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Weekly Update Volume 32, Issue 29

10/21/2002

LITIGATION

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

SABLEFISH AND HALIBUT FISHERY, INDIVIDUAL FISHING QUOTAS (IFQs), "QUALIFIED PERSON":

The Ninth Circuit held that under federal regulations, a commercial fishing company is qualified to participate in both the sablefish and halibut fishing industries even though it fished for only one species during the regulatory base period. The lower court determined that the fishing company was ineligible to harvest sablefish in the regulated area because, during the qualifying base period set forth in the regulations implementing the IFQ program for halibut and sablefish, it harvested only halibut. The court found the qualification provisions of the regulations ambiguous and deferred to a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) interpretive ruling that held that only persons actually landing sablefish during the requisite period were qualified to participate in the sablefish industry. The applicable regulation defines a "qualified person" as a person that "owned a vessel that made legal landings of halibut or sablefish, harvested with fixed gear, from any IFQ regulatory area in any . . . qualifying year." Contrary to the lower court's findings, this language is clear and unambiguous. It provides that a person that made a legal landing of either halibut or sablefish is qualified to receive an initial quota share. The Secretary of Commerce promulgated regulations that combine qualifications for engaging in commercial harvesting of halibut and sablefish. A single definition of a "qualified person" is used, and the same qualifying period is used for both species of fish. That the regulations differentiate between halibut and sablefish in the calculation of the quota share does not mean that they should differentiate the two species in determining whether a person is qualified to receive a share. Because the regulation is not ambiguous, the lower court erred in deferring to the NMFS' interpretive ruling and its decision was reversed and remanded. Wards Cove Packing Corp. v. National Marine Fisheries Service, No. 01-35309 (9th Cir. Oct. 15, 2002) (12 pp.).

ALASKA NATIONAL INTEREST LANDS CONSERVATION ACT (ANILCA), ATTORNEYS FEES, SUBSISTENCE FISHING RIGHTS:

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court's determination that Alaskan villages were prevailing parties entitled to attorneys fees in litigation involving subsistence fishing rights in Alaskan waters, but reversed its determination that it did not have discretion under ANILCA to award attorneys fees for pre-litigation administrative activities. In the litigation below, native Alaskans filed suit claiming that the Secretary of the Interior improperly excluded navigable and federally reserved waters from management under ANILCA, and that Alaska had no jurisdiction to regulate the waters in question. When that case was pending in federal court, the state of Alaska filed suit against the federal government on the issue of its jurisdiction. These two cases were consolidated. A group of Alaskan villages then filed suit against the United States and the state of Alaska in federal district court claiming that the federal defendants violated ANILCA by refusing to include navigable waters in the definition of "public lands" and, as a result, failing to extend federal subsistence management to those waters, and that the state defendants violated ANILCA by managing fisheries beyond their jurisdiction. The case was managed jointly with the consolidated cases. In the consolidated cases, the district court determined that the ANILCA subsistence priority applies to all navigable waters in Alaska, and upheld the federal government's authority to manage subsistence fishing on public lands. In the jointly managed case, the court found in favor of the villages and awarded them attorneys fees. The state argued that the villages should not be entitled to recoup costs for work done in the consolidated cases. The state argued that the villages were not entitled to recover fees on the issue of which government--federal or state--could assert jurisdiction to manage subsistence fishing. Although the villages had an interest in which authority would manage subsistence fishing in navigable waters, the state maintained that the villages based their arguments on this issue entirely on the determination of whether or not navigable waters were "public lands" as defined under ANILCA. However, if the villages were going to succeed in their aim of retaining their subsistence interest, their case hinged on more than whether or not the waters in question were on "public lands." Even if the waters were on "public lands" for ANILCA purposes, if the federal government had no jurisdiction to implement subsistence priority, the public versus private distinction would be meaningless. Thus, the villages properly--and necessarily--addressed the jurisdictional issue as required for resolution of their case. The district court, however, erred in holding that it did not have discretion to award attorneys fees for pre-litigation administrative activities. In ANILCA, Congress intended to encourage citizen participation and ensure input from individuals and groups that might otherwise be unable to afford adequate representation, and administrative proceedings under ANILCA are useful and of a type ordinarily necessary to secure the final result obtained from litigation. Native Village of Quinhagak v. United States, Nos. 01-35430, -35466 (9th Cir. Oct. 8, 2002) (18 pp.).

SDWA, RCRA, CWA, CONSPIRACY, MAIL FRAUD, JURY INSTRUCTIONS:

The Tenth Circuit overturned two individuals' convictions for mail fraud, but upheld their convictions for unlawfully injecting wastewater into disposal wells and attempting to cover up their crimes. The individuals were charged with entering into a conspiracy with five objects: (1) improperly disposing of petroleum-impacted wastewater in violation of the SDWA; (2) transporting hazardous wastes without a manifest in violation of RCRA; (3) using the mails in the commission of a fraud; (4) using interstate wire communications in the commission of a fraud; and (5) defrauding the United States by obstructing the lawful environmental protection functions of EPA and the DOD. In five special verdicts, a jury found that they conspired to commit each of the alleged objects of the conspiracy. One of the individuals was also convicted of violating the CWA. Both individuals appealed. As for the SDWA conviction, one of the individuals argued that the injection of a nonpermitted liquid waste into a Class II disposal well was lawful under the governing regulations issued by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The Oklahoma regulations, however, are no more permissive than the federal law on which the jury was instructed. In addition, the district court properly instructed the jury on the meaning of "willful" on the SDWA count. There is no reason to believe that the word "willful" requires proof of knowledge of the regulation allegedly violated. Additionally, the district court was not required to give a mistake-of-law/good-faith-defense instruction. Nor was the jury instruction erroneous as to the charge that the individual defrauded the United States by obstructing the lawful environmental protection functions of EPA and the DOD. In addition, there was sufficient evidence to convict the individual for discharging pollutants into U.S. waters in violation of the CWA. Likewise, he was properly convicted for knowingly causing the transportation of hazardous materials to a facility that was not permitted to accept them. He signed a manifest stating that the load contained no hazardous materials, he never asked the facility whether it carried a hazardous waste permit, and when asked about the event a month later, he responded with a series of lies. From this evidence, the jury could reasonably infer that he knew that the facility lacked a proper permit. Both individuals, however, should not have been convicted for mail fraud. Although there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that bills of lading were false, that one of the individuals had an intent to fraud, and that the other individual was a knowing participant in the scheme to defraud, there is no evidence that they ever used the fraudulent bills of lading. Last, the sentences of both individuals were affirmed. Despite setting aside the convictions for mail fraud, the sentences are not affected. Elimination of the mail fraud conviction would not change the ultimate offense level under the Sentencing Guidelines for either individual. However, on remand the district court must set a repayment schedule for the amount of restitution to be paid by one of the individuals. United States v. Overholt, Nos. 00-5074, -5081 (10th Cir. Oct. 10, 2002) (24 pp.).

NEPA, EA, FONSI, NOTICE:

The Second Circuit affirmed a district court decision denying residents' request to preliminarily enjoin a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit allowing the use of federal waters and wetlands for construction of an electric generating plant in Athens, New York, near the banks of the Hudson River. After more than two years of review during which it consulted with several other federal and state agencies and held multiple public hearings, the Corps issued a permit to the generator along with an EA in which it concluded that the proposed construction would not have a significant impact on the environment. The residents seek to enjoin the permit on the ground that an EIS should have been prepared. Specifically, they argue that the Corps erred by failing to release its draft EA and FONSI for public comment prior to their issuance. CEQ regulations require that in certain "limited circumstances," which the agency may cover in its procedures, the agency shall make a FONSI available for public review for 30 days before it makes its final determination whether to prepare an EIS. The Corps' NEPA implementing regulations go on to provide that the 30-day public comment requirement applies to draft FONSIs and EAs in the case of feasibility, continuing authority, or special planning reports and certain planning/engineering reports. The residents contend that the Corps’ NEPA review in this case is among the "limited circumstances" to which the 30-day public comment requirement applies. The 30-day public comment requirement, however, is inapplicable to the Corps permit issued to the generator in this case. The residents argued that the Corps permit provides for "continuing authority" over the generating project. The regulation, however, refers not to "continuing authority projects" or "continuing authority permits" but to "continuing authority reports." These reports, agency regulations reveal, are distinct from Corps decisions on permit applications like the one in this case. Pogliani v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Nos. 01-6199(L), -6102(XAP) (2d Cir. Oct. 9, 2002) (6 pp.).

NEPA, STANDING, SEA LAMPREY CONTROL PROGRAM:

A district court held that the FWS' final supplemental EIS (FSEIS) for its program to control the population of sea lampreys in Lake Champlain and its tributaries was adequate. In addition to employing physical barriers and trapping to reduce adult lamprey migration, the FSEIS calls for the use of a lampricide, TFM, to control the sea lamprey population. Two environmental groups filed suit challenging the adequacy of the FSEIS, but only one of the groups demonstrated all the requisite elements for standing. Moreover, that group has standing to challenge the NEPA analysis and implementation of the sea lamprey control program as a whole because although the group focuses on a particular tributary of Lake Champlain to demonstrate how the program will injure them, the site-specific plan for that tributary is based in large part on analysis of environmental and public health impacts of the program as a whole. The second group, however, lacked standing because that group's organizational standing depended on the individual standing of a member who failed to establish a sufficient injury-in-fact. In addition, the court denied the FWS' motion to strike extra-record exhibits submitted by the group concerning dioxin contamination and a 2001 aquatic nuisance control permit for the creek. Although the group did not raise their concerns about dioxin during the NEPA process, NEPA does not require issue exhaustion. Other extra-record exhibits submitted by the group, however, were not considered because they are not necessary to address any information gaps in the record. As for the merits, the FWS' FSEIS was adequate. The FWS took a requisite "hard look" at certain direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of the program on mudpuppies and threatened and endangered mussel species that inhabit some of the tributaries proposed for treatment. Although there is always room for additional consideration of most potential environmental impacts, NEPA does not require the kind of exhaustive review that the group would prefer. Similarly, on the issue of dioxin contaminants, the FWS undertook a fully informed analysis of the potential environmental consequences and disclosed this information to the public. The FWS' discussion of mitigation is also reasonably complete. NEPA does not require that a mitigation plan be fully developed prior to initiation of TFM treatments. Further, in light of the clear congressional directive to the FWS to control sea lampreys in Lake Champlain and the consideration of non-target impacts in the selection of potential alternatives, the purpose and need statement included in the FSEIS is not so narrow as to be unreasonable. Lastly, the FSEIS sufficiently evaluates the environmental impacts on the individual tributaries to be treated with TFM. The FSEIS is programmatic, and once an agency has completed a programmatic EIS, further individual, project-specific EAs or EISs are generally not necessary. Here, the screening analysis and the selection of specific sea lamprey control strategies are detailed in the site-specific analysis section of the FSEIS. Vermont Public Interest Research Group v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, No. 2:01-CV-332 (D. Vt. Sept. 13, 2002) (Sessions, J.) (69 pp.) (Defense counsel included John J. Sipos of Vermont's Office of the Attorney General in Montpelier, VT).

NATIONAL FORESTS, NEPA, NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT ACT (NFMA):

A district court dismissed environmental groups' NEPA and NFMA claims against the U.S. Forest Service in connection with various timber sales in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. The groups claimed that because the Forest Service failed to revise the land and resource management plan (LRMP) for the forest within the NFMA's 15-year deadline, the Forest Service should be enjoined from any actions involving the forest, including the challenged timbers sales. However, §327 of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act precludes lawsuits against the Forest Service based merely on the fact that LRMPs are past their 15-year deadline for revision. Only if the Forest Service is not acting expeditiously and in good faith may the court order completion of the plan on an accelerated basis. Here, the Forest Service is acting expeditiously and in good faith, and it plans to issue a revised LRMP for the forest in 2003. Likewise, the groups fail on their claim that because the Forest Service found significant changes in conditions in the LRMP, the NFMA mandated an early revision of the plan. The groups' characterization of the facts are incorrect. And although the court recognized that the Forest Service has failed to abide by the timeline, it refused to issue an injunction halting all Forest Service actions that relate to the forest. Rather, the court ordered the Forest Service to revise the LRMP and its programmatic EIS pursuant to the schedule it put forth before the court, irrespective of whether Congress grants it another extension. The groups also argued that the Forest Service violated NEPA by failing to supplement the original programmatic EIS for the LRMP. The Forest Service, however, took a hard look at the various forest sales in the forest and made a reasoned decision that it was not necessary to supplement the original programmatic EIS. In addition, the Forest Service took a hard look at the environmental effects of one the timber sales regarding the issues of fragmentation, sensitive species, and wildlife viability. Last, because the groups failed to challenge two five-year timber sale action plans for the forest before the Forest Service, they failed to exhaust their administrative remedies. Further, the action plans are neither an "agency" action nor "final." These claims, therefore, were dismissed. The groups' remaining claims were also dismissed on exhaustion grounds. Biodiversity Associates v. United States Forest Service, No. 01-CV-0078-B (D. Wyo. Oct. 30, 2002) (114 pp.).

NEPA, NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT ACT (NFMA), MOOTNESS:

A district court dismissed an environmental group's action against the U.S. Forest Service for alleged NEPA and NFMA violations concerning the harvest of lodgepole pine and spruce-fir in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest because their claims are moot. The Forest Service issued a decision notice in February 1999 authorizing the harvest project, but it later withdrew the decision notice in light of a court decision in which the Forest Service was found in violation of the NFMA in connection with a timber salvage project in another forest. The group's claims regarding timber remaining in the project are moot. Because the decision notice has been withdrawn, there is no longer a final agency action that is subject to judicial review. Moreover, the evidence on record does not support an intent to reissue a decision notice with the same alleged deficiencies after a dismissal on mootness grounds. Indeed, the evidence of record, including the withdrawal of the decision notice and an affidavit indicating the Forest Service's intention to follow the law, supports the opposite conclusion. Furthermore, as a new or reissued decision notice would be subject to judicial review under the APA, this is not the type of agency action likely to evade judicial review. Likewise, the group's claims regarding timber already harvested from the project are moot. The thrust of the group's claims were designed to stop timber harvesting, and the withdrawal of the decision notice accomplished this goal. Additionally, the relief the group seeks--management indicator species monitoring and mitigation measures--cannot be granted. The relief requested is not a mandatory, nondiscretionary duty of the Forest Service. More importantly, effective relief is not available to the group. The logged area is to remain under the management of the Forest Service. As such, any future projects would require completion of monitoring and be subject to both administrative and judicial review. And even if this matter was not moot in the strict Article III sense, the doctrine of prudential mootness applies in this situation. Willow Creek Ecology v. United States Forest Service, No. 1:01CV00042K (D. Utah Oct. 10, 2002) (Kimball, J.) (6 pp.).

CERCLA, NCP, GORE FACTORS:

A district court held a wood treatment facility liable for 100% of a railroad company's response costs related to the cleanup of contamination on its property and on an adjacent high school. The treatment facility does not dispute its status as a PRP. In addition, although the railroad company may have difficulty establishing that it is an "innocent landowner" under CERCLA §107(a), it may seek recovery of its costs in a §113(f)(1) contribution action. Further, the railroad company incurred its response costs in a manner consistent with the NCP. Contrary to the treatment facility's assertions, the company did not fail to comply with the NCP's community relations requirements. Neither CERCLA nor the accompanying regulations mandate that specific community relations measures are an absolute prerequisite to recovering response costs. While the company might have done more in the way of providing public notice, the company's involvement with the state environmental agency during the cleanup process and its communications with the high school are sufficient to meet the NCP's substantial compliance standard. The treatment facility's argument that the company's response actions were not the most cost-effective remedy were similarly rejected. Based on a balancing of the Gore factors for determining the allocation of response costs, the court determined that the treatment facility should be responsible for 100% of the response costs. The treatment facility was the only party to introduce contaminants on the property, and its managers were aware of, but failed to adopt, certain safety measures. Further, once the railroad company initiated its cleanup effort, it demonstrated great care to insure that the cleanup met relevant regulatory standards. Although it also carries some of the blame for the contamination, its involvement is limited when compared to that of the treatment facility. The court, therefore, awarded damages of $1,422,240.43 to be paid by the treatment facility. In addition, the court concluded that two other parties from whom the railroad company also sought response costs are not responsible parties for the environmental harm at issue here because they never "released" a hazardous substance under CERCLA. Even if it concluded otherwise, the court would not impose cleanup costs on these parties given their limited involvement with the site. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Gee Co., No. 98 C 1619 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 30, 2002) (Pallmeyer, J.) (43 pp.).

CERCLA, CONTRIBUTION, "FINDINGS OF FACT," JUDICIAL NOTICE:

A district court denied companies' motions to dismiss a manufacturer's third-party complaint against them for contribution under CERCLA. The case arose after residents filed a class action suit against the manufacturer for TCE contamination. On May 3, 2002, the district court found the manufacturer's property to be a source of the environmental contamination discovered in the class area. The companies claim that the district court's finding precludes a finding that their properties were sources of contamination and that the manufacturer's third-party complaint against them should be dismissed. The application of a previous finding to a latter proceeding must be beyond reasonable dispute before a court may take judicial notice. Here, the court does not believe the findings contained in its May 3, 2002, order to be applicable through judicial notice so as to bar the manufacturer's current third-party action. The issue in the prior proceeding was simply whether the residents had established that the manufacturer was a source of the class area contamination. The court's ultimate finding that the manufacturer was "a source" of the class area contamination was based solely on the court's evaluation of evidence regarding the movement of groundwater between the manufacturer's site and the class area. The court did state, in dicta, that the evidence before it at that time was insufficient to establish that an industrial park was a source of the class area contamination. The court did not, however, make any categorical ruling excluding this possibility, and certainly made no affirmative finding of fact that TCE could not migrate via groundwater or otherwise from the industrial park to the class area. The manufacturer's burden in the prior action was simply to show that its site could not be the source of TCE contamination in the class area. In defending against the residents' claims, it was not the manufacturer's burden, as it will be in this action, to prove that businesses located in the industrial park contributed to the TCE contamination in the class area. Accordingly, nothing in the court's May 3, 2002, order was directed toward offering a conclusive finding of fact on that issue, and the companies' motions to dismiss were denied. LeClercq v. Lockformer Co., No. 00 C 7164 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 9, 2002) (Leinenweber, J.) (4 pp.).

RCRA, ABSTENTION, FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM:

A district court denied a landfill operator's motions to dismiss environmental groups' claims against it for failing to comply with RCRA and state regulations at two of its landfill facilities. The groups assert that the operator has not restricted the type of waste that it accepts, and, therefore, it violates its state permit and subjects itself to classification as a municipal solid waste landfill under RCRA. Dismissal on abstention grounds under either the Colorado River or Burford standard is inappropriate. The groups' action does not interfere with any present or future action in which the operator may be involved with the state with regard to their permits. The groups are simply asserting that the operator has subjected itself to RCRA and violated its permit. Further, a decision by a district court will not impinge on Louisiana's regulatory system. In addition, by asserting that the operator's landfill accepts household trash, white goods, and other household wastes, the groups have made a claim upon which relief can be granted, and dismissal for failure to state a claim is therefore improper. The court also rejected the company's contention that the groups do not have standing to bring these claims. All of their claims affect members of the community, citizens of whom the groups represent. Oakville Community Action Group v. Industrial Pipe, Inc., No. Civ.A. 02-1258 (E.D. La. Oct. 8, 2002) (Porteous, J.) (5 pp.).

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

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register (FR).

AIR:

  • EPA promulgated NESHAPs for new and existing friction materials manufacturing facilities. 67 FR 64497 (10/18/02).
  • EPA proposed to amend certain provisions in the new source performance standards for electric arc furnaces constructed after October 21, 1974, and on or before August 17, 1983, as well as the new source performance standards for electric arc furnaces constructed after August 17, 1983. 67 FR 64013 (10/16/02).
  • EPA approved Massachusetts' CAA §§111(d)/129 plan for existing municipal waste combustor units having a capacity to combust more than 250 tons of municipal solid waste per day. 67 FR 62894 (10/9/02).

DRINKING WATER:

  • EPA approved revisions to Colorado's public water system supervision primacy program. 67 FR 62468 (10/7/02).
  • EPA announced that it intends to approve revisions to Connecticut's, Massachusetts', New Hampshire's, and Vermont's public water system supervision programs. 67 FR 62469 (10/7/02).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTES:

  • EPA denied a petition to modify its definition of "overburden" to include both consolidated and unconsolidated material; only unconsolidated materials are eligible for the overburden exemption to reporting required under EPCRA §313 and Pollution Prevention Act §6607. 67 FR 63060 (10/10/02).

  • FWS announced the availability of the natural resource damage assessment plan for the Hudson River Superfund site. 67 FR 63149 (10/10/02).
  • EPA withdrew the direct final rule for municipal solid waste landfill location restrictions for airport safety, published on July 11, 2002 (67 FR 45915), because the Agency received adverse comment. 67 FR 62647 (10/8/02).

  • EPA proposed to modify the designation of the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS) to establish a HARS-specific worm tissue PCB criterion of 113 parts per billion for use in determining the suitability of proposed dredged material for use as remediation material. 67 FR 62659 (10/8/02).

  • EPA granted a national treatability variance from the land disposal restriction treatment standards for radioactively contaminated cadmium-, mercury-, and silver-containing batteries by designing new treatment subcategories for these wastes in response to a rulemaking petition from DOE. 67 FR 61617 (10/7/02).

  • EPA offered a de minimis settlement under CERCLA in connection with the Ross Metals, Inc., Superfund site in Rossville, Tennessee, under an administrative order on consent to settle claims for past and future response costs at the site. 67 FR 672468 (10/7/02).

INFORMATION QUALITY GUIDELINES:

  • EPA announced the availability of the final Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by the Environmental Protection Agency, in response to final Office of Management and Budget (OMB) information quality guidelines directing all federal agencies to develop and implement their own guidelines by October 1, 2002 (67 FR 8451, February 22, 2002). 67 FR 63657 (10/15/02).
  • FWS announced the availability of the final information quality guidelines it prepared in response to an OMB notice directing all federal agencies to issue and implement guidelines to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of government information disseminated to the public. 67 FR 64407 (10/18/02).

MONITORING & ASSESSMENT:

  • EPA announced the availability of its Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program Research Strategy. 67 FR 62719 (10/8/02).

OIL POLLUTION:

  • The Coast Guard proposed changes to its requirements for oil-spill removal equipment under vessel response plans and marine transportation-related facility response plans. 67 FR 63331 (10/11/02).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES :

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the final selection criteria for selecting environmental chemicals for inclusion in future issues of the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals and seeks public nominations for categories of chemicals to be included in future issues of the report. 67 FR 62477 (10/7/02).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA revised the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for wastewater discharges from the iron and steel manufacturing industry. 67 FR 64215 (10/17/02).
  • EPA announced the availability of the record files for 37 total maximum daily loads for waters listed in the state of Arkansas. 67 FR 64369 (10/18/02).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS proposed to designate critical habitat for the Mariana fruit bat, the Guam Micronesian kingfisher, and the Mariana crow, but determined that critical habitat would not be prudent for the little Mariana fruit bat, the Guam broadbill, and Guam subspecies of the bridled white-eye because all three species are likely extinct. 67 FR 63737 (10/15/02).
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service announced the availability of a stock assessment report on large coastal sharks in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. 67 FR 64098 (10/17/02).
  • FWS announced the availability of final marine mammal stock assessment reports for Pacific walrus, polar bear, and sea otter in Alaska. 67 FR 62979 (10/9/02).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • United States v. Buena Vista Mines, Inc., No. 98-7226 SVW (RNBx) (C.D. Cal. Sept. 16, 2002). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $500,000 and a third-party defendant must pay $100,000 in response costs incurred at the Buena Vista/Klau Mine Site near Paso Robles, California, and in civil penalties and treble damages for failing to comply with an EPA administrative cleanup order; additionally, the United States will receive the major portion of all proceeds of any future land sales at the site. 67 FR 62815 (10/8/02).
  • United States v. Environmental Services, LLC, No. IP 00-0538-C-B/S (S.D. Ind. Oct. 2, 2002). A settling CAA and RCRA defendant must pay a $360,000 penalty for alleged violations at its hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Lemont, Illinois. 67 FR 62815 (10/8/02).
  • United States v. Wolcottville Sand & Gravel Corp., Nos. 98-CV-74192, -73730 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 16, 2002). A settling CWA defendant that violated the conditions and limitations of its NPDES permit at its limestone quarry in Milan, Michigan, must modify its mining operations such that it will be able to eliminate all discharges at the quarry, must surrender its NPDES permit, must pay $75,000 in civil penalties, must perform certain supplemental environmental projects at a cost of $360,000, and must undertake two restoration projects. 67 FR 62815 (10/8/02).
  • United States v. AVX Corp., Nos. 02-436-M, -437-JD (D.N.H. Sept. 27, 2002). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $2,198,052 to the United States and $4,191 to the state of New Hampshire in connection with response costs incurred and to be incurred at the Fletcher Paint Works and Storage Facility Superfund site in Milford, New Hampshire. 67 FR 64414 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. Brighton Township, No. 94-CV-75289-DT (E.D. Mich. Oct. 4, 2002). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $595,000 in U.S. response costs incurred at property formerly operated as a dump or disposal area on Corlett Road in Brighton Township, Michigan. 67 FR 64414 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. Brotech Corp., No. 00-2428 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 24, 2002). A CAA defendant that allegedly discharged pollutants into the air at its chemical processing facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, must pay a $400,000 civil penalty and must comply with all federal, state, and local air pollution control regulations. 67 FR 64415 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. CryoChem, Inc., No. 02-CV-746 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 26, 2002). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $501,000 in U.S. response costs incurred at the CryoChem Superfund site in Berks County, Pennsylvania; a second consent decree requires another settling defendant to pay $200,000 in reimbursement of response costs. 67 FR 64415 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., No. 2:02cv07408 MMM (MANx) (C.D. Cal. Sept. 23, 2002). A settling CWA and Oil Pollution Act defendant must pay $3.45 million in natural resource damages, damage assessment costs, and planning and oversight costs; $600,000 in federal civil penalties; and $650,000 in state civil penalties and damages. 67 FR 64415 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. Government of the Virgin Islands, No. 84-104 (D.V.I. Sept. 26, 2002). A CWA defendant that entered into an earlier consent decree regarding CWA violations at eight of its wastewater treatment plants will be granted additional time to complete the construction of new or upgraded facilities that will meet the secondary treatment requirements of the Act or any more stringent requirements that may be set forth in its territorial pollutant discharge elimination system permits. 67 FR 64416 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. Manzo, Nos. 97-289, 99-3937 (MLC) (D.N.J. Sept. 25, 2002). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $222,953 in U.S. and state response costs incurred at the Imperial Oil Co., Inc./Champion Chemical site and the Burnt Fly Bog Superfund site in Marlboro Township, New Jersey. 67 FR 64416 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, No. 96-CV-0219C(Sc) (W.D.N.Y. Oct. 2, 2002). The United States must pay $75,000 toward the total response costs incurred at the Bern Metal Superfund site and the Universal Iron and Metal Superfund site in Buffalo, New York. 67 FR 64417 (10/18/02).
  • United States v. Remi Bourdeau, No. 1:02:CV:250 (D. Vt. Oct. 1, 2002). A settling CWA defendant that caused fill and/or dredged material to be discharged into U.S. waters at a site in Sheldon, Vermont, must pay a $15,000 civil penalty, must complete restoration work in the wetland, and must implement a monitoring plan to periodically assess the success of the restoration work. 67 FR 64417 (10/18/02).

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

THE CONGRESS

PUBLIC LAWS

  • S. 238 (water resources), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct feasibility studies on water optimization in the Burnt River, Malheur River, Owyhee River, and Powder River basins in Oregon, was signed into law by President Bush on October 11, 2002. Pub. L. No. 107-237, 148 Cong. Rec. D1088 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002).
  • S. 1325 (Native American lands), which would ratify an agreement between the Aleut Corporation and the United States to exchange land rights received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for certain land interests on Adak Island, was signed into law by President Bush on October 11, 2002. Pub. L. No. 107-239, 148 Cong. Rec. D1088 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002).
  • H.R. 640 (Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area), which adjusts the boundaries of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, was signed into law by President Bush on October 9, 2002. Pub. L. No. 107-236, 148 Cong. Rec. D1079 (daily ed. Oct. 10. 2002).

CHAMBER ACTION

  • S. 2064 (environmental conflict resolution), which would reauthorize the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, was passed by the Senate. 148 Cong. Rec. S9996 (daily ed. Oct. 4, 2002).
  • H.R. 2486 (NOAA; flooding), which would authorize NOAA, through the U.S. Weather Research Program, to conduct research and development, training, and outreach activities relating to inland flood forecasting improvement, was passed by the Senate, clearing the measure for the President. 148 Cong. Rec. S10601 (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2002).
  • H.R. 5169 (CWA), which would amend the CWA to enhance the security of wastewater treatment works, was passed by the House. 148 Cong. Rec. H7022 (daily ed. Oct. 7, 2002).

COMMITTEE ACTION

  • S. 1816 (land conveyance) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would provide for the conveyance of certain public lands in Alaska to the University of Alaska.
  • S. 1850 (Solid Waste Disposal Act) was reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 107-316, 148 Cong. Rec. S10570 (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2002). The bill would amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to bring USTs into compliance with subtitle I of that Act, would promote cleanup of leaking USTs, and would provide sufficient resources for such compliance and cleanup.
  • S. 1959 (Eagledale Ferry Dock) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of the former Eagledale Ferry Dock in the state of Washington for potential inclusion in the National Park System.
  • S. 2016 (land exchange) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would authorize the exchange of lands between an Alaska Native Village Corporation and the DOI.
  • S. 2475 (water resources) was reported by Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would clarify the responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Central Utah Project, would redirect unexpended budget authority for the Central Utah Project for wastewater treatment and reuse and other purposes, would provide for prepayment of repayment contracts for municipal and industrial water delivery facilities, and would eliminate a deadline for such prepayment.
  • S. 2556 (land conveyance) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain facilities to the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District in Idaho.
  • S. 2565 (Skykomish River valley) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would enhance ecosystem protection and the range of outdoor opportunities protected by statute in the Skykomish River valley of the state of Washington by designating certain lower-elevation federal lands as wilderness and for other purposes.
  • S. 2585 (federal lands) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to disclaim any federal interest in lands adjacent to Spirit Lake and Twin Lakes in Idaho resulting from possible omission of lands from an 1880 survey.
  • S. 2587 (Alaska; navigable waters) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would establish the Joint Federal and State Navigable Waters Commission for Alaska.
  • S. 2612 (public lands; Clark County, Nevada) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for high quality development in Clark County, Nevada.
  • S. 2670 (wildlfires) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would establish institutes to conduct research on the prevention of, and restoration from, wildfires in forest and woodland ecosystems.
  • S. 2672 (federal lands) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would provide opportunities for collaborative restoration projects on National Forest System and other public domain lands.
  • S. 2696 (water resources) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would clear title to certain real property in New Mexico associated with the Middle Rio Grande Project.
  • S. 2727 (paleontological resources; federal lands) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would provide for the protection of paleontological resources on federal lands.
  • S. 2743 (Native American lands; water rights) was reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. S. Rep. No. 107-301, 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would approve the settlement of the water rights claims of the Zuni Indian Tribe in Apache County, Arizona.
  • S. 2773 (water resources) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to cooperate with the High Plains Aquifer States in conducting a hydrogeologic characterization, mapping, modeling, and monitoring program for the High Plains Aquifer.
  • S. 2788 (Wind Cave National Park) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would revise the boundary of the Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota.
  • S. 2847 (wildlife conservation) was reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 107-302, 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes.
  • S. 2872 (hydroelectric power) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project in Illinois.
  • S. 2893 (Native American lands) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would provide that certain BLM land shall be held in trust for the Pueblo of Santa Clara and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in New Mexico.
  • S. 2897 (wildlife conservation) was reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 107-303, 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would assist in the conservation of marine turtles and the nesting habitats of marine turtles in foreign countries.
  • S. 2927 (hydroelectric power) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project in Oregon.
  • S. 2952 (national trails) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would amend the National Trails System Act to extend the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
  • S. 2989 (Native American lands) was reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. S. Rep. No. 107-299, 148 Cong. Rec. S9983 (daily ed. Oct. 4, 2002). The bill would protect certain lands held in fee by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from condemnation until a final decision is made by the Secretary of the Interior regarding a pending fee to trust application for that land.
  • S. 3003 (land conveyance) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would authorize a land conveyance between the United States and the City of Craig, Alaska..
  • S. 3005 (Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10115 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would revise the boundary of the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 451 (Mount Nebo Wilderness Area) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would make certain adjustments to the boundaries of the Mount Nebo Wilderness Area.
  • H.R. 1070 (CWA) was reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 107-312, 148 Cong. Rec. S10442 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002). The bill would amend the CWA to authorize EPA to carry out projects and conduct research for remediation of sediment contamination in areas of concern in the Great Lakes.
  • H.R. 2202 (land conveyance; water resources) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-760, 148 Cong. Rec. H8021 (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2002). The bill would convey the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, the Savage Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, and the Intake Irrigation Project to the pertinent irrigation districts.
  • H.R. 2386 (public lands) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-752, 148 Cong. Rec. H7928 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002). The bill would establish terms and conditions for use of certain federal lands by outfitters and to facilitate public opportunities for the recreational use and enjoyment of such lands.
  • H.R. 2628 (Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area in Alabama.
  • H.R. 2818 (land conveyance) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain public land within the Sand Mountain Wilderness Study Area in Idaho to resolve an occupancy encroachment dating back to 1971.
  • H.R. 2990 (water resources) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would amend the Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Resources Conservation and Improvement Act of 2000 to authorize additional projects under that Act.
  • H.R. 3401 (land conveyance) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would provide for the conveyance of Forest Service facilities and lands comprising the Five Mile Regional Learning Center in California to the Clovis Unified School District and would authorize a new special use permit regarding the continued use of unconveyed lands comprising the Center.
  • H.R. 3786 (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would revise the boundary of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah and Arizona.
  • H.R. 3858 (New River Gorge National River) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would modify the boundaries of the New River Gorge National River in West Virginia.
  • H.R. 3908 (wetlands) was reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 107-304, 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.
  • H.R. 3909 (Gunn McKay Nature Preserve) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would designate certain federal lands in Utah as the Gunn McKay Nature Preserve.
  • H.R. 3954 (Caribbean National Forest) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would designate certain waterways in the Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  • H.R. 4601 (land conveyance) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-761, 148 Cong. Rec. H8021 (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2002). The bill would provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of BLM land in Douglas County, Oregon, to the county to improve management of and recreational access to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
  • H.R. 4734 (Native American lands) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-745, 148 Cong. Rec. H7898 (daily ed. Oct. 11, 2002). The bill would expand Alaska Native contracting of federal land management functions and activities and would promote hiring of Alaska Natives by the federal government within Alaska.
  • H.R. 4749 (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-746, 148 Cong. Rec. H7898 (daily ed. Oct. 11, 2002). The bill would reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
  • H.R. 4807 (Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge) was reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 107-305, 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to acquire the property in Cecil County, Maryland, known as Garrett Island for inclusion in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
  • H.R. 4840 (ESA) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-751, 148 Cong. Rec. H7928 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002). The bill would amend the ESA to ensure the use of sound science in the implementation of that Act.
  • H.R. 4844 (Skykomish River Valley) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-747, 148 Cong. Rec. H7898 (daily ed. Oct. 11, 2002). The bill would enhance ecosystem protection and the range of outdoor opportunities protected by statute in the Skykomish River Valley of Washington by designating certain lower-elevation federal lands as wilderness.
  • H.R. 4966 (NOAA; coastal management) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-759, 148 Cong. Rec. H7928 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002). The bill would improve the conservation and management of coastal and ocean resources by reenacting and clarifying provisions of a reorganization plan authorizing NOAA.
  • H.R. 5099 (endangered fish; Colorado and San Juan Rivers) was reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 148 Cong. Rec. S10114 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill would extend the periods of authorization for the Secretary of the Interior to implement capital construction projects associated with the endangered fish recovery implementation programs for the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins.
  • H.R. 5200 (public lands) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-750, 148 Cong. Rec. H7928 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002). The bill would establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for high quality development in Clark County, Nevada.
  • H.R. 5399 (land conveyance; water resources) was reported by the House Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 107-762, 148 Cong. Rec. H8021 (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2002). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain water distribution systems of the Cachuma Project, California, to the Carpinteria Valley Water District and the Montecito Water District.

BILLS INTRODUCED

  • S. 3058 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (DOE; toxic exposure) would amend the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 to provide benefits for contractor employees of the DOE who were exposed to toxic substances at DOE facilities, would provide coverage under subtitle B of that Act for certain additional individuals, and would establish an ombudsman and otherwise reform the assistance provided to claimants under that Act. 148 Cong. Rec. S9983 (daily ed. Oct. 4, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • S. 3062 (Craig, R-Idaho) (biocides) would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study of the effectiveness of silver-based biocides as an alternative treatment to preserve wood. 148 Cong. Rec. S9983 (daily ed. Oct. 4, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 3090 (Feingold, D-Wis.) (chronic wasting disease) would provide for the testing of chronic wasting disease and other infectious disease in deer and elk herds and would establish the Interagency Task Force on Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease. 148 Cong. Rec. S10359 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 3104 (Murkowski, R-Alaska) (Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)) would amend the MMPA to repeal the long-term goal for reducing to zero the incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in commercial fishing operations, and would modify the goal of take reduction plans for reducing such takings. 148 Cong. Rec. S10359 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 3106 (Murkowski, R-Alaska) (Denali transportation system) would amend the Denali Commission Act of 1998 to establish the Denali transportation system in Alaska. 148 Cong. Rec. S10359 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3110 (Collins, R-Me.) (fisheries) would require further study before amendment 13 to the Northeast Multispecies Groundfish Management Plan is implemented. 148 Cong. Rec. S10359 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 3111 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (agriculture) would compensate agricultural producers in New Mexico that suffered crop losses as a result of use of a herbicide by BLM. 148 Cong. Rec. S10442 (daily ed. Oct. 15, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 3115 (Graham, D-Fla.) (land exchange) would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to sell or exchange certain land in Florida. 148 Cong. Rec. S10571 (daily ed. Oct. 16, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • H.R. 5561 (Moore, D-Kan.) (Native American lands) would provide for and approve settlement of certain land claims of the Wyandotte Nation. 148 Cong. Rec. H7171 (daily ed. Oct. 7, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5562 (Stupak, D-Mich.) (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) would provide for expansion of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 148 Cong. Rec. H7171 (daily ed. Oct. 7, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5563 (Sweeney, R-N.Y.) (hydroelectric power) would reinstate and transfer a hydroelectric license under the Federal Power Act to permit the immediate redevelopment of a hydroelectric project located in New York. 148 Cong. Rec. H7171 (daily ed. Oct. 7, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5569 (Hansen, R-Utah) (public lands) would provide for boundary adjustments and conveyances involving public lands, would protect and enhance national parks, national forests, and other public lands, would ensure the availability of water resources, energy, and minerals to improve wildlife conservation and oceans and fisheries management, and would address Native American and insular affairs. 148 Cong. Rec. H7303 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5570 (Abercrombie, D-Haw.) (Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park) would revise the boundary of the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii. 148 Cong. Rec. H7303 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5571 (Davis, R-Va.) (Coastal Barrier Resources System) would clarify the boundaries of the Plum Island Unit of the Coastal Barrier Resources System. 148 Cong. Rec. H7303 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5572 (Kanjorski, D-Pa.) (Solid Waste Disposal Act) would amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to guarantee loans to homeowners with properties contaminated by leaking USTs, and would assist such homeowners in moving from such properties on a temporary or permanent basis. 148 Cong. Rec. H7303 (daily ed. Oct. 8, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Financial Services, and Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5597 (Young, R-Alaska) (MMPA) would amend the MMPA to repeal the long-term goal for reducing to zero the incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals in commercial fishing operations, and would modify the goal of take reduction plans for reducing such takings. 148 Cong. Rec. H7892 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5608 (Baldwin, D-Wis.) (chronic wasting disease) would provide for the testing of chronic wasting disease and other infectious disease in deer and elk herds and would establish the Interagency Task Force on Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease. 148 Cong. Rec. H7892 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Agriculture, and Resources.
  • H.R. 5612 (Chambliss, R-Ga.) (public lands; hunting) would recognize hunting heritage and provide opportunities for continued hunting on federal public lands. 148 Cong. Rec. H7893 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5614 (Dingell, D-Mich.) (electricity and natural gas) would prohibit fraudulent, manipulative, or deceptive acts in electric and natural gas markets, would provide for audit trails and transparency in those markets, would increase penalties for illegal acts under the Federal Power Act and Natural Gas Act, would reexamine certain exemptions under the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, and would expand the authority of the FERC to order refunds of unjust and discriminatory rates. 148 Cong. Rec. H7893 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5617 (Gibbons, R-Nev.) (biocides) would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study of the effectiveness of the silver-based biocides as an alternative treatment to preserve wood. 148 Cong. Rec. H7893 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Agriculture, and Resources.
  • H.R. 5623 (Luther, D-Minn.) (nuclear waste transport) would provide for prioritization of transportation of nuclear waste from utilities to a permanent repository on the basis of renewable energy use. 148 Cong. Rec. H7893 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5628 (Otter, R-Idaho) (land conveyance) would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to sell or exchange all or part of certain parcels of National Forest System land in the Idaho and use the proceeds derived from the sale or exchange for National Forest System purposes. 148 Cong. Rec. H7893 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5629 (Otter, R-Idaho) (forestry) would provide for enhanced collaborative forest stewardship management within the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests in Idaho. 148 Cong. Rec. H7894 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Resources, and Agriculture.
  • H.R. 5630 (Pombo, R-Cal.) (highway construction) would direct the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of constructing a highway in California connecting State Route 130 in Santa Clara County with Interstate Route 5 in San Joaquin County. 148 Cong. Rec. H7894 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 5632 (Sanders, I-Vt.) (transmission facilities) would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to clarify and reaffirm state and local authority to regulate the placement, construction, and modification of broadcast transmission facilities. 148 Cong. Rec. H7894 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5637 (Udall, D-Colo) (environmental justice) would require federal agencies to develop and implement policies and practices that promote environmental justice. 148 Cong. Rec. H7894 (daily ed. Oct. 10, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Resources.
  • H.R. 5694 (Berkley, D-Nev.) (hydroelectric power) would allow for the augmentation of electric power production at hydroelectric facilities located on certain federal lands by making other federal lands available for renewable energy production. 148 Cong. Rec. H8028 (daily ed. Oct. 17, 2002). The bill was referred to the Committees on Resources, Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure.

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

IN THE STATES

To see archived versions of State UPDATE, please go to the State UPDATE section of the UPDATE archive.

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

INTERNATIONAL

GENERAL:

  • The Global Environmental Facility held a council meeting in Beijing. Chairman Mohamed El-Ashry officially announced his plans to resign in July.
  • A new report, Global Water Outlook to 2025: Averting an Impending Crisis, issued by the International Food Policy Research Institute and International Water Management Institute, said that at least a 50% increase in water withdrawals will occur by 2025, severely taxing drinking water supplies and causing significant environmental damage. See http://www.ifpri.cgiar.org/
  • The European Union (EU) recommended that the U.N. Environment Program and other environmental agencies be afforded observer status during World Trade Organization (WTO) discussions on multilateral trade.
  • The EU Agriculture Council failed to reach a compromise on new requirements governing genetically modified products, meaning that the current four-year-old moratorium on
    GMOs will remain.
  • Britain agreed to a EU electronics recycling directive. See http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,9061,810588,00.html And a Conciliation Committee set up to reach agreement between the EU Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the electronic waste directive (WEEE). The compromise accepted the Parliament's insistence upon individual producer responsibility. Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said that "in Europe we are fortunate to enjoy vast consumer choice when it comes to electrical and electronic equipment. But now we can be confident that when we dispose of our mobile phone, video recorder or PC they are not simply landfilled and creating waste mountains. The consumer will be able to return equipment at its end of life free of charge and send it for environmentally sound treatment, re-use and recycling. And I am particularly happy that we could convince Member States to strengthen the individual responsibility of producers for the waste from their products. This will be an important incentive to producers take the environmental consequences into account already when they stand around the design table." Member States will be required to establish collection systems for waste electrical and electronic equipment, take measures so that WEEE is collected separately, and achieve a minimum binding target of 4 kg per capita/per year for the separate collection of WEEE from private households. All costs from the collection points to the environmentally sound treatment, re-use and recycling will borne by producers for their own products. See http://www.europa.eu.int (press releases). Orgalime, a trade group representing appliance manufacturers, applauded the agreement, saying that "our industry can now concentrate on the next step--the setting up of the systems to deal with waste in those countries where they do not exist and the implementation of the directives into national legislation. Our main focus here will be to persuade national governments to adopt the same or at least very similar approaches throughout Europe."
  • The British Royal Society said it would attempt to devise a strategy to monitor the loss of plant and animal biodiversity. "We want to look at the various ways biodiversity is measured and assess some of their strengths and limitations," said scientist Peter Crane. "Second, we want to make some recommendations for the kind of measures that work best and the kinds of data that need to be gathered to enable us to use them in a more widespread way." "Many thousands of species are critically endangered, and over the next 100 years, without concerted preventative action across the world, the loss of biological diversity is likely to accelerate dramatically," Crane said. "We have a range of mainly scientists but also conservation biologists in the group trying to cover different ecosystems, not just terrestrial systems but marine and freshwater systems. We are trying to get a good, broad spread of scientific expertise."
  • The Kenya Wildlife Service said it opposes a proposal advanced by five southern African countries to modify the international ban on ivory sales. "The minute you do that," said Kenya Wildlife Service Director Joe Kioko, "the poachers will say--Aha! now we can go do it." 81 Kenyan elephants have been illegally killed so far this year, compared to 57 last year. "We are not saying no never, we are saying not now," said Kenya Wildlife Service Deputy Chairman Richard Leakey. "All the evidence points to the world's elephants facing a huge threat," he noted. "Ivory is flowing out to Southeast Asia, where there's a big demand for it, and poaching in central Africa is causing havoc.... For God's sake, let's not open up the ivory trade just now."
  • Lebanon began pumping water from the southern Wazzani River despite U.S. opposition and Israeli protests that the action could escalate tension in the region. See http://www.dailystar.com.lb/16_10_02/art5.asp

CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • The European Parliament, in an effort to facilitate implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, endorsed a procedure for the purchase of carbon credits by carbon-dioxide producing
    industries in the 15-nation union that exceeds the treaty's emissions targets. The measure passed on a vote of 381 to 61 with 38 abstentions, with members recommending that the program be made mandatory for most European industries by 2005. An exemption would allow member countries to grant exemptions through 2007, so as to allow the United Kingdom to continue a voluntary system recently instituted. EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom called the measure a "major step forward toward implementing the Kyoto Protocol within the EU." "Because this emissions trading proposal is a cornerstone of the Community's Kyoto implementation strategy, the EU's credibility is at stake should it fail. The EU is being watched closely from all corners of the globe to see whether it lives up to its leadership credentials. We therefore need to lay the foundations for fulfilling our obligations under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and beyond," she added. The legislation must be approved by individual EU members before it becomes effective. It is estimated that the program will reduce compliance costs by U.S. $1.28 billion per year. See http://www.euractiv.com/cgi-bin/cgint.exe/?targ=1&204&OIDN=1504048&-home=home
  • Germany's Social Democrat and Green parties, about to take control, agreed that Germany should push the EU to decrease emissions by 30% from 1990 levels by 2020. Germany would in turn reduce its own emissions by 40%. Germany will no longer oppose a mandatory EU carbon trading program (see above). They also agreed that coal industry subsidies should be reduced from €3.05 billion to €2.17 billion by 2005 while renewable energy subsidies are to be increased to €230 million by 2006.
  • There were suggestions that the EU may contend before the WTO that the U.S.'s refusal to ratify the Protocol constitutes impermissible protectionism and "eco-dumping." See http://www.nationalpost.com/financialpost/story.html?id=%7B4E4F16D4-6320-4C95-A5C7-AE7BEE56330C%7D
  • New Zealand's energy minister, Pete Hodgson, announced greenhouse gas emission fees of NZ $25 per ton, beginning in 2007. The fees will apply to industrial emissions as well as to the use of fossil fuels. New Zealand will likely ratify the Protocol by the end of the year. "Policies announced today will enable New Zealand to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol while protecting the nation's economic interests," Hodgson said.
  • George Anderson, deputy to Canadian Natural Resources Minster Herb Dhaliwal, met with industry officials in an apparently unsuccessful effort to allay their concerns. "We continue to have a huge number of questions about this and concern about the time lines we're on," said Pierre Alvarez, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "But this is the second or third time he's been through and I think they are making an effort to understand the concerns." The federal government has promised that an implementation action plan, complete with cost estimates, will be released today.
  • China's government unveiled http://www.ccchina.gov.cn, a (for now) Chinese-language website dealing with climate change. "The launch of the official website is an important step for us in the endeavor of curbing global warming following the World Summit on Sustainable Development which recently ended in South Africa's Johannesburg," said the Director of the Office of National Coordination Committee on Climate Change, Gao Guangsheng. "The world's climate provisions stipulated that our policies and measures should be transparent, while fulfilling our efforts in cutting the world's global warming gas emissions," stressed Gao.
  • Janko Peric, the Liberal party MP for Cambridge, Ontario, and chair of the 70-member strong Liberal "auto caucus," which represents areas with automobile manufacturing or parts factories, said it was "premature" for Parliament to ratify the Protocol by year-end, as requested by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
  • A U.N. Environment Program Financial Initiatives report warned of significant adverse financial consequences for banks, pension funds, and insurance companies if climate change continues unchecked. See http://www.unepfi.net/cc/ceobriefing_ccwg_unepfi.pdf

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