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Weekly Update Volume 35, Issue 13

05/09/2005

LITIGATION

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

FIFRA, PREEMPTION, STATE REMEDIES:

The U.S. Supreme Court held that FIFRA §136v(b) does not preclude states from providing a remedy to farmers and others who are injured as a result of a manufacturer's violation of FIFRA's labeling requirement. FIFRA §136v(b) preempts any statutory or common-law rule that would impose a labeling requirement that diverges from those set out in FIFRA and its implementing regulations. It does not preempt a state law requirement that is equivalent to, and fully consistent with, FIFRA's labeling standards. Although FIFRA does not provide a federal remedy to those injured as a result of a manufacturer's violation of FIFRA's labeling requirements, nothing in §136v(b) precludes states from providing such a remedy. Because the Court did not receive sufficient briefing on whether the Texas law governing the farmers' fraud and failure-to-warn claims is equivalent to FIFRA's misbranding standards and any relevant regulations, the case was remanded. Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C.J., and O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a concurring opinion. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part, in which Scalia, J., joined. Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, No. 03-388, 35 ELR 20087 (U.S. Apr. 27, 2005) (31 pp.).

RCRA, FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT (FTCA), SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY:

The First Circuit held that neither RCRA nor the FTCA waive the United States' sovereign immunity in a property owner's suit to recover monetary damages for its cleanup of past oil contamination on a former U.S. Navy base. RCRA contains no express waiver of immunity for private suits seeking monetary damages. And the FTCA only waives sovereign immunity for negligent or wrongful conduct by a federal employee. Here, the property owner failed to establish that the United States was "negligent or wrongful." Marina Bay Realty Trust LLC v. United States, No. 04-1909, 35 ELR 20091 (1st Cir. May 3, 2005) (16 pp.).

TAKINGS, PROPERTY VALUATION:

The Third Circuit reversed a district court judgment awarding compensation to property owners pursuant to the government’s taking of 6.45 acres of land in the Gettysburg National Military Park. The court impermissibly failed to apply the "unit rule" of valuation and, therefore, improperly determined the fair market value of the condemned land. Instead of calculating the fee simple value of the condemned properties (as if in single ownership) without regard to the constituent legal interests, the district court determined its award of just compensation by separately valuing the distinct legal interests of the property owners in the condemned properties. As a result, it awarded compensation to the property owners that exceeded, in aggregate, the amount the United States could fairly be obliged to pay. United States v. 6.45 Acres of Land, No. 03-2305, 35 ELR 20090 (3d Cir. Apr. 29, 2005) (25 pp.).

NATIVE AMERICANS, PROPERTY TRANSFER:

The Tenth Circuit dismissed a Native American tribe's appeal of a General Services Administration determination that property underlying a former military installation no longer lies within the tribe's present-day reservation boundaries and that the tribe is therefore not entitled to the property. The appeal is moot. While the appeal was pending, Congress passed legislation giving the Secretary of the Army specific discretion to convey the property to any entity selected by the Board of Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas. The Secretary exercised this discretion, and a sale of the property is in the process of being consummated. The court, therefore, is unable to give the tribe the relief they seek in the instant action. Shawnee Tribe v. United States, No. 04-3256, 35 ELR 20092 (10th Cir. May 4, 2005) (30 pp.).

EMINENT DOMAIN, PROPERTY VALUATION:

A California appellate court, in an eminent domain action concerning the valuation of property to be used in a highway project, held that a trial court correctly precluded the city's valuation method of the taken property. The city argued that the taken property should be valued based on its "agricultural use" zoning because the proper method for disregarding the influence of the highway project on the value of the taken property would assume the project was abandoned on the valuation date. The city's preferred method, however, is inconsistent with the state code and prior case law. In addition, the property owners' valuation methods--which disregarded the influence of the project on the value of the taken property by assuming the project had never been contemplated and that development pressures would have resulted in a planning process for the area and upzoning by the valuation date--were appropriate under the facts of this case, and the trial court's instructions to the jury were adequate. City of San Diego v. Barratt American, Inc., No. D044079, 35 ELR 20086 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Apr. 25, 2005) (37 pp.).

CALIFORNIA REDEVELOPMENT ACT:

A California appellate court upheld a city's adoption of a redevelopment plan for San Jose, California. The city's finding of blight in the areas affected by the plan was supported by substantial evidence. Evans v. City of San Jose, No H026802, 35 ELR 20088 (Cal. App. 6th Dist. Apr. 28, 2005) (34 pp.).

WATER LAW, SUMMARY JUDGMENT:

A California appellate court reversed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a local water agency in its action to recover water charges from a property owner because triable issues of fact exist concerning the amount owed. The lower court properly dismissed the property owner's defenses concerning the validity of the charge. Nevertheless, the agency failed to establish its damages as a matter beyond controversy and therefore failed to establish an entitlement to summary judgment. Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency v. McGrath, No H026441, 35 ELR 20089 (Cal. App. 6th Dist. Apr. 28, 2005) (21 pp.).

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 a revision to the Michigan SIP that will limit the emissions of nitrogen oxides from large stationary sources. 70 FR 23032 (5/4/05).
  • EPA proposed to approve revisions to the New Mexico SIP that would incorporate the early action compact CAA plan into the SIP with intentions to improve air quality and continued attainment of the eight-hour NAAQS for ozone. 70 FR 23078 (5/4/05).
  • EPA announced that the EPA Environmental Appeals Board denied a petition for review of a federal PSD permit issued to Indeck-Niles L.L.C. by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. 70 FR 23156 (5/4/05).
  • EPA issued a direct final rule approving an Iowa SIP revision that clarifies that only untreated wood, seeds, pellets, and other vegetative matter may be burned in fuel burning equipment and residential heating units; removes a reference to a boiler that was removed at a power and water facility; and clarifies the language with regard to continuous emissions monitoring. 70 FR 22603 (5/2/05).
  • EPA issued a direct final rule approving revisions to the Missouri SIP and Operating Permits Program that will ensure consistency between the state and the federally approved rules. 70 FR 22606 (5/2/05).
  • EPA proposed to approve an Iowa SIP revision that would clarify that only untreated wood, seeds, pellets and other vegetative matter may be burned in fuel burning equipment and residential heating units; remove a reference to a boiler that was removed at a power and water facility; and clarify the language with regard to continuous emissions monitoring; EPA also approved this rule as a direct final rule (see above). 70 FR 22623 (5/2/05).
  • EPA proposed to approve a revision to the Missouri SIP and Operating Permits Program that will ensure consistency between the state and the federally approved rules; EPA also approved this rule as a direct final rule (see above). 70 FR 22624 (5/2/05).
  • EPA approved a Texas SIP revision by approving the incorporation of a memorandum of agreement between the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the North Central Texas Council of Governments into the SIP. 70 FR 20821 (4/22/05).
  • EPA updated materials submitted by the Guam Territory that are incorporated by reference into the territory's SIP. 70 FR 20477 (4/20/05).
  • EPA proposed to approve Georgia's SIP revision that contains a 10 year maintenance plan for the Atlanta area, including new motor vehicle emission budgets for the year 2015; EPA also proposed to determine that the Atlanta area has attained the one hour ozone NAAQS. 70 FR 20508 (4/20/05).
  • EPA updated the Outer Continental Shelf air regulations to remain consistent with the requirements of the corresponding onshore area as proposed for the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control, South Coast Air Quality Management, and Ventura County Air Pollution Control Districts. 70 FR 20058 (4/18/05).

FISHERIES:

  • NMFS announced that the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, Northeast Region, proposed to issue revised exempted fishing permits in response to an application submitted by the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherman's Association in collaboration with the Maine Division of Marine Resources, and Research, Environmental, and Management Support. 70 FR 22649 (5/2/05).
  • FWS and NMFS announced a five-year review of the green, hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, and olive ridley turtles intended to ensure that the listing classifications of the species are accurate under the ESA. 70 FR 20736 (4/21/05).
  • NMFS proposed to issue an exempted fishing permit that would modify a recently approved exempted fishing permit by allowing additional exemptions from regulations governing fisheries in the northeastern United States. 70 FR 20738 (4/21/05).
  • NOAA announced temporary restrictions against lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fisherman operating in a 1,052 square nautical mile area southeast of Chatham, Massachusetts, to protect an aggregation of northern right whales. 70 FR 20486 (4/20/05).

HAZARDOUS AND SOLID WASTES:

  • EPA reconsidered implementing NESHAPs for new and existing sources at brick and structural clay products manufacturing facilities and requested comments on the Agency's decision to base the maximum achievable control technology requirements for certain tunnel kilns on dry limestone adsorption technology. 70 FR 21101 (4/22/05).

MINING:

  • OSM approved an amendment to Iowa's regulatory program under SMCRA that revises the state's 1999 revegetation success guidelines entitled "Revegetation Success Standards and Statistically Valid Sampling Techniques." 70 FR 22795 (5/3/05).
  • OSM approved an amendment to Kentucky's regulatory program under SMCRA after the state submitted examples of common husbandry practices in response to a required amendment under SMCRA. 70 FR 22797 (5/3/05).
  • EPA proposed to reissue two general permits that regulate the activities of mechanical placer mining and suction dredge mining for gold placer mining operations in Alaska. 70 FR 20750 (4/21/05).

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH:

  • OSHA requested data, information, and comment about the sources and uses of ionizing radiation in workplaces today, current employee exposure levels, and adverse health effects associated with ionizing radiation exposure. 70 FR 22835 (5/3/05).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA approved an amended Utah Plan that adds new subcategories and a memorandum of understanding concerning future implementation of an EPA federal pesticide certification program for the Navajo Indian Country. 70 FR 20122 (4/18/05).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • The National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced the availability of background information and study recommendations for 15 nominations of substances that pose a potential human health concern; the NTP seeks public comment and requests the submission of additional relevant information for consideration by the NTP in its evaluation of these nominations. 70 FR 23880 (5/5/05).
  • EPA approved an application for a test marketing exemption under TSCA §5(h)(1) and 40 CFR §720.38. 70 FR 23168 (5/4/05).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS announced the availability of the draft economic analysis and draft EA for the proposal to designate critical habitat for the Roswell springsnail, Koster's springsnail, Pecos assiminea, and Noel's amphipod under the ESA. 70 FR 23087 (5/405).
  • FWS announced the availability of the draft comprehensive conservation plan and EA for the Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex. 70 FR 22898 (5/3/05).
  • FWS determined the allowed take of nestlings in 12 western states for 2005 after having updated information on nesting of American peregrine falcons. 70 FR 22683 (5/2/05).
  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to remove the Idaho springsnail from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants, and to add the Jackson Lake, Harney Lake, and Columbia springsnails to the list as endangered or threatened species. 70 FR 20514 (4/20/05).
  • FWS reopened the comment period for the Technical/Agency Draft Recovery Plan for Catesbaea melanocarpa to solicit comment on the revised recovery goal and recovery criteria sections; the recovery goal aims to protect and stabilize existing populations and associated habitats of the species, and the recovery criteria establish standards for downlisting and delisting. 70 FR 20397 (4/19/05).
  • FWS notified the public and other agencies of the availability of the draft Alamosa River Watershed Restoration Master Plan, which describes the Alamosa river environment, the impacts to watershed resources and land uses, and proposed restoration projects. 70 FR 20172 (4/18/05).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • United States v. Louisville & Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District, No. 3:05-CV-236S (W.D. Ky. Apr. 25, 2005). A settling CWA defendant must propose and implement specific corrective action plans to bring its combined sewer overflows into compliance with water quality standards and to eliminate unauthorized discharges from its sanitary sewers, must pay a civil penalty of $1,000,000 to Kentucky, and, under Kentucky supervision, must perform supplemental environmental projects costing an additional $2,250,000. 70 FR 23229 (5/4/05).
  • United States v. Air Products and Chemicals, No. JH-88-365 (D. Md. Apr. 7, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must implement the record of decision for the third operable unit at the Maryland Sand and Gravel Superfund site; under the consent decree the work performed will cost approximately $23,000,000. 70 FR 20599 (4/20/05).
  • United States v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. CIV-S-05-00686 GEB-DAD (E.D. Cal. Apr. 8, 2005). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $2,500,000 towards the U.S. response costs incurred at the Walker Mine Tailings site, located in Plumas National Forest in Plumas County, California. 70 FR 20599 (4/20/05).
  • United States v. Edwards Oil Service, Inc., No. 05-71379 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 8, 2005). A settling RCRA and CWA defendant must undertake various injunctive measures and pay a civil penalty of $11,000 for violations of RCRA and CWA at the defendant's used oil and hazardous waste treatment facility in Detroit, Michigan. 70 FR 20599 (4/20/05).

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

THE CONGRESS

CHAMBER ACTION:

  • H.R. 6 (Energy Policy Act of 2005), which would ensure jobs for our future with secure, affordable, and reliable energy, was passed by the House. 151 Cong. Rec. H2399. (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005).

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 728 (water quality improvement), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 109-61, 151 Cong. Rec. S4257 (daily ed. Apr. 26, 2005). The bill would provide for the consideration and development of water and related resources, authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States, and other purposes.

BILLS INTRODUCED

  • S. 878 (Corzine, D-N.J.) (offshore drilling), would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently prohibit the conduct of offshore drilling on the outer Continental Shelf in the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic planning areas. 151 Cong. Rec. S4108 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 880 (Boxer, D-Cal.) (marine sanctuaries), would expand the boundaries of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. 151 Cong. Rec. S4108 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 882 (Durbin, D-Ill.) (Land designation), would designate certain federal land in the state of Utah as wilderness, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. S4108 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 883 (Hagel, R-Neb.) (greenhouse gas reduction), would direct the Secretary of State to carry out activities that promote the adoption of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas intensity in developing countries, while promoting economic development, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. S4108 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  • S. 887 (Hagel, R-Neb.) (greenhouse gas reduction), would direct the Secretary of Energy to carry out activities that promote the adoption of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas intensity and to provide credit-based financial assistance and investment protection for projects that employ advanced climate technologies or systems, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. S4108 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 890 (Sarbanes, D-Md.) (alternative transportation), would provide for alternative transportation in certain federally owned or managed areas that are open to the general public. 151 Cong. Rec. S4151 (daily ed. Apr. 22,2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 895 (Domenici, R-N.M.) (water quality), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish a rural water supply program in the reclamation states to provide a clean, safe, affordable, and reliable water supply to rural residents. 151 Cong. Rec. S4184 (daily ed. Apr. 25, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 899 (Burns, R-Mont.) (land use), would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey certain land in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Kootenai National Forests, Montana, to Jefferson County and Sanders County, Montana, for use as cemeteries and other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. S4184 (daily ed. Apr. 25, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 912 (Feingold, D-Wis.) (FWPCA), would amend the FWPCA to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States. 151 Cong. Rec. S4397 (daily ed. Apr. 27, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 918 (Obama, D-Ill.) (alternative fuels), would provide for Flexible Fuel Vehicle refueling capability at new and existing refueling station facilities to promote energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 151 Cong. Rec. S4397 (daily ed. Apr. 27, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 941 (Collins, R-Me.) (forest preservation), would amend the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to establish a program to provide assistance to states and nonprofit organizations to preserve suburban forest land and open space and to contain suburban sprawl. 151 Cong. Rec. S4546 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 942 (Warner, R-Va.) (wilderness designation), would designate additional National Forest System lands in the state of Virginia as wilderness, establish the Seng Mountain and Bear Creek Scenic Areas, and provide for the development of trail plans for the wilderness areas and scenic areas. 151 Cong. Rec. S4546 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 943 (Feingold, D-Wis.) (crane conservation), would assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes and the ecosystems of cranes. 151 Cong. Rec. S4546 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 957 (Bunning, R-Ky.) (coal power), would establish a clean coal power initiative. 151 Cong. Rec. S4546 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 961 (Rockefeller, D-W.V.) (mining), would amend SMCRA to reauthorize and reform the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program. 151 Cong. Rec. S4546 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 964 (Alexander, R-Tenn.) (wildlife conservation and restoration), would provide a conservation royalty from outer continental shelf revenues to establish the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, provide assistance to states under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, ensure adequate funding for conserving and restoring wildlife, and assist local governments in improving local park and recreation systems. 151 Cong. Rec. S4546 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 1958 (Andrews, D-N.J.) (solid waste), would phase out the incineration of solid waste. 151 Cong. Rec. H2734 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1972 (Blackburn, R-Tenn.) (National Park System), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of including in the National Park System certain sites in Williamson County, Tennessee, relating to the Battle of Franklin. 151 Cong. Rec. H2734 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1973 (Blumenauer, D-Or.) (safe water access), would make access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective of the U.S. foreign assistance programs. 151 Cong. Rec. H2734 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on International Relations.
  • H.R. 1975 (Boucher, D-Va.) (wilderness designation), would designate additional National Forest System lands in the state of Virginia as wilderness, establish the Seng Mountain and Bear Creek Scenic Areas, and provide for the development of trail plans for the wilderness areas and scenic areas. 151 Cong. Rec. H2734 (daily ed. Apr. 28, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 2064 (Udall, D-Colo.) (resource protection), would assure that development of certain federal oil and gas resources will occur in ways that protect water resources and respect the rights of the surface owners. 151 Cong. Rec. H2879 (daily ed. May 3, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1718 (Andrews, D-N.J.) (CERCLA), would amend CERCLA to require public availability of an accounting of all funds used, or required to be used, for response to a release of a hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant. 151 Cong. Rec. H2393 (daily ed. Apr. 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1720 (Bishop, D-N.Y.) (sewage treatment), would amend the FWPCA to ensure that sewage treatment plants monitor for and report discharges of raw sewage, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. H2393 (daily ed. Apr. 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1721 (Bishop, D-N.Y.) (water quality), would amend the FWPCA to reauthorize programs to improve the quality of coastal recreation waters, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. H2393 (daily ed. Apr. 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 1744 (Ruppersberger, D-Md.) (alternative fuels), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. 151 Cong. Rec. H2393 (daily ed. Apr. 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 1749 (Otter, R-Idaho)(water pollution control), would affirm that a permit is not required in certain circumstances, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. H2469 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 1774 (Hinchey, D-Utah) (wilderness), would designate certain federal land in the state of Utah as wilderness, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. H2469 (daily ed. Apr. 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 1835 (Cunningham, R-Cal.) (energy efficiency), would provide for various energy efficiency programs and tax incentives, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. H2549 (daily ed. Apr. 26, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on Financial Services.
  • H.R. 1837 (Flake, R-Ariz.) (ESA), would amend the ESA to establish limitations on the designation of critical habitat, and for other purposes. 151 Cong. Rec. H2549 (daily ed. Apr. 26, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.

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

IN THE STATES

New State Development Highlights:

  • The California Air Resources Board is holding a series of public meetings regarding proposed Maritime Air Quality rules which would include regulations for cruise ship onboard incineration, cargo handling equipment at ports, and oceangoing ship auxiliary engines.
  • The California Department of Toxic Substances Control proposes to authorize the State Fire Marshal to treat and destroy seized illegal consumer fireworks in an enclosed mobile treatment unit.
  • The Indiana Natural Resources Commission proposes to allow the use of water as a material for filling uncemented intervals in plugged, abandoned oil and gas wells.
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting about proposed revisions to the SIP which would include a reasonably available control technology determination and a reasonably available control measure analysis for port area activities.

The following states contain new information in this issue:

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

SUDAN JOINS RAMSAR CONVENTION:

  • Sudan signed a treaty to join the list of Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. The treaty came into force on May 7, 2005. Sudan classified Dinder National Park, a large river drainage system encompassing over 40 wetlands, as its first Wetland of International Importance. See http://www.ramsar.org/index_bulletin.htm

EU REQUIRES GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (GMO) TESTING FOR U.S. CORN PRODUCTS:

"PAY AS YOU GO" GARBAGE SYSTEMS SUCCEED IN REDUCING TRASH:

  • In Zurich, the city government sells Zuri-Sacks, the only garbage bag that the city will pick up, for about $4.25 a piece. The city has also reduced trash service frequency to once a week and recycling service to once a month in most neighborhoods. Breaking the strict garbage laws results in steep fines. These seemingly draconian measures have reduced the amount of garbage produced per capita in the city by 40% since 1992. Residents claim the garbage charge has revolutionized the way they consume, for instance increasing their awareness of excessive packaging. Denmark, Germany, and Japan have adopted similar programs. See http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/23/news/trash.php

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

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