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Weekly Update Volume 37, Issue 21

07/30/2007

LITIGATION

RCRA, CAA, HAZARDOUS WASTE COMBUSTORS:

The D.C. Circuit denied petitions for review of an EPA regulation governing the permitting process for facilities that burn hazardous waste as fuel. In 2005, EPA issued maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for hazardous waste combustors. EPA also announced that the existing 1991 RCRA regulations would no longer apply to combustors demonstrating compliance with the new MACT standards. But because there will be instances where EPA cannot assure that emissions from each source will be "protective of human health and the environment" under RCRA, EPA issued a new regulation that authorizes permitting authorities to conduct site-specific risk assessments (SSRAs) on a case-by-case basis. Petitioners argued that the regulation, 40 C.F.R. §270.10(l), violates RCRA because it fails to spell out the information that is required in a permit application. But the regulation adequately guides both regulated parties and permitting authorities as to the types of information that may be required in a permit application. Although the challenged regulation may not provide as much detail as the petitioners wish, RCRA does not require more. Petitioners also argued that the regulation was impermissibly vague as to its trigger for requiring an SSRA--a conclusion by the permitting authority that compliance with the MACT standards alone may not be "protective of human health or the environment." Yet the regulation does not merely define the triggers in terms of what is "protective of human health or the environment." It provides nine relatively specific factors to guide that determination. Again, RCRA does not require more. EPA also provided adequate notice as to its rationale for the SSRA program and responded to petitioners' comments. The court also denied review of an EPA guidance document, Challenge to Human Health Risk Assessment Protocol, for lack of jurisdiction because the document is not a final regulation or requirement. Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 06-1005, 37 ELR 20176 (D.C. Cir. July 13, 2007) (38 pp.).

ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS, RULEMAKING:

The D.C. Circuit dismissed petitions for review challenging agreements between EPA and animal feeding operations designed to bring the facilities into compliance with CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA permitting and reporting requirements. Petitioners--environmental and community groups--argued that EPA exceeded its statutory authority by entering into the agreements because the agreements are rules and so the Agency should have followed the procedures for rulemaking. But the agreements do not constitute rulemaking. Rather, they are enforcement actions within EPA's statutory authority. EPA could have pursued enforcement actions against each individual operation but instead determined that a broader strategy would lead to quicker industry-wide compliance. These judgments--arising from considerations of resource allocation, agency priorities, and costs of alternatives--are well within the agency's expertise and discretion. And because exercises of EPA's enforcement discretion are not reviewable, the petitions were dismissed. Ass'n of Irritated Residents v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 05-1177, 37 ELR 20178 (D.C. Cir. July 17, 2007) (38 pp.).

CERCLA, CONTRIBUTION:

The Sixth Circuit upheld the dismissal of an industrial battery company's contribution claim against another company under CERCLA for cleanup costs incurred at an NPL site in Arcanum, Ohio. The company signed a consent decree with the United States to pay for environmental remediation of the site. Because the battery company filed the instant action more than three years after it entered into the consent decree, its claim is barred by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for contribution actions runs from the "entry" of the settlement, not from the date that each provision of that settlement takes effect. RSR Corp. v. Commercial Metals Co., No. 06-3840, 37 ELR 20179 (6th Cir. July 18, 2007) (11 pp.).

FLPMA, NEPA, LOGGING:

The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court order invalidating BLM's plan to log nearly 1,000 acres of protected land in southwest Oregon after a major forest fire. BLM misinterpreted the relevant land use plan to allow the logging. Specifically, it relied on an erroneous interpretation of the plan's managing directives for certain protected areas. Consequently, the snag retention and research logging components of the project are inconsistent with the forest plan and violate FLPMA. In addition, BLM failed to analyze the impact of the logging project when combined with previous fire suppression efforts, salvage logging on interspersed private lands, and salvage logging on deferred watersheds. BLM's EIS for the logging plan, therefore, did not contain an adequate cumulative effects analysis under NEPA. The lower court, therefore, properly ordered that the plan be permanently enjoined. Oregon Natural Resources Council Fund v. Brong, Nos. 05-35063, -35062, 37 ELR 20187 (9th Cir. July 24, 2007) (34 pp.).

NEPA, NATIONAL FOREST MANAGEMENT ACT, LOGGING:

The Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court decision that the U.S. Forest Service complied with NEPA and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) in conjunction with its approval of a logging project within the Rio Grande National Forest. The Forest Service complied with the management indicator species-monitoring directives set forth in the Rio Grande National Forest's forest plan. The Forest Service also satisfied the requirements of NEPA by considering the impacts of logging trucks on neighboring landowners. And the environmental groups that filed suit against the Forest Service forfeited their claim that the Service did not provide substantial evidence for concluding that a relevant soil standard would be met because they failed to adequately present this claim in their administrative appeal. Forest Guardians v. United States Forest Service, No. 07-1020, 37 ELR 20184 (10th Cir. July 20, 2007) (24 pp.).

NEPA, STANDING:

The Eighth Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the DOT on a city's claims that the agency insufficiently considered the economic and environmental impact of a sound wall in violation of NEPA. The lower court failed to properly consider whether the city had standing. Standing is a jurisdictional prerequisite that must be resolved before reaching the merits of a suit. Should the city lack standing, the case must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. If the lower court determines that the city carried its burden, then the court's previous determination on the merits may be reentered. City of Clarkson v. Mineta, No. 06-3613, 37 ELR 20181 (8th Cir. July 19, 2007) (6 pp.).

ASBESTOS, PRE-TRIAL ORDERS, EVIDENCE:

The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded certain lower court pre-trial orders that excluded government witnesses and studies in a case concerning the release of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite at a mine. The lower court exceeded its authority by ordering the government to produce a pretrial list of nonexpert witnesses but acted within its authority by setting deadlines for the disclosure of expert witnesses the government intended to present and studies the government's expert witnesses intended to rely upon during the government's case-in-chief. Before the lower court can exclude a witness' testimony for a pretrial disclosure violation--either directly or by precluding the evidentiary basis for the witness' testimony--the court must find that the omission was willful and motivated by a desire to obtain a tactical advantage. United States v. W.R. Grace, No. 06-30192, 37 ELR 20186 (9th Cir. July 12, 2007) (11 pp.).

CONTRACTS, SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL:

The Federal Claims Court held that DOE must pay two nuclear utilities over $77,000,000 in damages for failing to commence performance of its contract to accept, transport, and dispose of the utilities' spent nuclear fuel. Under the contract, DOE was to start accepting and removing the utilities' spent nuclear fuel no later than January 31, 1998. The contracts have been breached by a series of delays that now continue into 2017 and perhaps 2018. As a result of these delays, the utilities have incurred considerable expense. The utilities, therefore, are entitled to recover the expenses they incurred through December 31, 2004, in reasonably mitigating DOE's acknowledged delays in initiating performance of the contract. Southern Nuclear Operating Co. v. United States, No. 98-614C, 37 ELR 20190 (Fed. Cl. July 9, 2007) (Merow, J.) (86 pp.).

WETLANDS, MINING, PERMITS:

A district court set aside permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FWS to members of the limestone mining industry to conduct mining in water conservation areas in Florida. Keeping limestone products available for purchase from local producers and collecting funds from mining companies to be used to acquire wetlands for restoration did not outweigh the risk of contaminating well fields, destroying wetlands and habitat for endangered wood stork, and potentially damaging seepage impacts that had yet to be fully studied. The court, therefore, set aside the permits under NEPA, the CWA, and the ESA. Sierra Club v. Strock, No. 03 23427 CV, 37 ELR 20188 (S.D. Fla. July 13, 2007) (Hoeveler, J.) (88 pp.).

CWA, RCRA, RIVERS AND HARBORS ACT:

A district court dismissed on motions for summary judgment individuals' CWA, RCRA, Rivers and Harbors Act, and state law claims against a dairy that runs a concentrated animal feeding operation. The individuals, who live near the dairy, argued that the dairy filled, dammed, or diverted streams and discharged waste into the ground and water causing flooding of the individuals' properties and contamination of their wells. They also contended that they suffered personal injuries and emotional distress, lost the use and enjoyment of streams and land, and lost business opportunities. The court dismissed some of the CWA claims because the state already entered into a consent decree with the dairy with respect to those claims. As for the remaining CWA claims, the dairy did not need a permit to discharge fill material in constructing a farm pond because permits are not required for the construction of new farm ponds on existing farming operations, and the CWA's §402(k) permit shield protects a CWA permit-holder from facing suits challenging the adequacy of its permit. The court dismissed the individuals' RCRA claim because it was based on the same activities and substances that the CWA permit covered. If the court allowed the RCRA claim to proceed, it would be construing RCRA as inconsistent with the CWA's permit shield. And because the Rivers and Harbors Act does not confer a private right of action, that claim was also dismissed. As for the remaining state law claims, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them. It therefore dismissed those claims without prejudice. Coon v. Willet Dairy, Nos. 5:02-CV-1195, 5:04-CV-917, 37 ELR 20191 (N.D.N.Y. July 17, 2007) (Scullin, J.) (7 pp.).

NEW JERSEY SPILL ACT, TORTS, REMOVAL:

A district court remanded to state court a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection lawsuit against a manufacturing company in which it seeks reimbursement of cleanup and removal costs and damages incurred at the Woodland Dump site. The agency filed suit under the New Jersey Spill Act and New Jersey common law for public nuisance and trespass. The manufacturer then removed the case to federal court, arguing that the case is preempted by CERCLA. But the agency's complaint does not raise a substantial federal question on its face, and the manufacturer has not demonstrated that CERCLA completely preempts the agency's state law claims. Even though the agency could have brought its claims pursuant to CERCLA, it is appropriately seeking damages pursuant to state law as contemplated by Congress when it enacted CERCLA. The agency has not directly challenged the CERCLA remediation, and the interpretation of CERCLA is not essential to its claims. The court, therefore, lacks subject matter jurisdiction and remanded the case to state court. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co., No. 06-2612, 37 ELR 20189 (D.N.J. July 5, 2007) (Hillman, J.) (5 pp.).

STANDING, MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT:

The Michigan Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court ruling that environmental groups have standing to bring a claim against a bottled water company under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) for allegedly damaging certain streams, lakes, and wetlands. Case law provides that "environmental plaintiffs adequately allege injury in fact when they aver that they use the affected area and are persons 'for whom the aesthetic and recreational values of the area will be lessened' by the challenged activity." Here, the groups indisputably have standing to bring a MEPA claim against the company to protect their riparian property rights to Thompson Lake and the Dead Stream. However, there is no evidence that the groups use the Osprey Lake Impoundment and the wetlands at issue and that, as a result, their recreational, aesthetic, or other interests have been impaired by the company's pumping activities. The court, therefore, reversed the lower court's ruling in this regard. Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestlé Waters North America, Inc., Nos. 130802, 130803, 37 ELR 20193 (Mich. July 25, 2007) (23 pp.).

ESA, PREEMPTION:

The Supreme Court of California reversed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an importer that sells athletic shoes made from kangaroo leather. The case arose after an animal rights group filed suit against the importer for violating California Penal Code §653o, which prohibits the importation into or sale within California of shoes made from kangaroo. The lower court dismissed the case on preemption grounds. But contrary to the lower court's reasoning, the state law poses no obstacle to any current federal policy and is not preempted by the ESA. Viva! International Voice for Animals v. Adidas Promotional Retail Operations, Inc., No. S140064, 37 ELR 20185 (Cal. July 23, 2007) (31 pp.).

WATER, TRESPASS, DAMAGES:

A California appellate court reversed a lower court's award of damages in a cotton grower's suit against a neighboring oil company alleging subsurface trespass due to the migration of wastewater stemming from the company's oil production activities. The wastewater, pumped out of the deep ground in conjunction with the extracted oil, is naturally high in salts and other minerals. The wastewater migrated to an aquifer underlying the grower's property, thereby reducing subsurface water quality. A jury ultimately awarded the cotton grower $3,800,000 in damages. The company appealed, but the lower court properly ruled that the trespass here is continuing in nature and that the grower's claim is not barred by the statute of limitations. The cotton grower also appealed, arguing that there is no evidence to support a finding that the jury's award would restore the grower's property to its original condition. The court agreed. The jury was not adequately instructed on how to calculate restoration damages. If the jury determines that damages should be awarded, it must decide how much it will cost to restore the groundwater under the grower's property to its original state and whether the restoration costs are reasonable in light of all the competing interests. The jury can deny damages if it concludes the restoration costs are unreasonable, and diminution in value may be a legitimate measure of damages where restoration costs are unreasonable. The court also held that the grower is entitled to attorney fees. Starrh & Starrh Cotton Growers v. Aera Energy LLC, No. F047540, F048555, 37 ELR 20183 (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. July 20, 2007) (29 pp.).

LAND USE, CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT:

A California appellate court reversed and remanded a trial court's denial of a petition challenging a city's approval of a long-range community plan. The court previously held that petitioners' California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), zoning, and public trust claims lacked merit, but on appeal the California Supreme Court concluded that some of the CEQA arguments had merit. Consistent with that directive, the court remanded the case with directions to the trial court to grant the petition for a writ of mandate to compel further environmental review under CEQA in accordance with the California Supreme Court's opinion. The environmental impact report must address long-term water supply concerns and the effect of the project on the Cosumnes River. The environmental review may also require reconsideration of proposed mitigation measures. Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova, No. C044653, 37 ELR 20177 (Cal. Ct. App. 3d Dist. July 13, 2007) (28 pp.).

HAZARDOUS WASTE, CESSATION ORDER:

A New York appellate court affirmed a lower court decision dismissing claims filed by the owner of a vehicle scrap yard against the state environmental agency for ordering it to cease operations. Substantial evidence supports the determination that the owner violated the New York State Navigation Law by discharging petroleum and petroleum products at the site, by failing to make the required notifications, and by failing to immediately contain such discharges. Evidence also shows that the owner violated the Environmental Conservation Law by releasing and discharging hazardous substances and other pollutants and contaminants at the site and by disposing of solid waste on the site, including in a federally protected wetland. In addition, the Navigation Law authorized the agency to enter, inspect, and remediate contaminated property at the site without first obtaining a warrant or other court order. Murtaugh v. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, No. 06-02581, 37 ELR 20180 (N.Y. App. Div. July 18, 2007) (4 pp.).

CONTRACTS, INSURANCE:

A Wisconsin appellate court held that a lower court erred in dismissing insurers from a property owner's breach of contract claim against the former owner of the property for environmental contamination. As part of the sales contract between the former and current owners, the former owner warranted that it had never used the property for certain activities that might cause soil or groundwater contamination. The former owner also promised to indemnify the current owner for any breach of warranty or claim arising out of the former owner's operations, including environmental liability. Fifteen years later, the current owner discovered significant soil contamination on the property. It alleges that the former owner's operations or conduct caused the contamination. Insurers for the former owner argued that various exclusions contained in the former owner's insurance policies barred coverage. But except for those policies containing pollution exclusions, the court cannot conclude that the policies do not provide coverage based on the allegations in the complaint. Accordingly, it reversed the lower court's order granting summary judgment to the insurers and remanded the case for further proceedings. United Cooperative v. Frontier FS Cooperative, No. 2006AP2704, 37 ELR 20192 (Wis. Ct. App. July 12, 2007) (8 pp.).

Copyright© 2007, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

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

AIR:

  • EPA issued six NESHAPs for seven area source categories: acrylic and modacrylic fibers production; carbon black production; chemical manufacturing-chromium compounds; flexible polyurethane foam production and fabrication; lead acid battery manufacturing; and wood preserving. 72 FR 38863 (7/16/07).
  • EPA proposed a national reactivity-based volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions regulation for the aerosol coatings category under CAA §183(e) and proposed to revise its regulatory definition of VOC-exempt compounds to account for all the reactive compounds in aerosol coatings that contribute to ozone formation. 72 FR 38951 (7/16/07).
  • EPA announced applicability determinations, alternative monitoring decisions, and regulatory interpretations it made under the New Source Performance Standards; NESHAPs; and the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Program. 72 FR 41109 (7/26/07).
  • SIP Approvals: Indiana (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation and motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for Clark and Floyd counties) 72 FR 39571 (7/19/07); (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation, MVEBs, and ozone maintenance plan for LaPorte County) 72 FR 39574 (7/19/07); (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation, MVEBs, and ozone maintenance plan for Elkhart and St. Joseph counties) 72 FR 39577 (7/19/07). Louisiana (clean air interstate rule (CAIR) sulfur dioxide (SO2) trading program) 72 FR 39741 (7/20/07). Minnesota (SO2 emission limits for steam boilers) 72 FR 39566 (7/19/07); (SO2 emissions from petroleum refinery expanded operations) 72 FR 39568 (7/19/07). North Dakota (revisions to new source review rules) 72 FR 39564 (7/19/07). Pennsylvania (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation request, maintenance plan, and 2002 base-year inventory for the Franklin County area) 72 FR 40746 (7/25/07); (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation request, maintenance plan, motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs), and 2002 base-year inventory for the Harrisburg area) 72 FR 40749 (7/25/07). Virginia (update to materials incorporated by reference) 72 FR 38919 (7/16/07).
  • SIP Proposals: Louisiana (CAIR SO2 trading program; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 39772 (7/20/07). Minnesota (SO2 emission limits for steam boilers; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 39586 (7/19/07). New York (emission statement program for stationary sources) 72 FR 39773 (7/20/07). Pennsylvania (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation request, maintenance plan, MVEBs, and 2002 base-year inventory for the Erie area) 72 FR 40776 (7/25/07); (eight-hour ozone NAAQS redesignation request, maintenance plan, MVEBs, and 2002 base-year inventory for the Youngstown Area) 72 FR 41246 (7/27/07). Tennessee (PSD and nonattainment new source review regulations) 72 FR 40105 (7/23/07).
  • SIP Withdrawal: Pennsylvania (volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides reasonably available control technology determinations for two individual sources) 72 FR 41245 (7/27/07).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA concerning the Lower Passaic River Study Area portion of the Diamond Alkali Superfund site located in and about Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties, New Jersey, that requires the settling parties to pay up to $13,150,000 to fund EPA's performance of a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS); in addition, EPA entered into an administrative order on consent under CERCLA that requires the settling parties to take over performance of most aspects of the RI/FS. 72 FR 39810 (7/20/07).
  • EPA promulgated mandatory criteria for the safe and environmentally protective use of granular mine tailings known as "chat'' from the lead and zinc mining areas in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. 72 FR 39325 (7/18/07).

MINING:

  • OSM proposed to approve Mississippi's abandoned mine land reclamation plan under SMCRA; the plan would establish policies and procedures for conducting reclamation of abandoned coal mine lands within the state. 72 FR 40266 (7/24/07).

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT:

  • President Bush issued Executive Order No. 13439 pertaining to the establishment of the Interagency Working Group on Import Safety. 72 FR 40051 (7/20/07).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA announced the receipt of the 60th Report of the TSCA Interagency Testing Committee; the revised report adds "lead and lead compounds'' to the priority testing list so that the Agency may expeditiously obtain unpublished health and safety studies that relate to the lead content of consumer products that are intended for use by children. 72 FR 41413 (7/27/07).

WATER:

  • EPA extended certain compliance dates under the NPDES permit regulations and effluent limitations guidelines and standards for concentrated animal feeding operations. 72 FR 40245 (7/24/07).
  • EPA announced that it intends to approve revisions to Wisconsin's Public Water System Supervision Program concerning the reduction of exposure to arsenic in drinking water. 72 FR 39810 (7/20/07).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS designated critical habitat in Texas for the Peck's cave amphipod, Comal Springs dryopid beetle, and Comal Springs riffle beetle. 72 FR 39247 (7/17/07).
  • FWS proposed to establish the 2007 to 2008 early-season hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. 72 FR 40193 (7/23/07).
  • FWS proposed to designate critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep in Fresno, Inyo, Mono, Tulare, and Tuolumne counties, California; in addition, the agency proposed a taxonomic revision to amend the final listing rule from distinct population segment to subspecies, Ovis canadensis sierrae. 72 FR 40955 (7/25/07).
  • FWS proposed to revise currently designated critical habitat to approximately 16,108 acres in Imperial County, California, for the Peirson's milk-vetch; in addition, the agency announced the availability of the draft economic analysis for the plant species. 72 FR 41258 (7/27/07).
  • FWS announced the availability of a final comprehensive conservation plan and FONSI for the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Sacramento County, California. 72 FR 41084 (7/26/07).
  • FWS announced the availability of the draft revised recovery plan for the Apache trout. 72 FR 41350 (7/27/07).

GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS:

  • EPA announced that on or about July 31, 2007, it will make available a draft technical support document titled Lead Human Exposure and Health Risk Assessments for Selected Case Studies (Draft Risk Assessment Report). 72 FR 41325 (7/27/07).
  • EPA announced the availability of a pesticide draft science guidance document entitled Implementation of the Emerging Pathogens and Disinfection Hierarchy for Antimicrobial Products. 72 FR 40879 (7/25/07).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Casper's Electronics, Inc., No. 1:06-cv-03542 (N.D. Ill. July 10, 2007). A settling CAA defendant who manufactured and sold automobile emission control defeat devices must pay a $74,383 civil penalty, must cease the manufacture or sale of oxygen sensor simulators, must issue a recall for oxygen sensor simulators that it sold, and must destroy all oxygen sensor simulators that it possesses or obtains through the recall. 72 FR 39640 (7/19/07).
  • United States v. CHEMCENTRAL Corp., No. 2:07-cv- 12681 (DML) (E.D. Mich. June 25, 2007). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $3,574,112.37 in past response costs incurred at the Reclamation Oil Company Superfund site in Detroit, Michigan. 72 FR 39640 (7/19/07).
  • United States v. Kennecott Utah Copper Corp., No. 2:07cv00485 (D. Utah July 9, 2007). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $5,007,200.16 in past response costs, must pay future response costs, and must perform response actions at the Kennecott South Zone Superfund site in Salt Lake County, Utah, to resolve claims related to the groundwater Operable Unit 2 portion of the site. 72 FR 39640 (7/19/07).
  • United States v. Rexmet Corp., No. 07-cv-2754 (E.D. Pa. July 3, 2007). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $250,000, plus interest, in partial reimbursement of past response costs incurred at the J.W. Rex Facility located at the North Penn Area Six Superfund Site in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and must implement the EPA-selected groundwater remedy at the site. 72 FR 39641 (7/19/07).
  • United States v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. 1:07CV558 (S.D. Ohio July 20, 2007). A settling CAA defendant must pay a $4,125,000 civil penalty, must meet certain emission limits for sulfur dioxide and acid mist; must comply with applicable new source performance standards requirements at four of its sulfuric acid manufacturing plants located in Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Virginia; must comply with the new emission limits by installing pollution control technology at its Louisiana plant; and must either install the required technology or cease operations and surrender the air pollution permits and/or emissions credits at each of the other three plants. 72 FR 41085 (7/26/07).
  • United States v. Dixie-Narco, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-1925-MBS (D.S.C. July 16, 2007). Settling CERCLA defendants must conduct remedial action at the Admiral Home Appliances Superfund Alternative site in Williston, South Carolina, must pay EPA's costs to oversee the work, and must pay the Agency's remaining unreimbursed costs incurred at the site. 72 FR 40897 (7/25/07).
  • United States v. J.H. Berra Construction Co., Inc., No. 07-01268 (E.D. Mo. July 12, 2007). Settling CWA and Missouri Clean Water Law defendants must pay a $590,000 penalty, must reimburse Missouri and the city of Wildwood more than $52,000 for their investigation and enforcement costs, must institute a program to improve training and implementation of stormwater controls at future construction sites, must implement remedial plans for the pollution caused by their violations, and must pay for mitigation of the impact of their violations on Foxwood Estate Lake and Lake Chesterfield to resolve claims relating to three construction sites in Missouri. 72 FR 40898 (7/25/07).

ERRATUM:

  • The ELR Order numbers for two draft documents announced in the July 16, 2007, Weekly Update—TSCA Inventory Status of Nanoscale Substances: General Approach and Concept Paper for the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program Under TSCA—were incorrect. The correct order numbers are AD05051 and AD5052. Both are available from the ELR Guidance & Policy Collection. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Copyright© 2007, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE CONGRESSNote: Citations below are to the Congressional Record (Cong. Rec.).

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 1786 (Inhofe, R-Okla.) (CAA) would amend the CAA to encourage the most polluted areas in the United States to attain clean air standards. 153 Cong. Rec. S9211 (daily ed. July 13, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1791 (Klobuchar, D-Minn.) (biodiesel fuel) would amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to reauthorize and increase funding for the biodiesel fuel education program. 153 Cong. Rec. S9262 (daily ed. July 16, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 1798 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (border hazards) would establish grant programs to improve the health of border area residents and hazard preparedness in the border area, including bioterrorism and infectious diseases. 153 Cong. Rec. S9469 (daily ed. July 17, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • S. 1818 (Obama, D-Ill) (TSCA) would amend TSCA to phase out the use of mercury in the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda. 153 Cong. Rec. S9612 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1828 (Inhofe, R-Okla.) (ethanol) would require the Administrator of EPA to conduct a study of the feasibility of increasing the consumption in the United States of certain ethanol-blended gasoline. 153 Cong. Rec. S9612 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1832 (Lieberman, I-Conn.) (wildlife) would reauthorize the African Elephant Conservation Act, the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994, and the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997. 153 Cong. Rec. S9612 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1862 (Kyl, R-Ariz.) (national forests) would provide for the exchange and conveyance of certain national forest land and other land in southeast Arizona. 153 Cong. Rec. S9832 (daily ed. July 24, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1870 (Feingold, D-Wis.) (FWPCA) would amend the FWPCA to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States. 153 Cong. Rec. S9916 (daily ed. July 25, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1874 (Landrieu, D-La.) (climate change) would provide for efficient containment and management of climate change costs. 153 Cong. Rec. S9916 (daily ed. July 25, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • H.R. 3044 (McHugh, R-N.Y.) (renewable energy) would promote the use of anaerobic digesters by agricultural producers and rural small businesses to produce renewable energy and improve environmental quality. 153 Cong. Rec. H7783 (daily ed. July 13, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 3083 (Inslee, D-Wash.) (CAA) would amend the CAA to establish deadlines by which the Administrator of EPA shall issue a decision on whether to grant certain waivers of preemption under that Act. 153 Cong. Rec. H8120 (daily ed. July 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3085 (Slaughter, D-N.Y.) (TSCA) would amend TSCA to assess and reduce the levels of lead found in child-occupied facilities in the United States. 153 Cong. Rec. H8120 (daily ed. July 18 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3089 (Thornberry, R-Tex.) (energy security) would secure unrestricted reliable energy for American consumption and transmission. 153 Cong. Rec. H8120 (daily ed. July 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3094 (Grijalva, D-Ariz.) (National Park Centennial Fund) would establish the National Park Centennial Fund. 153 Cong. Rec. H8184 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3101 (Shea-Porter, D-N.M.) (Biomass Research and Development Act) would amend the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 to include heating fuel produced from biomass in the definition of biobased fuel. 153 Cong. Rec. H8184 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 3105 (Faleomavaega, D-Am. Sam.) (tax credits) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources and the investment energy credit to include ocean thermal energy conversion projects. 153 Cong. Rec. H8185 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 3107 (Hodes, D-N.H.) (tax credit) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit for residential biomass fuel property expenditures. 153 Cong. Rec. H8185 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 3118 (Terry, R-Neb.) (ethanol) would promote the production and use of ethanol. 153 Cong. Rec. H8185 (daily ed. July 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3139 (Butterfield, D-N.C.) (Wild and Scenic Rivers Act) would amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate the Perquimans River and its tributaries in Perquimans County, North Carolina, for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. 153 Cong. Rec. H8396 (daily ed. July 24, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3157 (Carnahan, D-Mo.) (National Trails System Act) would amend the National Trails System Act relating to the statute of limitations that applies to certain claims. 153 Cong. Rec. H8396 (daily ed. July 24, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3166 (Gilchrest, R-Md.) (Nutria Eradication and Control Act) would reauthorize the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003. 153 Cong. Rec. H8397 (daily ed. July 24, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H. Con. Res. 187 (Emanuel, D-Ill.) (industrial waste dumping) would express the sense of Congress regarding the dumping of industrial waste into the Great Lakes. 153 Cong. Rec. H8120 (daily ed. July 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Copyright© 2007, 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 2007, 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 2007, visit the ELR Archives.

The states below have updates this week:

Arizona Illinois Massachusetts Nevada Rhode Island California Indiana Michigan New Hampshire Tennessee District of Columbia Louisiana Minnesota New Mexico Texas Georgia Maine Missouri New York Washington Idaho Maryland Nebraska Pennsylvania Wisconsin

ARIZONA

Water:

  • Based on the review and acceptance of a public request, and in accordance with A.R.S. §49-305, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has decided to delete 12 pesticide active ingredients that are forms of the 2,4-D group and their degradation products from the Groundwater Protection List. These active ingredients no longer pose a threat to groundwater quality based on the results of the Department's evaluation under A.A.C. R18-6-103(2). See http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Register/2007/29/pubinfo.pdf

CALIFORNIA

Toxic Substances:

  • The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment extended the public comment period for the proposed listing of gallium arsenide as known to cause cancer and hexafluoroacetone, nitrous oxide, and vinyl cyclohexene dioxide as known to cause reproductive toxicity. Comments are now due to August 15, 2007. See http://oehha.org/prop65/071707LCnotice.html
  • The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) of the California Environmental Protection Agency is making available for review and comment the final draft report, “Development of Health Criteria for School Site Risk Assessment Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 901(g): Proposed Child-Specific Reference Dose (chRD) for School Site Risk Assessment, Atrazine and Deltamethrin.” Comments are due August 17, 2007. See http://oehha.org/public_info/public/kids/schools071307.html

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Water:

GEORGIA

Air:

  • The Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments to Georgia's Rules for Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance, Chapter 391-3-20 Rule 391-3-20-.21, “Inspection Fees.” The amendments would reduce the administrative fees paid by station owners to the Department of Natural Resources from $6.95 to $4.02 per pre-purchased Certificate of Emission Inspection (and from $7.95 to $5.02 for fleet inspection stations with a required video camera surveillance system). A hearing will be held August 14, 2007. Comments are due August 15, 2007. See http://www.gaepd.org/environet/20/notice.pdf

IDAHO

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing on a proposal to update federal regulations incorporated by reference. This rulemaking intends to ensure that the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho are consistent with federal regulations. The hearing will be held September 6, 2007. Comments are due September 6, 2007. See http://www.deq.idaho.gov/rules/air/58_0101_0701_proposed.cfm

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality is soliciting public comment on proposed rulemaking to further limit the types of radioactive materials that are eligible for unrestricted disposal in Idaho by adding a new category of radioactive materials that must be disposed of at a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility. Comments are due August 29, 2007. See http://www.deq.idaho.gov/rules/radioactive_materials/58_0110_0701_proposed.cfm
  • The Department of Environmental Quality is soliciting public comment on a proposal to update federal regulations incorporated by reference. Idaho's Rules and Standards for Hazardous Waste are updated annually to maintain consistency with U.S. EPA's federal regulations implementing RCRA, as directed by the Idaho Hazardous Waste Management Act (HWMA). See http://www.deq.idaho.gov/rules/haz_waste/58_0105_0701_proposed.cfm

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality is soliciting public comment on a proposal to update federal regulations incorporated by reference. The proposed amendments would incorporate by reference the Stage 2  Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rules and the Long Term 2  Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. These are national primary drinking water regulations. As a state that has primacy for administering the SDWA, Idaho must adopt these rules within two years of promulgation. Comments are due August 29, 2007. See http://www.deq.idaho.gov/rules/drinking_water/58_0108_0701_proposed.cfm

ILLINOIS

Water:

INDIANA

Air:

  • The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is soliciting public comment on amendments to rules at 326 IAC 2 concerning air permits. The proposed amendments set forth corrections, clarifications, and the resolution of consistency issues, including revisions required or suggested by U.S. EPA. Comments are due August 17, 2007. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20070718-IR-326070372FNA.xml.html

LOUISIANA

Fisheries:

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality adopted emergency rules concerning solid waste. This is a renewal and revision of Emergency Rule MM0004, which was effective on March 20, 2007, and published in the Louisiana Register on April 20, 2007. Revisions include clarifications to a solid waste violation and changes in LAC 33:VII.115 and 315 to reflect amendments made in final Rule SW037, which was promulgated on June 20, 2007. The Expedited Penalty Agreement Rule, OS054, became final on December 20, 2006. This Emergency Rule supplements that rule by adding certain additional violations of the solid waste regulations to LAC 33:I.807, and amends LAC 33:VII.115 and 315 accordingly. See http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/osr/reg/0707/0707EMR.pdf (pp. 1324-1325)

General:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality adopted amendments to rules regarding the Permitting Application Review Timeline. This amendment reduces the time frame for environmental permit application administrative completeness reviews from 110 days to 60 days. This rule also reduces the time for making a final decision on permit applications from 410 days to 300 days. See http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/osr/reg/0707/0707RUL.pdf (pp. 1341-1343)

MAINE

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing on proposed new rule, Ch. 150, Control of Emissions from Outdoor Wood Boilers. The rule would establish requirements for the sale and installation of new outdoor wood boilers, including particulate emission standards, requirements for setback from neighboring properties, a minimum stack height, and provisions for the sell-through of existing inventory. The proposed rule also contains general provisions that apply to all outdoor wood boilers. These include prohibited fuels, allowed fuels, notice to buyers, owner manual requirements, and a method to address nuisance conditions. The hearing will be held August 16, 2007. Comments are due August 31, 2007. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2007/072507.htm

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection adopted amendments to Ch. 587, In-stream Flow and Water Level Standards. The final rule reflects modifications from the provisionally adopted rule as required by the legislative approval of these major substantive rules. The text of the rule can be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/topic/flow/587_final_adopted_text.pdf. See http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/topic/flow/index.htm
  • The Bureau of Land and Water Quality gives notice of informal rule development, including an amendment to Chapter 305, Permit by Rule, and new Chapter 340, Community Public Water Supply Primary Protection Areas. Chapter 340 would establish individual permit requirements related to activities in community public water supply primary protection areas. The rulemaking would also add a new section, Community Public Water System Primary Protection Areas, to Chapter 305 to allow certain activities in these areas to be authorized under permit by rule if specified standards are met. See http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/rules/NRPA/2007_2008/primary_protection_area/index.htm
  • The Bureau of Land and Water Quality has adopted amendments to Chapter 529, General Permits for Certain Wastewater Discharges. This rule became effective June 27, 2007. See http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/rule.htm

MARYLAND

Fisheries:

  • The Secretary of Natural Resources is soliciting public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation .04 under COMAR 08.02.19, Nuisance and Prohibited Species. The amendments would add the New Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) and the Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) to the list of species prohibited in the state. Comments are due August 20, 2007. See http://www.dsd.state.md.us/mdregister/3415/main_register.htm

MASSACHUSETTS

Toxic Substances:

  • The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is holding three public hearings on proposed regulatory amendments intended to implement statutory changes that affect planning requirements under the Toxics Use Reduction Act, including new options for resource conservation planning and environmental management systems. Hearings will be held August 6, 8, and 15, 2007. Comments are due August 27, 2007. See http://www.mass.gov/dep/public/hearings/tura2phn.htm

MICHIGAN

Air:

MINNESOTA

Water:

  • The Pollution Control Agency will hold a series of public hearings to consider the following: Proposed Amendments to Rules Governing Water Quality: Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7050 (Water Quality Standards for Protection of Waters of the State); Addition of Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7053 (Effluent Limits and Treatment Requirements for Discharges to Waters of the State); Repeal of Minnesota Rules, parts 7056.0010 to 7056.0040 (Classification for Use and Standards for Select Reaches of the Mississippi River and its Stream Tributaries); and Repeal of Minnesota Rules, parts 7065.0010 to 7065.0260 (Specific Effluent Limits for Select Watersheds). Draft rules are available at http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore/stateregister/32_04.pdf (pp. 87-217). Hearings will be held August 29 through September 12, 2007. See http://www.pca.state.mn.us/news/data/bdc.cfm?noticeID=276495&blobID=18768&docTypeID=4

MISSOURI

Air:

Toxic Substances:

  • The Department of Natural Resources will conduct a public hearing on proposed amendments to asbestos regulations under 10 CSR 10-6.241, Asbestos Projects—Registration, Notification and Performance Requirements, and 10 CSR 10-6.250, Asbestos Projects—Certification, Accreditation and Business Exemption Requirements. The hearing will be held August 30, 2007. Comments are due September 6, 2007. See http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/moreg/current/2007/v32n14/v32n14b.pdf (pp. 1118-1122)

Water:

General:

NEBRASKA

Air:

  • The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing to consider the adoption of amendments to Title 129, Nebraska Air Quality Regulations—Regional Haze/Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) Rules. The hearing will be held August 17, 2007. See http://www.deq.state.ne.us/Proposed.nsf/Pages/Proposed
  • The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing to consider the adoption of amendments to Title 129, Nebraska Air Quality Regulations—Mercury Rule. The proposal would adopt the federal new source performance standard for mercury and the federal Mercury Budget Trading Program. The hearing will be held August 17, 2007. See http://www.deq.state.ne.us/Proposed.nsf/Pages/Proposed

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

Water:

  • The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing to consider proposed changes to Nebraska Administrative Code, Title 124, Rules and Regulations for the Design, Operation and Maintenance of On-site Wastewater Treatment Systems, to meet requirements of the recently amended Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Contractors Certification and System Registration Act. The hearing will be held August 17, 2007. See http://www.deq.state.ne.us/Proposed.nsf/Pages/Proposed

NEVADA

Fisheries:

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Services will hold a public hearing to consider the adoption of amendments to rules regarding groundwater sources of bottled water. The amendments are intended to clarify existing requirements and add a requirement for wellhead protection programs that would apply to applicants for new groundwater sources of bottled water. The hearing will be held August 17, 2007. Comments are due August 27, 2007. See http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/july-27-07.pdf (p. 10-11)
  • The Department of Environmental Services adopted new wetland rules regarding compensatory mitigation. Rules became effective June 30, 2007. See http://www.des.state.nh.us/RuleMaking/

NEW MEXICO

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Environmental Improvement Board adopted several new rules pertaining to solid waste management, including 20.9.3 NMAC, Solid Waste Facility Permits and Registrations; 20.9.4 NMAC, Solid Waste and Registered Facility Maximum Size, Siting Criteria and Design Criteria; 20.9.5 NMAC, Solid Waste Facility and Commercial Haulers Operating Requirements; 20.9.6 NMAC, Solid Waste Facility and Composting Facility Closure and Post-Closure Requirements; 20.9.7 NMAC, Solid Waste Facility and Registered Facility Operator Certification; 20.9.8 NMAC, Special Waste Requirements; 20.9.9 NMAC, Solid Waste Facility Ground Water Monitoring System Plan and Ground Water Monitoring Plan; 20.9.10 NMAC, Financial Assurance; and 20.9.20 NMAC, Recycling, Illegal Dumping and Scrap Tire Management. See http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmregister/xviii/xviii13/xviii13adopted.htm

Toxic Substances:

  • The Petroleum Storage Tank Bureau conducted a public hearing to consider its effort to revise the Petroleum Storage Tank Regulations, 20.5 NMAC. In part, this effort is required by the 2005 Federal Energy Policy Act, which imposes a series of new requirements on UST programs. The hearing was held July 12, 2007. See http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/ust/draftregs.html

Water:

  • The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission will hold a public hearingto consider proposed amendments to the Wastewater Facility Construction Loans, 20.7.5 NMAC.Amendments proposed by the New Mexico Environment Department include new definitions, changes that allow the Department to create a separate administrative fund to recover administrative costs, and amendments to clarify language. The hearing will be held September 11, 2007. See http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmregister/xviii/xviii13/WQCCnotice.htm
  • The Water Quality Control Commission adopted 20.6.4 NMAC, Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters. The purpose of the amendment is to allow temporary and short-term degradation in outstanding national resource waters under limited circumstances. See http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmregister/xviii/xviii13/20.6.4amend-Shrt.htm

NEW YORK

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Environmental Conservation seeks public comment on proposed repeal of §2.2 and amendment of Part 3 of Title 6 NYCRR. The intent of this proposal is to implement changes to the Environmental Conservation Law that protect native reptiles and amphibians. Comments are due September 1, 2007. See http://www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2007/jul18/pdfs/rules.pdf (pp. 20-21)

PENNSYLVANIA

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Environmental Quality Board seeks public comment on its proposal to amend Chapters 260a, 261a, 262a, 263a, 264a, 265a, 266a, 266b, 267a, 269a, and 270a and to add Chapter 267a (relating to standards for owners and operators of hazardous waste facilities operating under a standardized permit). This proposed rulemaking updates the hazardous waste management program regulations. Comments are due September 12, 2007. See http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol37/37-28/1235.html

RHODE ISLAND

Water:

  • The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will hold a public hearing to receive comment on the proposed adoption of Rules and Regulations for Dam Safety and to afford interested parties an opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments orally and/or in writing on the proposed regulations. The hearing will be held August 23, 2007. Comments are due September 24, 2007. See http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/compinsp/damdraft.htm

TENNESSEE

Land Use:

Toxic Substances:

TEXAS

Air:

WASHINGTON

Water:

  • The Department of Ecology will hold a public hearing in Leavenworth on the proposed instream flow rule amendments for the Wenatchee River, Chapter 173-545 WAC. The locally developed Wenatchee Watershed Management Plan included a recommendation to revise the 1983 water management rule for the Wenatchee Watershed Water Resources Inventory Area 45. In response to this recommendation, the Department has worked closely with the planning unit and Chelan County to develop revisions to the existing rule. The hearing will be held August 7, 2007. Comments are due August 24, 2007. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/biblio/0711026.html

WISCONSIN

Land Use:

  • The Department of Natural Resources will hold public hearings on revisions to ch. NR 115, Wis. Adm. Code, relating to minimum standards for county shoreland zoning ordinances. Major provisions of the proposed rule include changes to vegetation management in the primary shoreland buffer and changes to regulation of nonconforming structures. New requirements include minimum lot size and density requirements for multi-unit residential development, mobile home parks, and campgrounds; two formulas to calculate reduced shoreland setbacks; an impervious surface standard; and mitigation standards. Hearings will be held July 24 through August 8, 2007. Comments are due September 7, 2007. See http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/register/reg619a.pdf (pp. 22-24)

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Natural Resources is requesting authorization to begin development of an administrative rule to establish a grant program to help implement the Wildlife Action Plan. The State Wildlife Grants Program, funded through annual congressional appropriations and administered by U.S. FWS, provides federal money to Wisconsin for cost-effective conservation aimed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered. The Department will provide financial assistance, through State Wildlife Grant funds, for projects that protect Species of Greatest Conservation Need and their habitats, as described in the Wildlife Action Plan. See http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/register/reg619a.pdf (pp. 10-11)

Copyright© 2007, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL

MINING COMPLIANCE INCREASES IN ZIMBABWE

An effort by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) of Zimbabwe to cut back on illegal mining has proven successful, the Harare Herald reported earlier this month. Miners from small gold mines in Zimbabwe have flooded the EMA with assessment reports in an effort to comply with Zimbabwean regulations. Under mining laws, mines must submit assessment reports that document the mining activity; these records allow the EMA to monitor and control environmental degradation. The dash to submit assessments comes after the EMA launched an initiative last year to decrease illegal mining, an effort that has resulted in over 2,000 arrests. See http://allafrica.com/stories/200707160652.html

SHANGHAI TO CONSTRUCT WETLAND TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY

The government of Shanghai will set aside six square miles outside of the city to build a wetland, Chinese media announced two weeks ago. Government officials hope that the initiative will improve the city’s water quality. The wetland will be constructed in Qingpu district around Lake Dianshan, the source of 30 percent of the metropolis’ drinking water supply. Drinking water quality is one of China’s top national priorities, particularly after an algal bloom in Jiangsu province tainted the water used by millions of people. See http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=13159

CANADA, UNITED STATES, AND MEXICO AGREE ON ENERGY DEAL

Energy ministers from Canada, Mexico, and the United States met in British Columbia to discuss an energy agreement between the three countries. The nations agreed on general provisions to promote the international energy market and the transfer of energy technologies between the nations. The objectives of the plan include advancing renewable energy sources and alternative technologies and standardizing the energy consumption of consumer goods. However, many Canadian environmentalists are concerned that the transportation demands associated with an increase in energy imports to the United States will damage the environment. See http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=13189

Copyright© 2007, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

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