-89-213-R (M.D.N.C. Aug. 11, 2000) (two settling CERCLA defendants must remediate pesticide contaminated groundwater at the Route 211 Area, one of five separate areas comprising the Aberdeen Pesticides Dumps Superfund site in Aberdeen, N.C.), 65 FR 53225 (9/1/00);
  • U.S. v. Chevron USA, Inc., No. 99-12216-DT (C.D. Cal. Aug. 23, 2000) (a settling CAA and Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act defendant that violated California's SIP and transported material for disposition into the ocean without a permit must pay a $6 million civil penalty and must perform two supplemental environmental projects), 65 FR 53748 (9/5/00);
  • U.S. v. Equilon Enterprises LLC, No. 00-1301-MLB (D. Kan. July 20, 2000) (a settling CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA defendant must pay a $600,000 civil penalty in connection with violations that occurred at a petroleum refinery in El Dorado, Kan.), 65 FR 53748 (9/5/00);
  • U.S. v. MHC Operating Ltd. Partnership, Nos. 200CV509, 200CV510 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 28, 2000) (settling CWA defendants that discharged effluent from two separate sewage treatment facilities without a valid permit or in violation of applicable permit limits must pay a $765,000 civil penalty, and two of the defendants must comply with the NPDES permits for their sewage treatment facility in Chesterton, Ind.), 65 FR 53749 (9/5/00).

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Copyright© 2000, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved  

IN THE STATES

red bar graphic ALABAMA

Dept. of Envtl. Management

Drycleaning Emergency Response Trust Fund Act

Public Notices–Permit Applications 

Daily Ozone Forecast

Jefferson County Dept. of Health

Daily Air Quality Index

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red bar graphic  ALASKA

Dept. of Envtl. Conservation

Water Quality-Performance Partnership Agreement

Cruise Ship Regulation

Motorized Oil Transport Task Force 

Proposed Regulations-Air

red bar graphic ARIZONA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Water Quality-CWA 305(b) Report

Water Quality-Proposed Regulations

  • Proposal will implement the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund reform legislation of 1997, including revisions to remedy selection provisions. The rules include standards governing the conduct of preliminary investigations, site "scoring" for placement on the Registry, public information requirements, and the conduct of early response actions. Written comments due Oct. 18; public hearings Sept. 20 (Tucson) and 21 (Phoenix). See http://www.adeq.state.az.us/lead/oac/stat.html and www.sosaz.com/arr for more information. 

Proposed Regulations-Operator Certification

  • Public hearings scheduled for Sept. 11, 14, 15, 19, 21, and 27; written comments due Oct. 4. 

Reopened Proposed Regulations-UST Release Reporting and Corrective Action

Air Quality-Proposed Gas Station General Permit

Superfund Program-Proposed Registry Inclusions, Prospective Purchaser Agreements

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red bar graphic ARKANSAS

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Proposed Regulations-Brownfields

Proposed Regulations-Hazardous Waste

  • Proposed amendments to Regulation No. 23 would amend the definition of "facility" in Section 260.10 to include a facility owner as a responsible party with regard to the requirements of Section 264.101. Comments due Oct. 10; public hearing Sept. 26. See http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/regs/draft23.htm

Proposed Regulations-Solid Waste Management

  • Proposed amendments to Regulation No. 11 concern changes to fees for out-of-state transporters, funding of the illlegal dump eradication program, and the auditing of regional solid waste management boards. Comments due Oct. 2; public hearing Sept. 18. See http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/regs/draft11.htm

Proposed Regulations-Water Quality

  • Proposed amendments to Regulation No. 2 involve a potential change to a standard for sulfates in Holly Creek (Saline County). Comments due Oct. 10; public hearing Sept. 26. See http://www.adem.state.ar.us/regs/draft02.htm

Permit Applications

  • Beazer East, Inc./Koppers Industries, Inc., North Little Rock, five-year review of RCRA post-closure permit. Comments due Sept. 26. See http://www.adeq.state.ar.us

  • U.S. Army, Pine Bluff Arsenal, for modification of a hazardous waste permit. Comments due Sept. 20. See http://www.adeq.state.ar.us

red bar graphic CALIFORNIA

Air Resources Board

Diesel Risk Reduction Plan and Permitting Guidance-Stationary Diesel Engines

Proposed Regulations-Conflict of Interest Code

  • 45 day Notice of Public Hearing to Consider the Adoption of Amendments to Regulations Regarding the Conflict of Interest Code of the Air Resources Board. This document and the associated "formal" regulatory materials can be accessed at http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/conflict/conflict.htm

Final "Smog Check" Report

Carpool Lane Use-Qualifying Vehicles

Conditional Rice Straw Burning Permit

Dept. of Toxic Substances Control

Proposed Regulations-Administrative Penalty Assessment

  • Proposed Article 3, Chapter 22, Div. 4.5 of Title 22, CCR, would make specific the statutory requirement in Health and Safety Code Section 25187(a)(4) by assessing administrative penalties based on criteria such as the nature and gravity of the violation, the violator's history and ability to pay the penalty, and the deterrent effect of the penalty on both the violator and the regulated community as a whole. Public workshops Sept. 14 and 15. See http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/pdf2html.html

Draft Permit

  • For hazardous waste storage and treatment (by incineration, open burning and/or open detonation) at the U.S. Army Sierra Depot. Public hearings Sept. 12 and 13. Comments due Oct. 11. See http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/ (click on "What's New"). 

Integrated Waste Management Board

Final Regulations-Farm and Ranch Cleanup

  • New regulations, effective July 29, provide for a grant process that allows qualifying parties to obtain funding for cleanup of solid waste illegally disposed of on farm and ranch properties. Details at http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Rulemaking/RgUpdate.htm

Emergency Regulations-Disposal of Nonhazardous Waste at Hazardous Waste Landfills

Water Resources Control Board

Water Rights Allocation Hearing

South Coast Air Quality Management District

Proposed Regulations-BACT/RECLAIM

  • Proposed amendments, to be considered at a Sept. 15 public hearing, will separate BACT for RECLAIM and non-RECLAIM sources into LAER for federal major sources, and BACT for minor sources pursuant to state law. Currently, LAER is required for emission increases from all sources. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/000072a.html

Proposed Regulations-Fuel Sulfur Content

  • Proposed amendments will establish an immediate sulfur content for ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and, after Jan. 1, 2004, will prohibit the purchase, sale, or burning of diesel fuel that exceeds the sulfur standard. Subject of Sept. 15 public hearing. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/00072a.html

Proposed Regulations-Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Proposed Prop. 65 Listings

  • Comments on the proposed listing of AZT, anthraquinone, and fumonisin B1 are due Sept. 15. OEHHA recently listed o-phenylphenol. See http://www.oehha.ca.gov

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red bar graphic COLORADO

Air Quality Control Commission

Proposed Regulations

  • Proposed revisions to Regulation No. 3, Part A, regarding regulation of open burning on federal lands. Public hearing Nov. 17; petition for party status must be filed by Sept. 27. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/SB-145_8-00.html
  • Proposed revisions to Regulation No. 11, regarding motor vehicle emissions, to modify the time period allowed for making valid readings of vehicle emissions through the use of remote sensing equipment. Public hearing Nov. 16; petition for party status must be filed by Sept. 27. See http://www.cdpdhe.state.co.us/op/Reg11_8-00.html
  • Proposed revisions to Regulation No. 5, Part B, regarding emissions trading and banking, to provide verification of emission reduction credits, establish a baseline year, condition the regulation upon annual appropriations, and incorporate pollution prevention criteria. Public hearing Nov. 16; petition for party status must be filed by Sept. 27. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/Reg5_8-00.html

Water Quality Control Commission

Proposed Regulations

red bar graphic  CONNECTICUT

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Long Island Sound Initiative

Proposed Regulations-Air Quality

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red bar graphic DELAWARE

Dept. of Nat. Resources and Envtl. Control

Regulatory Update

red bar graphic FLORIDA

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Drinking Water Operator Certification

Proposed Regulations-Petroleun Storage Tanks

Proposed Regulations-Contaminant Cleanup Target Levels, Brownfield Cleanup Criteria

New Legislation-Air Quality

General Permit-Temporary Agricultural Activities

  • Proposed rule will develop permitting criteria for horticultural, seasonal crops that are harvested in one growing season. No additional rule development workshops are currently scheduled. 

Proposed Regulations-NPDES Program; Stormwater

  • Proposed regulations would allow completion of NPDES delegation by incorporating standards governing stormwater and federal facilities. The proposed rule includes fees for implementing the NPDES stormwater program. 

Proposed Regulations-Surface Water Classification

  • Proposed rule amendment would reclassify Prospect Lake in Broward County. 

Proposed Regulations-Drinking Water

  • Proposed amendments will incorporate revisions to federal standards. 

Proposed Regulations-Air

  • Correction of technical errors in standards governing sulfur storage and handling facilities.

State Revolving Fund-Drinking Water

  • Proposed rule amendments would enable funding of additional wastewater management systems.

red bar graphic GEORGIA

Dept. of Natural Resources

Proposed Regulations-Hazardous Waste

  • Proposed revisions will incorporate changes in U.S. EPA regulations. Public hearing was held Aug. 25. Will be taken up at Oct. 25 meeting of Board of Natural Resources. See http://www.ganet.org/dnr/environ

Air Permit Applications

NPDES Permit Applications

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red bar graphic IDAHO

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Proposed Rule-Air Quality

Outstanding Resource Waters-Petitions

Risk Based Corrective Action

red bar graphic ILLINOIS

Pollution Control Board

Inquiry Hearings-Peak Load Electric Generating Facilities

  • A series of public hearings have been noticed regarding recent increase in the number of natural gas-fired peak load electric generating facilities (also known as "peaker plants"). The hearings were requested by Governor Ryan's office and will be held on Sept. 14, Sept. 21, and Oct. 5-6 at several locations. For further information, including copies of prefiled testimony, see http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/news/news.htm and http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/rules/proposal.htm

Envtl. Protection Agency

Permit Applications

Strategic Planning Process

Clean Lakes Program Grants Available

  • Approximately $750,000 available for distribution. Amy Walkenbach at IEPA is the contact ((217)782-3362). 

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red bar graphic INDIANA

Dept. of Envtl. Management

Final Regulations-Solid Waste

  • Adds 329 IAC 4.1 to incorporate by reference the most recent version of the federal regulations at 40 CFR 761, revised as of  July 1, 1999, for management of wastes containing polychlorinated biphenyls or terphenyls (PCBs). Adds location restrictions, public notice and public participation requirements, and notice of activity requirements for incinerators and high efficiency boilers, chemical waste landfills, and alternative disposal facilities. Adds requirements for mobile facilities that dispose of PCBs. Adds requirements for waste streams containing or contaminated with PCBs that may be disposed of in a municipal solid waste landfill or a nonmunicipal solid waste landfill. Repeals 329 IAC 4.

Proposed Regulations-Air

  • Amends 326 IAC 21-1-1 concerning the acid deposition control.
  • Draft rule language for a new rule concerning national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants for shipbuilding and ship repair operations. 
  • Draft rule language for new rules concerning the incorporation of NESHAP for off-site waste and recovery operations, pulp and paper production (noncombustion), phosphoric acid manufacturing and phosphate fertilizers production, generic MACT, pesticide active ingredient, mineral wool production, and wool fiberglass manufacturing.
  • Draft rule language to incorporate by reference 40 CFR 63, Subpart HH, which applies to oil and natural gas production facilities, Subpart HHH, which applies to natural gas transmission and storage facilities, and Subpart VVV, which applies to POTWs.

Proposed Regulations-Waste

  • Oct. 17 public hearing regarding proposed amendments to 329 IAC 3.1, 329 IAC 12, and 329 IAC 13 regarding rules for secondary containment for used oil containers and underground tanks. The proposal also amends 329 IAC 3.1 to require two paper copies and an electronic copy of groundwater laboratory analytical data and field parameters and revises 329 IAC 127-7-6 to allow flexibility in the timing of training courses for solid waste facility operators. See http://www.state.in.us/legislative/register/August-1-2000.html
  • Amendments to rules at 329 IAC 7 concerning the Indiana Scoring Model and the assessment of hazardous substance response sites. This rule will reconsider the maximum score to allow sites to be deleted from the Commissioner's Bulletin. This rule will also consider
    appropriate criteria for the deletion of sites from the Commissioner's Bulletin as an alternative to using the maximum score for deleting a site. 
  • IDEM has developed draft rule language for amendments to rules concerning the hazardous waste management permit program and related hazardous waste management and has scheduled a public hearing/meeting before the solid waste management board for consideration of preliminary adoption of these rules. The amendments adopted by these rules are amendments to the federal hazardous waste regulations that are incorporated by reference in the Indiana hazardous waste management rules at 329 IAC 3.1.
  • Amendments concerning substantive changes to the rules for municipal solid waste landfills at 329 IAC 10. This rulemaking will provide clarification and consistency to these rules. The rulemaking also may add, modify, or delete requirements.

These notices, except as specifically noted, may be viewed at http://www.state.in.us/legislative/register/September-1-2000.html

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red bar graphic KENTUCKY

Dept. for Envtl. Protection, Division of Water

Permit Applications

Draft Groundwater Protection Plan

red bar graphic LOUISIANA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Permit Applications

Proposed Regulations-Solid Waste

  • Proposed amendments would simplify standards for waste tire generators, transporters, and recyclers, and implement a statutory fee for off-road tires and tires weighing more than 100 pounds. Public hearing Sept. 25; written comments due Oct. 2. See http://www.deq.state.la.us/planning/regs.index.htm

Proposed Regulations-General 

Proposed Regulations-Air Quality

red bar graphic MAINE

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Proposed Regulations-Air Quality

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red bar graphic MARYLAND

Dept. of the Environment

Proposed Regulations-Soil Erosion/Sediment Control

Public Meetings/Hearings

Water Quality Standard-Triennial Review

red bar graphic MASSACHUSETTS

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Proposed Regulations-Air

  • Proposed design and performance standards for new boilers having an energy input capacity of between 10 and 40 million Btu per hour. Public hearings were Sept. 7 and 8; comments due Sept. 18. See http://www.state.ma.us/dep/erp/notice.htm

  • Draft 310 CMR 7.29 standards governing emissions from power plants available for informal public review; no hearing currently scheduled. See http://www.state.ma.us/dep/new.htm

Enforcement Actions

red bar graphic  MICHIGAN

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Brownfield Law Workshops

  • Workshops scheduled for Sept. 12, 14, 19, and 21 to discuss recent statutory changes to brownfield legislation (2000 Public Acts 143, 144, and 145, enacted June 6). The statutory revisions expand the eligible activities for property tax reimbursement to include infrastructure improvements, structure demolition, lead or asbestos abatement, site preparation, and relocation of public buildings and operations. The legislation also expands eligible property for tax reimbursement and Single Business Tax credit to include blighted or functionally obsolete property. See http://www.deq.state.mi.us/pr/000809B.htm

Management Team Public Meeting

Permit Applications-Air

 Air Quality Division Newsletter

Surface Water Quality Division Bulletin

Surface Water Quality Division-Draft Regulations

Clean Michigan Initiative Grant Funding

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red bar graphic MINNESOTA

Pollution Control Agency

Final Regulations

Permit Applications, Other Notices

red bar graphic  MISSOURI

Dept. of Natural Resources

Water Pollution Control-Permit Applications

red bar graphic NEW HAMPSHIRE

Proposed Regulations-Wetlands

red bar graphic NEW JERSEY

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Proposed Regulations-Freshwater Wetlands

Draft Watershed Management Rules

Current DEP Bulletin (Permit Applications; Proposed Regulations)

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red bar graphic NEW YORK

Dept. of Envtl. Conservation

Comparative Risk Project

Environmental Notice Bulletin (Permit Applications)

Permit Applications

Office of the Attorney General

  • Report, "The Secret Ingredients in Pesticides: Reducing the Risk," issued Aug. 23. The report calls on the U.S. EPA to strengthen its pesticide labeling requirements. See http://www.oag.state.ny.us

red bar graphic  NORTH CAROLINA

Dept. of Envt. and Natural Resources

Division of Air Quality-Proposed Regulations

Chip Mill Study

  • The report "Economic and Ecologic Impacts Associated with Wood Chip Production in North Carolina," drafted by consultants at North Carolina State University and Duke University, is available at http://taxodium.env.duke.edu/scsf

Smithfield Foods, Inc. Agreement-Hog Lagoons

  • Details of the agreement reached through the Office of Attorney General, which DENR hopes will facilitate the phasing-out of open-air hog lagoons and sprayfields, is available at http://www.jus.state.nc.us/in/press/072500.htm Smithfield and its subsidiaries, the largest operators of hog producing operations in the state, will pay $15 million to North Carolina State University for the development of new technologies and $50 million toward environmental improvements at operations and compliance monitoring. Violations of the agreement will be enforceable. Separately, DENR announced that it was buying out 14 hog farming operations, using funds from the Clean Water Management Fund. See http://www.enr.state.nc.us/files/hogs/hogplan.htm

Division of Air Quality Penalty Assessments

DENR Enforcement Data

Water Quality-Basinwide Assessment Reports

State Personnel Commission

Final Regulations

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red bar graphic OHIO

Envtl. Protection Agency

Proposed Regulations-Solid Waste

  • Proposed revisions to solid waste landfill siting regulations would require separation lines in cases of vertical expansions and create a setback zone for landfills near parks and recreation areas. Comments were due Sept.  6. See http://www.epa.ohio.gov/pic/nr/2000/august/landsite.html

Proposed Regulations-Water Quality

OPEA Actions, Notices by County

Pending Air Permits

red bar graphic OKLAHOMA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Draft Source Water Assessment and Protection Program Document

red bar graphic OREGON

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Water Quality Permit Applications

Proposed Regulations

Public Notices-Cleanup Remedies

Dept. of Agriculture

Pesticide Production and Distribution

  • A group of pesticide products (including Aldrin, Chlordane, and Mirex) has, pursuant to an emergency rule, been precluded from use (including quantities in existing stocks). Collection and disposal information will be made available. The rule became effective Aug. 23. See http://www.oda.state.or.us/Information/news/PBT.html

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red bar graphic PENNSYLVANIA

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Solid Waste Importation

  • Gov. Ridge again called upon the General Assembly to pass his proposed three-year moratorium on the issuance of permits for solid waste disposal facilities and a cap on the amount of waste accepted. See http://www.dep.state.pa.us

"Growing Smarter" Initiative-Proposed Procedures

  • Comments are sought through Oct. 2 on procedures DEP will use to implement the "Growing Smarter" initiative. See http://www.dep.state.pa.us (direct link "land use reviews"). 

Livestock and Poultry Operations-Best Management Procedures

  • Public meetings through Oct. 13 on the recently issued manual and other information regarding Senate Resolution 91 of 1997. See http://www.dep.state.pa.us

Proposed Regulations-Safe Drinking Water

  • Proposed amendments to Chapter 109 to add maximum residual disinfectant levels and monitoring requirements for free chloride, combined chlorine, and chlorine dioxide. Maximum contaminant levels and monitoring requirements will be established for five haloacetic acids, chlorite, and bromate. Comments to the Environmental Quality Board are due Oct. 2. See http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/date/vol30/30-36/1503.html
  • Proposed amendments to Chapter 109 to establish new requirements for filtration systems that serve populations of at least 10,000. Comments are due Oct. 2. See http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol30/30-36/1504.html

Proposed Regulations-Air Quality

Proposed Regulations-Land Recycling Program

Proposed Regulations-Storage Tank Spill Prevention

Final General NPDES Permit-CAFO Operations

Final Regulations-Air

Proposed General NPDES Permit Revision

NPDES Permit Applications

red bar graphic SOUTH CAROLINA

Dept. of Health and Envtl. Control

Permit Application Notices

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red bar graphic  TENNESSEE

Dept. of Environment and Conservation

Grant Availability-Recycling Marketing

red bar graphic  TEXAS

Natural Resource Conservation Commission

Texas 2000 Air Study

Global Warming Measures

  • Directives and measures adopted by the Commission (including a requirement that the Executive Director issue a report by Dec. 1, 2001, compile information on actual greenhouse gas emissions, survey other states, create a registry for greenhouse gas reductions, and estimate the extent to which emissions have been reduced due to existing programs and measures) are available at http://tnrcc.state.tx.us/exec/media/press/08-00global.html

Stormwater Program-Delegation

Proposed Regulations

  • Preproposal draft of revisions to Surface Water Quality Standards available at http://ww.tnrcc.state.tx.us/oprd/index.html
  • Proposed quadrennial review of Chapter 114 (Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles). See http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/oprd/whatsnew.html
  • Proposed regulations would create a nitrogen oxide (NOx) trading program in Houston-Galveston nonattainment area, require an average of 90% reduction in NOx emissions from new controls in the nonattainment area, impose new vehicle emissions testing requirements, implement a seasonal ban on early-morning use of heavy-duty construction equipment, require the sale of low-sulfur gasoline throughout Central and Eastern Texas (including the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Beaumont areas, starting in 2002), ban the use of small gasoline-powered lawn care equipment between 6 a.m. and noon in summer months, implement requirements for new commercial and residential air conditioning equipment, require early retirement and replacement of off-highway diesel equipment, require emission reductions at area airports, reduce speed limits to 55 (starting in 2002), encourage voluntary measures such as telecommuting and stoplight synchronization, restrict truck engine idling, and reduce the duration of emission reduction credits from ten to five years. Public hearings scheduled for various locations Sept. 18-25. Written comments due Sept. 25. See http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us

Submitted Report-Air-Protection of Visibility

Permit Hearings

Sunset Advisory Commission

Strategic Plan

Public Utility Commission

Final Regulations

  • Final rules implement Senate Bill 7 (1999), regarding electric utility deregulation, by allowing utilities to recover some of the expense of reducing emission levels at generating plants. The statute allows the stranded costs of significant pollution reduction efforts to be calculated and assessed to ratepayers (for costs incurred between Jan. 1999 and April 2003), and the PUC will examine utility emission plans. The statute requires NOx emission reductions of at least 50% from 1997 levels, and at least a 25% reduction in SO2 emissions by May 2003. Beginning 2004, utilities must prove that their actual costs were reasonable before they can be recovered from ratepayers as stranded costs. See http://www.puc.state.tx.us/nrelease/2000/082400.cfm

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red bar graphic  UTAH

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Permit Applications

red bar graphic VERMONT

Dept. of Envtl. Conservation

Permit Applications

red bar graphic VIRGINIA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Landfill Closure Proposal

  • Comments accepted through Oct. 13 on reports that propose that certain landfills be closed by 2005, other identified facilities by 2010, and five more by 2020, on the basis of risk of exposure to contaminants. The DEQ has also compiled new data regarding the receipt of out-of-state generated municipal solid waste in 1999. For details, see http://www.deq.state.va.us/news/releases/964019031.html

Proposed Regulations-Solid Waste Management

  • Proposed amendments are again available for public comment due to the extent of revisions to the first proposal resulting from public comment. Comments due Oct. 27; public hearings Sept. 28 (Roanoke) and Oct. 5 (Glen Allen). For details, see http://www.deq.state.va.us 

Permit Application

  • Air permit application submitted by Commonwealth Chesapeake Co. (TECO Power Services), New Church, for installation of turbines and increase of allowed carbon monoxide emissions from existing turbines. Public hearing Sept. 11. See http://www.deq.state.va.us/notice/pn/965653085.html

Proposed Consent Orders

RCRA Program Authorization

Public Meeting Notices

Litter Prevention, Recycling Grants

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red bar graphic  WASHINGTON

Dept. of Ecology

Adopted Regulations

Proposed Regulations

red bar graphic WEST VIRGINIA

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Public Notice Bulletin (Permit Applications, Proposed Regulations)

red bar graphic WISCONSIN

Dept. of Natural Resources

Public Hearing and Meeting Schedule

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Copyright© 2000, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL
large red bar graphic

red bar graphic GENERAL

  • The United Nations Environmental Program released details of a new, $5 million, 2-year program to address persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs, dioxins, and furans. See http://www.chem.unep.ch/pops

  • U.S. trade and environment groups have written to U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, urging her to incorporate broad environmental protection provisions in an upcoming U.S.-Jordan trade agreement. 

  • The World Bank, Conservation International, and the Global Environmental Facility have jointly established a $150 million fund, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, to foster biodiversity in 25 identified "hotspots". Of the $150 million, $75 million will be sought from other sources. See http://wbln0018.worldbank.org/news, http://www.conservation.com, and http://www.gefweb.org

  • A new type of ceramic container, designed by U.S., U.K., and Japanese scientists, was touted as a method of safely holding nuclear waste for period for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. 

  • The International Geological Congress concluded in Rio de Janeiro with a suggestion from UNESCO's water division director that nations seek to promote "shared sovereignty" of water resources. 

  • Under the Aug. 25 U.N. agreement, "Agreement Concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles", automobile-producing nations will work toward harmonous environmental and safety standards. The agreement, first signed in 1998, became effective when Russia joined the U.S., U.K., Germany, South Africa, Canada, France, and Japan. The Agreement is available at http://www.unece.org/trans/main/welcwp29.htm

red bar graphic CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Michael Zammit Cutajar, the Executive Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said he does not expect significant progress at either the Lyon Sept. 11-15 preparatory meeting or at the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (to be held in November in The Hague). 

  • Fully one-third of all plant and animal habitats could be fundamentally altered by the effects of global warming by the end of this century, according to a new WWF report, "Global Warming and Terrestrial Biodiversity Decline". See http://www.panda.org/news/press/news.cfm?id=2043

  • The Antarctic ozone layer hole is expected to expand in size, according to the World Meteorological Organization. See http://www.wmo.ch

  • Two Japanese ministries, the Minstry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, have established different CO2 reduction targets. Both were submitted to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after the ministries could not come to an agreement. 

  • Proposed regulatory changes in Canada would tighten controls of the importation, export, manufacture, sale and use of ozone-depleting substances. The comment period extends through Nov. 1. See http://canada.gc.ca/gazette/part1/pdf/1-13436.pdf

  • An article published in Nature by two British scientists, Paul Pearson and Martin Palmer, contends that the global atmospheric level of CO2 is higher than at anytime in the last 20 million years, but lower than at a peak period occurring between 52 and 60 million years ago, according to the BBC. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_883000/883398.stm 

  • Ford Motor Company and BP are working together to develop new fuel-cell technologies, according to the Financial Times (Ford and BP Test Drive Green Venture, Financial Times, Aug. 29, 2000, at 15).  

  • Asian-Pacific environment ministers, at an Aug.31-Sept. 5 U.N. Economic and Social Committee for Asia and the Pacific meeting in Japan, declared in their "Ministerial Declaration 2000 on Environment and Development of Asia and the Pacific" that they support the provision of technical and financial support to third-world countries in meeting Kyoto Protocol objectives. They emphasized the role of the Global Environment Facility and also endorsed a statement of objectives regarding the 2002 "Rio Plus Ten" meeting on furtherance of the 1992 Rio Summit. See http://www.unescap.org

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red bar graphic ASIA

  • A panel of Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry is considering a plan to expand the electronics producer-responsibility/take-back program (which goes into effect next April) to automobiles. Computers would also be covered through a takeback program involving household appliances that becomes effective next April. 

  • Japan's Transport Ministry intends to regulate air emissions from bulldozers, tractors, and similar vehicles in 2002. 

  • Plans of the International Rice Research Institute to field test a genetically modified rice variety in the Philippines have run into opposition from the Green Party and others. The National Committee on Biosafety is considering whether to approve the test. An earlier field test resulted in a violent protest. 

  • More than a dozen people were arrested in Turkey following demonstrations against the operation of the Petkim Chemical Complex in Izmit Bay. 

  • Greenpeace sued Tokyo Electric to seek to preclude it from accepting and utilizing plutonium mixed fuel. A shipment from France is believed to be headed toward Japan, following the recent British Nuclear Fuels controversy. Greenpeace claims that a number of transnational shipments are in the works between Europe and Japan.   

  • India's environmental ministry has established rules that will help to implement the Kyoto Protocol by precluding the use of CFCs after Jan. 2003 (except for limited uses), halons after Jan. 2001, and  methyl bromide after Jan. 2015, according to The Times of India. See http://www.timesofindia.com/today/07hlth1.htm

  • Residents near the Three Gorges dam project are "making plans for new life in East China" and finding relocation to their liking, according to the government-sponsored paper People's Daily. See http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200008/29/eng20000829_49251.html

  • South Korea's standards for dioxin control will be expanded, by the end of the year, to include criteria governing emissions from incinerators with a burn capacity of 200 kg or more per hour. 

  • Bangladesh has become a "dumping ground", say Greenpeace and other environmental groups, according to the BBC. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_862000/862447.stm

  • Pressure continues to mount on Japan to halt its research whaling program; the U.S. is threatening to invoke trade sanctions pursuant to the Pelly amendment to the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967. More than a dozen other nations have condemned the activity, which Japan asserts will not adversely affect whale populations. 

  • China signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. 

  • A draft Japanese policy on nuclear power continues to emphasize electricity generation from nuclear power plants but is skeptical of fast-breeder reactors.  

  • The sale and use of small (20-microns and less) plastic bags has been banned by Mumbai, India, to implement a previously ignored ban issued by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1999. The Maharashtra government has encouraged other localities in the state to do the same. The federal mandate is available at http://envfor.nic.in/legis/others/plastic.html

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red bar graphic EUROPE

  • In response to a Dutch Board of Appeal for Industry ruling that more than half a dozen pesticides should be banned pursuant to the Pesticide Act, Environment Minister Jan Pronk and other officials agreed during a parliamentary debate that users of the banned pesticides ought to be warned as to the ban but not fined for illegal use, pending further review of proposed statutory amendments that would reverse the Board ruling. 

  • The U.K. Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food released a report, "Review of the Use of Separation Distances Between Genetically Modified and Other Crops", available at http://www.maff.gov.uk/planth/pvs/gmsepdis.pdf

  • The Czech Republic's Senate, responding to a recent cyanide spill from a mine in Rumania (see Aaron Schwabach, The Tisza Cyanide Disaster and International Law, 30 ELR 10509 (July 2000)), approved an amendment to the Geology Bill that would preclude cyanide leaching processes at mines. 

  • France's Council of State criticized the current government and several earlier ones for failing to adequately protect estuaries in accordance with the Coastal Protection Act of 1986. See http://www.conseil-etat.fr

  • A public interest firm, The Ecojuris Institute of Environmental Law, has filed several lawsuits challenging Russian President Putin's decision to eliminate two federal environmental agencies (the Russian State Committee for the Protection of the Environment and the Russian Forestry Service). The lawsuits allege that the decree was illegal, contravening Articles 42 (environment) and 32 (public participation) of the Constitution, the Law on Environmental Expertiza, and other measures. Ecojuris, Greenpeace, and other groups are also seeking support for a public referendum on environmental concerns. 

  • The U.S. has called on European nations to provide financial and technical assistance to Russia in disposing of weapons-grade plutonium, according to the BBC. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_860000/860661.stm

  • France announced that its environment and agriculture ministries will embark on a $12 million program to reduce the use of agricultural chemicals and minimize runoff to surface and underground drinking water sources. 

  • Comments may be submitted until Oct. 13 on a U.K. HM Customs and Excise proposal, "Amendments to the Transfrontier Shipments of Waste Regulations 1994: Regulatory Assessment", that would give further powers to address criminal transboundary shipments of hazardous waste. See http://www.environment.detr.gov.uk/consult/transfro/index.htm

  • TRAFFIC (Worldwide Fund for Nature/IUCN-World Conservation Union) issued a report, "Wings of Desire: The Insect Trade in Germany", which calls upon the EU to list 13 species of butterfiles and 5 species of beetles as endangered. 

  • Greece's agriculture minister ordered the destruction of a large (2,000-4,000 hectares) cotton crop containing genetically modified organisms, although no maximum limit of "contamination" has been established. 

  • France ordered the destruction of 46 hectares of soya crop near Bouches-du-Rhone after detection of higher than EU-approved levels of genetically modified organisms in seeds. The action followed a similar order in May. 

  • The United Nations Kosovo Interim Adminstration Mission seized a smelter whose lead emissions were up to 200 times in excess of World Health Organization recommendations. Serbian workers at the Trepca Mining Complex battled with French peacekeepers. The plant will be equipped with modern pollution control equipment, and personnel will be paid during the shutdown period. 

  • Tightened EU standards for incinerators, which will replace existing Directives 89/369/EEC, 89/429/EEC, and 94/67/EEC, were preliminarily approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. Formal approval is expected in September. 

  • The EC issued a report discussing the pricing of water supplies, with particular emphasis upon agricultural use. See http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/pdf/2000/com2000_0477en01.pdf

  • The U.K Office of National Statistics issued data indicating that greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources have decreased while those from mobile sources have risen. See http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/envacc0800.pdf

  • Similarly, the U.K. Environment Agency issued a report, "Spotlight on Business Environmental Report", discussing greenhouse emissions from commercial and industrial sources. See http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/envinfo/spotlight/index.htm

  • Germany will likely pursue a nationwide "bottle bill" requirement for beer cans, and perhaps for other types of disposal bottles, according to Environment Minister Juergen Trittin. A new study, "Life Cycle Assessment for Drinks Packaging Systems II", is available at http://www.umweltundesamt.de

  • The decommissioning of oil platforms in the North Sea would be subject to tightened standards issued by the Department of Trade and Industry in accordance with the Oslo-Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. "Guidance Notes for Industry Covering the Decommissioning of Offshore Installations and Pipelines Under the Petroleum Act 1998" is available at http://www.og.dti.gov.uk/decom/dcom_hom.htm

  • The European Commission released a listing of "environmental verifiers" approved to conduct audits pursuant to Regulation 1836/93. 

  • Government-industry negotiations on greenhouse reduction targets and tax incentives/rebates are moving slowly in the U.K., according to the Financial Times (Prolonged Talks may hit Climate Change Tax, Financial Times, Aug. 14, 2000, at 6). 

  • An article published in Science, co-authored by Andrew Watkinson of the University of East Anglia, England, contends that the use of genetically modified organisms in herbicide-resistant crops may adversely affect songbird populations.  

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red bar graphic CANADA

  • Environment Minister David Anderson announced that Canada is prepared to impose stringent controls on domestic power plants in order to reduce transboundary air pollution, and called upon the U.S. to do likewise. The statement was released at the conclusion of Aug. 24-25 negotiations in Ottawa regarding an Ozone Annex to the 1991 Agreement Between the United States and Canada on Air Quality. See http://www.ec.gc.ca/press/000825_n_e.htm A joint U.S-Canada statement describing states or regions that would be subject to commitments reached in the Annex is available at http://www.ec.gc.ca/press/000825a-b-e.htm

  • A report released by Ontario's Ministry of Environment, "Ontario's Anti-Smog Action Plan: Progress Through Partnership," indicates that domestic emissions are far less than those from the U.S. and that Ontario's SO2 and NOx emission reduction programs have resulted in substantial emission reductions. See http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/programs/3952e.pdf

  • Three substances--2-methoxyethanol, 2-ethoxyethanol, and 2-butoxyethanol--would be listed as toxic under a proposal issued by Environment Canada. Comments are due Oct. 19. 

  • Mi'kmaq Indians in Burnt Church, New Brunswick, in the latest controversy regarding a 1760 fishing rights treaty that was the subject of a Sept. 1999 Supreme Court ruling favorable to the Indians, set bonfires to protest the Department of Fisheries and Oceans removal of lobster traps from Miramichi Bay. 

  • The Canadian Health Food Association released polling data showing that a large majority of Canadians prefer to choose whether to purchase or consume foods containing genetically modified organisms, and that many prefer to shop at specialty health food stores to avoid GMOs. 

  • Companies must report by Sept. 28 regarding the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or use of n-propyl bromide and bromochloromethane, according to a notice issued by Environment Canada. Also, companies must provide data by Dec. 1 regarding possible controls on di-choloromethane. See http://canada.gc.ca/gazette/part1/pdf/g1-13433.pdf

  • Quebec Environment Minister Paul Begin announced that, pursuant to recent amendments to the Regulation Respecting Used Tire Storage, stockpiled used tire storage areas will be eliminated by 2008 and imports of used tires for other than temporary storage prior to recycling will no longer be authorized. 

  • A new project in Ontario, announced by the Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs ministry, is designed to assist farmers in disposing of pesticides. 

  • Alberta Environment Minister Halvar Johnson announced that the province's Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulation would be broadened to encompass more than CFC and halon controls. 

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red bar graphic LATIN AMERICA

  • The Sierra Club and Amnesty International contend that the arrest and subsequent conviction of two Mexicans on drug charges is an effort to silence their work against logging activity in the state of Guerrero. See http://www.sierraclub.org

  • A Brazilian federal appeals court upheld a prohibition on the marketing of certain genetically modified seeds pending the submission by Monsanto of an environmental impact statement and satisfaction of other criteria.

  • Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, has been fined $100 million by the federal environmental agency for a large oil spill into the Iguacu River, according to the BBC. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_862000/862560.stm

  • Columbia's environmental minister again refused to authorize the use of Fusarium oxysporum fugus to combat coca crops.

  • Use of the fungus, which is favored by the United Nations Drug Control Program, was likewise prohibited in Ecuador. 

  • A NAFTA arbitration panel ruled that Mexico should pay Metalclad Corp., an American company,  $16.7 million (out of a requested $90 million) in damages for the taking of a hazardous waste treatment facility in San Luis Potosi state. A different panel, however, dismissed an action brought by a U.S. solid waste management company, USA Waste Services Inc. alleging violation of contracts issued by Acapulco and Guerrero state for the operation of a disposal facility and the exclusive right to collect nonhazardous waste. The panel concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because the applicant had not demonstrated a waiver of litigation it brought in Mexico that was based on commercial law, rather than on alleged violations of NAFTA.

  • Mexican president Vicente Fox, in an Aug. 24 speech, emphasized the integration of environmental review and protection with economic development.     

 red bar graphic AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

  • New Zealand's Royal Commission on Genetic Modification held three meetings in August as a preclude to public hearings that will begin on Sept. 18. A voluntary moratorium on field tests or releases of genetically modified organisms began on June 14, and will end on Aug. 31, 2001. It is administered by the Ministry for the Environment; the Royal Commission is slated to report next May. See http://www.mfe.govt.nz/new/index.htm

  • New Zealand Environment Minister Marian Hobbs announced the creation of a task force to examine agricultural chemical spray drifting, in response to a bill submitted to Parliament on the issue.  

  • Greenpeace Australia and the Australian Mineral Policy Institute released a report, "Cyanide Clash: Report on the Tolukuma Gold Mine Cyanide Spill in Papua New Guinea, March 2000" claiming that an Australian mining company is releasing cyanide-containing waste directly into the Angabanga and Auga Rivers. 

red bar graphic AFRICA

  • The United Nations Environmental Programme has been asked to send in technical experts to evaluate the environmental impact of possible titanium mining in Kwale, Kenya, according to The Nation (Nairobi). See http://allafrica.com/stories/200008150230.html