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Weekly Update Volume 34, Issue 25

09/13/2004

 LITIGATION

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

CAA, LACHES, BEST AVAILABLE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY (BACT):

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's dismissal of an environmental group's suit alleging that a power company was operating its electric generating plant in violation of the CAA. The power company received a construction permit from EPA in 1977. In 1978, EPA incorporated BACT requirements into its regulations but "grandfathered" permits that had already been issued, such as the power company's 1977 permit, as long as construction commenced by March 19, 1979. The environmental group claimed that the company failed to commence construction by the deadline and, therefore, the company was required to comply with the BACT requirements. The district court dismissed the suit, holding that the suit was barred by laches. The power company, however, did not establish the type of expectation-based prejudice required to assert the defense of laches. Neither the requirement that the company replace its emission-control equipment, nor the potential for civil fines, establishes the type of expectations-based prejudice that laches requires. The district court's final summary judgment based on laches was therefore reversed.Grand Canyon Trust v. Tucson Electric Power Co., No. 03-15584, 34 ELR 20086 (9th Cir. Sept. 2, 2004) (15 pp.).

TAKINGS, ELEVENTH AMENDMENT:

The Sixth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a company's takings claim against Kentucky for denying a permit to mine. The company originally filed suit in state court, where it ultimately was dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. It then filed suit in federal court. The Eleventh Amendment, however, bars the company's claim.Had the company brought a federal claim with its state claim in state court, the Kentucky courts would have had to hear that federal claim, and likely could not have required exhaustion as a prerequisite to hearing the federal claim. In addition, where the U.S. Constitution requires a particular remedy, such as through the Takings Clause, the state is required to provide that remedy in its own courts, notwithstanding sovereign immunity. DLX, Inc. v. Kentucky, No. 03-5528, 34 ELR 20089 (6th Cir. Aug. 26, 2004) (24 pp.).

TAKINGS, SMCRA, MINING:

The Federal Circuit held that a mining company did not suffer a taking when the OSM designated lands subject to the company's surface mining leases as unsuitable for mining pursuant to SMCRA. The company did not suffer a categorical taking because the company did not lose all economically viable use of the leases. Neither lease falls entirely within the designation area. Nor did the company suffer a partial regulatory taking. The company's lack of reasonable investment-backed expectations, coupled with health and safety interests, outweigh the company's economic injury. In addition, the OSM's delay in the decisionmaking process was not so extraordinary as to give rise to a temporary taking.Appolo Fuels, Inc. v. United States, No. 03-5088, 34 ELR 20087 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 30, 2004) (22 pp.).

TAKINGS, EXTRAORDINARY DELAY:

The Federal Circuit held that the BLM's delay in approving a company's application for permits to drill oil and gas wells did not constitute a temporary regulatory taking. The delay was not extraordinary since it allowed the government to evaluate whether the proposed wells would cause the release of radioactive material from a nearby underground nuclear waste storage facility.Bass Enterprises Production Co. v. United States, No. 03-5056, 34 ELR 20088 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 31, 2004) (20 pp.).

TAKINGS, DAMAGES:

A federal claims court, on remand, adjusted the damages awarded to the owners of low-income housing units that suffered a temporary regulatory takings in connection with the passage of the Emergency Low Income Housing Preservation Act of 1987 and the Low-Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act of 1990. The case is an offshoot ofCienega Gardens v. United States, 331 F.3d 1319,33 ELR 20221(Fed. Cir. 2003). The court rejected the owners' arguments and declined to extend the temporary takings period beyond the period considered in the 1996 trial and affirmed by the Court of Appeals. In addition, neither the government's experts nor the plaintiffs' expert appropriately calculated the value of plaintiffs' property on a discounted cash-flow basis for the takings period. Thus, the court undertook its own discounting calculations to determine the appropriate valuation of plaintiffs' damages as of the end-dates of their respective takings periods. As a result of its calculations, the court adjusted the original damages award such that the four plaintiffs are due the following amounts expressed in terms of present value at the end of the temporary takings period for each property: Independence Park: $788,028.94; Pico Plaza: $138,761.63; St. Andrews: $1,638,201.20; and Sherman Park: $859,049.22. In addition, each owner is entitled to interest on their respective awards.Independence Park Apartments v. United States, No. 94-1A-C, 34 ELR 20090 (Fed. Cl. Aug. 27, 2004) (Lettow, J.) (32 pp.).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE:

The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a company's complaint alleging that Arizona state officials' policy against using materials mined from Woodruff Butte in state construction projects violates the company's constitutional rights. The Establishment Clause does not bar the government from protecting an historically and culturally important site simply because the site's importance derives at least in part from its sacredness to certain Native American groups. The policy does not convey endorsement or approval of the tribe's religions. Accommodating religious practices that do not amount to an endorsement is not a violation of the Establishment Clause. Nor has the company alleged facts that would support an inference that the officials' actions foster excessive government entanglement with religion. Moreover, the company failed to state a claim that its federal civil rights were violated, and its state law claims were barred by the Eleventh Amendment.Cholla Ready Mix, Inc. v. Civish, No. 03-15423, 34 ELR 20085 (9th Cir. Sept. 1, 2004) (14 pp.).

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, PROPERTY RIGHTS , RIPENESS:

The Seventh Circuit held that a motel owner's challenge to a city ordinance that designated its property as a potential target for acquisition is unripe. The owner's claim, whether labeled an equal protection claim or a takings claim, is subject to the special ripeness standards for constitutional property rights claims established inWilliamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985). The city has not initiated eminent domain proceedings against the owner's properties, let alone failed to provide just compensation for taking those properties. Hence, the owner has suffered no injury under the U.S. Constitution.Patel v. City of Chicago, No. 03-1170, 34 ELR 20092 (7th Cir. Sept. 7, 2004) (11 pp.).

TOXIC TORTS, CLASS ACTION, JUDICIAL IMPROVEMENTS ACT:

The Sixth Circuit held that individuals may go forward with their class action suit against a cement manufacturing plantfor current and future personal and real property damages, diminution in property value, and various detrimental health effects caused by the emission of toxic pollutants.The Judicial Improvements Act, 28 U.S.C. §1367, grants supplemental jurisdiction over the claims of absent class members who independently cannot meet the required amount in controversy.Section 1367 achieves its intended purpose without any absurd result and its statutory language is unambiguous; therefore, it overrulesZahn v. Int’l Paper Co., 414 U.S. 291, 301 (1973). Consequently, each individual class member in the diversity class action need not meet the $75,000 amount in controversy requirement. Rather, the individuals may aggregate their damages. In addition, the district court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the class.Olden v. Lafarge Corp., No. 02-1148, 34 ELR 20091 (6th Cir. Sept. 7, 2004) (18 pp.).

NEPA, TRANSPORTATION ACT, RIPENESS:

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) did not violate NEPA by approving two highway improvement plans since the record of decision (ROD) supplied a rational connection between the facts and the DOT's decision, and because the EIS indicated that the DOT took the required "hard look" at the environmental impact of its decision. Nor was the DOT's failure to issue a supplemental EIS irrational since the environmental impacts had already been considered. Determining which improvement plan minimizes harm to the publicly owned Marolt Park, if and when construction is certain, requires further voter approval under §4 of the Transportation Act, and thus is not ripe for review.Friends of Marolt Park v. U.S. Department of Transportation, No. 02-1480, 34 ELR 20093 (10th Cir. Sept. 9, 2004) (10 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 approved the hospital/medical/ infectious incinerator §111(d)/129 plan, submitted to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which establishes emission limits, monitoring, operating, and recordkeeping requirements for commercial and industrial solid waste incinerator units.69 FR 54756(9/10/04).
  • EPA proposed a regulation that would revise and harmonize test procedures from the various EPA programs for controlling engine emissions.69 FR 55015(9/10/04).
  • EPA amended the NESHAPs for secondary aluminum production to clarify regulatory text, correct errors, and improve
    understanding of the rule requirements as promulgated.69 FR 53986(9/3/04).
  • EPA amended the NESHAPs for solvent extraction for vegetable oil production by changing the compliance requirements for vegetable oil production processes that only use a low-hazardous air pollutants extraction solvent.69 FR 53341(9/1/04).
  • EPA developed draft guidance for nitrogen oxide exemptions under the 8-hour ozone standard to accompany the proposed rule to implement the 8-hour ozone NAAQS.69 FR 53380(9/1/04).
  • EPA proposed to change the ozone monitoring season in Idaho from April through October to May through September.69 FR 52842(8/30/04).

HAZARDOUS WASTES:

  • EPA approved Minnesota's research, development, and demonstration permits, which are to be issued to certain municipal solid waste landfills.69 FR 54757(9/10/04).
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative order on consent under CERCLA concerning the Cal-Tech Metal Finishers Removal site in Oakland, California; the respondent must reimburse EPA $15,000 in response costs.69 FR 54280(9/8/04).
  • EPA entered into two proposed settlements under CERCLA for the partial reimbursement of past response costs incurred at the Carolina Steel Drum Superfund site in Rock Hill, South Carolina.69 FR 53442(9/1/04).

NATURAL RESOURCES:

  • The National Park Service (NPS) proposed to more effectively manage winter visitation and recreational use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway for up to three winter seasons to ensure that visitors to the parks have a sufficient range of winter activities and that the activities are in an appropriate setting so as to not harm any park resources.69 FR 54090(9/7/04).
  • The NPS designated areas where personal watercrafts may be used in Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma.69 FR 53641(9/2/04).
  • The NPS amended regulations for the Rocky Mountain National Park that designate snowmobile routes inside the park by eliminating three of the four routes in order to comply with the general regulations of protecting resources and values of the park.69 FR 53630(9/2/04).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability of its preliminary risk assessment, and related documents for the antimicrobial pesticide poly (hexamethylenebiguanide) hydrochloride and opened a public comment period on these documents.69 FR 54786(9/10/04).
  • EPA proposed several revisions to regulations that would improve the application and review process of governing emergency exemptions that allow unregistered uses of pesticides to address emergency pest conditions for a limited time.69 FR 53879(9/3/04).
  • EPA amended the pesticide worker protection standard to permit optional use of separable glove liners beneath chemical-resistant glove and make optional the provision that agricultural pilots wear gloves when entering or leaving aircraft.69 FR 53346(9/1/04).
  • EPA announced the availability of documents that were developed as part of its process for making pesticide reregistration eligibility decisions consistent with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.69 FR 53060(8/31/04).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA prepared a supplemental response document to address comments about EPA's amendments to the rules governing use, manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, and disposal of, PCBs.69 FR 54027(9/7/04).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA revised and established CWA effluent limitation guidelines and new source performance standards for new and existing meat producing facilities, including poultry slaughtering and processing facilities; the regulations set limits on direct wastewater discharges of specific pollutants to U.S. waters by existing facilities with production levels above specified thresholds and by new facilities operating at any production level.69 FR 54475(9/8/04).
  • EPA reviewed existing effluent guidelines under CWA §304(b) and presented its final 2004 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan in which EPA identified four industries for effluent guidelines rulemaking under CWA §304(m).69 FR 53721(9/2/04).
  • EPA gave notice that a petition has been received from Ohio stating that there is availability of adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels on its waters of Lake Erie.69 FR 53068(8/31/04).

WILDLIFE:

  • NMFS proposed a public review process for mandatory fishway prescriptions developed by the agency, pursuant to its authority under the Federal Power Act, for inclusion in hydropower licenses issued by FERC.69 FR 54620(9/9/04).
  • NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced the availability of final marine mammal stock assessment reports for 2003 and responded to comments submitted concerning previously published draft assessment reports.69 FR 54262(9/8/04).
  • FWS added 10 new refuges and wetland management districts to the list of areas open for hunting and/or sport fishing programs and increased the number of similar activities allowed at 7 other refuges.69 FR 54349(9/8/04).
  • NOAA notified the public that Michael Clarke, City of San Luis Obispo, California, was issued a permit to take the South Central California Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit of steelhead trout for the purpose of scientific research.69 FR 54131 (9/7/04).
  • NOAA's NMFS received four scientific research permit applications relating to Pacific salmon and steelhead in order to increase knowledge of species listed under the ESA and to help guide management and conservation efforts.69 FR 54132(9/7/04).
  • FWS designated 550 river miles of river and stream channels in the Tennessee River Basins as critical habitat for five endangered mussels under ESA.69 FR 53180(8/31/04).
  • FWS designated 8.6 million acres of critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, which inhabits canyon and forest habitats in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.69 FR 53298(8/31/04).
  • The Forest Service and FWS proposed a rule that would establish regulations for hunting and trapping seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of wildlife for subsistence uses during the 2005-2006 regulatory year.69 FR 53026(8/31/04).
  • NOAA announced temporary restrictions consistent with the requirements of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan implementing regulations that apply to lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fisherman for 2,600 square nautical miles for 15 days to provide protection to the North Atlantic right whales.69 FR 53015(8/31/04).
  • NMFS, pursuant to a court order, announced that the labeling standard for "dolphin-safe" tuna should be governed by the provisions of the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act.69 FR 53045(8/31/04).
  • FWS issued final frameworks for the 2004-2005 early-season migratory bird hunting seasons, from which states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands may selected season dates, limits, and other options.69 FR 52969(8/30/04).
  • FWS issued a permit to the Larimer County Parks and Open Lands Department for incidental take of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse, a species listed as threatened under the ESA, pursuant to terms of the EA/habitat conservation plan prepared under ESA §10(a)1(B) for such take in the county.69 FR 52912(8/30/04).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Diversified Panel Systems, Inc., No. CV 04-7028-DT(JTLx) (C.D. Cal. Aug. 20, 2004) A settling CAA defendant must pay a civil penalty of $152,425 to the United States, and design and conduct emissions testing to demonstrate compliance with the emission standards specified in the Authority to Construct permit issued by the Ventura County air pollution control district.69 FR 54702(9/9/04).
  • United States v. Monarch Greenback, LLC., No. CV 02-436-S-EJL (D. Idaho Sept. 1, 2004) A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $810,000 to the United States in reimbursement of costs incurred by the United States at the Talache Mine Tailings Superfund Site.69 FR 54703(9/9/2004).
  • United States v. Atlantic Richfield Co., No. 2:04CV348 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 20, 2004). Settling CERCLA and CWA defendants must pay $53,653,000 toward restoration of natural resources and a total of $2,700,000 to the U.S. DOI and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as reimbursement for their costs of conducting natural resource management assessments, and convey to Indiana 233 acres of protected habitat.69 FR 53736(9/2/04).
  • United States v. Leonard Chemical Co., No. 0 04 2479 10 (D. S.C. July 26, 2004). Settling CERCLA defendants must implement an EPA-selected remedial design/remedial action to address impacted soils and groundwater at a facility and the owner-operator must implement necessary institutional restrictions required under the action; the defendants must also pay EPA's past costs.69 FR 53737(9/2/04).
  • In re Special Metals Corp., No. 02-10335-02-100338 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. Aug. 25, 2004). A settling CERCLA defendant and affiliated debtors must resolve claims made by the United States and New York by participating in the environmental remediation at the Ludlow Sand and Gravel Superfund site in Paris, New York, and by contributing $1,000,000 toward remediation at the site.69 FR 53738(9/2/04).
  • United States v. Ralph Bello, No. 3:01 CV 1568 (D. Conn. Aug. 24, 2004). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $35,745.05 in partial reimbursement of the U.S. response costs incurred at the National Oil Service Superfund site in West Haven, Connecticut.69 FR 53737(9/2/04).

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

THE CONGRESS

CHAMBER ACTION:

  • H.R. 4654 (Reauthorization of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act), which would reauthorize the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998 through fiscal year 2007, was passed by the House. 150 Cong. Rec. H6722-24 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004).

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 2777 (Bennett, R-Utah) (nuclear weapons), would protect public health and safety in the event that testing of nuclear weapons by the United States is resumed. 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5009 (Rehberg, R-Mont.) (irrigation), would extend water contracts between the United States and specific irrigation districts and the City of Helena in Montana, and for other purposes. 150 Cong. Rec. H6755 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5014 (McGovern, D-Mass.) (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. H6755 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 5016 (Osborne, R-Neb.) (water service), would extend the water service contract for the Ainsworth Unit, Sandhills Division, Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, Nebraska. 150 Cong. Rec. H6755 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 203 (mining), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-319, 150 Cong. Rec. S8860 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would open certain withdrawn land in Big Horn County, Wyoming, to locatable mineral development for bentonite mining.
  • S. 931 (avalanches), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-320, 150 Cong. Rec. S8860 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to undertake a program to reduce the risks from and mitigate the effects of avalanches on visitors to units of the National Park System and on other recreational users of public land.
  • S. 943 (water storage), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-653, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into one or more contracts with the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the storage of water in the Kendrick Project, Wyoming.
  • S. 1537 (land conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-654, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to the New Hope Cemetery Association certain land in the state of Arkansas for use as a cemetery.
  • S. 1576 (boundary revision), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-655, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would revise the boundary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
  • S. 1721 (Native Americans), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-656, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would amend the Indian Land Consolidation Act to improve provisions relating to probate of trust and restricted land.
  • S. 2052 (National Trails System Act), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-321, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would amend the National Trails System Act to designate El Camino Real de los Tejas as a National Historic Trail.
  • S. 2167 (Lewis and Clark National Historical Park), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-322, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would establish the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in the states of Washington and Oregon.
  • S. 2173 (Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2000), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-323, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would further the purposes of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2000.
  • S. 2285 (property conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-324, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey a parcel of real property to Beaver County, Utah.
  • S. 2287 (boundary adjustment), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-325, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would adjust the boundary of the Barataria Preserve Unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in the state of Louisiana.
  • S. 2460 (state water plans), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-326, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would provide assistance to the state of New Mexico for the development of comprehensive state water plans.
  • S. 2495 (coastal wetlands), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 108-312, 150 Cong. Rec. S8860 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would strike limitations on funding and extend the period of authorization for certain coastal wetland conservation projects.
  • S. 2508 (Ridges Basin Reservoir), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-327, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would redesignate the Ridges Basin Reservoir, Colorado, as Lake Nighthorse.
  • S. 2511 (water supply), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-328, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a feasibility study of a Chimayo water supply system to provide for the planning, design, and construction of a water supply, reclamation, and filtration facility for Espanola, New Mexico.
  • S. 2543 (National Heritage Areas), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-329, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would establish a program and criteria for National Heritage Areas in the United States.
  • S. 2547 (Migratory Bird Treaty Act), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 108-313, 150 Cong. Rec. S8860 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to exclude non-native migratory bird species from the application of that Act.
  • S. 2773 (water resources), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 108-314, 150 Cong. Rec. S8860 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would provide for the consideration and development of water and related resources to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States.
  • H.R. 265 (boundary adjustment), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-330, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would provide for an adjustment of the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park.
  • H.R. 1284 (Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-331, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would amend the Reclamation Projects Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992 to increase the federal share of the costs of the San Gabriel Basin demonstration project.
  • H.R. 1616 (land exchange), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-332, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the exchange of certain lands within the Martin Luther King, Junior, National Historic Site for lands owned by the city of Atlanta, Georgia.
  • H.R. 2129 (National Park System), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-637, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study regarding the suitability and feasibility of designating certain historic buildings and areas in Taunton, Massachusetts, as a unit of the National Park System.
  • H.R. 2408 (Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 108-315, 150 Cong. Rec. S8860 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to reauthorize volunteer programs and community partnerships for national wildlife refuges and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2457 (National Monument), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-639, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize funds for an educational center for the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
  • H.R. 2663 (National Park System), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-640, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating Castle Nugent Farms located on St. Croix, Virgin Islands, as a unit of the National Park System.
  • H.R. 3056 (Barrier Resources System), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-641, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would clarify the boundaries of the John H. Chafee Coast Barrier Resources System Cedar Keys Unit P25 on Otherwise Protected Area P25P.
  • H.R. 3257 (Western Reserve Heritage Area), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-642, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Western Reserve Heritage Area.
  • H.R. 3334 (water), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-643, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the design and construction of the Riverside-Corona Feeder in cooperation with the Western Municipal Water District of Riverside, California.
  • H.R. 3427 (land conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-644, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize a land conveyance between the United States and the city of Craig, Alaska.
  • H.R. 3597 (water storage), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-646, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, to conduct a feasibility study on the Alder Creek water storage and conservation project in El Dorado County, California.
  • H.R. 3768 (Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 108-333, 150 Cong. Rec. S8861 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would expand the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Florida.
  • H.R. 3954 (boundary adjustment), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-647, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to resolve boundary discrepancies in San Diego County, California, arising from an erroneous survey conducted by a government contractor in 1881 that resulted in overlapping boundaries for certain lands.
  • H.R. 4010 (geologic mapping),was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-648, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would reauthorize and amend the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992.
  • H.R. 4045 (Mokelumne River), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-649, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a feasibility study with respect to the Mokelumne River.
  • H.R. 4459 (groundwater remediation), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-650, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation and in coordination with other federal, state, and local government agencies, to participate in the funding and implementation of a balanced, long-term groundwater remediation program in California.
  • H.R. 4481 (boundary expansion), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-651, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would amend Public Law 86-434 establishing Wilson's Creek National Battlefield in the state of Missouri to expand the boundaries of the park.
  • H.R. 4494 (National Historic Site), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-652, 150 Cong. Rec. H6754 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The bill would designate the Grey Towers National Historic Site in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • H. Res. 431 (conservation), was reported by the Committee on Resources. H. Rep. No. 108-657, 150 Cong. Rec. H6755 (daily ed. Sept. 7, 2004). The resolution honors the achievements of Siegfried and Roy, recognizing the impact of their efforts on the conservation of endangered species both domestically and worldwide, and wishing Roy Horn a full and speedy recovery.

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:

  • The European Commissionapprovedthe use of a genetically modified seed, Monsanto's MON810, for planting.
  • The Conference Board issued areport"confirming" its view "that the world’s climate is radically changing and that human activity is now contributing to global warming." In anews release, the Board stated that "corporate boards will be increasingly expected to evaluate potential risks associated with climate change."
  • High quantities of toxic chemical waste from unused or obsolete pesticides are posing a continuing and worsening threat to people and the environment in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned.
  • The Commission for Environmental Cooperation has receivedsubmissionsfrom indigenous groups asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws by not responding to a citizen complaint filed with the Office of the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection on February 16, 2004. The complaint alleges that 68,000 liters of gasoline spilled into the Laguna Superior of the Gulf of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico following a tanker truck accident, and caused harm to the environment and indigenous communities.

CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • The British governmentaccusedFrance, Spain, and Italy of not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions.
  • A U.K. scientistsaidthat a new generation of rechargeable lithium batteries would help to reduce global warming.

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

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