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Weekly Update Volume 36, Issue 7

03/06/2006

LITIGATION

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

NATIONAL FORESTS, FOREST PRODUCT REMOVAL:

The Tenth Circuit upheld individuals' convictions for cutting and removing ginseng--a forest product--from the Ouachita National Forest without authorization. The U.S. Forest Service had jurisdictional authority, there was sufficient evidence for the convictions, and the individuals' constitutional rights were not violated. United States v. Anglin, Nos. 05-7070 et al., 36 ELR 20048 (10th Cir. Mar. 1, 2006) (4 pp.).

NATIVE AMERICANS, TRIBAL LAND, CONVEYANCE:

The Eighth Circuit upheld the dismissal of an individual's claims for money paid by his predecessors in the early 1970s for the purchase of tribal land held in trust by the U.S. government that was never conveyed. The individual's action to enforce the sales contract was precluded by a tribal court judgment. And any monetary remedies that remain against the purchasers now lie in bankruptcy court. Thorstenson v. Norton, No. 04-4029, 36 ELR 20049 (8th Cir. Feb. 28, 2006) (11 pp.).

CWA, NPDES PERMITS:

The EPA Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) partially remanded an NPDES permit issued by EPA Region 1 authorizing a power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, to withdraw water from Mount Hope Bay and its tributaries for cooling purposes, and to discharge the then-heated water back into the bay. Compared to the facility's current operating conditions, the permit significantly restricts the amount of water that may be withdrawn and then discharged. The Region's selection of five days as the frequency for temperature exceedance used in deriving the thermal effluent conditions under CWA §316(a) was remanded because the Region merely provided a conclusory reason for its selection of this value. The Region must also supplement its response to comments concerning its noise impact analysis, and it must place a consultant's analysis in the administrative record. A typographical error must also be corrected on remand. But the EAB found no clear error with respect to the remaining issues raised in the petition. In re Dominion Energy Brayton Point, L.L.C., NPDES Appeal No. 03-12, 36 ELR 41299 (EPA EAB Feb. 1, 2006) (295 pp.).

PESTICIDES, REGISTRATION:

A California appellate court held that under former California Food and Agricultural Code §12811.5, the state pesticides department may not actively or passively consider data submitted by an original registrant when considering a subsequent application for registration by another applicant who does not have the original registrant's written consent. The subsequent amendment to this provision did not render pesticide manufacturers' claims moot, and whether the department actually violated this provision when it considered the manufacturers' data without their consent in evaluating another company's pesticide registration application depends on triable issues of material fact. There also are triable issues of material fact as to whether the department's use of trade secret data constitutes an unconstitutional taking, and whether the manufacturing companies are entitled to an injunction under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The lower court's judgment in favor of the department was therefore reversed and remanded. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. v. Helliker, No. B175450, 36 ELR 20046 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Feb. 27, 2006) (65 pp.).

PROPERTY LAW, EXHAUSTION:

A California appellate court reversed the dismissal of property owners' complaint challenging a city's creation of a fire suppression assessment district. The lower court determined that the owners failed to exhaust their administrative remedies as provided in a local ordinance. The ordinance, however, lacks any procedural mechanisms for the submission, evaluation, and resolution of the appeal. Unfair Fire Tax Committee v. City of Oakland, No. A109510, 36 ELR 20047 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. Feb. 27, 2006) (8 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:

  • EPA amended NESHAPs for miscellaneous organic chemical manufacturing. 71 FR 10439 (3/1/06).
  • EPA reviewed the emission standards for nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter contained in the new source performance standards for electric utility steam generating units and industrial-commercial-institutional steam generating units and promulgated amended standards of performance. 71 FR 9865 (2/27/06).
  • EPA announced the availability of a final document entitled Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Final). 71 FR 10030 (2/28/06).
  • EPA announced that The Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2004 is available for public review. 71 FR 9871 (2/27/06).
  • SIP Approvals: Arizona (maintenance plan and redesignation of Cochise County; sulfur dioxide NAAQS) 71 FR 9941 (2/28/06). Georgia (compilation update) 71 FR 9930 (2/28/06). Guam (operating permit program) 71 FR 9716 (2/27/06). Indiana (sulfur dioxide emission limits) 71 FR 9936 (2/28/06). Iowa (exemption establishment for indoor sources of air pollution) 71 FR 9938 (2/28/06). Pennsylvania (nitrogen oxides reasonably available control technology) 71 FR 9747 (2/27/06); (volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides reasonably available control technology) 71 FR 10626 (3/2/06). Wisconsin (construction permit permanency revision) 71 FR 9934 (2/28/06). Virginia (technical documents incorporated by reference) 71 FR 10838 (3/3/06); (NAAQS) 71 FR 10842 (3/3/06).
  • SIP Proposals: Arizona (maintenance plan and redesignation of Cochise County; sulfur dioxide NAAQS; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 9987 (2/28/06). Guam (operating permit program; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 9749 (2/27/06). Iowa (exemption establishment for indoor sources of air pollution; see above for direct final rule) 71 FR 9987 (2/28/06). Virginia (technical documents incorporated by reference; see above for direct final rule). 71 FR 10949 (3/3/06).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA entered into a proposed CERCLA administrative agreement concerning the San Joaquin Drum Superfund Removal site in Bakersfield, California, that requires the respondent to pay $113,493 in U.S. response costs. 71 FR 10514 (3/1/06).
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative agreement concerning the Western Minerals hazardous waste site in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that requires the settling party to pay $15,000 to the hazardous substances Superfund. 71 FR 9822 (2/27/06).
  • EPA approved revisions to New Hampshire's hazardous waste management program. 71 FR 9727 (2/27/06).
  • EPA proposed to approve revisions to New Hampshire's hazardous waste management program (see above for immediate final rule). 71 FR 9750 (2/27/06).
  • EPA granted a petition to modify a hazardous waste exclusion previously granted to Nissan North America, Inc., concerning certain wastewater treatment sludge generated at its facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. 71 FR 9723 (2/27/06).

MINING:

  • OSM approved, with certain exceptions, amendments to the West Virginia regulatory program under SMCRA made in response to bills passed during the state's 2004-2005 legislative session. 71 FR 10763 (3/2/06).

PESTICIDES:

  • The EPA Administrator forwarded a draft rule regarding standards for pesticide containers and containment as well as pesticide management and disposal to the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to FIFRA §25(a). 71 FR 10438 (3/1/06).

PUBLIC LAND:

  • The National Park Service--in attempts to address concerns regarding endangered and threatened species, the physical environment, and visitor experience--proposed to more effectively manage motor vessel use in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in southeast Alaska. 71 FR 10940 (3/3/06).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA announced the availability of a revised economic analysis in its proposed rulemaking concerning new requirements to reduce exposure to lead hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb lead-based paint. 71 FR 10628 (3/2/06).

WATER:

  • EPA Region 10 proposed to reissue a specific NPDES permit that would authorize discharges from certain exploration, development, and production platforms and related facilities under CWA §402. 71 FR 10032 (2/28/06).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS announced the draft recovery plan for the Carson Wandering Skipper is available for public review and comment. 71 FR 10703 (3/2/06).
  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Black Hills mountainsnail as threatened or endangered under the ESA; the agency determined that listing the mountainsnail is not warranted at this time. 71 FR 9988 (2/28/06).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENTS:

  • United States v. Krilichs, No. 92 C 5354 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 16, 2006). A consent decree that required settling CWA defendants to engage in certain injunctive relief in connection with their unpermitted discharge of pollutants into U.S. waters was modified to resolve their inability to meet the success criteria for a portion of the mitigation site. 71 FR 10705 (3/2/06).
  • United States v. Thompson, No. 4:06-cv-549 (D.S.C. Feb. 22, 2006). A settling CWA defendant that discharged pollutants into U.S. waters without a permit must restore the impacted wetlands to their previous condition, purchase off-site mitigation credits, and pay a civil penalty. 71 FR 10705 (3/2/06).

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

THE CONGRESS

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 2013 (Marine Mammal Protection Act) was reported by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. S. Rep. No. 109-217, 152 Cong. Rec. S1504 (daily ed. Feb. 27, 2006). The bill would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to implement the Agreement on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population.

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 2336 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (national heritage areas) would establish the South Park National Heritage Area in the state of Colorado. 152 Cong. Rec. S1539 (daily ed. Feb. 28, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2346 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (Ojito Wilderness Act) would amend the Ojito Wilderness Act to make a technical correction. 152 Cong. Rec. S1579 (daily ed. Mar. 1, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2348 (Obama, D-Ill.) (Atomic Energy Act) would amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to require a licensee to notify the Atomic Energy Commission and the state and county in which a facility is located whenever there is an unplanned release of fission products in excess of allowable limits. 152 Cong. Rec. S1579 (daily ed. Mar. 1, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • H.R. 4818 (Hefley, R-Colo.) (national heritage areas) would establish the South Park National Heritage Area in the state of Colorado. 152 Cong. Rec. H450 (daily ed. Feb. 28, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4825 (Weller, R-Ill.) (Atomic Energy Act) would amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to require a licensee to notify the state, county, and public in which a facility is located whenever there is an unplanned release of fission products in excess of allowable limits. 152 Cong. Rec. H508 (daily ed. Mar. 1, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 4827 (Bono, R-Cal.) (land exchange) would authorize a land exchange involving the acquisition of private land adjacent to the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona for inclusion in the refuge in exchange for certain BLM lands in Riverside County, California. 152 Cong. Rec. H508 (daily ed. Mar. 1, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.
  • H.R. 4831 (Cannon, R-Utah) (water) would confirm as authorized, valid, and enforceable certain contractual rights of water users and water users organizations under the Strawberry Valley Project, Utah. 152 Cong. Rec. H508 (daily ed. Mar. 1, 2006). The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources.

 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 Illinois Louisiana Oregon Utah Colorado Indiana Maryland South Carolina Virginia Florida Iowa North Carolina Tennessee   Idaho Kansas Ohio Texas

CALIFORNIA

Air:

  • The California Air Resources Board will hold a public workshop to discuss amendments to the off-highway recreational vehicle regulations. Later this year, staff plans to propose to the Board interim evaporative standards for off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, which will include permeation standards for fuel tanks and fuel hoses. Staff shall also propose minor changes to the riding seasons that reflect current air quality data and make the riding season dates more uniform by location. The workshop will be held March 23, 2006. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/offroad/orrec/ohvworkshop032306.pdf
  • The California Air Resources Board will conduct a public workshop to discuss proposed revisions to its regulation governing Voluntary Accelerated Vehicle Retirement programs. The Board is in the early stages of the regulatory process and will present initial concepts for discussion. The meeting will be held March 20, 2006. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/avrp/MSC06-04.pdf

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will hold an information workshop on local site evaluation to provide informational outreach to local agencies and stakeholders within the 36 counties of DTSC's Northern California-Central region, describe DTSC’s Cleanup Programs and the resources and contacts available to assist local agencies, and discuss a process for referring contaminated sites to the appropriate agency for action. The meetings will be held April 4, 5, and 18, 2006. See http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SiteCleanup/upload/SITE_MITIGATION_WORKSHOP.pdf
  • The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will conduct a public workshop to solicit input on the development of draft regulations for the management of treated wood waste. Information and comments received will be used to develop draft regulatory language that will be presented for comments during a public notice. DTSC will, therefore, not prepare written responses to comments submitted during or in response to this workshop. The meeting will be held March 16, 2006. See http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/LawsRegsPolicies/Regs/upload/HWMP_WS_TTW_Notice.pdf

Toxic Substances:

  • The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced the availability of hazard identification materials for environmental tobacco smoke. These materials include the OEHHA 2005 and 1997 ETS health effects assessments and a compilation of abstracts of scientific articles on the developmental and reproductive toxicity of ETS published after the 2005 report was completed. Written comments are due April 25, 2006. See http://oehha.org/prop65/hazard_ident/eshazid1.html
  • The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced the availability of a report, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): Recommendations to Reduce Exposure in California. The report provides information on PBDEs and briefly summarizes past and ongoing state activities related to PBDEs. Based on this preliminary evaluation, the Cal/EPA PBDE Workgroup proposes specific steps to be taken to reduce PBDE exposures. See http://oehha.org/public_info/pbderpt.html

General:

  • On June 11, 2005, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment proposed amendments to its Conflict of Interest Code. The amendments are effective on March 14, 2006. See http://oehha.org/public_info/coinoi2.html

COLORADO

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Department of Public Health and Environment proposed amendments to the Colorado Hazardous Waste Regulations, 6 CCR 1007-3, Part 265. The amendments concern §265.52, contents of contingency plan, and §265.53, copies of contingency plan. A public hearing will be held March 21, 2006. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/hwc/hwchom.asp

FLORIDA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection announced the promulgation of a rule establishing TMDLs and allocations for 10 impaired waters within the Lower St. Johns River Basin. If requested within 21 days of this notice, a public hearing will be held on March 28, 2006. See http://tlhora6.dep.state.fl.us/onw/publications/13-NPR62304LSJTribs-2-24-06-INT.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Protection announced the promulgation of a rule establishing the TMDL for nutrients for Alachua Sink and revising the TMDL for nutrients for Trout Lake, two impaired waters within the Ocklawaha River Basin. If requested within 21 days of this notice, a public hearing will be held on March 28, 2006. See http://tlhora6.dep.state.fl.us/onw/publications/12-NPR62304Alachua-2-24-06-INT.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of proposed rulemaking for revisions to Chapter 62-620, F.A.C, to incorporate procedures for permitting the discharge of demineralization concentrate. If requested within 21 days of this notice, a public hearing will be held April 6, 2006. See http://tlhora6.dep.state.fl.us/onw/publications/9-NPR62620-2-24-06-INT.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a hearing on April 12, 2006, on management of the fiscal year 2006 State Revolving Fund priority list under Ch. 62-503, F.A.C., and on issues involving the Financially Disadvantaged Small Community Grant program as it relates to legislative appropriations under the Community Budget Issue Request program. See http://tlhora6.dep.state.fl.us/onw/publications/5-CWSRFNotice-2-24-06-INT.pdf

IDAHO

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on a draft water quality implementation plan for the Bissel Creek Watershed. The plan provides a framework for implementing load limits on sediment and bacteria established in a water quality improvement plan approved by U.S. EPA in October 2003. The limits are designed to ensure that beneficial uses in the Bissel Creek Watershed are achieved. Comments are due March 31, 2006. See http://www.deq.state.id.us/Applications/NewsApp/shownews.cfm?event_id=1435

ILLINOIS

Water:

  • The Illinois Pollution Control Board will hold hearings on standards and requirements for potable water well surveys and for community relations activities performed in conjunction with agency notices of threats from contamination under PA 94-134: New 35 Ill. Adm. Code Part 1505. Public hearings will be held March 28 and May 23, 2006. Comments are due March 14, 2006. See http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/documents/dsweb/Get/Document-51217/

INDIANA

Air:

Land Use:

  • The Natural Resources Commission repealed 312 IAC 17-3, which governs the regulation of geophysical surveying operations, because the statutory authority for the rule was repealed by P.L.80-2005 (SEA 442). The change is effective 30 days after filing with the Secretary of State. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/register/Vol29/06Mar/02F312050099.PDF

Water:

  • The Water Pollution Control Board issued an erratum to fix various typographical and clerical errors. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/register/Vol29/06Mar/03ER327060034.PDF
  • The Water Pollution Control Board proposed to amend 327 IAC 5-4-3, 327 IAC 15-15-11, and 327 IAC 15-15-12 to extend the date whereby an operation newly defined as a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) under the 2003 federal regulation amendments must apply for permit coverage and to extend the dates whereby existing CAFOs must complete and implement Soil Conservation Practice Plans and comply with certain nutrient management requirements. Because this proposed rule is not substantially different from the draft rule published on December 1, 2005, at 29 IR 1046, additional comment on this proposed rule is not requested. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/register/Vol29/06Mar/08P327050322.PDF

Wildlife:

  • The Natural Resources Commission issued an emergency rule temporarily amending 312 IAC 18-3-18, which regulates the emerald ash borer as a pest or pathogen, to provide quarantine standards with respect to the species, to quarantine any county with a township that is an infested area, and to require an order by the state entomologist before an area is regulated as an "eradication area." The amendment applies to Adams County, Hamilton County, LaGrange County, Marion County, Randolph County, and Steuben County. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/register/Vol29/06Mar/06E312060023.PDF

IOWA

Water:

  • The Environmental Protection Commission adopted amendments to Chapter 65, “Animal Feeding Operations,” Iowa Administrative Code. The adopted amendments are technical corrections and additions to the list of major water sources--rivers and streams listed in Table 1 of Chapter 65. The corrections and additions provide a more consistent and accurate representation of these water sources for the state. Effective April 5, 2006. See http://www.legis.state.ia.us/Rules/Current/Bulletin/IAB060301.pdf (p. 1338)

Wildlife:

  • Natural Resource Commission announced its intention to amend Chapter 82, “Commercial Fishing,” Iowa Administrative Code. The proposed amendments provide for three changes in shovelnose sturgeon rules on the Mississippi River: (1) establish size limit harvest restrictions; (2) establish a harvest season from October 15 through May 15; and (3) specify that all eggs or roe must remain intact with shovelnose sturgeon while the commercial fisher is on the water. Written comments are due March 31, 2006. Public hearings will be held March 28, 29, and 30, 2006. See http://www.legis.state.ia.us/Rules/Current/Bulletin/IAB060301.pdf (p. 1330)

KANSAS

Air:

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

LOUISIANA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality extended the compliance deadlines for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) permits (LAC 33:IX.2501, 2505, 2703, and 4903)(WQ066E). The secretary of the department declared that emergency action was necessary to implement the U.S. EPA rule postponing the permit authorization deadline dates for NPDES CAFO permits. See http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/portals/0/planning/regs/pdf/WQ066E.pdf

MARYLAND

Air:

  • The Maryland Department of Environment proposed new air quality regulation under COMAR 26.11.19, Volatile Organic Compounds from Specific Processes, to establish a reasonably available control technology requirement for medical device manufacturers engaged in the production of hypodermic products, syringes, catheters, blood handling, and other medical devices. A public hearing will be held April 5, 2006. See http://www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/Public_Hearing_Notice_Terumo_Cytec.pdf

NEW YORK

Hazardous & Solid Wastes :

  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is completing a rulemaking to adopt recent federal changes to the hazardous waste manifest form and requirements. Comments are due April 24, 2006. See http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dshm/hzwstman/webnotice.html
  • The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing regulations to revise, reorganize, and restructure the existing 6 NYCRR Part 375, including the Brownfield Cleanup Program, and to provide for the implementation of the 2003 and 2004 Superfund/Brownfield laws. The revisions are aimed at incorporating recent statutory changes and at clarifying and streamlining the current regulations, which have not been updated since 1996. Public hearings will be held March 6, 9, and 15, 2006. Comments are due March 27, 2006. See http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/der/superfund/fact375.html#howtocomment

NORTH CAROLINA

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Commission for Health Services intends to adopt 15A NCAC 13B .0531-.0547 to provide regulatory guidance for the development of new and the continued operation of construction and demolition landfills operating on top of closed municipal solid waste landfills. A public hearing will be held April 3, 2006. Written comments are due May 1, 2006. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume20Issue17.pdf (p. 1457)

Land Use:

Water:

  • The Coastal Resources Commission intends to amend its general permit (GP) rules, cited as 15A NCAC 07H .1102-.1103, .1203, .1302-.1303, .1403, .1503, .1603, .1703, .1803, .1903, .2003, .2102-.2103, .2203, .2303, .2403, .2503, .2603, .2703; 07K .0208. The GP structure was created to facilitate the rapid permitting of low impact, commonly proposed projects. The agency proposed to increase its GP application fees within the legislative cap to offset the higher costs of processing permit applications. The agency also proposed to standardize language to be consistent with other rules and to add a time requirement for project construction. A public hearing will be held March 25, 2006. Comments are due May 1, 2006. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume20Issue17.pdf (p. 1453)
  • The Environmental Management Commission intends to amend the rule cited as 15A NCAC 02B .0309. The Town of Elkin requested the reclassification of a segment of the Yadkin River from Class C to a Water Supply-IV Critical Area. The purpose of this rule change is to allow a new intake structure to be placed in the river in order to supply the town with an emergency source of water. A public hearing must be requested by March 17, 2006. Comments are due May 1, 2006. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume20Issue17.pdf (p. 1449)
  • The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources adopted amendments to 15A NCAC 07H .0308, Specific Use Standards for Ocean Hazard Areas. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume20Issue17.pdf (p. 1507)
  • The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources adopted amendments to 15A NCAC 07H .0309, Use Standards for Ocean Hazard Areas: Exceptions. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume20Issue17.pdf (p. 1512)

Wildlife:

General:

OHIO

Air:

OKLAHOMA

Land Use:

  • Department of Wildlife Conservation issued an emergency rule to change the Title 800 rules governing all terrain vehicles and off-road vehicles on the Ouachita Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Black Kettle WMA, and Rita Blanca WMA. The rule change will bring Title 800 in line with the federal rules. Effective October 6, 2005. Expires July 14, 2006. See http://www.oar.state.ok.us/register/Volume-23_Issue-12.htm#a32781

OREGON

Air:

  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality proposed to adopt health-based ambient benchmarks as administrative rules for a specified group of air toxics. OAR 340-246-0090(2)(e) requires that, once ambient benchmarks for air toxics have been established as defined in OAR 340-246-0090(2)(a-d), they be adopted as administrative rules. Ambient benchmarks are concentrations of air toxics that serve as goals in the Oregon Air Toxics Program. As such, they are only a single component of the overall air toxics program. Public hearings will be held March 28, 29, and 30, 2006. Comments are due April 4, 2006. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/0306_Bulletin/0306_rulemaking_bulletin.html
  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality proposed to increase Title V permitting fees by 3.4%. The proposed rule amendment would increase Title V permitting fees by the 2005 Consumer Price Index, of approximately 3.4%. This increase to Title V permitting fees will affect the Base Fee, Emission Fee, and Special Activity Fees. All fee increases will become effective upon rule adoption which is scheduled for June 2006, with invoices reflecting the increases to be mailed in July 2006. A public hearing will be held March 20, 2006. Comments are due March 31, 2006. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/0306_Bulletin/0306_rulemaking_bulletin.html

Land Use:

  • The Department of Forestry proposed to amend the rules for the 50% Underproductive Forestland Conversion Tax Credit consistent with the 2005 Legislative Assembly HB 2122, which 2122 requires an application fee for filing a written request for a preliminary certificate. Fees collected will fund the Oregon Department of Forestry's administration of the reforestation tax credit program. Comments are due March 22, 2006. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/0306_Bulletin/0306_rulemaking_bulletin.html

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed to renew three general industrial stormwater permits that regulate discharges to surface waters: NPDES 1200-A (sand & gravel mining), NPDES 1200-Z (statewide multi-sector industrial), and NPDES 1200 COLS (industrial discharges to the Columbia Slough). Public hearings will be held March 30, 2006, and April 3 and 4, 2006. Comments are due April 14, 2006. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/0306_Bulletin/0306_rulemaking_bulletin.html
  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed to increase fee revenue for water quality NPDES and water pollution control facilities (WPCF) permits. The proposed rulemaking would consolidate three existing permitting program fees (filing, permit renewal, and annual compliance determination) into one annual fee; streamline the existing fee table; and increase permitting fee revenue by 11%. Public hearings will be held March 21, 2006, and April 2, 5, and 6, 2006. Comments are due April 14, 2006. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/0306_Bulletin/0306_rulemaking_bulletin.html
  • The Department of Forestry proposed to clarify its forest practice rule stream protection policy and to change forest stream protection standards. The adoption of OAR 629-605-0103 will help landowners and operators be aware that both regulatory and voluntary measures are part of Oregon's effort to protect, enhance, and restore forest resources, as part of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds. The adoption of OAR 629-640-0210 will require landowners and operators to retain trees along steep, small, nonfish streams that are likely to move wood downstream into fish-use streams through landslides. Public hearings will be held March 21, 22, and 23, 2006. Comments are due March 31, 2006. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/0306_Bulletin/0306_rulemaking_bulletin.html

SOUTH CAROLINA

Air:

TENNESSEE

Water:

  • The Division of Water Supply will hold a hearing to hear comments from the public concerning amendments to the Regulations for Public Water Systems and Drinking Water Quality, Chapter 1200-5-1. The proposed amendments were drafted primarily to incorporate into state regulations the revisions to the Stage 2 Disinfectant/Disinfection Byproducts Rule and the Long Term Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rules promulgated by U.S. EPA on January 4 and 5, 2006. The Division will also hear comments concerning amendments to Water Registration Requirements, Chapter 1200-5-8, which were drafted primarily to incorporate the recodification of T.C.A 69 into state regulations and to incorporate three housekeeping corrections to the rules. The hearings will be held April 25, 2006. Written comments are due May 5, 2006. http://www.state.tn.us/environment/dws/dwsppo/HearingsApril25_2006.pdf

TEXAS

Water:

General:

UTAH

Air:

  • The Air Quality Board proposed to revise Rule R307-204 to enhance Utah's smoke management program by providing land managers more flexibility when igniting "small prescribed fires" and "small prescribed pile fires (de minimis)" with minimal risk. In addition, revisions to this rule will require land managers to submit more information for "wildland fire use events," such as distance to nearest community, elevation of fire, and fire's airshed number. Finally, a new section was added to clarify the procedures for igniting "large prescribed pile fires," which will aid in reducing the risk of wildland fires. Comments are due March 31, 2006. A public hearing will be held March 16, 2006. See http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2006/20060301/28501.htm
  • The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) proposed to amend R307-801, Asbestos, to allow users to notify the DAQ electronically when demolition or renovation projects that disturb asbestos are to be undertaken. Nonsubstantive editorial corrections are also made. Comments are due March 31, 2006. A public hearing will be held March 23, 2006. See http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2006/20060301/28502.htm

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed to amend R311-205-2, Site Assessment Protocol. All references to "recommended cleanup levels" were changed to "initial screening levels" as a minimum reporting limit for laboratories analyzing environmental samples taken under this rule. The reference to "recommended cleanup levels" was a policy that has never been in rule. The change to "initial screening levels" is to be more explanatory as a change in the standard which is reflected in Rule R311-211. Written comments are due March 31, 2006. A public hearing will be held March 28, 2006. See http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2006/20060301/28517.htm
  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed to amend R311-207-5, Responsible Parties' Standard Liability and Customary, Reasonable, and Legitimate Expenses. Occasionally, consultants who perform corrective action at leaking UST sites propose designing and manufacturing their own equipment for use in the corrective action and clean-up of the site. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to clarify the time and material reimbursement constraints for consultant designed and manufactured equipment used at sites utilizing a time and material reimbursement method. The proposed change does not apply at pay for performance based sites. A public hearing will be held March 28, 2006. Written comments are due March 31, 2006. See http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2006/20060301/28518.htm
  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed to amend R311-211, Corrective Action Cleanup Standards Policy--UST and CERCLA Sites. This change adds references to maximum contaminant limits or other cleanup standards for soil, in addition to the present references to water and air quality standards, and allows the Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board to establish alternative cleanup levels for soil on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration Sections R311-211-3 and R311-211-4. Comments are due March 31, 2006. A public hearing will be held March 28, 2006. See http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2006/20060301/28519.htm

Toxic Substances:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed to amend R311-200, Underground Storage Tanks:  Definitions. The definition for "No Further Action determination" at Subsection R311-200-1(25) was added to define terminology used within the changes made to Section R311-211-6. Written comments are due March 31, 2006. A public hearing will be held March 28, 2006. See http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2006/20060301/28516.htm

VIRGINIA

Water:

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

INTERNATIONAL

SOUTH AFRICAN ENVIRONMENTAL COURT PLANS TO INCREASE ITS IMPACT:

  • The Port Elizabeth region's environmental court plans to work more closely with local police stations to increase its database on environmental crimes. The goal is to help prosecutors determine the type and frequency of the most common crimes and encourage police to increase enforcement of environmental crimes. See http://www.theherald.co.za/herald/news/n13_03032006.htm

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION CHALLENGES CHINA'S RURAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS:

  • The environment is in critical condition in Northeast China, according to a report by the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The region, known as "The Granary of China" because of its fertile soil, has lost 50% of its productive soil layer due to excessive grazing and overuse of fertilizers and pesticides. The problem, coupled with other numerous environmental challenges in the area, hinders the government's plans for sustainable rural development, according to a provincial environment official. See http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-03/02/content_4250193.htm

SWITZERLAND TO HELP VIETNAM IMPROVE AIR QUALITY:

  • Switzerland will contribute over 2.7 million dollars to Vietnam to help the country develop an air quality management system that addresses pollution caused by industrialization and urbanization. The program will focus on revising the administrative structure, raising public awareness, implementing pilot projects, and building air quality databases. See http://english.vietnamnet.vn/tech/2006/03/546737/

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

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