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Weekly Update Volume 35, Issue 18

06/27/2005

LITIGATION

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

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, TAKINGS:

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a city's proposed disposition of property owners' property, in a plan designed to revitalize the city's ailing economy, qualifies as a "public use" within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There is no allegation that any of the properties are blighted or otherwise in poor condition; rather, they were condemned only because they happen to be located in the development area. Nevertheless, the takings at issue here would be executed pursuant to a carefully considered development plan, which was not adopted "to benefit a particular class of identifiable individuals." Further, the city's determination that the area at issue was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to deference. Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Kennedy, J., filed a concurring opinion. O'Connor, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist, C.J., and Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Kelo v. City of New London, No. 04-108, 35 ELR 20134 (U.S. June 23, 2005) (58 pp.).

CAA, NEW SOURCE REVIEW (NSR):

The D.C. Circuit remanded portions of a 2002 EPA rule interpreting when a major stationary source undertakes a "modification," thereby triggering the CAA's NSR requirements. EPA erred in promulgating the clean unit applicability test, which measures emissions increases by looking to whether "emissions limitations" have changed. Congress directed the Agency to measure emissions increases in terms of changes in actual emissions. EPA also erred in exempting from NSR certain pollution control projects that decrease emissions of some pollutants but cause collateral increases of others. The statute authorizes no such exception. EPA acted arbitrarily and capriciously in determining that sources making changes need not keep records of their emissions if they see no reasonable possibility that these changes constitute modifications for NSR purposes. The Agency failed to provide a reasoned explanation for how, absent such records, it can ensure compliance with NSR. Industry challenges to passages in the preambles of the 2002 rule and a 1992 rule, as well as government challenges to the implementation of the 2002 rule, are unripe for review. All other challenges to the 2002 rule were rejected. New York v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 02-1387, 35 ELR 20135 (D.C. Cir. June 24, 2005) (73 pp.).

CWA, WETLANDS, DREDGE AND FILL PERMIT:

The Seventh Circuit affirmed a lower court decision finding an excavation company liable under the CWA for discharging dredge and fill material into navigable waters without a permit. The company dumped dredged stumps and roots into a wetland drained by a ditch that runs into a nonnavigable creek that runs into the nonnavigable Lemonweir River that, in turn, runs into the navigable Wisconsin River. Rather than arguing that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations did not apply to the wetland at issue, which would be an unsuccessful argument in any case, the company argued that wetlands are not waters of the United States. But nothing in the U.S. Constitution forbids interpreting the CWA to cover any wetlands that are connected to navigable waters. Whether the wetlands are 100 miles from a navigable waterway or 6 feet, if water from the wetlands enters a stream that flows into the navigable waterway, the wetlands are "waters of the United States" within the meaning of the Act. United States v. Gerke Excavating, Inc., No. 04-3941, 35 ELR 20128 (7th Cir. June 21, 2005) (7 pp.).

CWA, ONGOING VIOLATIONS:

The Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court judgment that citizen groups that filed suit against two farms for spilling swine wastewater into North Carolina rivers without an NPDES permit satisfied the jurisdictional requirements for bringing a citizen suit under CWA §505(a). The parties eventually entered into a consent decree, but it was contingent on the groups being able to establish that they met the CWA's jurisdictional requirements. Here, the occurrence of three sporadic, post-complaint spill events demonstrated that the farms had not eliminated the "real likelihood of repetition" of CWA violations. Thus, the groups provided proof of ongoing violations as required by the CWA. American Canoe Ass'n v. Murphy Farms, Inc., No. 04-2052, 35 ELR 20129 (4th Cir. June 21, 2005) (7 pp.).

CWA, NPDES PERMITS, OIL AND GAS CONSTRUCTION SITES, RIPENESS:

The Fifth Circuit dismissed on ripeness grounds an industry association's petition to review an EPA rule that deferred the NPDES permit requirement for certain oil and gas construction sites until March 10, 2005. On March 9, 2005, EPA promulgated a final rule that further delays the date by which small oil and gas construction sites must obtain permits until June 12, 2006. Consequently, a ruling on this case would inappropriately interfere with administrative action. Nor is the hardship faced by the association at this time sufficient to override the administrative body's right to interpret the law. And the court would benefit from further factual development of the issues presented. Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Ass'n v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 03-60506, 35 ELR 20131 (5th Cir. June 16, 2005) (10 pp.).

CERCLA, CONTRIBUTION, JURISDICTION:

The Third Circuit held that a district court's referral of the equitable allocation portion of a CERCLA contribution action to a magistrate judge was an improper delegation of its traditional adjudicatory function. In conducting the equitable allocation proceeding, the magistrate judge resolved factual disputes going to one of the ultimate issues in the case--what share of a company's response costs should be borne by each of the responsible parties--and, in doing so, essentially tried part of the case. Magistrate judges may not try cases without the parties' consent. Here, the company objected to the referral. Thus, the magistrate judge lacked jurisdiction and the case was remanded for a new equitable allocation proceeding before the district court. Beazer East, Inc. v. Mead Corp., Nos. 02-3727, -4185, 35 ELR 20133 (3d Cir. June 23, 2005) (41 pp.).

FOIA, ENERGY POLICY:

The D.C. Circuit held that federal agencies may withhold from disclosure documents bearing upon the deliberative processes of the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) pursuant to FOIA Exemption 5. Although the NEPDG is not itself an "agency" subject to FOIA, FOIA's deliberative process privilege for government agencies still applies because neither Exemption 5 nor the cases interpreting it distinguish between the decisionmaking activities of an "agency" subject to FOIA and those of the president and his staff, who are not subject to FOIA. All that matters is whether a document will expose the pre-decisional and deliberative processes of the Executive Branch. In addition, DOE need not search the records of DOE employees who were detailed to the NEPDG, as those records are not "agency records" within the meaning of the FOIA. The DOI, however, must disclose the non-exempt documents of one of its employees who created or obtained those documents during the course of his official DOI duties. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Department of Energy, No. 04-5204, 35 ELR 20127 (D.C. Cir. June 17, 2005) (14 pp.).

CALIFORNIA COASTAL ACT, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW:

The California Supreme Court held that California Coastal Act provisions governing the appointment and tenure of members of the California Coastal Commission do not violate the separation of powers clause of the California Constitution. The California Constitution, unlike the U.S. Constitution, does not categorically preclude the legislature from enacting a statutory provision authorizing the legislature itself to appoint a member or members of an executive commission or board. Nevertheless, it does impose limits upon the legislative appointment of executive officers. If a statute allows the legislative appointment to intrude upon the "core zone" of the executive functions of the governor, or if the statutory scheme permits the legislative appointing authority to retain undue control over an appointee's executive actions, the statute would be unconstitutional. In light of the Coastal Commission's functions, the origin, purpose, and operative effect of the Commission's current appointment and tenure structure, and the numerous safeguards incorporated within the California Coastal Act that serve to ensure that the actions of commission members adhere to statutory guidelines and are not improperly interfered with or controlled by the legislative appointing authority, the current provisions do not violate the California Constitution. Marine Forests Society v. California Coastal Commission, No. S113466, 35 ELR 20132 (Cal. June 23, 2005) (80 pp.).

SURFACE MINING, ATTORNEYS FEES:

A California appellate court vacated a lower court order denying environmental groups' motion for attorneys fees in an underlying case challenging a surface mining operation permit. In that case, the groups sought, and eventually obtained, a writ of mandamus setting aside the permit. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §1021.5, the group was the prevailing party in the underlying mandate proceeding and it satisfied all the elements entitling it to an award of fees. Thus, there is no reasonable basis for denying its fee motion. Protect Our Water v. County of Merced, No. F044896, 35 ELR 20130 (Cal. App. 5th Dist. June 21, 2005) (14 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 notified the public of a proposed settlement agreement that would address a lawsuit concerning a petition for review challenging EPA's final rule, "National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Integrated Iron and Steel Manufacturing"; EPA and the petitioners agreed that the Agency will propose amendments to the final rule. 70 FR 36384 (6/23/05).
  • EPA notified the public of a proposed settlement agreement to address a petition for writ of mandamus filed by Sierra Club that directs EPA to complete remand proceedings ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in National Lime Ass'n v. EPA, 233 F.3d 625, 31 ELR 20494 (D.C. Cir. 2000); EPA agreed to publish a notice of final rulemaking in response to the remand order no later than one year after signing the agreement. 70 FR 36386 (6/23/05).
  • EPA announced the availability of applicability determinations, alternative monitoring decisions, and regulatory interpretations that the Agency has made under the new source performance standards, NESHAPs, and the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Program. 70 FR 36147 (6/22/05).
  • EPA delegated authority to Iowa and Kansas for the implementation and enforcement of new source performance standards, NESHAPs, and maximum achievable control technology within their jurisdiction. 70 FR 36523 (6/24/05).
  • SIP approvals: Ohio, 70 FR 35966 (Cincinnati area) (6/21/05); Pennsylvania, 70 FR 36515 (Allegheny County) (6/24/05); Virginia, 70 FR 35382 (volatile organic compound (VOC) emission standards) (6/20/05).
  • SIP proposals: Pennsylvania, 70 FR 36547 (Allegheny County; see above for direct final rule) (6/24/05);Virginia, 70 FR 35391 (VOC emission standards; see above for direct final rule) (6/20/05).

FISHERIES:

  • NMFS proposed to amend the regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan; the amendments would revise the management measures for reducing incidental mortality and serious injury to the North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale, and fin whale in commercial fisheries to meet the goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the ESA. 70 FR 35944 (6/21/04).
  • NMFS proposed threatened status for the southern distinct population segment of North American green sturgeon. 70 FR 35392 (6/20/05).
  • NMFS announced changes to the regulations for the Area 2A sport halibut fisheries off the central coast of Oregon; the changes allow recreational salmon vessels to retain halibut caught legally outside of the yelloweye rockfish conservation area. 70 FR 36535 (6/24/05).
  • NMFS announced that it may issue an exempted fishing permit to Limuli Laboratories of Cape May Court House, New Jersey; the permit would allow the laboratories to conduct the fifth year of an exempted fishing operation otherwise restricted by regulations prohibiting the harvest of horseshoe crabs in the Carl N. Schuster Jr. Horseshoe Crab Reserve located three nautical miles seaward from the mouth of the Delaware Bay. 70 FR 36126 (6/22/05).

HAZARDOUS AND SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA authorized changes to Vermont's hazardous waster program under RCRA. 70 FR 36354 (6/23/05).
  • EPA proposed to grant final authorization of changes to Vermont's hazardous waste program under RCRA; EPA approved these changes in a direct final rule (see above). 70 FR 36365 (6/23/05).
  • EPA notified the public of a proposed administrative ability-to-pay settlement with Velsicol Chemical Corporation that requires the company to pay $1,454,000 to resolve its liability under a prior settlement agreement in connection with numerous Superfund sites across the country. 70 FR 36386 (6/23/05).
  • EPA proposed to modify an exclusion from the lists of hazardous waste previously granted to Nissan North America, Inc., in Smyrna, Tennessee. 70 FR 36554 (6/24/05).

MINING:

  • OSM proposed to approve an amendment to the Alaska regulatory program under SMCRA that concerns revisions to its regulations for the revegetation of areas with a fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, shelter belts, or forest products post mining land use; subsidence and water replacement; bond release applications; topsoil removal; the removal of siltation structures; impoundment design; coal mine waste; and mining of coal incidental to the extraction of other minerals. 70 FR 36363 (6/23/05).

NATURAL RESOURCES:

  • The Forest Service established regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to the taking of wildlife for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2005-2006 regulatory year. 70 FR 36315 (6/22/05).
  • The Forest Service notified the public of the Federal Subsistence Board's in-season management actions to protect sockeye salmon escapement in the Copper River while still providing for a subsistence harvest opportunity and for a more efficient harvest method for chinook salmon in the Stikine River. 70 FR 36036 (6/22/05).
  • The Forest Service notified the public of the Federal Subsistence Board's in-season management actions to protect sockeye salmon escapement in the Copper River while still providing for a subsistence harvest opportunity. 70 FR 35539 (6/21/05).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability of the environmental fate and effects risk assessment for the pesticide carbofuran and solicited public comment on this document. 70 FR 36588 (6/24/05).
  • EPA announced the availability of and solicited public comment on its environmental fate and effects risk assessment for the carbamate pesticide aldicarb. 70 FR 36150 (6/22/05).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA announced receipt of a petition submitted by the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Michigan, under TSCA §21 and requested comments on issues raised by the petition; such issues include requests for EPA to establish regulations that would prohibit the manufacture, processing, distribution, use, and improper disposal of lead used in wheel balancing weights. 70 FR 35669 (6/21/05).

WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA Region 10 proposed to extend the area of coverage for the general NPDES permit for offshore oil and gas exploration facilities on the outer continental shelf (OCS) and contiguous state waters to include the northern portion of Hope Basin and other OCS areas along the northeast boundary that are within the Mineral Management Service's current five-year oil and gas leasing program. 70 FR 36383 (6/23/05).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS announced that the final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and EA is available for Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Michigan. 70 FR 36651 (6/24/05).
  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the California spotted owl as threatened or endangered under the ESA. 70 FR 35614 (6/21/05).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., Nos. 86-1094 et al. (E.D. Pa. June 14, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $5,900,000 in U.S. response costs incurred at the Paoli Railyard Superfund in Paoli, Pennsylvania, must pay EPA future costs in an amount not to exceed $37,500 annually, and must pay DOI $500,000 in settlement of natural resource damages claims. 70 FR 36408 (6/23/05).
  • United States v. Newark Group, Inc., No. 05-02144-JW (N.D. Cal. May 25, 2005). A settling CERCLA defendant must perform long-term maintenance of the asphalt and concrete caps on its 1.47-acre property, which is part of the Lorentz Barrel and Drum site in San Jose, California; must establish institutional controls limiting future uses of its property; and must reimburse the United States $15,000 in response costs. 70 FR 36409 (6/23/05).
  • United States v. Mraz, Nos. CCB-03-332, -89-2869 (D. Md. June 6, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must reimburse the United States in the amount of $110,000 for response costs incurred at the Maryland Sand Superfund site in Elkton, Maryland. 70 FR 36409 (6/23/05).
  • United States v. Stauffer Management Co., No. 8:05-cf-1024 (M.D. Fla. June 2, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must perform a remedy chosen by EPA to clean up the Stauffer Chemical Superfund site in Tarpon Springs, Florida, must pay $207,548 towards EPA's unreimbursed past response costs, and must pay EPA's future response costs incurred in connection with the site. 70 FR 36409 (6/23/05).
  • United States v. Sunoco, No. 05-cv-2866 (E.D. Pa. June 16, 2005). A Settling CAA defendant must install add-on control technologies and implement enhanced flaring, benzene, and leak detection and repair programs that will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter from refinery process units consistent with best available control technology standards and new source performance standards emissions limits; must adopt and implement other comprehensive, facility-wide programs for monitoring and controlling emissions of benzene and other volatile organic compounds; must install a redundant sulfur recovery plant with a tail gas unit at its Toledo refinery; must pay a civil penalty of $3,000,000; and must perform supplemental environmental projects valued at more than $3,900,000. 70 FR 36410 (6/23/05).
  • United States v. Valero Refining Co., No. SA-05-CA-0569 (W.D. Tex. June 16, 2005). Settling CAA defendants must implement pollution control technologies to greatly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides from refinery process units and adopt facility-wide enhanced monitoring and fugitive emission control programs; must adopt measures to eliminate excess flaring of hydrogen sulfide; must pay a civil penalty of $5,500,000; and must spend $5,500,000 on supplemental environmental projects. 70 FR 36410 (6/23/05).

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

THE CONGRESS

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 260 (fish and wildlife habitats), was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. H. Rep. No. 109-86, 151 Cong. Rec. H7069 (daily ed. June 22, 2005). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners to restore, enhance, and manage private land to improve fish and wildlife habitats through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
  • H.R. 280 (brownfields), was reported by the Committee on Financial Services. H. Rep. No. 109-138, 151 Cong. Rec. H4654 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill would facilitate the provision of assistance by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the cleanup and economic redevelopment of brownfields.
  • H.R. 1158 (steel and aluminum energy), was reported by the Committee on Science. H. Rep. 109-147, 151 Cong. Rec. H4984 (daily ed. June 22, 2005). The bill would reauthorize the Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology Competitiveness Act of 1988.
  • H.R. 1412 (Ports and Waterways Safety Act), was reported by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. H. Rep. No. 109-137, 151 Cong. Rec. H4654 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill would amend the Ports and Waterways Safety Act to require notification of the Coast Guard regarding obstructions to navigation.
  • H.R. 2419 (energy and water), was reported by the Committee on Appropriations. H. Rep. No. 109-84, 151 Cong. Rec. H6740 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill would make appropriations for energy and water development for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006.

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 1256 (Biden, D-Del.) (hazardous materials), would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop regulations regarding the transportation of extremely hazardous materials. 151 Cong. Rec. S6841 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 1265 (Voinovich, R-Ohio) (diesel emissions), would make grants and loans available to states and other organizations to strengthen the economy, public health, and environment of the United States by reducing emissions from diesel engines. 151 Cong. Rec. S6741 (daily ed. June 16, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1269 (Inhofe, R-Okla.) (Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA)), would amend the FWPCA to clarify certain activities the conduct of which does not require a permit. 151 Cong. Rec. S6825 (daily ed. June 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1270 (Snowe, R-Me.) (Green Chemistry Research and Development Program), would provide for the implementation of a Green Chemistry Research and Development Program. 151 Cong. Rec. S6825 (daily ed. June 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 1273 (Reid, D-Nev.) (wild horses and burros), would provide for the sale and adoption of excess wild free-roaming horses and burros. 151 Cong. Rec. S6825 (daily ed. June 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1284 (Boxer, D-Cal.) (Headwaters Forest Reserve), would designate the John L. Burton Trail in the Headwaters Forest Reserve, California. 151 Cong. Rec. S6910 (daily ed. June 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1288 (Wyden, D-Or.) (National Park System), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements to protect natural resources of units of the National Park System through collaborative efforts on land inside and outside of units of the National Park System. 151 Cong. Rec. S7070 (daily ed. June 22, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 2930 (Stupak, D-Mich.) (oil and gas drilling), would prohibit the issuance of any federal or state permit or lease for new oil and gas slant, directional, or offshore drilling in or under one or more of the Great Lakes. 151 Cong. Rec. H4654 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 2938 (Duncan, R-Tenn.) (windmills), would provide for local control for the siting of windmills. 151 Cong. Rec. S4654 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 2939 (Weldon, R-Pa.) (oceans), would establish a national policy for our oceans, strengthen NOAA, and establish a Committee on Ocean Policy. 151 Cong. Rec. H4654 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Science.
  • H.R. 2940 (English, R-Pa.) (CERCLA), would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that certain settlement funds established under CERCLA are beneficially owned by the United States and are not subject to tax. 151 Cong. Rec. H4655 (daily ed. June 15, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 2964 (Cole, R-Okla.) (national trails), would amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Chisholm Trail and Great Western Trail historic cattle-drive trails for study and for potential addition to the National Trails System. 151 Cong. Rec. H4721 (daily ed. June 17, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 2978 (Rehberg, R-Mont.) (water rights), would allow the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation to enter into a lease or other temporary conveyance of water rights recognized under the Fort Peck-Montana Compact for the purpose of meeting the water needs of the Dry Prairie Rural Water Association, Inc. 151 Cong. Rec. H4722 (daily ed. June 17, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 2993 (Porter, R-Nev.) (wild horses and burros), would provide for the sale of excess wild free-roaming horses and burros. 151 Cong. Rec. H4802 (daily ed. June 20, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 3013 (DeFazio, D-Or.) (Forest Service), would provide for the disposal of certain Forest Service administrative sites in the state of Oregon. 151 Cong. Rec. H4896 (daily ed. June 21, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 3017 (Lowey, D-N.Y.) (nuclear facilities), would provide certain requirements for the licensing of commercial nuclear facilities. 151 Cong. Rec. H4896 (daily ed. June 21, 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

New State Development Highlights:

  • The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is proposing to amend the state's drinking water standards.
  • California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assess released the comments it received at its May 9, 2005, public workshop to explore a potential regulatory action exempting exposures to listed chemicals that form from natural constituents in food during cooking or heat processing from Proposition 65 warning requirements.
  • The Colorado Public Utilities Commission proposes to amend rules regulating the service of electric utilities to implement a renewable energy standard.
  • The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is proposing a rule that will require manufacturers to reduce the volatile organic compound content of consumer products such as air fresheners, windshield washer fluids, carpet cleaners, deodorants, floor polishes, hairsprays, metal polishes, and shaving creams.

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

INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION DENIES JAPAN PROPOSAL:

  • Greenwire reported on June 22, 2005, that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) passed a resolution requesting that Japan cease its taking of whales, either by abolishing its current scientific research program or by switching to non-lethal methods. This resolution came as a response to a request by Japan to expand its research hunts from the current 440 whales to over 1,000 whales per year. The head of Japan's fisheries ministry pointed out that the resolution is non-binding and asserted that Japan will continue with its plan despite the IWC request. ABC reported on June 23, 2005, that Japan is threatening to leave the IWC. See http://www.abc.net.au/news/items/200506/1398498.htm?hobart

ONTARIO PASSES NEW SPILLS BILL:

  • On June 9, 2005, Ontario passed new legislation that allows government to levy large fines against polluters even if they have not been convicted of an offense. Fines can be as large as $100,000 per day for chemicals spilled, and even larger fines can follow conviction. The bill has been highly contested since its introduction last fall. See http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050609.wonta0609/BNStory/National

G8 SUMMIT TO FOCUS ON GLOBAL WARMING:

  • The next G8 Summit will be July 6-8, 2005, at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, United Kingdom (UK). The agenda will focus on global warming as one of its two feature issues. The UK, which holds the G8 presidency this year, has set three goals regarding global warming: first, to set out a clear direction of travel, based on the science; second, to agree on a package of practical measures, focusing on technology; and third, to work in partnership with the major emerging economies to reach a new consensus on how we deal with the challenge in the future. See http://www.g8.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1094235520309

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

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