Jump to Content

Weekly Update Volume 32, Issue 18

06/17/2002

 LITIGATION

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

TSCA, LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARD REDUCTION ACT, LEAD RULE, SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION:

The D.C. Circuit denied housing industry associations' petition to review EPA's decision to include all hazardous lead-containing dust and soil, regardless of source, within a TSCA rule--known as the Lead Rule--that requires the disclosure of lead-based paint hazards. The associations claim that EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously and contrary to congressional intent by including dust and soil contaminated by sources other than lead-based paint dust within the Lead Rule's disclosure requirements. However, the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, which amended TSCA, requires EPA and HUD to take action to protect the public from lead-based paint hazards by reducing such hazards, and by requiring owners of housing built before 1978 to disclose any lead-based hazards. The Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act defines "lead-based paint hazard" as any condition that causes exposure to lead from lead-contaminated dust, lead-contaminated soil, or lead-contaminated paint or surfaces that would adversely impact human health. The Act does not define lead-contaminated dust and lead-contaminated soil to require the lead contamination in each to be derived from paint. Therefore, Congress did not unambiguously express their intent to limit lead-based paint hazards to contamination the source of which is lead paint. Moreover, EPA's interpretation of lead-based paint hazards to include lead-contaminated dust and lead-contaminated soil from sources other than lead paint is a permissible construction of the statute. EPA explained that its decision to cover lead in dust or soil regardless of the source of the lead was based on the fact that there is no good technical basis to determine how much of lead in dust or soil in a specific room or dwelling originated from lead paint. Moreover, the associations conceded that current technology cannot ascertain where lead contamination derives from. In light of this technological limitation, EPA reasonably required disclosure of all lead-contaminated soil and dust regardless of source. National Multi Housing Council v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 01-1159 (D.C. Cir. June 7, 2002) (4 pp.).

CERCLA, CLEANUP COSTS, GEOGRAPHIC DIVISIBILITY:

The D.C. Circuit affirmed a district court denial of a chemical company's request for reimbursement from the United States for costs it incurred in cleaning up part of a polluted ravine. At least 80 drums of the company's waste were dumped in the ravine in 1976. When EPA sought to remediate the site under CERCLA, the company agreed to pay for the remediation and incurred approximately $7.7 million in expenses. It then sought from EPA reimbursement of approximately $2.5 million in expenses that the company argued were geographically divisible from the remediation costs associated with its 80 drums. Specifically, the company argued that those portions of the ravine uphill from its drums could not have been contaminated by waste from the drums because liquid runs downhill. Although the company may be correct that the uphill portions of the ravine were not contaminated by the 80 drums, it does not necessarily follow that the company has proven geographic divisibility. A polluter can escape joint and several liability under CERCLA for the entire harm only if it can meet its burden of proving the amount of the harm that it caused. The company cannot meet this burden. While it produced some circumstantial evidence to support its theory of geographic divisibility, it has not proved its theory by the preponderance of the evidence. Chem-Nuclear Systems, Inc. v. Bush, No. 01-5184 (D.C. Cir. June 11, 2002) (8 pp.).

MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT, FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLANS (FMPs), MOOTNESS:

The First Circuit affirmed a district court dismissal of a commercial fisherman association's challenge to an FMP regulation, known as Framework 25, that instituted year-round closure of a fishing area and required rolling closures of inshore ports along the Gulf of Maine. The New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC), which promulgated and regulates the FMP for New England, provided less than 14 days' notice of the proposal to implement Framework 25. The NEFMC subsequently adopted Framework 25, and the association filed suit challenging the regulation on procedural and substantive grounds. Before the district court could rule on the association's suit, NEFMC adopted another regulation, Framework 27, which expanded on and superseded Framework 25. Consequently, the district court dismissed the association's challenge to Framework 25 as moot. The association appealed this dismissal, and since then the NEFMC has adopted several more regulations, including two that modify or maintain the closure of the fishing grounds contemplated by Framework 25. Nevertheless, the association continued to seek invalidation of Framework 25. However, the court has no means of redressing either the procedural or substantive deficiencies associated with a regulation that is now defunct. In effect, those deficiencies have been eliminated by the promulgation of the new frameworks. Even the closure of the fishing grounds originally contemplated in Framework 25 cannot be challenged because other frameworks expressly reconsidered and readopted the closure, thereby rendering the Framework 25 closure no longer in effect. Thus, no justiciable controversy exists, and the association's claims are moot. In addition, the association's claims do not fall within the exception to mootness for those claims capable of repetition, yet evading review. Although the NEFMC does frequently adopt regulations, the actual interval between most frameworks is not too short in duration to be fully litigated, and the procedural and substantive deficiencies alleged by the association are not likely to recur. Gulf of Maine Fishermen's Alliance v. Daley, No. 00-1160 (1st Cir. June 11, 2002) (11 pp.).

INSURANCE, POLLUTION EXCLUSION CLAUSE, NONREMEDIATION DAMAGES:

The First Circuit held that the pollution exclusion clause in an equipment repair company's insurance policy foreclosed its insurer's obligation to indemnify the company for response costs incurred due to an oil spill caused by the company, but that the pollution exclusion clause did not foreclose the recovery of nonremediation damages that are unrelated to the removal of the oil spill. An oil distributor hired the company to fix a fuel pump. The repairs led to the spillage of 3,000 gallons of fuel oil, which contaminated the distributor's property and a neighboring company's property. The distributor remediated the oil spill and sought indemnification from the company. The insurer subsequently filed an independent action seeking a declaration of no responsibility to indemnify the company. The district court held that the company could not recover response costs under its policy, but could recover nonremediation costs. The neighboring property owner and the insurer appealed. The company's pollution exclusion clause applies to requests, demands, or orders that an insured or others test for, monitor, clean up, remove, contain, treat, detoxify, or in any way respond to the effects of pollutants. When a property is contaminated, two distinct types of damages frequently result: remediation damages, known as response costs, and nonremediation damages. By employing the term "respond," the company's pollution exclusion clause gave rise to an ambiguity, particularly since the preceding listing of activities in the clause pertain exclusively to remediation efforts. Further, the pollution exclusion clause specifically excludes from coverage property damage arising out of the actual discharge of pollutants, but only lists four circumstances on which the exclusion applies, none of which pertain to the oil spill at issue. Moreover, under rules of construction for insurance policies, even though the exclusion clause purports to address the discharge or pollutants, it only applies to "property damage" from the discharge of pollutants. Thus, the pollution exclusion clause is ambiguous as to its coverage of nonremediation damages. Further, the case law cited by the insurer is irrelevant or unpersuasive. In addition, the neighboring property owner's arguments were waived because they had not been raised below. Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Weathermark Investments, Inc., No. 01-1767, -1768 (1st Cir. June 11, 2002) (15 pp.).

NEPA, STANDING, AGENCY DEFERENCE:

The D.C. Circuit denied a Connecticut town's petition to review a previous opinion by the D.C. Circuit in which the court held that the town lacked standing to bring a NEPA claim against an FAA airport expansion and that the FAA was entitled to Chevron deference. The town never asserted an environmental injury necessary to assert an FAA violation of NEPA. Although the town's original brief did vaguely mention damage to wetlands, it never explained the injury and actually failed to mention it at all in a supplemental brief that the court solicited for the purpose of addressing standing and ripeness. In addition, it is too late for the town to argue that the FAA's policy not to interpret a minor airport runway shift as an agency location of an airport is entitled to deference under Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 US 132 (1944), instead of Chevron deference. Although the FAA position that was granted deference may have been adopted during an adjudication and, thus, subject to Skidmore deference, the town raised the argument too late. And, even granting limited Skidmore deference to the FAA, the agency's interpretation of location is the better one. Town of Stratford, Connecticut v. Federal Aviation Administration, No. 99-1507 (D.C. Cir. June 11, 2002) (3 pp.).

NEPA, WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT (WSRA), ROGUE RIVER WILD AND SCENIC RIVER (ROGUE WSR):

A district court held that the U.S. Forest Service's decision to issue special use permits to motorized commercial fishing boats on the Rogue WSR did not violate the WSRA or the NFMA, but that the Forest Service's issuance of the special use permits under a supposed categorical exclusion violated NEPA's procedural requirements. Language in the 1972 river management plan for the Rogue WSR merely suggests that levels of motorized use on the WSR be limited to 1968 levels and, thus, the Forest Service's issuance of the special use permits did not violate a mandatory, enforceable duty under the WSRA. Similarly, the Forest Service did not violate the WSRA by allowing motorized use on the Rogue WSR that harmed fish and wildlife and interfered with non-motorized recreational uses. Conflicting evidence exists as to the impact on fish and wildlife, and in such situations the Forest Service has discretion to rely on its experts. Likewise, the record fails to show a significant conflict between recreational activities of commercial motorboats and non-motorized watercrafts. Further, the Forest Service is not required to prepare a recreation plan for the Rogue WSR. For rivers designated as wild and scenic prior to 1986, the WSRA does not require the creation of a recreation plan, but only a management plan, and the Forest Service created and incorporated such a management plan for the Rogue WSR. The Forest Service's authorization of the commercial motorboat uses under the special use permits also did not violate the NFMA by failing to protect the Western pond turtle. The NFMA requires the Forest Service to provide for diversity of plant and animal communities. As a sensitive species, the duty viable populations of the turtle applies with special force, and the Forest Service must monitor and evaluate the species' viability. Although the record reflects that motorboat use may affect the turtle, no evidence suggests that motorboat use jeopardizes viable turtle populations. Similarly, although the Forest Service failed to monitor the turtle until 2001, it has begun a monitoring program. However, the categorical exclusion of the special use permits from NEPA's requirements is arbitrary and capricious. A categorical exclusion is appropriate only when the proposed action will have no effect on the environment. The record reflects that the increased motorized boat traffic has the potential to impact turtles and salmon as well as cause conflict between various user groups. Despite the presence of these potential impacts, the Forest Service failed to engage in any scoping process before issuing the special use permits. This failure to pursue scoping violates the Forest Service's own public notice and comments regulations and NEPA's requirement that the agency take a hard look at the environmental consequences of a proposed action. Riverhawks v. Zepeda, No. 01-3035-AA (D. Or. May 14, 2002) (Aiken, J.) (31 pp.) (Counsel for the government included Michael W. Mosman of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington DC).

CAA, NEW SOURCE REVIEW (NSR), DISCOVERY, ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE, WORK PRODUCT:

A district court held that an electric utility need not reveal to the federal government calculations and analyses of the utility's emissions that its scientist and attorneys prepared in response to an EPA suit against it for allegedly violating the CAA's NSR requirements, but that the utility must reveal calculations performed in the ordinary course of business and the nature of all defenses it will offer to the government's suit. The utility spent more than $300 million to rebuild eight plants, but it did not seek an NSR permit or comply with the NSR requirements. The government brought suit claiming that the utility's actions constituted a major modification that triggered NSR requirements, but the utility argued it was exempt from the NSR requirements because the projects did not increase power generation or emissions. During discovery, the government sought the utility's interpretation of its emissions calculations, analyses, witness testimony, and documents relating to the calculation of utility emissions; the criteria used to determine if the utility's rebuilding activities resulted in net emissions increases; and the methods used to calculate utility emissions. The utility refused to disclose the information and sought a protective order. The attorney client privilege clearly encompasses the utility's communication to the attorney for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, and thus covers the communications that the utility's scientist had with utility attorneys. Similarly, the work product exception applies to the calculations and analyses prepared to evaluate the utility's possible defenses to the government's suit. Moreover, the requested documents are not discoverable under the work product hardship exception because the exception only applies to facts, and the documents at issue contain opinions or theories generated from emissions calculations. However, as part of its case management powers, the court can order the disclosure of strategic decisions, and no discovery rule allows a party to withhold preparation and selection of defenses because the defenses may have arisen from attorney-client communications or work product documents. Thus, the utility must provide to the government the basis for its defense by selecting a corporate designee to give a deposition on and produce documents supporting the utility's interpretation of its emissions calculations and analyses. Further, the designee must provide witness testimony and documents relating to the calculation of utility emissions, the criteria used to determine if the utility's rebuilding activities resulted in net emissions increases, and the methods used to calculate utility emissions. The corporate designee need not be the utility's scientist and the designee need not reveal past confidential communications or documents, but the designee must be fully prepared to reveal the utility's defenses. In addition, the utility cannot withhold revelation of its defenses until the time for expert reports and depositions. United States v. Duke Energy Corp., No. 1:00CV1262 (D.N.C. June 7, 2002) (Eliason, J.) (12 pp.).

PENNSYLVANIA SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT (SWMA), CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS, DUE PROCESS:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed an appellate court decision that an employee of an environmental services company could not be criminally charged with violating SWMA §610(1), which prohibits the disposal of waste without a permit. A trial court found the employee and the company guilty of violating SWMA §610(1) by burying tires without a permit. The appellate court reversed the employee's conviction stating that SWMA §610(1) applies only to those who have a duty to obtain a permit to dispose of waste and the employee had no such duty. However, §610(1) imposes criminal liability on any person that dumps solid waste into the ground without a permit. Nowhere in §610(1)'s plain language or in the SWMA definition of "person" does the legislature limit the classification of "any person" to only those with a duty to obtain a permit. The SWMA definition of person does include "legal entities subject to rights and duties," but the definition also includes individuals, and the "rights and duties language" does not apply to individuals. Moreover, an examination of the SWMA as a whole indicates that the legislature did not intend to limit liability under §610(1) to only those individuals who have the duty to obtain a permit for dumping solid waste. Further, imposing liability on all individuals under §610(1) is consistent with the SWMA purpose to protect the public from the dangers of waste disposal. Likewise, reading §610(1) to apply to employees does not produce absurd results, but punishes all that are involved in the unpermitted dumping of solid waste. In addition, §610(1) does not violate the employee's constitutional due process by punishing him for failing to obtain a permit when the SWMA did not require that he obtain a permit. The employee, as an equipment operator for an environmental company, could reasonably know that dumping tires without a permit is not permissible. Thus, the employee was not punished for failing to obtain a permit, but for the affirmative act of dumping solid waste when a permit had not been obtained. The plain language of §610(1) holds all persons responsible for dumping solid waste without a permit and is not unconstitutional. Commonwealth v. Packer, No. J-123-2001 (Pa. May 31, 2002) (19 pp.).

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

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register.

AIR:

  • EPA amended the NESHAPs for secondary aluminum production. 67 FR 41117 (6/14/02).

  • EPA proposed to amend the NESHAPs for secondary aluminum production. 67 FR 41125, 67 FR 41136 (6/14/02).
  • EPA withdrew a previously published proposal to stay the NESHAPs for secondary aluminum production as applied to aluminum die casters and aluminum foundries. 67 FR 41138 (6/14/02).
  • EPA amended the NESHAPs for phosphoric acid manufacturing plants and for phosphate fertilizer production plants. 67 FR 40813 (6/13/02).

  • EPA promulgated NESHAPs for primary copper smelting. 67 FR 40477 (6/12/02).

  • EPA revised definitions and the continuous emission monitoring provisions of the acid rain program and the nitrogen oxide budget trading program. 67 FR 40393 (6/12/02).

  • EPA clarified, corrected, amended, and revised certain provisions of the Tier 2/Gasoline Sulfur regulations that were promulgated on February 10, 2000. 67 FR 40169 (6/12/02).
  • EPA withdrew one of the amendments concerning an emission limit for the NESHAPs for phosphoric acid manufacturing and phosphate fertilizer production plants that was published on December 17, 2001 (66 Fed. Reg. 65072), and reinstated the corresponding emission limit that was already in place. 67 FR 40577 (6/12/02).
  • EPA promulgated NESHAPs for cellulose products manufacturing. 67 FR 40043 (6/11/02).
  • EPA promulgated NESHAPs for new and existing sources that coat metal coil. 67 FR 39793 (6/10/02).
  • EPA promulgated a rule that simplifies and consolidates emission inventory reporting requirements to a single location within the Code of Federal Regulations, establishes new reporting requirements related to fine particulate matter and regional haze, and establishes new requirements for the statewide reporting of area source and mobile source emissions. 67 FR 39602 (6/10/02).
  • EPA approved Maine's CAA §§111(d)/129 negative declaration certifying that there are no existing commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units located within the state. 67 FR 39628 (6/10/02).

DRINKING WATER:

  • EPA announced that it intends to approve revisions to Iowa's public water system supervision program. 67 FR 39722 (6/10/02).

HAZARDOUS WASTES & SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA proposed to enter into a settlement under CERCLA in connection with the Escambia Wood Preserving Superfund sites: the Brookhaven Wood Preserving site in Brookhaven, Mississippi; the Brunswick Wood Preserving site in Brunswick, Georgia; the Camilla Wood Preserving site in Camilla, Georgia; and the Pensacola Wood Preserving site in Pensacola, Florida. 67 FR 40923 (6/14/02).

  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA in connection with the Velsicol/Hardeman County Landfill Superfund site in Toone, Tennessee; the Mathis Brothers/South Marble Top Road Landfill Superfund site in Kensington, Georgia; the Valley Chemical Superfund site in Greenville, Mississippi; the Tennessee Products Superfund site in Chattanooga, Tennessee; the Former Coke Production Plant Property site in Chattanooga, Tennessee; and the Shaver's Farm Superfund site in Lafayette, Georgia. 67 FR 40298 (6/12/02).

  • EPA entered into a proposed settlement under CERCLA in connection with the Rockaway Township Wellfield Superfund site in Rockaway and Denville Townships, New Jersey. 67 FR 40298 (6/12/02).

  • EPA proposed an exclusion from the definition of solid waste that would streamline RCRA management requirements for used cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and glass removed from CRTs sent for recycling, and proposed to streamline management requirements for used mercury-containing equipment by adding it to the federal list of universal wastes. 67 FR 40507 (6/12/02).
  • EPA announced that it is seeking comment on new data it has collected on the levels of dioxins in sewage sludge since its December 23, 1999, proposal to limit dioxin and dioxin-like compounds in sewage sludge that is applied to land. 67 FR 40553 (6/12/02).
  • EPA approved revisions to Nevada's hazardous waste management program under RCRA. 67 FR 40229 (6/12/02).
  • EPA proposed to add a new section to the Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (MSWLF) to allow states to issue research, development, and demonstration permits for landfill operations at variance with some parts of the MSWLF criteria provided that landfill operators demonstrate that these operations will not result in an increased risk to human health and the environment. 67 FR 39662 (6/10/02).

RADIOACTIVE WASTE:

  • EPA announced the availability of DOE documents applicable to the characterization of transuranic radioactive waste at the Hanford site proposed for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. 67 FR 40295 (6/12/02).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA is seeking comments on a document entitled Methodology for Determining the Data Needed and the Types of Assessments Necessary to Make FFDCA Section 408 Safety Determinations for Lower Toxicity Pesticide Chemicals. 67 FR 40732 (6/13/02).

  • EPA announced the availability of a final technical report entitled The Foundation for Global Action on Persistent Organic Pollutants: A United States Perspective. 67 FR 40734 (6/13/02).
  • EPA announced the availability of tolerance reassessment decisions for difenzoquat and diquat dibromide. 67 FR 40296 (6/12/02).

  • EPA announced the availability of a draft document, Draft Action Plan for the Development of a Framework for Metals Assessment and Guidance for Characterizing and Ranking Metals, for external review. 67 FR 39982 (6/11/02).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonable and available for the Peconic Estuary in the County of Suffolk, New York. 67 FR 39720 (6/10/02).
  • EPA announced final agency action on 98 total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) prepared by EPA Region 6 for waters listed in Louisiana's Calcasieu and Ouachita river basins under CWA §303(d); the Agency also announced final agency action removing 20 waterbody/pollutant combinations from the Louisiana 303(d) list because TMDLs are not needed. 67 FR 40735 (6/13/02).
  • EPA announced final agency action on 11 TMDLs prepared by EPA Region 6 for waters listed in Louisiana's Calcasieu and Ouachita river basins under CWA §303(d); the Agency also announced final agency action removing 4 waterbody/pollutant combinations from the Louisiana 303(d) list because TMDLs are not needed. 67 FR 40737 (6/13/02).
  • EPA announced final agency action removing 151 waterbody/pollutant combinations listed in Louisiana's Calcasieu and Ouachita river basins under CWA §303(d) because TMDLs are not needed. 67 FR 40738 (6/13/02).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS designated the Chiricahua leopard frog as a threatened species under the ESA. 67 FR 40789 (6/13/02).

DOJ NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Catalina Furniture Co., No. CIV-02-03974 (GHK)(RZx) (C.D. Cal. May 17, 2002). A settling CAA defendant that violated the Act while operating a wood furniture manufacturing facility must pay a $50,000 civil penalty and may not recommence operations at the facility; a second settling defendant that owns the facility must pay a $30,000 civil penalty, must surrender its permits for spray booths, and must relinquish any right to emission reduction credits. 67 FR 39743 (6/10/02).
  • United States v. Allied Waste Products, Inc., No. 00cv3520 (D.N.J. May 9, 2002). A de minimis consent decree entered in July 2000 was amended to correct certain errors; the decree requires 49 settling CERCLA defendants to pay $740,000 into a special account to pay for response activities at the NL Industries Superfund site in Pedricktown, New Jersey. 67 FR 40750 (6/13/02).
  • United States v. Boston Sand & Gravel Co., No. 02-10999-JLT (D. Mass. May 29, 2002). Settling CWA defendants that discharged process waste without a permit, violated storm water permitting requirements, and failed to comply with spill prevention control and countermeasure plan requirements must pay an $897,983 civil penalty, must comply with the CWA, must expend at least $445,000 on a supplemental environmental project, and must undertake compliance audits and an environmental management systems audit with respect to its Massachusetts facilities. 67 FR 40750 (6/13/02).
  • United States v. ExxonMobil Corp., No. 1:01CV15 (N.D.W.V. May 28, 2002). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay past U.S. response costs incurred at the Fairmont Cokeworks site in Marion County, West Virginia. 67 FR 40751 (6/13/02).
  • United States v. Hinojosa, No. 02 C 3963 (N.D. Ill. June 4, 2002). A settling Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act defendant that failed to provide information to tenants concerning lead-based paint hazards and failed to disclose the presence of any known lead-based paint or hazards must provide the required notice and disclosures, must perform inspections to detect the presence of lead-based paint, must perform lead-based paint abatement, and must pay a $2,000 civil penalty. 67 FR 40751 (7/13/02).
  • United States v. Seattle Disposal Co., No. CV-02-1126-R (W.D. Wash. May 23, 2002). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $583,000 in natural resource damages into an account managed by natural resource damages trustees, the state of Washington Department of Ecology, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, NOAA, and DOI. 67 FR 40751 (6/13/02).

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

THE CONGRESS

CHAMBER ACTION

  • H.R. 2941 (brownfields), which would facilitate the provision of assistance by HUD for the cleanup and economic redevelopment of brownfields, was passed by the House. 148 Cong. Rec. H3095 (daily ed. June 4, 2002). The bill would clarify that funding can be provided to brownfield environmental cleanup and economic development under HUD's Community Development Block Grant program.
  • H.R. 2880 (Native American lands), which would amend laws relating to the lands of the citizens of the Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Nations, historically referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes, was passed by the House. 148 Cong. Rec. H3401 (daily ed. June 11, 2002).

COMMITTEE ACTION

  • S.J Res. 34 (Yucca Mountain; high-level radioactive waste) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 107-159, 148 Cong. Rec. S5285 (daily ed. June 10, 2002). The joint resolution would approve the site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the development of a repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, pursuant to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.
  • H.R. 2388 (national heritage areas) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-498, 148 Cong. Rec. H3452 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill would establish the criteria and mechanism for the designation and support of national heritage areas.
  • H.R. 3936 (Shoshone National Recreation Trail) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-506, 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 2002). The bill would designate and provide for the management of the Shoshone National Recreation Trail.
  • H.R. 4103 (land transfer) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-500, 148 Cong. Rec. H3452 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to transfer certain public lands in Natrona County, Wyoming, to the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop.

BILLS INTRODUCED

  • S. 2604 (Enzi, R-Wyo.) (ESA) would amend the ESA to require the federal government to assume all costs relating to implementation of and compliance with that Act. 148 Cong. Rec. S5285 (daily ed. June 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2607 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (federal lands) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to collect recreation fees on federal lands. 148 Cong. Rec. S5336 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2608 (Hollings, D-S.C.) (CZMA) would amend the CZMA to authorize the acquisition of coastal areas in order to better ensure their protection from conversion or development. 148 Cong. Rec. S5336 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 2612 (Reid, D-Nev.) (land use; Clark County, Nev.) would establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for high quality development in Clark County, Nevada. 148 Cong. Rec. S5336 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2623 (Warner, R-Va.) (national parks) would designate the Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove Plantation National Historical Park as a unit of the National Park System. 148 Cong. Rec. S5535 (daily ed. June 13, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4910 (Stenholm, D-Tex.) (water resources) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to revise a repayment contract with the Tom Green County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, San Angelo project, Texas. 148 Cong. Rec. H3453 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4911 (Tancredo, R-Colo.) (Pike and San Isabel National Forests) would require the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a wildland-urban restoration charter forest demonstration project in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands to increase community involvement in decisionmaking regarding the management of those forests and grasslands, would evaluate the feasibility of using a predecisional review process for projects conducted as part of the demonstration project, and would provide stewardship contracting authority as part of the demonstration project. 148 Cong. Rec. H3453 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4912 (Tancredo, R-Colo.) (public lands; forest fires) would increase the penalties to be imposed for a violation of fire regulations applicable to the public lands, National Park System lands, or National Forest System lands when the violation results in damage to public or private property, and would specify the purpose for which collected fines may be used. 148 Cong. Rec. H3453 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Resources, and Agriculture.
  • H.R. 4913 (Tauscher, D-Cal.) (nuclear security) would encourage and facilitate the security of nuclear materials and facilities worldwide. 148 Cong. Rec. H3453 (daily ed. June 11, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on International Relations.
  • H.R. 4917 (Gallegly, R-Cal.) (Land exchange) would provide for an exchange of lands with the United Water Conservation District of California to eliminate private inholdings in the Los Padres National Forest. 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4919 (Hayworth, R-Ariz.) (Land exchange) would provide for the exchange of certain lands in the Coconino and Tonto National Forests in Arizona. 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4926 (Thompson, D-Miss.) (ecosytem restoration) would authorize the Secretary of the Army to participate in ecosystem restoration of the San Francisco Bay estuary. 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 4935 (Gillmor, R-Ohio) (TSCA; FIFRA) would amend TSCA and FIFRA. 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Agriculture.
  • H.R. 4938 (Osborne, R-Neb.) (Water resources) would direct the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, to conduct a feasibility study to determine the most feasible method of developing a safe and adequate municipal, rural, and industrial water supply for the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska. 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4944 (Wolf, R-Va.) (National parks) would designate the Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove Plantation National Historical Park as a unit of the National Park System. 148 Cong. Rec. H3513 (daily ed. June 12, 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

  • Brazil's National Institute for Space Research said that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon slowed last year, off over 13% from 2000 levels. Almost 7,000 acres of rain forest were lost last year.
  • U.N. Development Program Administrator Mark Malloch Brown said that unless developed and developing countries quickly address their differences, the disputes could "blow up" at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development.
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations members signed an air pollution control agreement that is aimed at preventing and controlling forest fires and giving earlier alerts of haze conditions. See http://www.aseansec.org/newdata/hazeag2002.htm.
  • An environmental group in Guatemala said that the UN World Food Program had given genetically modified corn to individuals in drought-stricken regions of the country. The UN said the food was suitable for human consumption in donor countries and that it does not have the capacity to test for trace amounts.
  • Mexican officials said that genetically modified and wild corn have become mixed, especially in Oaxaca state. As many as 25% of the corn samples tested there were "positive." Local farmers voiced concerns about health risks, even in the absence of specific indications of same, and some botanists said that native varieties could be threatened.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi met with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Canadian Foreign Minister William Graham. He urged them to promote early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • A NASA project found that Greenland's ice sheet has, due to global warming, been moving faster during summer melting months since 1996. The data suggests that the sheet may be more susceptible to climate change than previously thought. Another study, conducted by Waleed Abdelati of NASA and Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado, concluded that surface melting of the sheet has increased considerably over the last 21 years. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_2030000/2030473.stm
  • Nature Science Update reported that recent research, conducted by an international consortium using high-altitude balloons equipped with ozone sensors, indicates that only half of the ozone over the Atlantic Ocean is from human activity. The results were presented at the recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/020603/020603-15.html.

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

Note: To order documents or request additional information, please call (800) 433-5120 or (202) 939-3844. Orders may also be sent by e-mail to orders@eli.org or by fax to (202) 939-3817. Please specify the issue of UPDATE about which you are inquiring. In most instances, for the cost of copying and postage, ELR can supply copies of materials cited. Charges for ELR Subscribers are 25 cents/page, $10 minimum; all others, 50 cents/page, $20 minimum. Documents may also be available free or at a nominal charge from the applicable court or agency. Copyright© 2002, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC All rights reserved.

ELR STAFF

J. William Futrell, Publisher
John H. Turner, Editor-in-Chief
Linda L. Johnson, Managing Editor
Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Associate Editor
Michael O'Grady, Associate Editor
Samantha Diesenhouse, Associate Editor
Carolyn Fischer, Editorial Associate
William J. Straub, Desktop Publisher
Jenny Kissinger, Customer Service
April King, Editorial Assistant