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Weekly Update Volume 32, Issue 12

04/22/2002

 LITIGATION

Note: The cases listed are available from the ELR Document Service.

CWA, APA, TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (TMDLs), CONSTRUCTIVE SUBMISSION:

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court dismissal of an environmental group's CWA citizen suit claiming that EPA had a non-discretionary duty to establish TMDLs for the state of California. The CWA TMDL program required states to submit lists of affected waters and TMDLs by 1979. Once submitted, EPA must either approve the TMDL or disapprove it, after which EPA must establish the TMDLs for the state. The CWA is silent as to the nature of EPA's obligations if a state fails to make any inital submission. Here, California did not submit any TMDLs until 1994, but since that time has completed TMDLs for listed state waters. Nevertheless, the group claimed that the state's failure to submit any TMDLs before 1994 constituted constructive submission of no TMDLs and, thereby, triggered a non-discretionary duty on EPA's part to establish TMDLs for the entire state. Although several circuits have recognized or employed the doctrine of constructive submission of no TMDLs, the doctrine applies only when a state fails to submit any TMDLs and has no plans to remedy the situation. California submitted at least 18 TMDLs and established a schedule for completing the state's remaining TMDLs. These actions preclude any finding that the state has clearly and unambiguously decided not to submit any TMDLs. Thus, EPA has no non-discretionary duty to submit TMDLs for the state. Moreover, EPA did not violate the APA duty to avoid unreasonable delay in agency action by failing to assure the establishment of the state's TMDLs because the Agency had no statutory duty to act with regard to the state's failure to submit TMDLs until 1994. In addition, because the group's suit alleged agency inaction, the district court's review was not limited to the administrative record and it permissibly relied on an EPA program review of the state's TMDLs. San Francisco Baykeeper v. Whitman, No. 01-16111 (9th Cir. Apr. 15, 2002) (14 pp.).,

CWA, NPDES PERMITS, CITIZEN SUIT NOTICE:

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court grant of summary judgment to an Oregon plywood manufacturer that environmental groups sued under the CWA for failure to renew its NPDES permit. The state enforces the NPDES permit program, part of which requires permit holders to submit permit renewal requests at least 180 days before the permit's expiration. In 1989, the manufacturer submitted its permit renewal application substantially less than 180 days before expiration, but the state environmental agency accepted the renewal application and extended the current NPDES permit until it took final action on the manufacturer's renewal application. In 1997, the state environmental agency had yet to take final action on the manufacturer's renewal application. Between 1989 and 1997, the manufacturer discharged pollutants under O.R.S. §183.430(1), a state enforcement shield allowing license applicants to continue operation until the state takes final action on the application. The groups, subsequently, initiated a CWA suit against the manufacturer. However, on certification from the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that the state environmental agency could waive the 180-day time limit for NPDES permit renewal application. Thus, the state agency can make an untimely application timely, and as a result, the O.R.S. §183.430(1) shield applies to such applications. Further, the 60-day CWA citizen suit notice that the groups gave the manufacturer was not sufficient to alert the manufacturer of the groups' claims that the state could not renew an NPDES permit beyond its original term and that the manufacturer had been required to renew its NPDES permit application in 1994. The groups' notice informed the manufacturer that the groups intended to contest the validity of the permit and that the solution would be that the manufacturer get a new permit. In so doing, the groups' notice put forth a particular theory on which the permit was invalid--that the permit application was untimely. On receipt of such notice, the manufacturer could have believed that the state agency was acting within its authority to waive the 180-day requirement. Thus, it was reasonable for the manufacturer to conclude that no action in response to the groups' 60-day notice was required. The manufacturer was not required to speculate as to all possible attacks on its NPDES permit that might be added to a citizen suit when the 60-day notice specifically identified only one attack based on timeliness of the renewal application. ONRC Action v. Columbia Plywood, Inc., Nos. 98-36233, -35019 (9th Cir. Apr. 16, 2002) (19 pp.).

CERCLA, COST RECOVERY, INNOCENT LANDOWNER:

A district court held that the owner of an Illinois Superfund site can bring a CERCLA §107 action against numerous third-party companies that allegedly contributed to the contamination at the site. EPA sued the owner seeking to recover response costs at the site, which consists of two parcels of land. The owner subsequently initiated a CERCLA §107 action against the companies, and the companies argued that the owner could not bring a §107 action because it was not an innocent landowner. However, the owner met all of the requirements to bring a §107 action. Evidence indicated that waste was disposed of at at least one property, and such waste commingled with waste from the other property, thereby contaminating both parcels of the site. Therefore, a release occurred at the site. Further, the companies all qualified as generators of hazardous substances and, thus, are covered persons under §107(a). Evidence indicates that waste of the kind generated by the companies is present at the site and that the companies generated waste that was disposed of or transported to the site. Likewise, the response costs incurred by the owner at the site are consistent with the NCP. Moreover, evidence indicated that the owner did not contribute to the pollution at the site. The companies alleged that the owner's delay in initiating cleanup contributed to the contamination, but the companies provided no evidence that the delay in removing hazardous substances from the site led to a release, and a cost recovery action is allowable even after delay in initiating cleanup. Similarly, the evidence did not indicate that the owner engaged in faulty cleanup efforts that contributed to the contamination. The statute of limitations also does not bar the owner's §107 claim. The three-year statute of limitations for a removal action runs from the completion of the removal activity. The last removal activity at the site occurred in 1999, but the owner initiated the §107 action in 1992, well before the statute of limitations began to run. In addition, whether or not the owner was an innocent purchaser of one of the site's parcels under CERCLA §101(35)(B) is irrelevant to financial recovery under §107. United States v. Nalco Chemical Co., No. 91 C 4482 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 10, 2002) (Norgle, J.) (23 pp.).

EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT (EAJA), ATTORNEYS FEES, LITIGATION EXPENSES:

The Court of Federal Claims awarded a construction company $93,312.24 in attorneys fees and litigation expenses it incurred in litigation with the U.S. Navy regarding unexpected costs of construction at a facility that included federally protected wetlands. The Navy and the company entered a contract for construction of a training range in North Carolina, but the company encountered unexpected protected wetlands that required it to incur increased costs. After completion of construction, the company brought an EAJA claim against the Navy for damages. At the onset of trial, the Navy stipulated to liability, but the trial proceeded on the issue of damages. Although the company sought $1,528,537,000 in damages, the trial court awarded approximately $838,000 because some of the company's damages were due in part to its own errors and existing obligations. The company then sought attorneys fees and litigation expenses under the EAJA. The EAJA requires that a party seeking attorneys fees be the prevailing party. The Navy does not dispute that the company was the prevailing party, but it claimed that fees were unwarranted because its position was substantially justified. The Navy, however, failed to provide an attempt or defense of substantiation for its pretrial positions. Moreover, the fact that the company received only 55% of the damages sought does automatically render the Navy's position substantially justified. Nevertheless, the company's recovery of attorney costs is reduced on a pro rata basis by 33.3% to take into account costs it incurred preparing for and litigating claims for costs that could be attributed to the company's own delays. Consequently, the court reduced the company's requested attorneys fees by 33.3%. In addition, the company could also recover the expenses of an expert witness reasonably necessary to pursue the company's claims for costs from delay, but the company cannot recover the other costs attributable to a non-attorney or non-expert witness. Baldi Bros. Constructors v. United States, No. 98-326C (Fed. Cl. Mar. 29, 2002) (17 pp.).

TOXIC TORTS, FEDERAL EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY ACT (FELA), MANIFESTASTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS:

The Eleventh Circuit held that plaintiffs alleging an emotional distress claim under FELA must make some showing of an objective manifestastion of emotional injury. Two employees of a railroad sued the railroad under FELA alleging that their exposure to asbestos on the job caused physical injury and emotional distress from their fear of contracting cancer. A district court granted the railroad partial summary judgment on the employees' emotional distress claims because they had failed to show an objective measure of their emotional distress. The employees appealed. However, U.S. Supreme Court precedent, federal court precedent, state law precedent, and the common law support the requirement of an objective manifestation of emotional distress. Thus, the employees were required to make some showing of an objective manifestation of their emotional injury in order to recover for negligently inflicted emotional distress under FELA. They made no showing at all of any objective manifestation or consequqnce of their emotional injuries. Thus, the district court properly granted summary judgment to the railroad on the employees' FELA claims for emotional distress. Jones v. CSX Transportation, No. 01-14786 (11th Cir. Apr. 11, 2002) (12 pp.).

BIOTECHNOLOGY, PATENT LAW, WRITTEN DESCRIPTION:

The Federal Circuit held that a biochemical company's claims against pharmaceutical manufacturers for infringement of a patent for three chromosomal DNA probes were invalid for failure to meet the written description requirement for patents in 35 U.S.C. §112. The probes preferentially hybridized to six common strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae over six common strains of Neisseria meningitidis. In its written description of the probes, the company referenced and identified the probes' genetic nucleotide sequence, their function, and their deposit in a public depository. An adequate §112 written description of genetic material requires a precise definition, such as by structure, formula, chemical name, or physical properties, that allows visualization or recognition of the identity of the claim's subject matter. The claimed nucleotide sequences at issue were only described by their binding to Neisseria gonorrhoeae in a preferential ratio of "greater than about five" with respect to Neisseria meningitidis. This description only describes the probes' function and does not describe the probes themself, and a description of the function of a genetic material is insufficient to satisfy §112. Similarly, a description of the probes' binding affinity is not an adequate description under §112. Although the patent guidelines allow binding affinity to serve as an identifying characteristic, the characteristic must be shown to correlate to a specific structure or well known function. In the absence of information as to the nucleotide's sequence for its hybridization site, a nucleic acid, such as the probes, described only by its ability to hybridize with another DNA fails to meet §112's requirements. Further, the biochemical company does not meet §112's requirement because its in ipsis verbis supported by the patent specification. Even if a patent claim is supported by specification, the language of the claim must describe the invention so that it may be recognized by one skilled in the art. In addition, the company did not comply with §112 under the possession test by depositing the nucleotide sequences in a public depository. A showing of possession is secondary to a written description of invention, and the company's possession does not contribute to its description of the patent. Biological deposits do not substitute for a written description, and reduction of the nucleotide sequence to practice does not satisfy §112. Enzo Biochem, Inc. v. Gen-Probe Inc., No. 01-1230 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 2, 2002) (29 pp.).

Copyright© 2002, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC All rights reserved

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register.

AIR:

  • EPA redesignated the New York portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island carbon monoxide (CO) nonattainment area to attainment for the CO NAAQS. 67 FR 19337 (4/19/02).

DRINKING WATER:

  • EPA announced that it is requesting public comment on the results of its review of 69 National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) that were established prior to 1997, including 68 chemical NPDWRs and the Total Coliform Rule; EPA prelimarily believes that the 68 chemical NPDWRs remain appropriate at this time but that the Total Coliform Rule should be revised. 67 FR 19029 (4/17/02).

HAZARDOUS WASTES & SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA issued guidance on the CERCLA §101(10)(H) federally permitted release definition for certain air emissions. 67 FR 18899 (4/17/02).
  • EPA proposed to enter into a de minimis settlement under CERCLA §122(g) in connection witht the Malvern TCE Superfund site in East Whiteland and Charlestown Townships, Pennsylvania. 67 FR 18202 (4/15/02).

PROJECT XL:

  • EPA proposed to modify certain regulations under the CAA and RCRA to enable the implementation of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Gold Track Program, which has been developed under EPA's Project XL Program. 67 FR 18528 (4/16/02).

RISK ASSESSMENT:

  • EPA announced the availability of its report on the Food Quality Protection Act tolerance reassessment progress for urea, announced its tolerance reassessment decision, and released the science assessment for its tolerance reassessment decision and related documents supporting this decision. 67 FR 18197 (4/15/02).

SAFETY & HEALTH:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the availability of a draft technical report of a feasibilty study of the health consequences to the American population of nuclear weapons tests conducted by the United States and other nations. 67 FR 18209 (4/15/02).
  • OSHA issued a direct final rule amending construction industry standards to require the traffic control signs, signals, barricades, or devices protecting constructions workers conform to Part VI of either the 1988 Edition of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), with 1993 revisions (Revision 3), or the Millennium Edition of the FHWA MUTCD, instead of the American National Standards Institute D6.1-1971, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. 67 FR 18091 (4/15/02).

SMCRA PROGRAM APPROVAL:

  • OSM proposed to approve an amendment to Pennsylvania's regulatory program under SMCRA. 67 FR 18518 (4/16/02).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA announced that the 2002 reporting period for the TSCA Inventory Update Rule is from August 26, 2002, to December 23, 2002. 67 FR 18615 (4/16/02).

WILDLIFE:

  • The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposed to issue regulations authorizing and governing the taking of bottlenose and spotted dolphins incidental to the removal of oil and gas drilling and production structures in state waters and on the outer continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico for a period not to exceed 1 year. 67 FR 19370 (4/19/02).
  • NMFS adopted as final, without change, an interim final rule that amends the regulations that require summer flounder trawlers to use turtle excluder devices in waters off Virginia and North Carolina to reduce the incidental capture of endangered and threatened sea turtles. 67 FR 18833 (4/17/02).
  • FWS proposed to amend its existing regulations for establishing and administering manatee protection areas. 67 FR 18572 (4/16/02).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • United States v. American Scrap Co., No. 1:99-CV-2047 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 10, 2002). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $1 million in past U.S. response costs incurred at the Jack's Creek/Sitkin Smelting Superfund site in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania; a second settling CERCLA defendants must pay $685,000 in past U.S. response costs incurred at the site. 67 FR 19235 (4/18/02).
  • United States v. Cooley, Inc., No. 02-156 (D.R.I. Apr. 3, 2002). A settling defendant that violated the CAA and RCRA at its Pawtucket, Rhode Island, facility must comply with the applicable provisions of the Acts, must pay a $325,000 penalty, and must implement a supplemental environmental project involving a project whereby waste plastics will be used to produce flooring material. 67 FR 19236 (4/18/02).
  • United States v. Rouge Steel Co., Nos. 00-75452, -75454 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 4, 2002). A settling defendant that violated the CAA and RCRA at its manufacturing facility in Dearborn, Michigan, must pay $458,000 in civil penalties and must perform certain demonstration tests at its various emission sources to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable air emission limits. 67 FR 19236 (4/18/02).
  • United States v. Royal Recovery Systems, Inc., No. 02-1148 (WGB) (D.N.J. Mar. 21, 2002). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $70,000 in past U.S. response costs incurred at the Royal Recovery Systems, Inc., Superfund site in Newark, New Jersey, and may be required to pay an additional sum of up to $40,000 in three years. 67 FR 19237 (4/18/02).

Copyright© 2002, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC All rights reserved. 

THE CONGRESS

COMMITTEE ACTION

  • H.R. 2114 (national monuments; Antiquities Act) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-408, 148 Cong. Rec. H1288 (Apr. 15, 2002). The bill would amend the Antiquities Act regarding the establishment by the President of certain national monuments and to provide for public participation in the proclamation of national monuments.
  • H.R. 3421 (Yosemite National Park) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-410, 148 Cong. Rec. H1333 (daily ed. Apr. 16, 2002). The bill would provide adequate school facilities within Yosemite National Park.
  • H.R. 3955 (forests) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-409, 148 Cong. Rec. H1333 (Apr. 13, 2002). The bill would designate certain National Forest System lands in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

BILLS INTRODUCED

  • H.R. 4227 (Moran, R-Kan.) (bioenergy) would codify and extend the current USDA program to promote the use of agricultural commodities by bioenergy producers, particularly small-scale producers, to produce ethanol and biodiesel fuels. 148 Cong. Rec. H1288 (daily ed. Apr. 15, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 4468 (DeGette, D-Colo.) (wilderness) would designate certain lands in Colorado as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. 148 Cong. Rec. H1409 (daily ed. Apr. 17, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4479 (Udall, D-Colo.) (agriculture) would authorize the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture to assist farmers and ranchers seeking to develop and implement agricultural innovation plans in order to increase their profitability in ways that also provide environmental benefits. 148 Cong. Rec. H1410 (daily ed. Apr. 17, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Small Business, and Agriculture.
  • H.R. 4530 (Taylor, R-N.C.) (Blue Ridge Mountains) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Blue Ridge Heritage and Cultural Partnership Study Area in North Carolina. 148 Cong. Rec. H1483 (daily ed. Apr. 18, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.

Copyright© 2002, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC All rights reserved. 

IN THE STATES

Click on a state name below to see its information in ELR UPDATE. Or go to http://www.elr.info/State/stateupdate.cfm to view the complete section.

Copyright© 2002, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL

GENERAL

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) said that they have launched an evaluation of food standards programs, including the Codex Alimentarius, to assess whether they adequately serve both developed and developing nations in promoting health, safety, and trade in food. The organizations said the evaluation, which will be undertaken by independent analysts and an expert panel, is the first examination of the mechanisms since they were created 40 years ago. "In both developed and developing countries, the number and variety of food safety threats are on the increase," said WHO Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland. "We need to ensure that international food standard work responds to the challenges of the new millennium in order to meet more effectively the needs of the world's people, and we therefore welcome this timely review." "Every day, food safety and quality issues vary dramatically from country to country," said FAO Director General Jacques Diouf. "National capabilities to use and apply food standards must be enhanced if global food safety is ever to be realized, and I am pleased that this timely evaluation will be looking at the wider aspects of applying food standards at a practical level." See http://www.who.int/inf/en/pr-2002-26.html
  • Following the destruction of an experimental field trial with genetically modified colza in Alost,
    Belgium, the latest in a series of recent attacks on field trials across Europe, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin spoke out against the activity. "This is an example of ignorance and prejudice leading to illegal acts of violence, that in the long run can only deny society the benefits that scientific progress will bring about," said Commissioner Busquin. "The freedom of research is a fundamental value in democratic societies. This kind of research is key to overcoming suspicion and uncertainty about such crops. If we do not invest enough in GMO research, our ability to innovate and assess potential risks could be hampered. Ultimately, European citizens will be the losers."
  • The European Commission (EC) announced that it has decided to pursue infringement procedures against eight Member States concerning implementation of European Union (EU) legislation on carbon dioxide, air quality, and airborne emissions. These requests take the form of so-called 'Letters of formal notice' (the first stage of formal infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty) and have been sent to Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Germany for failing to provide data for the year 2000 on emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and the removal of CO2 by sinks. This information, the EC said, is essential to ensure that progress is made in relation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including the Kyoto Protocol. Letters of Formal Notice have been sent to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Germany for failing to notify the Commission about national regulations that give effect to an EU Framework Directive for assessing and managing air quality. This information was due by July 19, 2001. A formal request (in the form of a so-called 'Reasoned Opinion') has been sent to Ireland to report on CO2 emissions from new passenger cars. This report was due by July 1, 2001. Reasoned Opinions have also been sent to Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Portugal for failing to adopt into national law EU limits on certain air pollutants. In addition, the Commission has sent a Reasoned Opinion to Greece for failing to adapt a power station at Linoperamata/Iraklion in Crete using the best available and most cost effective technology, as is required under a Directive aimed at combating air pollution from industrial plants. The power station concerned is a source of local airborne pollution.
  • The WHO and the European Environment Agency issued a report, Children's Health and Environment: A Review of Evidence, which contends that children under the age of 5 are victims of as much as 40% of all of the global disease cases caused by environmental hazards. Children living in Europe are facing an increasing amount of these kinds of hazards, according to the report. "Children are at risk of exposure to more than 15,000 synthetic chemicals, almost all developed in the last 50 years," said Domingo Jimenez-Beltran, European Environment Agency executive director. "They are also threatened by a variety of physical agents, such as polluted indoor and outdoor air, road traffic, contaminated food and water, unsafe buildings, contaminants in toys, radiation and environmental tobacco smoke." Jimenez-Baltran also said that disorders linked to these kinds of environmental risks are reaching "unacceptably high levels in many cases." See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1930000/1930780.stm
  • Commenting on the G8 discussions on the World Summit in Banff, Canada, Margot Wallström, European Commissioner for the Environment, said that "[g]iven the slow progress in the UN preparatory discussions in New York for the Johannesburg Summit, it was useful that G8 Environment Ministers were able to agree on some important priorities to take forward. We agreed that it is time to move from words to deeds. The global agenda for change must be complemented by partnership for action. I welcome the fact that G8 Environment Ministers agreed to make progress work on sustainable water resource management, sustainable energy provision, to work with Africa to advance the approach being set out in the New Partnership for Africa's development, and to give further attention to the links between environment and health before Johannesburg. It will be important to make significant progress on these before the G8 Leaders meet with African leaders at the Kananaskis Summit in June."
  • The Green Week 2002 conference and exhibition was held in Brussels. See http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/greenweek/index.htm
  • The Bush Administration asked for congressional approval of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Some environmental groups said that the action was inadequate because the Administration's proposed implementing legislation did not include the treaty provision addressing new chemicals. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36093-2002Apr12.html
  • An international conference on water and sustainable development was held in Accra, Ghana.
  • One hundred thirty-eight Convention on the Law of the Sea state parties met in New York City to elect a new International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and select Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf members. It was the 20th anniversary of the Convention. See http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2002/sea1733.doc.htm

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change met in Geneva.
  • The United Nations Environment Program and and the International Center for Integrated
    Mountain Development issued a report noting that climate change has resulted in an average one degree Celsius increase in temperatures in the Himalayas since the mid-1970s. The report says that that 20 glacial lakes in Nepal and 24 in Bhutan "have become potentially dangerous as a result of climate change." "The findings from our joint studies in the Himalayas, the roof of the world, reveals the extent of a new and alarming threat," said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer. "It is not just the risk to human lives, agriculture and property that should worry us. Mountains are the world's water towers, feeding the rivers and lakes upon which all life depends."
  • University of California at Berkeley researcher Tyrone Hayes authored a study, released in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which says that relatively low levels of the weed-killing pesticide atrazine may adversely affect frog populations by causing the amphibians to change sex. Hayes' research found that atrazine can convert young male tadpoles into hermaphrodites and lower adult male frogs' testosterone levels to below those of females. Atrazine has been used in 80 countries for nearly 40 years, but has been banned in several European countries including Germany, Italy, France, Norway, and Sweden. A scientific panel commissioned by the manufacturer was unable to verify the claims. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1930000/1930658.stm and http://www.pnas.org/
  • A. Townsend Peterson and other researchers from the University of Kansas, along with scientists in Mexico and California, authored a report published in Nature that said that climate change had had an adverse impact on more than 1,800 species of mammals, birds, and butterflies in Mexico. The researchers predicted that climate change will significantly affect ecosystems, "maybe strikingly."
  • Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov urged ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. See http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020411002513
  • Hiroshi Oki, Japan's environment minister, said that he was optimistic that Russia would ratify the Kyoto Protocol this summer. See http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020415003973&query=kyoto
  • Both New Zealand's Business Roundtable and the Council of Trade Unions spoke out against Kyoto implementation. Prime Minister Helen Clark wants ratification to occur before the World Summit in August. See http://globalarchive.ft.com/globalarchive/article.html?id=020413005250&query=emissions
  • Although Kyoto implementation was not formally on the agenda of G-8 environment ministers, who met in Banff, Canada, controversy occurred nonetheless as European representatives criticized Canada for being hesitant about the Protocol. "My initial reaction is that, if Canada now comes back to say, 'We have to reopen all the negotiations, because we have seen the costs are high,' that is not unique for Canada," said Ms. Wallstrom. "We think this proposal ... would actually completely change the whole structure and architecture of the Kyoto Protocol, and this is simply not acceptable to us." She also criticized the U.S., saying "[w]e don't think what the United States is doing is enough. It will be very little more than business as usual and allow emissions to rise more than 30 percent," Wallstrom said. "The basic problem is, of course, that the United States has chosen to stand outside the Kyoto Protocol. I hope we will be able one day to convince them to come back into this process." She added that "the frank and open discussion on climate change provided an honest reflection of where we are on this matter."
  • Canada's Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, told the House of Commons that Canada hopes to ratify Kyoto "some day." See http://www.nationalpost.com/search/story.html?f=/stories/20020416/652525.html&qs=kyoto
  • A carbon trading arrangement was agreed to in Africa. See http://allafrica.com/stories/200204160175.html
  • Canadian Environment Minister David Anderson's response to the EU was that "there is something bizarre about a European position as expressed by the European Union that measures to reduce greenhouse gases should be opposed by the very people who are sitting around the table discussing how to reduce greenhouse gases." See http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/15513/story.htm
  • And Alberta Energy Minister Murray Smith said NAFTA, not Kyoto, should be the mechanism for addressing greenhouse gas reduction. "Let's get on with a North American solution to this where we do business. Canada does not fit within the framework of the Kyoto protocol," he said. See http://www.canoe.ca/NationalTicker/CANOE-wire.Kyoto-NAFTA.html

Copyright© 2002, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC All rights reserved. 

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