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Weekly Update Volume 35, Issue 11

04/11/2005

LITIGATION

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

CWA, NPDES, BALLAST WATER:

A district court ordered EPA to repeal 40 CFR §122.3(a), which exempts ballast water from NPDES permitting requirements. The CWA directly states that EPA must form NPDES permit requirements for discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel, including ballast water; ballast water discharges constitute a "discharge" or "addition"; the discharged ballast water and other discharges incidental to the operation of a vessel constitute "pollutants"; the rivers, lakes, and harbors where ballast discharges occur are "navigable waters;" and ballast water discharges clearly arise "from" a "point source." In addition, EPA failed to demonstrate overwhelming evidence of acquiescence by Congress with respect to the exemption. EPA, therefore, acted in excess of its statutory authority under the APA in exempting an entire category of discharges from the NPDES permit program and in denying environmental groups' petition to rescind the regulation. Northwest Environmental Advocates v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. C 03-05760 SI, 35 ELR 20075 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 30, 2005) (Illston, J.) (19 pp.).

CERCLA, REMEDIATION:

The Seventh Circuit held that a citizens suit seeking to challenge cleanup efforts at Superfund sites in Indiana was improperly dismissed. The lower court improperly concluded that the action was premature because active remedial planning was underway. For EPA to delay the suit, it must point to some objective referent that commits it and other responsible parties to an action or plan. No such objective evidence exists in this record. There is no timetable or other objective criterion by which to assess when EPA's amorphous study and investigation phase may end. The citizens, therefore, are entitled to their day in court. Frey v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 03-3877, 35 ELR 20076 (7th Cir. Apr. 6, 2005) (14 pp.).

TAKINGS, RAILS-TO-TRAILS, HOMESTEAD ACT OF 1862:

The Fifth Circuit, in a class action suit, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings a lower court decision dismissing landowners' Fifth Amendment takings claims arising from the conversion of a railroad right-of-way to a recreational trail traversing their land. The landowners are successors to homesteaders who were granted land patents pursuant to the Homestead Act of 1862; the ownership rights are at issue in this case. Some of the original owners were granted their land after the railroad had acquired its right-of-way. These landowners owned the land in fee subject to the railway easement. When the railway abandoned its right-of-way, they were disencumbered of the railway easement. Thus, when their land was converted to a public trail, their property interests were taken for public use and they are entitled to just compensation. Another group of original owners were granted their land before the railroad obtained its right-of-way. These segments were conveyed by the landowners to the railroad on a variety of terms and conditions. The lower court's decision as to whether these terms and conditions conveyed an easement or a fee interest was vacated and remanded in light of new Idaho case law. The last category of landowners relates to land for which no document of transfer from the homesteader to the railway could be found, but where the homesteader preceded the railway on the land. For these lands, the judgment that the railroad acquired fee title to the underlying lands was reversed. The burden of establishing compliance with the law of adverse possession was not met by "clear and satisfactory evidence." Hash v. United States, No. 03-1395, 35 ELR 20072 (Fed Cir. Apr. 4, 2005) (26 pp.).

CIVIL PROCEDURE, NEPA, WILDERNESS ACT:

The Fifth Circuit held that when a party withdraws one of its claims before the trial court enters judgment and the action is subsequently dismissed on the merits, the trial court's failure to indicate that the withdrawn claim was dismissed without prejudice does not render its decision a "final judgment on the merits" as to that claim. An environmental group first filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service under NEPA and the Wilderness Act after the Service relocated a 1.5 mile stretch of a man-made motorized path in the Hells Canyon Wilderness. The group withdrew its Wilderness Act claim, and a district court dismissed the remaining NEPA claim as moot. The group later filed suit against the Service under the Wilderness Act because parts of the trail were still located within the wilderness area. The court dismissed the case on res judicata grounds. But because the first case contained no Wilderness Act cause of action at the time of dismissal, there was no final judgment on the merits with regard to that claim. In addition, the court's final judgment on the merits with regard to the group's NEPA claim in the first case does not bar its Wilderness Act claims in the instant case. The Wilderness Act claim arises out of a different "transactional nucleus of facts" than the group's NEPA claim. Hells Canyon Preservation Council v. United States Forest Service, No. 03-35579, 35 ELR 20073 (9th Cir. Apr. 5, 2005) (15 pp.).

DISCOVERY, PRIVILEGE:

The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court discovery ruling ordering a railroad company to produce documents in an underlying action in which landowners allege that the railway intentionally dumped toxic materials on their property. The railroad company failed to produce a privilege log as to the contested documents in a timely manner. Therefore, the privileges are waived pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rules 26(b)(5) and 34. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States District Court for the District of Montana, No. 04-72134, 35 ELR 20069 (9th Cir. Mar. 31, 2005) (11 pp.).

WATER LAW, WASTEWATER DISCHARGES, STATE PERMITS:

The California Supreme Court held that when a regional water board issues a permit to a wastewater treatment facility, it may not consider economic factors to justify imposing pollutant restrictions that are less stringent than the applicable federal standards, but it may take into account economic factors when making the restrictions more stringent than federal law. Because both California law and federal law require regional boards to comply with federal clean water standards, and because the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution requires state law to yield to federal law, a regional board, when issuing a wastewater discharge permit, may not consider economic factors to justify imposing pollutant restrictions that are less stringent than the applicable federal standards. When, however, a regional board is considering whether to make the pollutant restrictions in a wastewater discharge permit more stringent than federal law requires, California law allows the board to take into account economic factors, including the wastewater discharger's cost of compliance. City of Burbank v. State Water Resources Control Board, Nos. S119248 et al., 35 ELR 20071 (Cal. Apr. 4, 2005) (28 pp.).

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA), ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (EIR):

A California appellate court held that a county was required to prepare an EIR under CEQA prior to adopting an ordinance that restricts the application of sewage sludge on land located within its jurisdiction. CEQA requires the preparation of an EIR whenever substantial evidence supports a fair argument that an ordinance will cause potentially significant adverse environmental impacts. Here, the evidence in the administrative record establishes a reasonable possibility that the ordinance will have both positive and adverse impacts on the environment. The positive effects do not absolve the county from the responsibility of preparing an EIR to analyze the potentially significant negative environmental effects of the project because those negative effects might be reduced through the adoption of feasible alternatives or mitigation measures analyzed in the EIR. And while the ordinance does not discriminate against interstate commerce, a biosolids impact fee of $3.37 per ton was invalid to the extent it was a local fee for road use. County Sanitation District No. 2 of Los Angeles County v. County of Kern, No. F043095, 35 ELR 20070 (Cal. App. 5th Dist. Apr. 1, 2005) (105 pp.).

CEQA, ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD, COSTS:

A California appellate court reversed a trial court's award of costs to a company that was delegated the task of preparing the administrative record in a planning association's CEQA claim against a city. The city's delegation of this task to the company without the association's knowledge violated California Public Resources Code §21167.6. The trial court sought a reasonable and pragmatic result by allowing the company to collect the costs the city would have incurred had it prepared the record itself. However, in order to preserve the statutory scheme and purpose of §21167.6(b), the public agency must itself incur and seek recovery of the costs of record preparation when the record is prepared under subdivision (b)(1). Because that did not occur in this case, costs must be denied. Hayward Area Planning Ass'n v. City of Hayward, No. A104903, 35 ELR 20074 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. Apr. 5, 2005) (12 pp.).

Notice of certiorari denial: The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in DLX, Inc. v. Kentucky, in which the Sixth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a company's takings claim against Kentucky for denying a permit to mine.

Copyright© 2005, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

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

AIR:

  • EPA approved federal implementation plans under the CAA that regulate air quality and are intended to protect health and welfare on Indian reservations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. 70 FR 18134 (4/8/05).
  • EPA proposed to approve rules adopted by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that provide more extensive requirements for certain equipment used to control highly reactive volatile organic compounds in the Houston/Galveston ozone nonattainment area. 70 FR 17643 (4/7/05).
  • EPA requested comment on whether the Agency should interpret the CAA as requiring areas to retain major new source review requirements that apply to certain one-hour ozone nonattainment areas when states implement the eight-hour ozone NAAQS, and whether EPA can properly conclude that a state's request to review one-hour major new source review programs from the state's SIP will not interfere with any applicable requirement associated with CAA §110(1). 70 FR 17027 (4/4/05).

FISHERIES:

  • NOAA issued the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, a permit to take shortnose sturgeon for enhancement of an educational display. 70 FR 17661 (4/7/05).
  • NMFS completed an update of an ESA status review for the North American green sturgeon, and, after reviewing new and updated information on the status of the species and considering whether it is in danger of extinction or is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range, NMFS confirmed that the species constitutes two distinct population segments that both qualify as species under the ESA and do not warrant listing as threatened or endangered. 70 FR 17401 (4/6/05).
  • NMFS initiated a status review of the Puget Sound steelhead salmon after receiving a petition that presented substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the steelhead salmon could warrant listing as a threatened or endangered species under the ESA. 70 FR 17227 (4/5/05).
  • NMFS authorized ConocoPhillips Alaska to take a small number of marine mammals, by harassment, when conducting on-ice vibroseis seismic operations from Milne Point to the eastern channel of the Colville River in the U.S. Beaufort Sea. 70 FR 17068 (4/4/05).

MINING:

  • OSM approved an amendment to the Oklahoma abandoned mine land reclamation plan under SMCRA that concerns project ranking and selection procedures, the state reclamation committee, and public participation policies; the amendment is intended to improve operational efficiency. 70 FR 16945 (4/4/05).
  • OSM approved, with one exception, a proposed amendment to the Wyoming regulatory program under SMCRA that would remove rules pertaining to soft rock surface mining and revise and add rules about highwalls and coal exploration; the amendment would revise the state's program to be consistent with corresponding federal regulations, provide additional safeguards, clarify ambiguities, and enhance and diversify reclamation. 70 FR 16955 (4/4/05).
  • OSM announced the receipt of a proposed amendment to the Illinois regulatory program under SMCRA in which Illinois proposed to revise its regulations about revegetation success standards, update statutory citations, correct regulatory citations, and clarify language in various provisions. 70 FR 17018 (4/4/05).

NATURAL RESOURCES:

  • USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service issued a final rule for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program intended to improve its response to natural disasters by establishing a process by which the program will be administered. 70 FR 16930 (4/4/05).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA approved a temporary/tolerance exemption after Syngenta Seeds, Inc., submitted a petition requesting that EPA eliminate the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of Bacillus thuringiensis modified Cry3A protein and the genetic material necessary for its production in corn. 70 FR 17327 (4/6/05).
  • EPA announced the availability of risk assessments, preliminary risk reduction options, and related documents for fluometuron, a phenylurea herbicide, and opened a public comment period on these documents. 70 FR 17450 (4/6/05).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA approved an application for a test marketing exemption under §5(h)(1) of TSCA. 70 FR 17453 (4/6/05).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA announced final action on two TMDLs prepared for waters listed in Louisiana's Barataria river basin under CWA §303(d). 70 FR 17250 (4/5/05).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS, with Alabama, Tennessee, and Conservation Fisheries, Inc., announced plans to reintroduce one federally listed endangered fish species, the boulder darter, and one federally listed threatened fish species, the spotfin chub, into their historical habitat in Shoal Creek, a tributary of the Tennessee River, in Lauderdale County, Alabama, and Lawrence County, Tennessee. 70 FR 17927 (4/8/05).
  • FWS decided against designating critical habitat for the Lane Mountain milk-vetch after evaluating the status of the species' essential habitat per standards specified in ESA §§3(5)(A), 4(a)(3), and 4(b)(2). 70 FR 18241 (4/8/05).
  • FWS established an additional manatee protection area in Lee County, Florida, the Pine Island-Estero Bay Manatee Refuge, to further advance the recovery of the Florida manatee and to prevent the taking of manatees. 70 FR 17879 (4/7/05).
  • FWS announced the availability of a draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment for Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge that is intended to provide refuge managers with a 15-year strategy for achieving refuge goals and advancing the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. 70 FR 17255 (4/5/05).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Boise Cascade Corp., No. 7:97-cv-1704 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 23, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must implement a modified groundwater remedy that EPA selected in a 1995 record of decision for the Sealand Restoration Superfund site in Lisbon, New York, implement institutional controls, and perform a supplemental study of the site. 70 FR 17469 (4/6/05).
  • United States v. Marathon Oil Co., No. 2:05-CV-0090-LIM-WGH (S.D. Ind. Mar. 24, 2005). Settling CWA defendants must convey 56.54 acres of riparian floodplain habitat to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for replacement or acquisition of the equivalent of injured natural resources in Rosedale, Catlin, and Daylight, Indiana, and pay the United States and Indiana $24,220.10 for incurred costs from the discharges of oil at the affected sites and $5,779.90 for the future restoration of the 56.54-acre property. 70 FR 17469 (4/6/05).
  • In re Morning Star Mine Site, D.J. Ref. No. 90-11-2-08222. Settling CERCLA defendants must conduct a removal action at the Morning Star Mine Site, an inactive open mine pit located in the Mojave National Preserve of the National Park Service; must reimburse DOI for $1,000,000 in response costs; must pay DOI's future response costs; and must pay DOI $1,000,000 to be deposited into the DOI Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Fund to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of park system resources injured by the defendants. 70 FR 17470 (4/6/05).
  • United States v. Parker Hannifin Corp., No. 05-1351 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 23, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must implement the EPA-selected groundwater remedies at their respective properties at the North Penn Area Six Superfund site, located within and adjacent to the Borough of Landsdale, Pennsylvania, and reimburse the United States for certain future response costs. 70 FR 17470 (4/6/05).

Copyright© 2005, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE CONGRESS

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 52 (land conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 109-43, 151 Cong. Rec. D277 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey a parcel of real property to Beaver County, Utah.
  • S. 54 (National Trails System Act), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 109-44, 151 Cong. Rec. D277 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill would amend the National Trails System Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to update the feasibility and suitability studies of four national historic trails.
  • S. 56 (Rio Grande Natural Area), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 109-45, 151 Cong. Rec. D277 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill would establish the Rio Grande Natural Area in the state of Colorado.
  • S. 101 (land conveyance), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 109-46, 151 Cong. Rec. D277 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill would convey to the town of Frannie, Wyoming, certain land withdrawn by the Commissioner of Reclamation.
  • S. 128 (wilderness), was reported by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. S. Rep. No. 109-47, 151 Cong. Rec. D277 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill would designate certain public land in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa Counties in the state of California as wilderness and designate certain segments of the Black Butte River in Mendocino County, California, as a wild or scenic river.
  • S. 732 (federal highways), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 109-53, 151 Cong. Rec. S3277 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill would authorize funds to federal aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs.

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 689 (Domenici, R-N.M.) (SDWA), would amend the SDWA to establish a program to provide assistance to small communities for use in carrying out projects and activities necessary to achieve or maintain compliance with drinking water standards. 151 Cong. Rec. S3147 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 692 (Domenici, R-N.M.) (land conveyance), would convey certain public land in northwestern New Mexico by resolving a dispute associated with coal preference right lease interests on the land. 151 Cong. Rec. S3147 (daily ed. Apr. 4, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  • S. 698 (Lautenberg, D-N.J.) (suspension of duty on chemical), would suspend temporarily the duty on methacrylamido etheleneurae monomer. 151 Cong. Rec. S3200 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 699 (Lautenberg, D-N.J.) (suspension of duty on chemical), would suspend temporarily the duty on allyl ureido monomer. 151 Cong. Rec. S3200 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 700 (Lautenberg, D-N.J.) (suspension of duty on chemical), would reduce temporarily the duty on potassium sorbate. 151 Cong. Rec. S3200 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 701 (Lautenberg, D-N.J.) (suspension of duty on chemical), would reduce temporarily the duty on certain sorbic acid (hexadienic acid) (2,4-hexadienoic acid). 151 Cong. Rec. S3200 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 703 (Ensign, R-Nev.) (land conveyance), would provide for the conveyance of certain Bureau of Land Management land in the state of Nevada to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 151 Cong. Rec. S3200 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 706 (Coleman, R-Minn.) (land conveyance), would convey all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to the land described in this Act to the Secretary of the Interior for the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota. 151 Cong. Rec. S3200 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  • S. 711 (Akaka, D-Haw.) (Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000), would amend the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 to reauthorize that Act and to promote the research, identification, assessment, exploration, and development of methane hydrate resources. 151 Cong. Rec. S3201 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 712 (Chambliss, R-Ga.) (interstate route), would require a study and report regarding the designation of a new interstate route from Augusta, Georgia, to Natchez, Mississippi. 151 Cong. Rec. S3201 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 715 (Harkin, D-Iowa) (aeolic electricity), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage investment in facilities using wind to produce electricity. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 719 (Sarbanes, D-Md.) (Appalachian Development Highway System), would extend Corridor O of the Appalachian Development Highway System from its current southern terminus at I-68 near Cumberland to Corridor H, which stretches from Weston, West Virginia, to Strasburg, Virginia. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 721 (Vitter, R-La.) (ecosystem restoration), would authorize the Secretary of the Army to carry out a program for ecosystem restoration for the Louisiana Coastal Area, Louisiana. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 726 (Alexander, R-Tenn.) (natural gas), would promote the conservation and production of natural gas. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 727 (Alexander, R-Tenn.) (natural gas), would provide tax incentives to promote the conservation and production of natural gas. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 728 (Bond, R-Mo.) (rivers and harbors improvements), 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. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 729 (Durbin, D-Ill.) (Food Safety Administration), would establish the Food Safety Administration to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contaminations. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 730 (Leahy, D-Vt.) (CAA), would amend the CAA to establish requirements concerning the operation of fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units, commercial and industrial boiler units, solid waste incineration units, medical waste incinerators, hazardous waste combustors, chlor-alkali plants, and Portland cement plants to reduce emissions of mercury to the environment. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 732 (Inhofe, R-Okla.) (federal highways), would authorize funds to federal aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 733 (Vitter, R-La.) (Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act), would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to provide a domestic offshore energy reinvestment program. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 734 (Vitter, R-La.) (erosion in coastal area of Louisiana), would provide for agreements between federal agencies to partner or transfer funds to accomplish erosion goals relating to the coastal area of Louisiana. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 735 (Vitter, R-La.) (Submerged Lands Act), would amend the Submerged Lands Act to make the seaward boundaries of the states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi equivalent to the seaward boundaries of the state of Texas and the Gulf Coast of Florida. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 736 (Vitter, R-La.) (Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act), would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to promote uses on the Outer Continental Shelf. 151 Cong. Rec. S3278 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 1459 (Blunt, R-Mo.) (CAA), would amend the CAA to reduce the proliferation of boutique fuels. 151 Cong. Rec. H1777 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 1467 (Gibbons, R-Nev.) (land conveyance), would provide for the conveyance of certain Bureau of Land Management land in the state of Nevada to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 151 Cong. Rec. H1777 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1469 (Otter, R-Idaho) (payments for lands), would direct the Secretary of the Interior shall make full payment to each unit of general local government in which entitlement land is located as set forth in chapter 69 of title 31, United States Code. 151 Cong. Rec. H1777 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1482 (Wynn, D-Md.) (hydrogen production), would provide for the research and development of advanced nuclear reactor, solar energy, and wind energy technologies for the production of hydrogen. 151 Cong. Rec. H1778 (daily ed. Apr. 5, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Science, and to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 1489 (Gilchrest, R-Md.) (coastal ocean observation system), would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to establish a coastal ocean observation system. 151 Cong. Rec. H1844 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources and to the Committee on Science.
  • H.R. 1492 (Thomas, R-Cal.) (historic confinement sites), would provide for the preservation of the historic confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. 151 Cong. Rec. H1844 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1493 (Blunt, R-Mo.) (CAA), would amend the CAA to reduce the proliferation of boutique fuel. 151 Cong. Rec. H1844 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 1494 (Kind, D-Wis.) (migratory bird hunting stamps), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a pilot program under which up to 15 states may issue electronic federal migratory bird hunting stamps. 151 Cong. Rec. H1844 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1503 (Bishop, R-Utah) (Cedar Mountains in Utah), would designate certain lands in the Cedar Mountains in the state of Utah as wilderness to ensure the compatibility of such wilderness and wilderness study areas with continued access by the Armed Forces to the special use airspace and lands that comprise the Utah Test and Training Range. 151 Cong. Rec. H1844 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1507 (DeLauro, D-Conn.) (Food Safety Administration), would establish the Food Safety Administration to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 1511 (Foley, R-Fla.) (aeolic electricity), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a five-year extension of the credit for electricity produced from wind. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 1512 (Frank, D-Mass.) (historic buildings), 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. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1514 (Gerlach, R-Pa.) (farmland protection program), would reserve a small percentage of the amounts made available to the Secretary of Agriculture for the farmland protection program to fund challenge grants to encourage the purchase of conservation easements and other interests in land to be held by a state agency, county, or other eligible entity. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 1515 (Jindal, R-La.) (boundary adjustment), would adjust the boundary of the Barataria Preserve Unit of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in the state of Louisiana. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1529 (Shadegg, R-Ariz.) (Federal Power Act), would amend the Federal Power Act to provide for federal and state coordination of permitting for electric transmission facilities. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 1530 (Shadegg, R-Ariz.) (hydroelectric projects), would encourage the development of hydroelectric projects. 151 Cong. Rec. H1845 (daily ed. Apr. 6, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Copyright© 2005, 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.cfm to view the complete section.

Copyright© 2005, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL

IDB UPDATES ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES:

  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recently drafted a replacement for its 1979 Environment Policy. The IDB aims to safeguard the environment in its activities and bring environmental concerns into the mainstream of development. The World Conservation Union, while applauding the IDB goals, expressed concern that the new policy is too narrow and that the IDB does not have the institutional capacity to enforce the new standards. See http://www.iadb.org/sds/env/site_5512_e.htm and http://www.iucn.org

JAPAN INTRODUCES PRIVATE BROWNFIELDS CLEAN-UP FUND:

  • A Tokyo-based company, Green Earth, announced plans to introduce the Ecoland fund, an opportunity for Japanese investors increasingly interested in social responsibility. Green Earth will use money invested in the fund to buy contaminated land, clean it up, and resell it. The government in Japan estimates that 320,000 polluted sites exist in the country, while Green Earth claims there are as many as 409,000. The company predicts over 20% return on investments, with investment periods as short as 6 to 12 months. See http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/06/business/gflede.html

RAMSAR AFRICA REGIONAL MEETING:

  • Ramsar held its African Regional Meeting for COP9 from April 4-8, 2005, in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting included sessions on mangrove management, challenges in implementing Ramsar in Africa, and the role of wetlands in alleviating poverty. See http://www.ramsar.org/mtg_reg_africa2005_index.htm

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