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Weekly Update Volume 34, Issue 20

07/19/2004

 LITIGATION

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

CWA, SURFACE COAL MINING, NATIONWIDE PERMIT 21 (NWP 21):

A district court held that NWP 21, which authorizes the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States associated with surface coal mining and reclamation operations, does not comply with the plain language, structure, and legislative history of the CWA. Despite the government's claim to the contrary, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of NWP 21 was a final agency action subject to judicial review, and even if the ripeness doctrine limited the court's jurisdiction to review of the environmental groups' site-specific claims, such review would necessarily involve consideration of whether NWP 21 complies with the CWA. In addition, the groups have standing. As for the merits, NWP 21 violates the CWA. CWA §404(e) authorizes the Corps to issue nationwide permits only for those activities determined before issuance to have minimal environmental impact. NWP 21, however, requires a case-by-case, post hoc determination of minimal environmental impact and therefore runs afoul of that section. The court therefore enjoined the Corps from issuing authorizations pursuant to NWP 21 in the Southern District of West Virginia, and it suspended the specific mining projects challenged by the groups. Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Bulen, No. 3:03-2281, 34 ELR 20048 (S.D. W. Va. July 8, 2004) (Goodwin, J.) (36 pp.).

NEPA, PIPELINE EXTENSION:

The D.C. Circuit held that FERC complied with NEPA in approving a company's application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a pipeline extension through southwest Virginia and North Carolina. FERC's process for ventilating and analyzing potential environmental impacts of the project involved the requisite "hard look" under NEPA, and any deficiencies in the draft EIS that may have existed were cured by the final EIS. National Committee for the New River, Inc. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 03-1111, 34 ELR 20047 (D.C. Cir. July 9, 2004) (18 pp.).

APA, REFUGE ACT, SPECIAL USE PERMITS (SUPs):

The Eighth Circuit upheld the FWS' denial of a river outfitter's application for an SUP to provide canoe, tube, and kayak outfitting on the Niobrara River in the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. The outfitter failed to prove that the FWS' temporary moratorium on issuing SUPs to new outfitters is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of agency discretion, or contrary to law. In instituting a temporary moratorium until such time as the river study is completed and a plan defining acceptable river use is prepared and implemented, the FWS properly considered the relevant factors and exercised its broad discretionary authority to manage the refuge. The court also rejected the outfitter's argument that the FWS violated the Refuge Act by implementing a temporary moratorium and by capping weekend river use to 1998 levels. The Refuge Act does not require the FWS to issue SUPs to new outfitters while the FWS studies the need to reduce river use. The outfitter's argument that the temporary moratorium violates the "emergency power" provision of the Refuge Act was also rejected.Niobrara River Ranch, L.L.C. v. Huber, No. 03-3439, 34 ELR 20046 (8th Cir. July 8, 2004) (6 pp.).

STRICT LIABILITY, MINNESOTA ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACT (MERA):

The Eighth Circuit reversed a lower court's strict liability judgment and accompanying punitive damages award against a company in connection with the environmental contamination of a site it once owned. Minnesota's strict liability rule for actions brought by subsequent property owners requires an "escape" of the instrumentality causing the harm. Here, the current owner's claim was to recover for damage on its property, not for damage caused by the escape of pollutants onto other people's property. The court also remanded the lower court's injunction against the company because it exceeds the relief authorized by MERA. Last, the court remanded the award of attorneys fees and reversed the award of prejudgment interest on the strict liability claims. Kennedy Building Associates v. Viacom, Inc., No. 03-1520, 34 ELR 20050 (8th Cir. July 15, 2004) (28 pp.).

INVERSE CONDEMNATION, DEDICATED LAND:

A California appellate court upheld the dismissal of a landowner's inverse condemnation claim against California in which it sought to avoid the effect of an irrevocable offer to dedicate land for public use. The dedication was made by a prior owner of the land in 1983 as a condition of a permit to expand a mobile home park on the property. The current landowner argued that it has not received just compensation for the property. Requiring the prior owner to cede ownership of the property in return for a development permit was involuntary and unconstitutional; therefore, the landowner contends, any attempt to "accept" the offer to dedicate is void. All challenges to a condition placed on a development permit had to be asserted at the time the final permit decision was made and the condition was imposed. The challenge in this case was waived by the prior owner's failure to pursue its judicial remedies for an unjust taking of private property, and the present landowner is bound by that waiver.Serra Canyon Co. v. California Coastal Commission, No. B165314, 34 ELR 20049 (Cal. Ct. App. June 15, 2004) (11 pp.).

Copyright© 2004, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

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

AIR:

  • EPA amended the municipal waste combustor emission guidelines to add a carbon monoxide emission limit for one type of municipal waste combustor technology that was not previously addressed.69 FR 42122(7/14/04).
  • EPA notified the public that the motor vehicle emissions budgets, recalculated using EPA's most recent motor vehicle emissions factor model (MOBILE6), were adequate for conformity purposes for carbon monoxide in a submitted revision to the carbon monoxide maintenance plan for Onondaga, New York.69 FR 41802(7/12/04).
  • EPA approved implementation and enforcement of the Alabama permit terms and conditions, under CAA §112(l), that substitute for the NESHAPs from the pulp and paper industry. 40 CFR pt. 6369 FR 41761(7/12/04).
  • EPA announced a public hearing, providing persons an opportunity to present data, view, or arguments, regarding the reconsideration notice for regulations for routine maintenance, repair, and replacement governing the new source review programs mandated by parts C and D of title I of the CAA.69 FR 42560(7/16/04).

DRINKING WATER:

  • EPA determined that Alabama's revised underground injection control program complies with the requirements for Class II wells after reviewing the program in compliance with the Eleventh Circuit's remand.69 FR 42345(7/15/04).

HAZARDOUS WASTES:

  • EPA, under §4005(c)(1)(C) of RCRA, approved state permit programs for solid waste disposal facilities that receive hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators in Indiana.69 FR 42584(7/16/04).
  • EPA proposed approval of a negative declaration, submitted by New Jersey, which fulfills EPA's emission guidelines for existing commercial and industrial solid waste incinerated sources.69 FR 42644(7/16/04).
  • EPA proposed approval of Indiana's solid waste regulation, which ensures that hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators will be disposed of only in accordance with EPA regulations.69 FR 42644(7/16/04).
  • EPA proposed to grant a petition to exclude, under RCRA, certain mixed waste listed as hazardous waste from regulation after evaluating waste stream-specific and treatment process information provided by the DOE Richland Operations Office.69 FR 42412(7/15/04).
  • EPA requested comment on and notified the public, pursuant to CERCLA, of a proposed purchaser agreement executed by EPA and the DOJ, which would compromise and settle claims of the United States against the Fairmont Coke Works Site in Marion, West Virginia.69 FR 42054(7/13/04).

NUCLEAR WASTE:

  • EPA, after considering public comments received for proposed changes to the criteria for the certification and recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's (WIPP's) compliance with the disposal regulations, finalized changes to the criteria to maintain or improve EPA's oversight at WIPP to ensure safe disposal of waste.69 FR 42583(7/16/04).

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:

  • USDA's Forest Service proposed changes to the Protection of Inventoried Roadless Areas rule (the roadless rule), which would include a petitioning process to provide Governors an opportunity to establish management requirements for National Forest System inventoried roadless areas within their states.69 FR 42641(7/16/04).
  • USDA's Forest Service proposed amending regulations, which would require establishing roads, trails, and areas on National Forest System lands designated for motor vehicle use and prohibit motor vehicle use off the designated areas.69 FR 42395(7/15/04).
  • USDA revised regulations granting and administering special use authorizations on national forest system lands to promote consistency in the special uses program, improve the agency's ability to resolve management issues by requiring permits in certain situations, and reduce the agency's administrative costs by eliminating the need to issue a forest order to require a special use permit in certain situations.69 FR 41967(7/13/04).
  • USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, pursuant to the watershed protection and flood prevention act, notified the public of the deauthorization of federal funding for the Thirtymile Creek watershed project in Blaine County, Montana.69 FR 42038(7/13/04).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA notified the public of the premanufacture of a new chemical pursuant to §5 of TSCA, which requires a person who intends to manufacture a new chemical not in the TSCA Inventory to notify EPA and comply with the statutory provisions pertaining to the production of new chemicals.69 FR 41808(7/12/04).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA notified the public that, as a result of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act, EPA's Office of Research and Development and its Office of Water will review new technology that provides rapid measurement (2 hours or less) of water quality.69 FR 42160(7/14/04).

WILDLIFE:

  • NMFS granted the scientific community, contributors, and principal investigators access to tissue samples archived in the national marine mammal tissue bank as long as their research coincides with the bank's goals.69 FR 41980(7/13/04).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Flura Corp., No. 2:04-CV-00200 (E.D. Tenn. June 23, 2004). Settling defendants under RCRA must continue compliance with EPA administrative orders and injunctive relief because of the defendants' handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal of solid or hazardous waste.69 FR 42455(7/15/04).
  • United States v. Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp., Nos. 00-43394-00-4302 (N.D. Ohio July 7, 2004). A settling defendant must pay $1,550,000 in recovery response costs incurred under CERCLA.69 FR 42455(7/15/04).
  • United States v. Sewerage District No. 1 of Iberia Parish, No. 04-1352 (W.D. La. June 25, 2004). A settling defendant must perform a comprehensive characterization, evaluation, and rehabilitation of the sewerage district's collection system, construct an equalization basin to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows at the Tete Bayou POTW, and pay a $51,400 penalty divided among the United States and Louisiana.69 FR 42455(7/15/04).

Copyright© 2004, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. 

THE CONGRESS

CHAMBER ACTION:

  • H.R. 2828 (Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act), was passed by the House. 150 Cong. Rec. H5416 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to implement water supply technology and infrastructure programs aimed at increasing and diversifying domestic water resources.
  • H.R. 4754 (Department of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2005), was passed by the House. 150 Cong. Rec. H5348 (daily ed. July 8, 2004). The bill would make appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005.
  • H.R. 4766 (Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2005), was passed by the House. 150 Cong. Rec. H5552 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill would make appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 155 (land conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-302, 150 Cong. Rec. S8029 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill would convey to the town of Frannie, Wyoming, certain land withdrawn by the Commissioner of Reclamation.
  • S. 1467 (Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-303, 150 Cong. Rec. S8029 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill would establish the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area in the state of Colorado, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1521 (land conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-304, 150 Cong. Rec. S8029 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain land to the Edward H. McDaniel American Legion Post No. 22 in Pahrump, Nevada, for the construction of a post building and memorial park for use by the American Legion, other veterans' groups, and the local community.
  • S. 2436 (Native Americans), was reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs. S. Rep. No. 108-306, 150 Cong. Rec. S8228 (daily ed. July 15, 2004). The bill would reauthorize the Native American Programs Act of 1974
  • S.J. Res. 37 (Native Americans), was reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs. S. Rep. No. 108-310, 150 Cong. Rec. S8228 (daily ed. July 15, 2004). The bill would acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the U.S. government regarding Indian Tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.
  • H.R. 1658 (railroad right-of-way), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-305, 150 Cong. Rec. S8029 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill would amend the Railroad Right-of-Way Conveyance Validation Act to validate additional conveyances of certain lands in the state of California that form part of the right-of-way granted by the United States to facilitate the construction of the transcontinental railway, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2715 (Yosemite National Park), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-605, 150 Cong. Rec. H5792 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill would provide for necessary improvements to facilities at Yosemite National Park, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 4654 (Tropical Forest Conservation Act), was reported by the Committee on International Relations. H. Rep. No. 108-603, 150 Cong. Rec. H5792 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill would reauthorize the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 through fiscal year 2007, and for other purposes.

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 2620 (Jeffords, I-Vt.) (green buildings), would provide for the establishment of an Office of High-Performance Green Buildings, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S7827 (daily ed. July 8, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2621 (Graham, D-Fla.) (FWPCA), would amend FWPCA to extend the pilot program for alternative water source projects. 150 Cong. Rec. S7827 (daily ed. July 8, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2622 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (land exchange), would provide for the exchange of certain federal land in the Santa Fe National Forest and certain non-federal land in the Pecos National Historical Park in the state of New Mexico. 150 Cong. Rec. S7827 (daily ed. July 8, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2641 (Enzi, R-Wyo.) (American bison), would recognize conservation efforts to restore the American bison from extinction by placing the image of the American bison on the nickel, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8029 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
  • S. 2646 (Chafee, R-R.I.) (John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley), would direct the Director of the National Park Service to prepare a report on the sustainability of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Commission. 150 Cong. Rec. S8030 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2647 (Hollings, D-S.C.) (oceans), would establish a national ocean policy, set forth the missions of NOAA, ensure effective interagency coordination, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8030 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 2648 (Hollings, D-S.C.) (oceans), would strengthen programs relating to ocean science and training by providing improved advice and coordination of efforts, greater interagency cooperation, and the strengthening and expansion of related programs administered by NOAA. 150 Cong. Rec. S8030 (daily ed. July 13, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 2655 (Smith, R-Or.) (energy efficiency), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit for the production of water and energy efficient appliances. 150 Cong. Rec. S8118 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 2663 (Dodd, D-Conn.) (Wild and Scenic Rivers Act), would amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment to the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the state of Connecticut for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8229 (daily ed. July 15, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2670 (Baucus, D-Mont.) (Missouri River), would provide for the continued operation of the Yacht Basin Marina, Montana, to allocate recreation fees collected at the Canyon Ferry Unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin Program, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8229 (daily ed. July 15, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4783 (Carson, D-Okla.) (Ouachita National Forest), would adjust the boundaries of the Ouachita National Forest in the states of Arkansas and Oklahoma. 150 Cong. Rec. H5401 (daily ed. July 8, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4791 (Hunter, R-Cal.) (water supply), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a feasibility study to design and construct a three-reservoir intertie system for the purposes of improving the water supply reliability and water yield of San Vicente, El Capitan, and Loveland Reservoirs in San Diego County, California, in consultation and cooperation with the Sweetwater Authority, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4794 (Hunter, R-Cal.) (Tijuana River Valley Estuary and Beach), would amend the Tijuana River Valley Estuary and Beach Sewage Cleanup Act of 2000 to extend the authorization of appropriations, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and to the Committee on International Relations.
  • H.R. 4800 (Hooley, D-Or.) (agriculture), would support specialty crop producers and production in the United States, improve the program of value-added agricultural product market development grants by routing the grant funds through state departments of agriculture, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
  • H.R. 4802 (Meehan, D-Mass.) (hazardous materials), would require information on railroad tank cars containing hazardous materials to be available to first responders. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 4803 (Michaud, D-Me.) (Edmund S. Muskie memorial), would designate the memorial to Edmund S. Muskie located in Rumford, Maine, as a national memorial. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4804 (Michaud, D-Me.) (Edmund S. Muskie memorial), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the memorial to Edmund S. Muskie located in Rumford, Maine, as a unit of the National Park System. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4806 (Neugebauer, R-Tex.) (land exchange), would provide for a land exchange involving federal lands in the Lincoln National Forest in the state of New Mexico, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4808 (Pearce, R-N.M.) (land exchange), would provide for a land exchange involving private land and BLM land in the vicinity of Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for the purpose of removing private land from the required safety zone surrounding munitions storage bunkers at Holloman Air Force Base. 150 Cong. Rec. H5470 (daily ed. July 9, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4819 (John, D-La.) (essential waterways), would provide funding for the operations and maintenance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of essential waterways. 150 Cong. Rec. H5653 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 4824 (Markey, D-Mass.) (hazardous materials), would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue regulations concerning the shipping of extremely hazardous materials. 150 Cong. Rec. H5654 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 4826 (Shaw, R-Fla.) (conservation), would assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of nations within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations. 150 Cong. Rec. H5654 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4827 (Walden, R-Or.) (Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area), would amend the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area and Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Act of 2000 to rename the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area as the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. 150 Cong. Rec. H5654 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4835 (Pombo, R-Cal.) (water supply), would establish a water supply enhancement demonstration program, including the demonstration of desalination, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5793 (daily ed. July 14, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4838 (Walden, R-Or.) (forests), would establish a Healthy Forest Youth Conservation Corps to provide a means by which young adults can carry out rehabilitation and enhancement projects to prevent fire and suppress fires, rehabilitate public land affected or altered by fires, and provide disaster relief, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5907 (daily ed. July 15, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources and to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 4843 (Baker, R-La.) (FWPCA), would amend FWPCA to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H5908 (daily ed. July 15, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Copyright© 2004, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. 

IN THE STATES

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Copyright© 2004, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL

GENERAL:

  • Wildfires lit by farmers seeking to clear land covered one-third of Rwanda's Akagera National Park, the largest in the country.
  • TheLondon Independentreportedthat European scientists are planning to grow their first crop of genetically designed vaccine-producing plants in 2006, most likely in South Africa.
  • The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe debuted awebsitethat is designed to cover issues related to implementation of the Aarhus Convention.
  • Brazil's Environment Minister, Marina Silva, and Defense Minister Jose Viegas Filho signed an agreement regarding deployment of troops and funding to combat illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
  • TheLondon Guardianreported that scientists are conducing tests in the Azores Islands to determine whether and to what extent air emissions from the United States are responsible for pollution in Europe.
  • TheJapan Timesreportedthat the island of Iriomote is now home to a resort that opened without conducting an environmental impact assessment.
  • Coral reefs located near the Israeli resort town of Eilat were said to be threatened with extinction.

CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • The journalNaturepublished an article describing the contribution of peat bogs to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. With an annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions from peat bogs of 6%, the article predicted that by 2060 levels of carbon dioxide from peat bogs will exceed those from fossil fuels. "We've got an enormous carbon store locked up in peat bogs which is equivalent to the entire store of carbon in the atmosphere, and yet this store on land appears to have sprung a leak," said research team leader Chris Freeman of the University of Wales. "The rate of acceleration suggests that we have disturbed something critical that controls the stability of the carbon cycle on our planet," Freeman said. "We've known for some time that carbon dioxide levels have been rising and that these could cause global warming. But this new research has enormous implications because it shows that even without global warming, rising carbon dioxide can damage our environment." Seehttp://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=539131
  • North Sea scientists have observed that cold water species of plankton have moved north and are being replaced by more subtropical species as global temperatures rise. "The North Sea was a cold temperate ecosystem in the 1980s, but since the 1990s it has changed into a warm temperate ecosystem," explained Martin Edwards, of the Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS), Plymouth, UK. The plankton is a vital part of the food chain, upon which a number of animals depend. Cod stocks have decreased faster than over-fishing can account for, Mediterranean red mullet are migrating north, sea birds such as kittiwakes and guillemots are struggling to breed, and hundreds of fulmars (a relative of the albatross) corpses washed up on the Norfolk coast, having apparently starved to death. Scientists suspect these events are linked to global warming.

Copyright© 2004, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. 

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