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Weekly Update Volume 36, Issue 3

01/30/2006

LITIGATION

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

SUBMERGED LANDS, TITLE:

The U.S. Supreme Court approved a decree quieting title to certain marine submerged lands in southeast Alaska. Under the decree, the United States has title to the submerged lands underlying the pockets and enclaves of water that are more than three geographical miles from every point on the coastline of the mainland or of any individual island of the Alexander Archipelago. The United States also has title to the marine submerged lands within the exterior boundaries of Glacier Bay National Monument as those boundaries existed on the date of the state's admission to the Union. Alaska v. United States, No. 128, 36 ELR 20020 (U.S. Jan. 23, 2006) (5 pp.).

CWA, DREDGE AND FILL PERMITS:

The Sixth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a city's claims challenging dredge and fill permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the CWA for an airport expansion project in Cleveland, Ohio. The Corps properly relied on the state agency's express waiver of authority to act on the §401 application. Nor did the Corps err in issuing a permit without first deciding whether the federal antidegradation rule was satisfied. The federal antidegradation rule only places obligations on states, not on the Corps. In addition, compensatory mitigation is an acceptable form of mitigation to offset the environmental degradation of streams and creeks, and it was unnecessary for the district court to consult with the Water Quality Standards Handbook. And because the court could find no error with the Corps' conclusion that water quality would improve as a result of the project or with the Corps' reliance on the state agency as to other mitigation required by the permit, the Corps did not act in an arbitrary or capricious fashion when it issued the permit. City of Olmsted Falls v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 04-3720, 36 ELR 20017 (6th Cir. Jan. 24, 2006) (7 pp.).

CWA, DISPOSAL, FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT (FTCA):

The First Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the United States in property owners' FTCA action for damages to their homes in Puerto Rico resulting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' disposal of dredged material on a nearby beach. The owners' claims are barred by the discretionary function exception of the FTCA. The owners argued that the discharge of dredged material on the beach was nondiscretionary because the CWA mandated a course of conduct for the Corps to follow before disposing of dredged material. But the CWA and Puerto Rico's water quality regulations do not overcome the discretionary function exemption where, as here, the owners failed to allege a causal connection between the violation and their asserted damages. Neither the CWA nor the regulations provide any prescription aimed at preventing private property damage arising from negligent site selection or site maintenance. Montijo-Reyes v. United States, No. 05-1353, 36 ELR 20021 (1st Cir. Jan. 24, 2006) (14 pp.).

CAA, TITLE V PERMITS:

The Eleventh Circuit partially granted environmental organizations' petitions for review of EPA orders denying their requests that the Agency object to four CAA Title V permits issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. EPA abused its discretion and acted arbitrarily and capriciously in failing to object to a permit for which the state agency failed to implement a mailing list to notify the public of its right to comment. EPA was wrong in asserting that it can avoid its own unambiguous mailing list requirement in the Title V permitting process. EPA's duty is to enforce requirements, not to grant absolution to state agencies that have violated them. But EPA did not err by failing to object to the remaining permits on the basis that the state agency failed to require the facilities to report all of their monitoring data and to provide all relevant information to the public during the comment period. EPA's interpretations of the regulations at issue were reasonable. Sierra Club v. Johnson, Nos. 03-10262, -10263, 36 ELR 20019 (11th Cir. Jan. 20, 2006) (34 pp.).

CONTRACTS, MINING, ABSOLUTE PRIVILEGE DOCTRINE:

The Eighth Circuit held that the employee of a state environmental agency is not shielded from liability under Missouri's absolute privilege doctrine in a case alleging tortious interference with a contract. The operator of a surface coal-mining and reclamation project filed suit against the state employee after the employee told one of the operator's potential customers that the sale of microscopic coal particles would require a permit change, which would "never happen" as long as he was working for the agency. The employee claimed he was shielded from liability under the absolute privilege doctrine because he was acting within the scope of his official duties. But the employee did not have the authority to make decisions regarding permit transfers, and the agency supported the contract and likely would have approved the transfer. The employee, therefore, was not acting within the scope of his official duties and is not entitled to an absolute privilege for making a false statement. Alternate Fuels, Inc. v. Cabanas, Nos. 04-4073, 05-1077, 36 ELR 20016 (8th Cir. Jan. 23, 2006) (8 pp.).

CERCLA, REMEDIAL ACTION, PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION:

A district court preliminarily enjoined EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from formally issuing a proposed plan identifying remedial action to take place at the Moses Lake Well Field Contamination site in Moses Lake, Washington, until they provide the city all the information required under CERCLA §120(f) and allow the city to participate in the selection and planning of the remedy. Because the proposed plan is not a §104 removal action, but a §120 remedial action, the city is not jurisdictionally barred from seeking relief. Further, without reviewing the proposed plan and its alternative remedies, there is no way for the city to meaningfully and intelligently participate in the planning and selection of the remedial action. And if EPA and the Corps were to issue the proposed plan immediately without allowing review by the city, the city's §120(f) rights would be violated and the city would be irreparably harmed. City of Moses Lake v. United States, No. CV-04-0376-AAM, 36 ELR 20024 (E.D. Wash. Dec. 30, 2005) (McDonald, J.) (17 pp.) (Plaintiff's counsel included Steven G. Jones of Marten Law Group PLLC in Seattle, Washington).

TAKINGS, HUNTING REGULATIONS:

The Supreme Court of South Dakota held that a state statute concerning the shooting of small game from a public right-of-way does not constitute a compensable taking under the U.S. or South Dakota Constitutions. Lacking more than intermittent and temporary invasions, or the placement of a fixed structure upon the land by the state, or a complete loss of value of the property to landowners, there is no legal basis to support the landowners' claim that the state's act in passing the statute or the hunters' actions of firing shot resulted in a per se regulatory physical taking. Nor is there a regulatory taking under Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York, 438 US 104, 8 ELR 20528 (1978). Even if the landowners were able to establish economic losses or a bona fide injury to distinct investment-backed expectations, it is the actions of the hunters that would be the cause of losses, as it is the intrusion of shot onto landowners' property and shot left on their lands, and not the legislative enactment of the statute, that is the legal cause of any injury incurred by the landowners. Benson v. State, 2006 SD 8, 36 ELR 20023 (S.D. Jan. 24, 2006) (63 pp.) (Defendant's counsel included Craig M. Eichstadt, Deputy Attorney General for the State of South Dakota).

TAKINGS, RIPENESS:

A California appellate court reversed a lower court decision dismissing a landowner's regulatory takings claims against a county as unripe. The county's determination that the landowner could only build one residence on his property amounts to a final decision, and the permissible use of the property is known to a reasonable degree of certainty. The lower court therefore erred in dismissing the case on the county's motions for summary judgment. By extension, the court also erred in granting judgment on the landowner's remaining claims for substantive due process, equal protection, and civil rights violations. Dunn v. County of Santa Barbara, No. B175149, 36 ELR 20022 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Jan. 25, 2006) (24 pp.).

TMDLs, CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA):

A California appellate court partially reversed a lower court judgment granting cities' petition for writ of mandate against state and regional water boards for adopting a TMDL that established a numeric target of zero trash discharge from municipal storm drains into the Los Angeles River. The lower court properly invalidated the TMDL on the ground that the water boards failed to comply with CEQA. Remand is therefore necessary, as the TMDL may have significant impacts on the environment. But the court reversed the judgment on all other grounds. The water boards' decision not to conduct or require an assimilative capacity study was within their discretion, and the TMDL's discussion of compliance costs was adequate. In addition, the TMDL's inclusion of the Los Angeles River estuary was not arbitrary or capricious. The court also erred by granting the cities declaratory relief on their claim the TMDL does not apply to "nonwaters"--areas that do not drain into navigable waters such as the Los Angeles River or tributaries--because the parties agreed during this proceeding that the TMDL applies only to navigable waters. City of Arcadia v. State Water Resources Control Board, No. D043877, 36 ELR 20025 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Jan. 26, 2006) (57 pp.).

WATER LAW, MUNICIPAL STORM SEWER PERMITS:

A California appellate court rejected two cities' challenges to a regional water board's comprehensive municipal storm sewer permit governing 18 public local entities in San Bernardino County, California. The permit imposes conditions on storm sewers that carry excess water runoff to the Santa Ana River as it passes through the county on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Contrary to the cities' arguments, the procedure by which the permit was adopted was legal, the permit's conditions are appropriate for the area, and the permit's requirements are not overly expensive. City of Rancho Cucamonga v. Regional Water Quality Control Board, No. E037079, 36 ELR 20026 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Jan. 26, 2006) (20 pp.).

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA), STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS:

A California appellate court vacated an order overruling a county board's demurrer in an environmental group's action seeking to compel the board to conduct an environmental review under CEQA before placing a sales tax measure on a ballot or to prevent implementation of the measure if passed. The sales tax is intended to fund local transportation needs. The trial court overruled the demurrer, ruling that the limitations period on the environmental group's CEQA action did not begin to run until the board posted its notice of exemption from the CEQA requirements. But a local authority designated under the Local Transportation Authority and Improvement Act, not the board itself, was the entity that had the discretionary power to shape the measure and accompanying expenditure plan to respond to environmental concerns. The board was not a proper substitute because it could neither reshape the measure and expenditure plan to comply with CEQA, nor could it refuse to place the measure on the ballot. The limitations period therefore began to run after the local authority posted its notice of exemption, making the environmental group's claim untimely. The trial court, therefore, should have sustained the demurrer. San Bernardino Associated Governments v. Superior Court of San Bernardino County, No. E037468, 36 ELR 20018 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. Jan. 23, 2006) (24 pp.).

Copyright© 2006, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

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

AIR:

  • SIP Approvals: Colorado (class I visibility protection) 71 FR 3773 (1/24/06). Kentucky (eight-hour ozone NAAQS) 71 FR 4047 (1/25/06). Montana (administrative rule revisions) 71 FR 3770 (1/24/06); (new source performance standards, administrative rule revisions) 71 FR 3776 (1/24/05). New Jersey (volatile organic compounds control) 71 FR 4045 (1/25/06). New Mexico (visibility) 71 FR 4490 (1/27/06). North Dakota (air pollution control rules) 71 FR 3764 (1/24/06). Oregon (carbon monoxide maintenance plan) 71 FR 3768 (1/24/06).
  • SIP Proposals: Alabama (eight-hour ozone redesignation) 71 FR 4077 (1/25/06). Colorado (class I visibility protection; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 3796 (1/24/06). Montana (administrative rule revisions; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 3796 (1/24/06). New Mexico (visibility; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 4543 (1/27/06). North Dakota (air pollution control rules; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 3795 (1/24/06).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA §122(h) concerning the W.S. Hatch facility in Davis County, Utah. 71 FR 4364 (1/26/06).
  • EPA Region 5 approved a modification to Illinois' approved municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) permit program that allows the state to issue research, development, and demonstration permits to owners and operators of MSWLF units. 71 FR 4142 (1/25/06).
  • EPA approved Maine's permit program for municipal solid waste landfills as well as the state's approach of not allowing conditionally exempt small quantity generator hazardous waste to be sent to non-municipal, non-hazardous waste disposal units. 71 FR 3779 (1/24/06).
  • EPA proposed to approve Maine's permit program for municipal solid waste landfills and to approve the state's approach of not allowing conditionally exempt small quantity generator hazardous waste to be sent to non-municipal, non-hazardous waste disposal units; see above for direct final rule. 71 FR 3797 (1/24/06).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability of its risk assessments and related documents for copper-containing pesticides for public comment. 71 FR 4133 (1/25/06).

WATER:

  • EPA announced final agency action on 44 TMDLs prepared by EPA Region 6 for waters listed in Arkansas under CWA §303(d). 71 FR 3843 (1/24/06).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS prepared a final comprehensive conservation plan and related FONSI for the Franz Lake, Steigerwald Lake, and Pierce National Wildlife Refuges in Clark County and Skamania County, Washington. 71 FR 4608 (1/27/06).
  • NMFS announced a 90-day finding regarding a petition to list the North Pacific right whale as endangered under the ESA and determined that listing may be warranted at this time. 71 FR 4344 (1/26/06).
  • FWS announced its intention to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and EA for the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge in Barbour and Russell counties, Alabama, and Stewart and Quitman counties, Georgia. 71 FR 4373 (1/26/06).
  • NMFS, upon application from the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, issued regulations to govern the unintentional takings of small numbers of marine mammals incidental to rocket launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska. 71 FR 4297 (1/26/06).
  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on two petitions to reclassify the Florida scrub-jay from threatened to endangered under the ESA. 71 FR 4092 (1/25/06).
  • FWS announced it will hold a public hearing on its proposal to establish a distinct population segment (DPS) of the grizzly bear for the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and to remove the Yellowstone DPS from the list of threatened and endangered wildlife. 71 FR 4097 (1/25/06).
  • FWS announced that a draft comprehensive conservation plan and EA for Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge in Choctaw County, Alabama, are available for review and comment. 71 FR 3878 (1/24/06)
  • NMFS proposed to issue a one-year authorization for Eglin Air Force Base to take marine mammals by Level B harassment incidental to conducting air-to-surface gunnery missions in the Gulf of Mexico. 71 FR 3474 (1/23/06).
  • FWS announced the availability of the recovery plan for the tidewater goby, a small fish that inhabits coastal brackish water within the state of California. 71 FR 3524 (1/23/06).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • United States v. 9.67 Acres of Land, No. 01-cv-3382 (D.N.J. Dec. 29, 2005). A settling CERCLA defendant must sell its Industrial Latex Superfund site property located in the Borough of Wallington, New Jersey, so that the proceeds may be divided among the settling parties for costs incurred at the site. 71 FR 4378 (1/26/06).
  • United States v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., No. CV-06-B-0060 NE (N.D. Ala. Jan. 9, 2006). A settling RCRA defendant must pay a penalty of $83,049.50, to be split evenly between the state of Alabama and the United States, in connection with the Northrop Grumman Systems BAT facility at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama, and the Northrop Grumman Systems Longbow facility in Huntsville, Alabama. 71 FR 4378 (1/26/06).
  • United States v. Green, No. 1:00-cv-637 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 11, 2006). Settling CERCLA defendants must collectively pay $100,000 for reimbursement of response costs incurred at the Green Industries site in Sharonville, Ohio. 71 FR 4377 (1/26/06).
  • United States v. Beehive Barrel & Drum, Inc., No. 2:04-CV-00570 (TC) (D. Utah Jan. 10, 2006). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay a nominal amount, or $325.00, in EPA response costs incurred at the Service First Barrel and Drum site in Salt Lake City, Utah. 71 FR 3886 (1/24/06).

Copyright© 2006, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE CONGRESS

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 1219 (water rights) was reported by the Committee on Indian Affairs. S. Rep. No. 109-213, 152 Cong. Rec. S123 (daily ed. Jan. 25, 2005). The bill would authorize certain tribes in the state of Montana to enter into a lease or other temporary conveyance of water rights to meet the water needs of the Dry Prairie Rural Water Association, Inc.

Copyright© 2006, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.IN THE STATES

Note: The entries below cover state developments since the last issue of Update. The entries are arranged by state, and within each section, entries are further subdivided by subject matter area. For a cumulative listing of materials reported in 2006, visit our list of Cumulative State Developments Arranged by State, or our list of Cumulative State Developments Arranged by Subject Matter. For state material reported prior to 2006, visit the ELR Archives.

The states below have updates this week:

California Maryland Nevada Florida Michigan Ohio Maine Montana South Carolina

CALIFORNIA

Air:

  • The California Air Resources Board is holding a vapor recovery workshop to solicit comments on modifications to the existing certification and test procedures. The workshop will be held on February 16, 2006. Written comments are due February 21, 2006. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/vapor/notice021606.pdf
  • The California Air Resources Board will hold a workshop to discuss its regulatory and non-regulatory fuels-related activities. This workshop will be the first meeting to discuss this year’s fuels activities. Topics may include, but are not limited to, issues relating to the California Phase 3 Reformulated Gasoline regulations and the California diesel fuel regulations for vehicular and non-vehicular uses. The workshop will be held February 14, 2006. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/gasoline/meeting/2006/021406mtgnotice.pdf
  • The California Air Resources Board is conducting a meeting to discuss the vapor recovery program requirements for facilities that dispense E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline). The objectives of the meeting are to provide stakeholders with an overview of the vapor recovery program as it relates to E85 facilities, to provide a status update on Research and Development sites throughout the state, and to provide insight from industry representatives on the future of E85/flexible fuel vehicles and vapor recovery equipment. The meeting will be held February 2, 2006. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/vapor/e85wsnotice020206.pdf

Toxic Substances:

  • Cal/EPA proposes to amend Cal. Code Regs. tit. 27, §§15241 and 15242 to make permanent the current emergency regulations. The proposed regulations implement the legislative mandate contained in Health and Safety Code §§25404 et seq. Under this chapter, certain environmental protection measures are unified within the jurisdiction of a single agency. This ensures that the human health and the environment will be safeguarded in a manner that is easier for regulated businesses because they will need to work only with one regulatory agency rather than with several. At this time, Imperial County and Trinity County have chosen not to establish a local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) within their jurisdictions. This means that, pursuant to Health and Safety Code §25404.3(f)(2)(A), the Secretary of Cal/EPA is required to select an agency to act as the CUPA within those two counties. The Secretary selected the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to act as the CUPA within Imperial and Trinity Counties. Written comments are due March 6, 2006. A public hearing will be held March 6, 2006. See http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/LawsRegsPolicies/upload/Oeara_REG_CUPAFee_Final_Notice1.pdf

Water:

  • The State Water Board will hold a public workshop of the ocean discharge monitoring workgroup. The purpose of this workgroup will be to consider consistent monitoring elements for ocean discharge monitoring programs; these consistent monitoring elements will provide effective protections for valuable marine resources in a cost effective manner. Model monitoring products developed by this stakeholder group may then be used to amend, as appropriate, the California Ocean Plan during the next review cycle. This workshop is a continuation of the May 5, 2005, meeting. The workshop will be held February 7, 2006. See http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/plnspols/oplans/docs/pn_modeloceanws.pdf

FLORIDA

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a February 23, 2006, adoption hearing with respect to Chapter 62-730, F.A.C., the hazardous waste rule. The rule incorporates by reference the risk-based corrective action requirements of Chapter 62-780, F.A.C. See http://tlhora6.dep.state.fl.us/onw/publications/1-NPR052590-1-20-06-INT.pdf

Land Use:

Water:

MAINE

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Marine Resources revised definition of “Rigged to Fish for Lobster” under Chapter 25.02. Effective January 23, 2006. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2006/012506.htm
  • The Department of Marine Resources adopted changes to Ch. 45.05(1)(A)(2), Shrimp Season, 2005-2006, that became effective with the adoption of the emergency rules establishing the 2005-2006 shrimp season. The adopted season takes place from December 12, 2005, through April 30, 2006. Effective January 23, 2006. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2006/012506.htm
  • The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has adopted rules that restrict the transportation of cervid carcasses and parts into Maine as allowed under 12 MRSA §§10051, 10103(2), and 10104(1). Effective January 14, 2006. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2006/011806.htm
  • The Department of Environmental Protection adopted changes to Ch. 375, §15, to increase consistency in the review of impacts to wildlife and fisheries under two state regulatory programs, the Natural Resources Protection Act (NRPA) and the Site Location of Development Law. The changes establish regulatory definitions and standards for significant vernal pools, shorebird and wading and moderate to high value waterfowl habitats. Effective January 18, 2006. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2006/011806.htm

MARYLAND

Water:

MICHIGAN

Toxic Substances :

  • The Department of Environmental Quality Remediation and Redevelopment Division seeks public comment on interim soil and groundwater cleanup criteria developed for para-chlorobenzenesulfonic acid. The criteria were developed by authority of Part 201 (Environmental Remediation) and Part 213 (Leaking Underground Storage Tanks) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. Public comments are due March 9, 2006. See http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-135-3308-134432--,00.html#Rules

MONTANA

Land Use:

Toxic Substances:

  • A public hearing will be held March 7, 2006, concerning the proposed adoption of new rules I-XVIII (Methamphetamine Cleanup Program - Decontamination of Inhabitable Property Contaminated by Clandestine Manufacture of Methamphetamine - MAR Notice No. 17-243). Comments are due March 14, 2006. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-243pro.pdf
  • A public hearing will be held March 6, 2006, concerning the proposed amendment of ARM 17.74.343, the adoption of new rules I-XIX, and the repeal of ARM 17.74.302, 303, 307-310, etc. (Asbestos Control - Reciprocity, Asbestos Project Requirements, etc. - MAR Notice No. 17-242). Comments are due March 13, 2006. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-242pro.pdf
  • A public hearing will be held March 9, 2006, concerning the proposed amendment of ARM 17.56.101, 102, 308, etc. (Underground Storage Tanks - Definitions, Operating Permit, etc. - MAR Notice No. 17-241). Comments are due March 16, 2006. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-241pro.pdf

NEVADA

Air:

  • The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is proposing to adopt into state regulation federal new source performance standards (NSPS) and NESHAPs that have been promulgated by U.S. EPA since July 1, 2004. A public hearing will be held March 8, 2006. See http://www.sec.nv.gov/docs/public_notiice_final_030806.pdf
  • Between 2002 and 2005 the Nevada Voluntary Mercury Reduction Program, a joint effort of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), U.S. EPA, and four Nevada mining companies, achieved significant and rapid mercury emission reductions from thermal processes used in metal mining. Subsequent to this voluntary program, the NDEP has determined that it is necessary and appropriate to expand the coverage of the program to all metal mining operations in Nevada. Therefore, the NDEP is proposing regulations to require mercury air emission controls at precious metal mining facilities through a new mercury permitting program, as an adjunct to the current operating permit to construct program. The new program will apply to precious metals mining facilities that process mercury-containing ore and use thermal treatment processes that have the potential for liberating mercury into the atmosphere. A public hearing will be held March 8, 2006. See http://www.sec.nv.gov/docs/public_notiice_final_030806.pdf

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The State Environmental Commission will hold a public hearing on March 8, 2006, on a proposed regulation needed to incorporate changes to the federal hazardous waste regulations that are currently in conflict with Nevada’s existing state regulations. The regulation will revise state regulations to be more consistent with federal regulations. See http://www.sec.nv.gov/docs/public_notiice_final_030806.pdf
  • The State Environmental Commission will hold a public hearing on March 8, 2006, on a proposed regulation that would adopt several new sections in Chapter 444A of the Nevada Administrative Code. The new regulation would establish procedures for awarding grants to municipalities, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations for projects that enhance solid waste management systems and promote the efficient use of resources. See http://www.sec.nv.gov/docs/public_notiice_final_030806.pdf

OHIO

Air:

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

OKLAHOMA

General:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proposed to amend its Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know rules. The proposed amendments require submittals of Tier II forms to be submitted to the DEQ electronically via the DEQ website, with a grace period given to facilities with less than 5 full time employees and companies operating under SIC code 1311 with less than 20 locations. Additionally, DEQ will require latitude/longitude information be collected on Tier II forms. The procedure for submitting reporting forms has been amended to clarify that submitting a paper Tier II report to the appropriate Local Emergency Planning Committee and the local Fire Department is no longer necessary since the DEQ will make the information available to those entities. Fee rules have been restructured, separating the facilities into two groups. Written comments are due February 17, 2006. A public hearing will be held February 24, 2006. See http://www.oar.state.ok.us/oar/codedoc02.nsf/frmMain?OpenFrameSet&Frame=Main&Src=_75tnm2shfcdnm8pb4dthj0chedppmcbq8dtmmak31ctijujrgcln50ob7ckj42tbkdt374obdcli00_

OREGON

Air:

Water:

SOUTH CAROLINA

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality Control proposed amendments to R.61-79, Hazardous Waste Management Regulations. The Department intends to amend R.61-79 to maintain conformity with federal requirements and ensure compliance with federal standards. Comments are due February 28, 2006. See http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/regs/docs/regupdate.doc#air

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality Control proposed amendments to R.61-69, Classified Waters. The Department proposed to reclassify those waters located within the boundary of the Congaree National Park to Outstanding Resource Waters and a portion of Cedar Creek located within the boundary of the park as an Outstanding National Resource Water. The proposed amendment will be submitted to the General Assembly for review. A public hearing will be held on February 9, 2006. See http://www.scdhec.gov/administration/regs/docs/regupdate.doc#air

Copyright© 2006, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS DELAY RUSSIAN OIL PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION:

  • The Federal Service for the Oversight of the Environment, Technology, and Nuclear Management, a Russian federal supervisory body, has failed to approve the environmental impact report for the Far East oil pipeline. The report found that 80% of the of members of the state environmental commission believe the pipeline should be built further from Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake in the world. A new environmental impact report may be completed to win federal approval. See http://en.rian.ru/russia/20060126/43200767.html

CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP OPPOSES NUCLEAR POWER PLAN:

  • A study by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance accuses the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) of basing its recommendation to spend $40 billion on new nuclear power generators on faulty assumptions. The Alliance says OPA grossly overestimates the province's future electricity demands and assumes that new nuclear power plants will be built inexpensively. The OPA says it is prudent to plan for higher growth than is expected because of the gravity of consequences of electricity shortages. See http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20060126/NUCLEAR26/TPNational/Canada

SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES PLAN GAS PIPELINE THROUGH AMAZON:

  • Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela have agreed to begin planning a 5,000-mile natural gas pipeline to stretch through the Amazon rain forest from Argentina to Venezuela. The project is expected to cost $20 billion. Environmental groups predict that complying with Brazil's strict environmental laws will double the projected cost of the pipeline and worry that construction will harm sections of the rain forest. See http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=9750

Copyright© 2006, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

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