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Weekly Update Volume 35, Issue 23

08/15/2005

LITIGATION

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


NATIONWIDE PERMITS, FINAL AGENCY ACTION:

The D.C. Circuit reversed in part a lower court decision that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to review various associations' challenge to certain nationwide permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lower court held that the permits were not "final agency action" subject to judicial review. Although it found that the permits marked the completion of the Corps' decisionmaking process, it held that no legally binding action has taken place as to any given project until either an individual permit application is denied or an enforcement action is instituted. However, the permits create legal rights and impose binding obligations insofar as they authorize certain discharges of dredged and fill material into navigable waters without any detailed, project-specific review by the Corps. While some builders can discharge immediately, others must either put their projects on hold or modify the projects to meet the requisite conditions. Either way, through increased delay or project modification, the permits directly affect the investment and project development choices of those whose activities are subject to the CWA. In addition, the associations may go forward with their Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) claims because the Corps' issuance of the permits constitutes final agency action in the form of a legislative rule and their challenge focuses on the Corps' compliance with the Act. Similarly, their APA and RFA claims are ripe for review. The associations, however, lack standing on their NEPA claim. They failed to demonstrate a substantial probability that they fall within NEPA's zone of interests. National Ass'n of Home Builders v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Nos. 04-5009 et al., 35 ELR 20157 (D.C. Cir. July 29, 2005) (31 pp.).


CWA, NEPA, DREDGE AND FILL PERMITS:

The Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a city's CWA and NEPA suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking to rescind a dredge and fill permit issued to a port for the construction of a 10-berth cargo and cruise ship terminal off Galveston Bay, Texas. The Corps did not undercount the acreage within its wetlands jurisdiction, thereby corrupting the entire decisional process under the CWA. In addition, the Corps did not err in failing to consider two other sites as practicable alternatives to the terminal. Nor was it an abuse of discretion for the Corps to construe the CWA and its regulations as not requiring it to consider any future deepening of the Houston Ship Channel as an adverse environmental consequence of issuing the permit. The city's NEPA claims similarly failed. The Corps' no-action alternative was not flawed, and the Corps did not abuse its discretion when it decided that the deepening of the Houston Ship Channel was too speculative to warrant consideration as a cumulative impact of the permit. City of Shoreacres v. Waterworth, No. 04-20527, 35 ELR 20162 (5th Cir. Aug. 8, 2005) (26 pp.).


CERCLA, STATUTES OF REPOSE:

The Fifth Circuit held that CERCLA §309, which preempts a state's statute of limitations if it provides a commencement date earlier than the federal commencement date, does not preempt Texas' 15-year statute of repose in a chemical company's products liability claim. The lawsuit arose after the chemical company's above-ground storage tank ruptured and released chemicals onto its property. The company filed suit alleging that the manufacturer sold it a defective product. Although the Texas repose statute would require the 15-year repose period to begin on the day of sale, which was more than 15 years ago, the company argued that CERCLA §309 applied and, therefore, the commencement date began on the date of the rupture. CERCLA §309, however, does not extend to Texas' statute of repose. Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose are quite different. Unlike a statute of limitations, a statute of repose creates a substantive right to be free from liability after a legislatively determined period. The statute of repose, therefore, applies and the company's claim is time barred. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. Skinner Tank Co., No. 04-11217, 35 ELR 20159 (5th Cir. July 28, 2005) (17 pp.).


NATIONAL FORESTS, NEPA, APA:

The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision upholding the U.S. Forest Service's land management plan for the Tongass National Forest. The Forest Service's error in assessing market demand for timber fatally infected its balance of economic and environmental considerations, rendering the plan for the Tongass arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA. Moreover, the EIS was misleading because it presented as fact for decisionmakers and the public twice the market demand and economic benefit attendant to the plan. Nor did the EIS consider an adequate range of alternatives in light of a correct interpretation of data that the Forest Service had on market demand projections for Tongass timber. Last, the EIS did not consider the cumulative impacts of past and reasonably foreseeable future nonfederal logging in high-volume, old growth forest of the Tongass. Natural Resources Defense Council v. United States Forest Service, No. 04-35868, 35 ELR 20160 (9th Cir. Aug. 5, 2005) (34 pp.).


NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT ACT (NFMA), NEPA:

The Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. Forest Service violated the NFMA and NEPA in approving a wildlife improvement project that involves a timber sale within the Helena National Forest. The record does not include a basis for the Forest Service's conclusion that the project will not violate the forest plan's hiding cover standard for big game. Thus, its approval of the project was arbitrary and capricious and a violation of NFMA. And the project EIS is inadequate under NEPA because, by using a hiding cover calculation denominator that is inconsistent with that required by the forest plan, the Forest Service did not take a "hard look" at the project's true effect and failed to inform the public of the project's environmental impact. Native Ecosystems Council v. United States Forest Service, No. 04-35375, 35 ELR 20166 (9th Cir. Aug. 11, 2005) (18 pp.).


WATER LAW, CONTRACT LAW, IRRIGATION DISTRICTS:

The Ninth Circuit held that landowners residing within various irrigation districts in central Arizona may not seek declaratory relief to prevent modification of existing irrigation contracts between the Central Arizona Water Conservation District and the United States. The landowners are merely incidental beneficiaries to the contracts. Under federal law principles of contract interpretation, incidental beneficiaries may not assert claims predicated upon a federal contract in the absence of a clear intent to confer an enforceable benefit. In this case, neither the master contract nor the relevant subcontracts contain language evincing a clear intent to benefit the landowners. Thus, the landowners are not third-party beneficiaries, and their complaint was properly dismissed by the district court. Smith v. Central Arizona Water Conservation District, No. 03-16962, 35 ELR 20164 (9th Cir. Aug. 10, 2005) (17 pp.).


NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT (NHPA), PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION:

The Ninth Circuit held that NHPA §106 does not provide for a private right of action against the United States. The case arose after a Native American tribe filed suit against the U.S. government seeking an injunction to maintain water levels in the San Carlos Reservoir in Arizona. Section 106 does not expressly provide that private individuals may sue to enforce its provisions. Nor does it implicitly provide a private right of action. And the thrust of §106 is not directed to individuals or entities that may be harmed through violation of NHPA’s dictates, but rather to the persons regulated--the heads of federal agencies. This focus on regulating agencies provides little reason to infer a private right of action. Rather, as with NEPA, an aggrieved party must pursue its remedy under the APA. Consequently, because the tribe has not sought review under the APA, the lower court properly dismissed its NHPA claim. This holding creates a split with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fifth Circuits, which have held that NHPA's attorneys fees provision evinces an implied right of action. San Carlos Apache Tribe v. United States, No. 03-16874, 35 ELR 20163 (9th Cir. Aug. 9, 2005) (14 pp.).


MINING LAW, STANDING:

The California Supreme Court held that the Director of the California Department of Conservation has standing to file a petition for a writ of mandate challenging a county's approval of reclamation plans and financial assurances for two surface mining operations. The Director's standing to pursue a writ of mandate is essential to protect his--and the public's--interest in adequate financial assurances and reclamation plans under the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. Similarly, if the county failed to provide the Director with adequate information under the California Environmental Quality Act, he has an interest in the issuance of a writ of mandate to correct this deficiency. People v. El Dorado County, No. S116870, 35 ELR 20161 (Cal. Aug. 8, 2005) (27 pp.).


LAND USE, CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT:

A California appellate court held that a county must set aside its approvals for a development project. The project is inconsistent with the county's general plan because it will cause an impermissible increase in traffic. In addition, the environmental impact report for the project must be set aside. It uses an improper legal standard and it improperly defers mitigation. Endangered Habitats League, Inc. v. County of Orange, No. G034416, 35 ELR 20158 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. July 29, 2005) (25 pp.).


LAND USE, CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA):

A California appellate court held that a city violated CEQA in adopting revisions to its general plan with regard to unleashed dogs at a state beach. The city's initial study failed to adequately describe the impacts of off-leash dog use at the beach. Once the informational requirements of a complete initial study have been met, the city may again determine whether a negative declaration, a mitigated negative declaration, or an environmental impact report is appropriate. Lighthouse Field Beach Rescue v. City of Santa Cruz, No. H027491, 35 ELR 20165 (Cal. App. 6th Dist. Aug. 10, 2005) (44 pp.).


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


THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

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


GENERAL:



  • EPA announced a collaborative effort between EPA and the Environmental Council of the States to integrate performance-based environmental leadership programs into standard operating procedures for the states and EPA in order to identify, develop, and implement incentives for top environmental performers that are part of state and federal performance-based environmental leadership programs. 70 FR 44921 (8/4/05).

  • NOAA proposed clarifications to its internal policy on partnerships in the provision of environmental information. 70 FR 44913 (8/4/05).

AGRICULTURE:



  • The Natural Resources Conservation Service proposed revisions to eight conservation practice standards regarding waste storage and treatment systems and irrigation systems for highly erodible land and wetlands in Indiana. 70 FR 45649 (8/8/05).

AIR:



  • EPA revoked the one-hour standard for areas with effective eight-hour ozone designations. 70 FR 44470 (8/3/05).

  • EPA issued final revisions to the national emission standards for coke oven pushing, quenching, and battery stacks. 70 FR 44285 (8/2/05).

  • EPA issued amendments to the NESHAPs for cellulose products manufacturing that revise the work practice standards, general and initial compliance requirements, definitions, and the applicability of general provisions. 70 FR 46683 (8/10/05).

  • EPA proposed a revision to regional haze regulations regarding alternative emissions trading programs. 70 FR 44153 (8/1/05).

  • EPA proposed performance specifications to evaluate the acceptability of predictive emission monitoring systems when used on stationary sources. 70 FR 45608 (8/8/05).

  • EPA proposed to amend the NESHAPs for cellulose products manufacturing (see above for direct final rule). 70 FR 46701 (8/10/05).

  • EPA proposed to make no revisions to the NESHAPs for gasoline distribution facilities. 70 FR 46452 (8/10/05).

  • EPA entered into a proposed consent decree in Sierra Club v. Johnson, No. 05CV00750 (ESH) (D.D.C.), that would require the Agency to respond to the remand in Sierra Club v. Leavitt, 368 F.3d 1300, 34 ELR 20030 (11th Cir. 2004), by September 15, 2005, and consider a petition to object to the CAA Title V operating permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for the Oglethorpe Power Corporation's Wansley combined cycle energy facility; the decree would also require the Agency to make a payment to Sierra Club to settle its claims for attorneys' fees. 70 FR 47197 (8/12/05).

  • EPA entered into a proposed consent decree in Sierra Club v. Johnson, No. 1:04CV00094 (RBW) (D.D.C.), that would require the Agency to propose rulemaking to control hazardous air pollutants from motor vehicles and motor vehicle fuels, or, in the alternative, propose that no such requirements are necessary, by February 28, 2006, and to take final action on the proposal no later than February 9, 2007. 70 FR 46168 (8/9/05).

  • EPA entered into a proposed consent decree in Sierra Club v. Johnson, Nos. 1:03CV02411 (GK), 1:04CV00484 (GK) (D.D.C.), that would require the Agency to take actions under CAA §§112(d)(6) and 112(f)(2) for six source categories for which EPA had previously promulgated emission standards under CAA §112(d). 70 FR 46170 (8/9/05).

  • EPA entered into a proposed consent decree in UCB Films, Inc. v. EPA, Nos. 02-1250, -1252 (D.C. Cir.), that would require EPA to amend certain portions of the NESHAPs for cellulose products manufacturing. 70 FR 46169 (8/9/05).

  • EPA announced that it issued a prevention of significant deterioration construction permit and CAA Title V permit to a company to construct and operate a compressor station in Minnesota. 70 FR 46171 (8/9/05).

  • EPA approved the Maryland Department of the Environment's request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce the federal plan that establishes emissions limits, compliance schedules, monitoring, operating, and recordkeeping requirements for small municipal waste combustor units under CAA §§111(d) and 129. 70 FR 46773 (8/11/05).

  • EPA proposed to approve the Maryland Department of the Environment's request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce the federal plan for small municipal waste combustor units under CAA §§111(d) and 129 (see above for direct final rule). 70 FR 46798 (8/11/05).

  • EPA made an interim final determination to stay and/or defer imposition of sanctions based on a proposed approval of revisions to the San Joaquin Valley air pollution control district portion of the California SIP (see below for SIP approval). 70 FR 46772 (8/11/05).

  • SIP Approvals: California (visible emissions; San Joaquin Valley and Monterey Bay air pollution control districts), 70 FR 46770 (8/11/05); (Ventura County air pollution control district), 70 FR 46090 (8/9/05). Colorado (visibility), 70 FR 44052 (8/1/05). North Dakota (permitting, prevention of significant deterioration), 70 FR 45539 (8/8/05). Texas (ozone, vehicle inspection and maintenance), 70 FR 45542 (8/8/05). Utah (carbon monoxide, vehicle inspections program), 70 FR 44055 (8/1/05). Washington (solid waste incinerators), 70 FR 44855 (8/4/05).

  • SIP Proposals: California (visible emissions; San Joaquin Valley and Monterey Bay air pollution control districts; see above for direct final rule), 70 FR 46798 (8/11/05); (Ventura County air pollution control district; see above for direct final rule), 70 FR 46126 (8/9/05). Colorado (visibility; see above for direct final rule), 70 FR 44075 (8/1/05). North Dakota (permitting, prevention of significant deterioration; see above for direct final rule), 70 FR 45607 (8/8/05). Ohio (particulate matter; Cleveland area), 70 FR 46127 (8/9/05). Texas (low emission diesel fuel program), 70 FR 46448 (8/10/05). Utah (carbon monoxide, vehicle inspections program; see above for direct final rule), 70 FR 44075 (8/1/05).

DRINKING WATER:



  • EPA tentatively approved a revision to the Texas public water system supervision program that adopts the arsenic rule and the radionuclides rule. 70 FR 46838 (8/11/05).

  • EPA announced that it proposed to approve revisions to Montana's public water system supervision program that adopt several federal regulations, including the arsenic rule, the consumer confidence report rule, and the long-term 1 enhanced surface water treatment rule. 70 FR 46173 (8/9/05).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTES:



  • EPA added mercury-containing equipment to the list of universal wastes regulated under RCRA. 70 FR 45507 (8/5/05).

  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative order on consent in connection with the Creighton Chemical Superfund site in Knox County, Nebraska, that requires the settling party to pay $9,000 in response costs. 70 FR 46172 (8/9/05).

  • DOE announced the availability of the final EIS for the remediation of contaminated soils, tailings, and groundwater at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings site in Grand County, Utah. 70 FR 45380 (8/5/05).

  • EPA proposed to approve changes to the Ohio hazardous waste program under RCRA. 70 FR 46799 (8/11/05).

  • EPA approved a petition to exclude certain mixed waste from regulation as hazardous waste following its treatment at DOE's Hanford Facility in Richland, Washington. 70 FR 44496 (8/3/05).

  • EPA granted site-specific variances from the land disposal restrictions treatment standards for selenium-bearing waste to two RCRA permitted treatment facilities in Model City, New York, and Indianapolis, Indiana. 70 FR 44505 (8/3/05).

PESTICIDES:



  • EPA announced the availability of the human health risk assessment and related documents for the pesticide ethylene oxide. 70 FR 44632 (8/3/05).


  • EPA granted pesticide experimental use permits to five applicants. 70 FR 46510 (8/10/05).


PUBLIC LAND:



  • The National Forest Service issued an interim directive to guide agency employees in identifying and evaluating potential wilderness areas during land management planning. 70 FR 45647 (8/8/05).

  • The National Forest Service announced adjustments to the land management revision process for the Dixie and Fishlake National Forests in Utah. 70 FR 44884 (8/4/05).

  • BLM and the National Park Service announced the availability of the draft management plan and final EIS for the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho. 70 FR 47225 (8/12/05).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:



  • The EPA Administrator forwarded to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services a draft proposed rule that formalizes and clarifies EPA's policies on the use of intentional human exposure studies under FIFRA and the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. 70 FR 46448 (8/10/05).

WATER:



  • EPA announced the availability of guidance for 2006 for assessment, listing, and reporting requirements under CWA §§303(d), 305(b), and 314. 70 FR 47200 (8/12/05).

  • EPA proposed to amend the regulations establishing effluent limitations guidelines, pretreatment standards, and new source performance standards for the iron and steel manufacturing point source category. 70 FR 46459 (8/10/05).

WILDLIFE:



  • FWS listed the Roswell springsnail, Koster's springsnail, and Noel's amphipod as endangered, and the Pecos assiminea as endangered with critical habitat, under the ESA; the invertebrates are found at sinkholes, springs, and associated spring runs and wetland habitats in New Mexico and Texas. 70 FR 46303 (8/9/05).

  • FWS determined threatened status for the southwest Alaska distinct population segment of the northern sea otter; this population segment has undergone an overall population decline of at least 55-67% since the mid-1980s. 70 FR 46365 (8/9/05).

  • FWS proposed to designate 74,233 acres of Sonoma County, California, as critical habitat for the threatened California tiger salamander. 70 FR 44301 (8/2/05).

  • FWS proposed to remove the Arizona distinct population segment of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and to eliminate its designated critical habitat. 70 FR 44547 (8/3/05).

  • FWS proposed to create a special rule for the southwest Alaska distinct population segment of northern sea otter to allow for the limited, noncommercial import and export of items that qualify as authentic native articles of handicrafts and clothing by Alaska Natives. 70 FR 46387 (8/9/05).

  • FWS announced a 90-day finding denying a petition to remove the slackwater darter from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants and requested information concerning the status of or threats to the species in order to complete a five-year review under ESA §4(c)(2)(A). 70 FR 46465 (8/10/05).

  • FWS announced a 90-day finding denying a petition to remove Furbish lousewort from the list of endangered and threatened plants and initiated a five-year review of this species under §4(c)(2)(A) of the ESA. 70 FR 46467 (8/10/05).

  • FWS announced the final designation of critical habitat for 4 vernal pool crustaceans and 11 vernal pool plants. 70 FR 46923 (8/11/05).

  • FWS announced the availability of the final comprehensive conservation plan and the finding of no significant impact for the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge in California. 70 FR 44678 (8/3/05).

  • FWS announced the availability of the draft comprehensive conservation plan and EIS for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Folkston, Georgia. 70 FR 44355 (8/2/05).

  • FWS announced the availability of the draft economic analysis and draft EIS for a proposal to designate critical habitat for the Arkansas River Basin population of the Arkansas River shiner. 70 FR 44078 (8/1/05).

  • FWS and the National Forest Service announced a revised fishing schedule to protect sockeye salmon escapement and provide for a subsistence harvest on the Copper River in Alaska. 70 FR 46768 (8/11/05).

  • FWS and the National Forest Service proposed regulations for hunting and trapping seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of wildlife for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2006-2007 regulatory year. 70 FR 46795 (8/11/05).

  • NMFS announced temporary restrictions on lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishing for 15 days in an area east of Boston, Massachusetts, to protect an aggregation of northern right whales. 70 FR 44289 (8/2/05).

  • NMFS issued a permit to the Sea Turtle and Fisheries Ecology Research Lab at Texas A&M University in Galveston, Texas, to take Kemp's ridley, loggerhead, green, and hawksbill sea turtles for scientific research. 70 FR 44091 (8/1/05).

  • NMFS issued authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Survey for the incidental take by harassment of small numbers of marine mammals during oceanographic seismic surveys in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. 70 FR 44901 (8/4/05).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:



  • United States v. County of Santa Clara, No. 05-03073 PVT (N.D. Cal. July 28, 2005). Under two proposed consent decrees, settling CERCLA defendants agreed to perform a series of restoration projects and to pay a total of $375,000 for past expenses and $185,000 for future expenses incurred in response to mercury contamination from the New Almaden Mine Complex in San Jose, California. 70 FR 44939 (8/4/05).

  • United States v. Baltimore County, Maryland, No. AMD 05CV2028 (D. Md. July 26, 2005). A settling CWA defendant must perform injunctive measures estimated to cost $800 million over 14 years, perform three supplemental environmental projects valued at no less than $4.5 million, and pay a $750,000 civil penalty to be shared equally between the United States and Maryland to resolve claims related to unpermitted discharges of wastewater from the defendant's sanitary sewer collection system into various waters of the United States and Maryland. 70 FR 46888 (8/11/05).

  • United States v. Sunoco, Inc., No. 05-3866 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 2005). Settling CWA and Oil Pollution Act defendants must pay a $2,742,600 civil penalty and $865,000 in natural resources damages to resolve claims related to a February 2, 2000, oil spill in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 70 FR 46888 (8/11/05).

  • United States v. U.S. Sugar, No. 05-61271-CV-Huck/Simonton (S.D. Fla. July 29, 2005). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay a total of $2,585,956.11 in EPA response costs incurred at the Florida Petroleum Reprocessors Superfund site and must conduct remedial design and remedial action to address releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances from the site. 70 FR 46889 (8/11/05).

  • United States v. Washington Suburban Sanitation Comm'n, No. 90-5-1-1-07360 (D. Md. July 26, 2005). A settling CWA defendant must perform injunctive measures estimated to cost $200 million over 14 years, pay a civil penalty of $1.1 million that would be shared equally by the United States and Maryland, and perform three supplemental environmental projects valued at no less than $4.4 million to resolve claims related to unpermitted discharges of wastewater from the defendant's sanitary sewer collection system to various waters of the United States and Maryland. 70 FR 46889 (8/11/05).

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


THE CONGRESS

CHAMBER ACTION:



  • S. 447 (Jornada Experimental Range Transfer Act), which would authorize the conveyance of certain federal land in the state of New Mexico, was passed by the Senate. 151 Cong. Rec. S9198 (daily ed. July 27, 2005).

COMMITTEE ACTION:



  • S. 1291 (mineral interests), was reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs. S. Rep. No. 109-116, 151 Cong. Rec. S9466 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill would provide for the acquisition of subsurface mineral interests in land owned by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and in land held in trust for the Tribe.

BILLS INTRODUCED:



  • S. 1576 (Smith, R-Or.) (irrigation), would authorize early repayment of obligations to the Bureau of Reclamation within the Rogue River Valley Irrigation District or the Medford Irrigation District. 151 Cong. Rec. S9467 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 1577 (Johnson, D-S.D.) (hydroelectric plant transfer), would facilitate the transfer of Spearfish Hydroelectric Plant Number 1 to the city of Spearfish, South Dakota. 151 Cong. Rec. S9467 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 1578 (Allard, R-Colo.) (endangered fish), would reauthorize the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basin endangered fish recovery implementation programs. 151 Cong. Rec. S9467 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 1579 (Burns, R-Mont.) (FIFRA), would amend FIFRA to permit the distribution and sale of certain pesticides that are registered in both the United States and another country. 151 Cong. Rec. S9467 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

  • S. 1607 (Lautenberg, D-N.J.) (solid waste disposal), would amend 49 U.S.C. §10501 to exclude solid waste disposal from the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation Board. 151 Cong. Rec. S9468 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

  • S. 1609 (Cantwell, D-Wash.) (biofuel), would increase the production and use of biofuels and diversify biofuel feedstock as key elements to achieving energy independence for the United States. 151 Cong. Rec. S9468 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

  • H.R. 3618 (Walden, R-Or.) (irrigation), would authorize early repayment of obligations to the Bureau of Reclamation within the Rogue River Valley Irrigation District or the Medford Irrigation District. 151 Cong. Rec. H7612 (daily ed. July 29, 2005). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.

  • H.R. 3626 (Bishop, R-Utah) (Weber Basin Project), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility of enlarging the Arthur V. Watkins Dam Weber Basin Project, Utah, to provide additional water for the Weber Basin Project to fulfill the purposes for which that project was authorized. 151 Cong. Rec. H7612 (daily ed. July 29, 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 will hold a series of public workshops to present and take comment on three draft regulations requiring reductions in air pollution from cargo handling equipment, auxiliary engines on oceangoing vessels, and incinerators on cruise ships.

  • The California Water Resources Control Board is inviting public comment on draft resolutions regarding a proposed amendment to the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay Region that would incorporate a total maximum daily load for mercury in the San Francisco Bay.

  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is proposing changes to the New Jersey Low Emission Vehicle Program and the National Low Emission Vehicle Program.

  • The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is proposing changes and amendments to its rules and regulations for pesticides.

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 ENERGY AGENCY (IEA) RECOMMENDS EMISSIONS TRADING FOR AUSTRALIA



EUROPEAN UNION (EU) APPROVES IMPORTATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN



SIBERIAN THAW COULD ACCELERATE GLOBAL WARMING



  • Western Siberia has warmed more quickly than most of the planet and its thaw threatens to release billions of tons of methane that had been trapped in the permafrost into the atmosphere. Scientists fear that such a release could be the tipping point that causes global warming to snowball irreversibly. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4141348.stm

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


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