Jump to Content

Weekly Update Volume 34, Issue 22

08/09/2004

LITIGATION

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

CWA, WETLANDS:

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court judgment against a developer for violating the CWA by discharging fill material into protected wetlands. The judgment was supported by the evidence and not clearly erroneous. The waters at issue in this case are interconnected with traditional navigable waters, and the record demonstrates that there were hydrological connections between all three sites and corresponding adjacent tributaries of navigable waters. Nor did the court err in allowing an expert witness to rely on supplemental records not disclosed to the developer until the trial was underway. No substantial prejudice was demonstrated. In fact, the only changes made between the original disclosed report and the supplemental report were beneficial to the developer. The developer also argued that the court erred by failing to make findings of fact under Michigan's wetlands regulations. Yet there is nothing in the CWA to suggest that by allowing Michigan to enforce portions of the CWA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was delegating the authority to the state to determine the limitations on CWA jurisdiction. The statute and the accompanying regulations make it clear that state enforcement programs cannot act to weaken the CWA.United States v. Rapanos, No. 03-1489, 34 ELR 20060 (6th Cir. July 26, 2004) (16 pp.).

CWA, "VESSEL," CRIMINAL LAW:

The Eighth Circuit held that individuals could not be criminally prosecuted under the CWA for discharging raw sewage from a towbarge moored on the Mississippi River and used as a restaurant, bar, and gas station. Although sewage is considered a pollutant under the CWA, "sewage from vessels" is excluded from the definition of a pollutant. Here, the towbarge qualifies as a vessel under the Act because it was "capable of use" as a vessel, albeit under tow. Since the CWA does not provide criminal penalties for such discharges from "vessels," the district court’s denial of the individuals' motions for judgments of acquittal was reversed.United States v. Templeton, Nos. 02-1284 et al., 34 ELR 20058 (8th Cir. July 28, 2004) (13 pp.).

FEDERAL AVIATION ACT, NEPA, FACILITY FEES:

The D.C. Circuit granted several municipalities' petition to review an FAA order allowing Chicago to impose a $4.50 passenger facility fee to fund an EIS being prepared in connection with the modernization of O'Hare International Airport. Under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, the FAA must find, among other things, that the proposed passenger facility fee will not generate excessive revenue before authorizing the fee. Here, however, the FAA did not find that the passenger facility fee will generate only that revenue necessary to fund the EIS. Despite Chicago's extraordinarily high cost estimate of its proposed EIS and the FAA's express statutory duty, the FAA made not one finding regarding the necessity of over $110 million to prepare an EIS for the modernization program. The FAA simply concluded that the fee "will not result in revenue that exceeds the amount necessary to finance the projects." Under the circumstances of this case, such a simple recitation of the statutory standard neither satisfies the statute nor assures the court that the agency’s decision is rational. The order was therefore remanded for the FAA's further consideration. Village of Bensenville v. Federal Aviation Administration, No. 03-1068, 34 ELR 20061 (D.C. Cir. July 27, 2004) (14 pp.).

INSURANCE, POLLUTION EXCLUSION:

The Seventh Circuit held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a local housing authority with respect to an underlying class action lawsuit in which approximately 10,000 current or former residents claimed that they had been exposed to and harmed by environmental contaminants while living on the authority's public housing property. The insurance policy language included an absolute pollution exclusion that barred coverage for all claims for pollution, whether or not the contaminants originated on the insured's property. Because the claims asserted by the residents in the underlying class action are not covered by the policy, it has no duty to defend or indemnify the housing authority. Housing Authority Risk Retention Group, Inc. v. Chicago Housing Authority, No. 03-4164, 34 ELR 20059 (7th Cir. July 28, 2004) (4 pp.).

PREEMPTION, NUCLEAR FUEL:

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court decision that Utah's statutes regulating the storage and transportation of spent nuclear fuel are preempted by federal law. Contrary to the state's arguments, the plaintiffs who challenge the statutes--a consortium of utility companies and a Native American tribe--have standing to bring this lawsuit and the case is ripe for review. As for the merits, the state statutes are preempted by federal law. The state's licensing provisions, county planning provisions, and road provisions are preempted because they address matters of radiological safety that are addressed by federal law and that are the exclusive province of the federal government. In addition, the state's unfunded liability provisions are preempted. The fact that there may be gaps in the Price-Anderson Act's indemnification and insurance scheme does not establish that states are free to fill those gaps, as Utah has done here. And Utah's statute abolishing limited liability is preempted because it frustrates the objectives of federal law.Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians v. Nielson, No. 02-4149, 34 ELR 20064 (10th Cir. Aug. 25, 2004) (72 pp.).

QUIET TITLE ACT, NEPA, MOOTNESS:

The Tenth Circuit dismissed a landowner organization's appeal of a district court order upholding the DOI's decision to acquire certain property in trust for the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico. To the extent the organization's requested relief would divest the United States of title to the property, the Quiet Title Act precludes their suit. The organization asked the court to enter declaratory judgment that the trust acquisition is null and void and sought to permanently enjoin the DOI from converting the property to trust status without fully complying will all federal laws, regulations, and guidelines, including NEPA. These requests fall within the scope of suits the Indian trust land exemption in the Quiet Title Act sought to prevent. In addition, the organization's request for an injunction halting development on the property until the DOI has complied with NEPA is moot. Requiring the DOI to reexamine its trust acquisition decision would not provide the organization with any meaningful relief and would be a waste of agency resources. The court therefore dismissed the appeal and remanded the case to district court with instructions to vacate its decision and dismiss this action.Neighbors for Rational Development, Inc. v. Norton, No. 02-2085, 34 ELR 20063 (10th Cir. Aug. 5, 2004) (21 pp.).

JURISDICTION, COLLATERAL ORDER DOCTRINE:

The First Circuit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction Rhode Island's interlocutory appeal of an EPA Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) decision denying the state's motion to intervene in a NPDES permit proceeding. As a matter of first impression in the circuit, the court held that the collateral order doctrine applies to agency determinations. Here, however, the order appealed from does not fit within the parameters of that doctrine. The EAB proceedings are ongoing, and Rhode Island's challenge to the intervention decision can (and should) be adjudicated at the conclusion of the administrative proceedings. Consequently, the claim fails to meet the unreviewability prong of the collateral order test.Rhode Island v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 04-1513, 34 ELR 20062 (1st Cir. Aug. 3, 2004) (22 pp.).

STANDING, INJURY-IN-FACT:

The Eighth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a landowner's lawsuit challenging the USDA's financing of a sewage treatment plant for lack of standing. The landowner argued that in the event of a 100-year flood, the treatment plant increases the risk of flooding on his land. The landowner, however, failed to allege a cognizable injury-in-fact. The occurrence of a 100-year flood is by definition speculative and unpredictable. Even if a 100-year flood occurs, the possibility the flood will occur while he owns or occupies the land is sheer speculation.Shain v. Veneman, No. 03-3331, 34 ELR 20057 (8th Cir. July 22, 2004) (7 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, under §112 of the CAA, amended the NESHAPs for printing, coating, and dyeing of fabrics and other textiles to clarify the applicability of these standards to coating, slashing, dyeing, or finishing operations at synthetic fiber manufacturing facilities where the fibers are the final product of the facility.69 FR 47005(8/4/04).
  • EPA enacted NESHAPs for the plywood and composite wood products source category under the CAA and revisions to the effluent limitations, guidelines, and standards for the timber products processing source category because they contain major sources of air pollutants such as acetaldehyde, acrolein, formaldehyde, methanol, phenol, and propionaldehyde.69 FR 46045(7/30/04).
  • EPA removed from theCFR NAAQS and related requirements for particulate matter having an aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or less, which were vacated by the D.C. Circuit inAmerican Trucking Associations v. EPA,175 F. 3d 1027 (D.C. Cir. 1999).69 FR 45596(7/30/04).
  • EPA proposed a settlement agreement to address lawsuits seeking judicial review of EPA's dismissal of several veto petitions filled under title V of the CAA requesting that EPA object to operating permits issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for several oil refineries in the San Francisco Bay Area.69 FR 46537(8/3/04).
  • EPA designated a new reference method for measuring concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and three new equivalent methods for measuring concentrations of particulate matter having an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or less in ambient air.69 FR 47926(8/6/04).
  • EPA announced the availability of additional information for the Clean Air Interstate Rule, including a new modeling platform that consists of new meteorological data, updated emissions data, an updated air quality model, and revised procedures for projecting future air quality concentrations.69 FR 47830(8/6/04).
  • EPA issued federal operating permits granting approval to Transwestern Pipeline Company, El Paso Natural Gas Company, El Paso Field Services, and William Field Services to operate the air emission sources identified in the permits in accordance with the terms and conditions of the respective permits.69 FR 46140(8/2/04).
  • EPA approved a revision to the Clark County Department of Air Quality Management Operating Permits (Title V) Program pursuant to the CAA.69 FR 46108(8/2/04).
  • EPA partially granted and partially denied a petition objecting to a state operating permit issued to Cargill, Inc., by the Georgia environmental protection division .69 FR 45597(7/30/04).
  • EPA announced its approval of revisions to the definition of stationary source categories in the state rule to the Iowa operating permits program.69 FR 45278(7/29/04).
  • EPA announced approval of a revision to increase emission fees and a revision to late fee provisions for the Kansas operating permits program.69 FR 45277(7/29/04).
  • EPA approved a carbon monoxide (CO) maintenance plan and redesignated the Fairbanks, Alaska, CO nonattainment area as an attainment area for NAAQS.69 FR 44607(7/27/04).

ENERGY:

  • DOE issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to consider establishing energy conservation standards for distribution transformers.69 FR 45417(7/29/04).
  • DOE issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit public comment on whether to adopt amended energy efficiency levels for certain commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps with rated cooling capacities of 65,000
    British thermal units per hour (Btu/h) and greater, but less than 240,000 Btu/h.69 FR 45503 (7/29/04).
  • EPA proposed a settlement agreement to address a lawsuit claiming that EPA failed to grant or deny an administrative petition to object to a CAA title V operating permit issued by Georgia for the Hercules, Inc., facility.69 FR 45705(7/30/04).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTES:

  • EPA authorized changes to Maryland's hazardous waste program, without prior approval, under RCRA.69 FR 44467(7/26/04).
  • EPA proposed entering into a de minimis settlement, pursuant to §122(g)(4) of CERCLA, which is intended to resolve the liabilities of 26 de minimis parties for response costs incurred and to be incurred at the Malvern TCE Superfund site in Chester County, Pennsylvania.69 FR 44534(7/26/04).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability for public comment of the human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessments, which were developed as part of a process for making pesticide registration eligibility decisions and tolerance reassessments consistent with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.69 FR 45037(7/28/04).
  • EPA announced the receipt of an application from Syngenta Seeds, Inc. requesting an experimental use permit for the Bacillus thuringiensis VIP3A insect control protein and requested public comment.69 FR 45053(7/28/04).
  • EPA announced the availability of human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessment documents related to a fungicide, PCNB, widely used on agricultural crops.69 FR 47143(8/4/04).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA, pursuant to TSCA, notified the public of its receipt of premanufacture notices that are pending or expired, and of notices of commencement to manufacture a new chemical.69 FR 46541(8/3/04).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA notified the public and requested comment on its decision to identify additional water quality limited segments and pollutants in Colorado to be listed under §303(d)(2) of the CWA.69 FR 47929(8/6/04).
  • EPA announced the final action on two total maximum daily loads prepared by EPA Region 6 for waters listed in Louisiana's Barataria river basin under §303(d) of the CWA.69 FR 47439(8/5/04).
  • EPA proposed the designation of two ocean dredged material disposal sites in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Southeast Florida as EPA-approved ocean dumping sites for the disposal of suitable dredged material.69 FR 45639(7/30/04).
  • EPA announced the availability for public comment on a document identifying segments and associated E. coli/fecal coliform pollutants in the Mahoning River in Portage, Trumbull, and Mahoning Counties in Ohio.69 FR 45710(7/30/04).
  • The U.S. Coast Guard required mandatory ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks bound for ports or places within the United States or entering U.S. waters, increasing the Coast Guard's ability to protect U.S. waters against nonnative species.69 FR 44961(7/28/04).
  • The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it is seeking comment in establishing a program to approve ballast water treatment systems ensuring that these systems meet the ballast water discharge standard, which is intended to prevent the introduction and spread of nonnative species.69 FR 47454(8/5/04).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS terminated the emergency establishment of the Pine Island-Estero Bay Refuge and proposed to establish the areas as the manatee refuge.69 FR 48127(8/6/04).
  • FWS proposed to designate approximately 8,486 acres of critical habitat for the Colorado butterfly plant under the ESA.69 FR 47862(8/6/04).
  • FWS proposed to establish an additional manatee protection area in Lee County, Florida to prevent the taking of one or more manatees.69 FR 48114(8/6/04).
  • FWS and NOAA, working with EPA and the USDA, codified joint counterpart regulations that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the ESA §7 consultation procedures by creating alternative procedures for regulatory actions under FIFRA.69 FR 47762(8/5/04).
  • FWS notified the public of the federal subsistence board's management actions to protect chinook salmon escapement in the Unalakleet River as well as provide subsistence harvest opportunities for other fish.69 FR 47001(8/4/04).
  • FWS determined threatened status for the California tiger salamander, whose central population is threatened by habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation due to urban development and conversion to intensive agriculture.69 FR 47248(8/4/04).
  • FWS designated approximately 21,836 acres of land in Imperial County, California, as critical habitat for the Peirson's milk-vetch, a federally threatened species.69 FR 47351(8/4/04).
  • FWS designated 836 miles of stream in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska as critical habitat for the Topeka shiner pursuant to the ESA.69 FR 44770(7/27/04).
  • FWS announced a 5-year review of the Bliss Rapids snail to ensure that there is accurate classification of this species as threatened or endangered on the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants under §4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA.69 FR 44677(7/27/04).
  • FWS received an application from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for an enhancement of survival permit, pursuant to §10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, which includes a proposed safe harbor agreement for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker for a 99-year period.69 FR 44543(7/26/04).
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service renewed the affirmative finding that allows yellowfin tuna harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to continue to be imported to the United States for the government of Mexico under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.69 FR 47914(8/6/04).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • United States v. Embassy Builders, Inc., No. 03 C 6723 (N.D. Ill. July 22, 2004). Settling CWA defendants must pay $106,250 to a wetland restoration fund as mitigation for the wetlands that were filled without a permit and must pay a civil penalty.69 FR 47462(8/5/04).
  • United States v. Thorson, No. 03-C-0074-C (W.D. Wis. July 27, 2004). Setting CWA defendants must restore areas impacted by pollutants the defendants discharged and must pay a civil penalty.69 FR 47462(8/5/04).
  • United States v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 04-211 (W.D. Pa. July 22, 2004). A settling CAA defendant must install wet gas scrubbers to control sulfur dioxide emissions and operate them in accordance with terms in the consent decree and must pay a civil penalty of $900,000.69 FR 47462(8/5/04).

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

THE CONGRESS

CHAMBER ACTION:

  • S. Res. 404 (Smokey the Bear), which would designate August 9, 2004, as "Smokey Bear's 60th Anniversary," was agreed to by the Senate. 150 Cong. Rec. S8803 (daily ed. July 22, 2004).
  • H.R. 4916 (TEA-21 Extension), which would provide an extension of highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit, and other programs funded out of the Highway Trust Fund pending enactment of a law reauthorizing the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, was passed by the House, 150 Cong. Rec. H6680 (July 21, 2004), and was passed by the Senate, clearing the measure for the President. 150 Cong. Rec. S8790 (daily ed. July 22, 2004).

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 2716 (Reid, D-Nev.) (land acquisition), would provide for the acquisition of land for administrative and visitor facilities for Death Valley National Park, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8687 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2717 (Nelson, D-Neb.) (SDWA), would amend the SDWA to exempt nonprofit small public water systems from certain drinking water standards relating to naturally occurring contaminants. 150 Cong. Rec. S8687 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2719 (Enzi, R-Wyo.) (OSH Act), would amend the OSH Act of 1970 to further improve the safety and health of working environments, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8687 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • S. 2723 (Wyden, D-Or.) (wilderness area), would designate certain land in the state of Oregon as wilderness, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8687 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2745 (Campbell, R-Colo.) (public land), 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. S8688 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2746 (Allard, R-Colo.) (Los Alamos National Laboratory), would provide for the termination of the current contract for the operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. S8688 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Armed Services.
  • S. 2763 (Clinton, D-N.Y.) (Atomic Energy Act), would amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to clarify the treatment of accelerator-produced and other radioactive material as byproduct material. 150 Cong. Rec. S8688 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2769 (Daschle, D-S.D.) (renewable fuel), would provide that imported ethanol shall not count toward satisfaction of any renewable fuel standard that may be enacted. 150 Cong. Rec. S8688 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • H.R. 4893 (Calvert, R-Cal.) (Reclamation Safety of Dams Act), would authorize additional appropriations for the Reclamation Safety of Dams Act of 1978; to the Committee on Resources. 150 Cong. Rec. H6700 (daily ed. July 22, 2004).
  • H.R. 4897 (Greenwood, R-Penn.) (coral and sponges), would protect deep sea corals and sponges, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6700 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources, and to the Committee on Science.
  • H.R. 4900 (Greenwood, R-Penn.) (oceans), would establish a national policy for our oceans, would strengthen NOAA, would establish a National Oceans Council, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6700 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources, and to the Committee on Science.
  • H.R. 4907 (Issa, R-Cal.) (wastewater; groundwater), would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Wildomar Service Area Recycled Water Distribution Facilities and Alberhill Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facility Projects. 150 Cong. Rec. H6701 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4908 (Issa, R-Cal.) (land transfer), would transfer certain land in Riverside County, California, from the BLM to the United States to be held in trust for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6701 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4922 (Bishop, D-N.Y.) (FWPCA), would amend the FWPCA to reauthorize programs to improve the quality of coastal recreation waters, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6701 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 4928 (Case, D-Haw.) (coral reef species), would prohibit the import, export, and take of certain coral reef species, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on International Relations.
  • H.R. 4932 (DeFazio, D-Or.) (forest lands), would establish management priorities for federal forest lands in Oregon and Washington located west of the Cascade Crest that will protect old growth timber while improving the health of young managed stands, increasing the volume of commercial timber available from these lands, and providing economic opportunities in local communities, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4933 (Delahunt, D-Mass.) (Native Americans), would require the prompt review by the Secretary of the Interior of the long-standing petition by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for federal recognition, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4934 (Dicks, D-Wash.) (Native Americans), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to take certain tribally owned reservation land into trust for the Puyallup Tribe. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4940 (Gillmor, R-Ohio) (solid waste), would amend the Solid Waste Disposal Act to authorize local governments and governors to restrict receipt of out-of-state and foreign municipal solid waste, to direct the EPA Administrator to carry out certain authorities under an agreement with Canada respecting the importation of municipal solid waste, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 4943 (Grijalva, D-Ariz.) (land exchange), would provide for a land exchange involving certain BLM lands in Pima County, Arizona, for the purpose of consolidating federal land ownership within the boundaries of the Ironwood Forest National Monument and the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4944 (Hastings, R-Wash.) (national trails), would designate the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6702 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4949 (Herseth, D-S.D.) (Native Americans), would provide compensation to the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Sioux Tribes of South Dakota for damage to tribal land caused by Pick-Sloan projects along the Missouri River. 150 Cong. Rec. H6703 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4958 (John, D-La.) (outer continental shelf), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a sale of oil and gas leases on certain submerged lands of the outer continental shelf in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. 150 Cong. Rec. H6703 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4959 (John, D-La.) (hunting), would recognize the heritage of hunting and provide opportunities for continued hunting on federal public land, to protect the public's ability to fish for sport, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6703 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4980 (Ose, R-Cal.) (Mount Rushmore), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to arrange for the carving of the figure of former President Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6704 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4981 (Otter, R-Idaho) (Snake River), would direct the Secretary of the Interior and the heads of other federal agencies to carry out an agreement resolving major issues relating to the adjudication of water rights in the Snake River Basin, Idaho, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6704 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4984 (Pearce, R-N.M.) (mineral royalties), would provide that the royalty rate on the output from federal lands of potassium and potassium compounds from the mineral sylvite in the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act shall be reduced to 1%, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6704 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4987 (Saxton, R-N.J.) (water; funding), would provide for priority funding of water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility loans and grants and community facilities loans and grants for the communities in Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey, affected by the flood that occurred on July 12, 2004. 150 Cong. Rec. H6704 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H. Res. 746 (Dingell, D-Mich.) (Wilderness Act), would honor the 40th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. 150 Cong. Rec. H6705 (daily ed. July 22, 2004). The resolution was referred to the Committee on Resources.

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

IN THE STATES

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

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

INTERNATIONAL

GENERAL:

  • The United Nations Environment Programannouncedan $11 million project, funded by Japan, to restore southern Iraq's marshlands.
  • The BBCreportedthat a tissue bank that will preserve genetic material from endangered species has been set up in the United Kingdom.
  • The European Commission adopted a proposal to tighten the international rules for trading in rare species such as the great white shark, the Napoleon fish–popular for aquariums–and timber from the rainforest tree ramin. The proposal will be discussed at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), October 2-14 in Bangkok.
  • The International Whaling Commission concluded its annual meeting in Sorrento, Italy by postponing consideration of lifting the ban on commercial whaling. Japan said it might drop out of the organization.

CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • Scientists at a conference in Brazil said that greenhouse gases produced by the burning of Amazon forests are currently able to be absorbed by the rest of the rainforest, but that will change if deforestation continues to accelerate. Scientists said that deforestation is affecting tributaries that feed the Amazon. They are drying up and their ecosystems have been adversely affected by the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

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

Note: To order documents or request additional information, please call (800) 433-5120 or (202) 939-3844. Orders may also be sent by e-mail to orders@eli.org or by fax to (202) 939-3817. Please specify the issue of UPDATE about which you are inquiring. In most instances, for the cost of copying and postage, ELR can supply copies of materials cited. Charges for ELR Subscribers are 25 cents/page, $10 minimum; all others, 50 cents/page, $20 minimum. Documents may also be available free or at a nominal charge from the applicable court or agency. Copyright© 2004, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

ELR STAFF

Leslie Carothers, Publisher
John H. Turner, Editor-in-Chief
Linda L. Johnson, Managing Editor
Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Associate Editor
Caroline Hermann, Assistant Editor
Carolyn Fischer, Editorial Associate
William J. Straub, Desktop Publisher
April King, Editorial Assistant