Jump to Content

Weekly Update Volume 37, Issue 23

08/13/2007

LITIGATION

CWA, JURISDICTION:

The Ninth Circuit, withdrawing its previous opinion filed August 19, 2006, held that a pond and its surrounding wetlands adjacent to the Russian River in northern California was protected under the CWA. In its previous opinion, the court found that the pond, which receives wastewater discharges from a waste treatment plant, were covered by the Act. But the court reexamined the case in light of Rapanos v. United States, 126 S. Ct. 2208, 36 ELR 20116 (2006). Applying Justice Kennedy's test, the court held that the pond and its wetlands possessed a "significant nexus" to navigable waters of the United States, not only because the pond waters seep into the navigable Russian River, but also because they significantly affect the physical, biological, and chemical integrity of the river. The pond, therefore, is subject to the CWA. The court also affirmed the lower court's ruling that neither the waste treatment system nor the excavation operation exceptions in the Act apply to treatment plant's discharges. Northern California River Watch v. City of Healdsburg, No. 04-15442, 37 ELR 20202 (9th Cir. Aug. 6, 2007) (17 pp.).

CWA, JURISDICTION:

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a developer's conviction for altering the flow of waters of an intermittent, seasonal creek in violation of the CWA. For 20 years, the developer used heavy equipment to reroute and reshape the creek in an attempt to convert the original three channels of the creek into one broader and deeper channel. He did this despite numerous warnings by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer that he needed a CWA permit. The developer was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and was imposed a $9,000 fine, a $300 special assessment, and one-year of supervised release. The developer appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. The court found that intermittent, seasonal streams can be waters of the United States, and the evidence demonstrates that the creek at issue here is jurisdictional. In addition, the developer's movement and redistribution of materials in the creek did not qualify as incidental fallback. Hence, he discharged pollutants into waters of the United States. The developer's activities also went far beyond anything that could be called mere maintenance of serviceable structures. And the actions were not taken pursuant to Nationwide Permit No. 3, which was issued under the Rivers and Harbors Act and does not apply to activities covered by the CWA. United States v. Moses, No. 06-30379, 37 ELR 20206 (9th Cir. Aug. 3, 2007) (17 pp.).

CWA, STATE PERMITTING AUTHORITY, NATIVE AMERICANS:

The First Circuit, in a dispute among two Native American tribes, EPA, and the state of Maine, affirmed in part and vacated in part an EPA order partially ceding CWA discharge permitting authority to the state. The order was affirmed insofar as it cedes permitting authority to Maine over 19 sites not in Indian territory. However, the order was vacated with regard to two tribal-owned sites for which the Agency retained permitting authority. The sites, located on tribal lands, discharge into navigable waters within the tribes' territories, but then pass on to other downstream communities. EPA determined that the discharges from these facilities were "immaterial" and had no "substantial effect[] on non-members" and concluded that their regulation was an "internal tribal matter" over which the state lacked adequate authority under a 1980 Maine statute, ratified by a federal statute also in 1980, known collectively as "the Settlement Acts." But while the examples given in the Settlement Acts of what "internal tribal matters" means are not exclusive, discharging pollutants into navigable waters is not of the same character as tribal elections, tribal membership or other exemplars that relate to the structure of Indian government or the distribution of tribal property. The court, therefore, vacated that portion of the order. Maine v. Johnson, Nos. 04-1363, -1375, 37 ELR 20204 (1st Cir. Aug. 8, 2007) (25 pp.).

STREAM RESTORATION, CONSENT DECREE:

The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision denying Tennessee's motion to clarify its obligations under a 1985 consent decree regarding its plans to improve a stream. The state wanted to transform 1.5 miles of the stream into a 2.4 mile "meandering channel" to mimic the natural conditions of a stream and provide significant environmental benefits. The state intends to implement the restoration project independently of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who is primarily responsible for a waterway improvement project in the same general geographic area. The state filed a motion seeking a declaration from the court that the consent decree did not prohibit the state from implementing the restoration project, but conservation groups opposed the motion. They argued that the state could not perform any independent work in the area because the decree states that the role of the state is to perform "maintenance of the Corps' work" within the project area. But another provision of the consent decree requires the state to perform "all future work" in the area. Because the term "all future work" is ambiguous, this ambiguity must be resolved in favor of the state. Hence, the consent decree does not limit the role of the state to maintaining work of the Corps and the state's motion to clarify its obligations under the decree should have been granted. National Ecological Foundation v. Alexander, No. 06-5700, 37 ELR 20205 (6th Cir. Aug. 3, 2007) (13 pp.).

LOGGING, SPOTTED OWL, PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION:

A district court granted in part and denied in part environmental groups' motion to preliminarily enjoin all logging of suitable spotted owl habitat on private lands in owl circles outside of spotted owl special emphasis areas throughout the state of Washington. The court granted the groups' request to enjoin logging in the four owl circles identified on a logging company's property in southwest Washington. The groups have shown that, without an injunction, it is reasonably likely that a take will occur within these four owl circles. Therefore, pending a trial on the merits of the groups' ESA claim, the company may not log any suitable habitat within 2.7 miles of the center of those owl circles. But the court denied the groups' request to prohibit the state from authorizing logging of suitable habitat in owl circles on private lands outside of special emphasis areas throughout the state. The groups failed to show that it is likely that spotted owls inhabit many of these circles. Nor did the groups identify the amount of suitable owl habitat remaining within those circles. Given these evidentiary deficiencies, the groups have not met their burden of showing that additional logging, authorized by the state, is likely to harm spotted owls. Seattle Audubon Society v. Sutherland, No. C06-1608MJP, 37 ELR 20207 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 1, 2007) (Pechman, J.) (13 pp.).

CERCLA, DAMAGES, PENALTIES:

A district court held that the owner and the operator of a hazardous waste site in Chicago, Illinois, are jointly and severally liable to the U.S. government for $2,681,337.79 in damages. The government put forth evidence that it incurred $2,543,748.92 in response costs, and neither defendant argued that the response costs were inconsistent with the national contingency plan. Consequently, the government is entitled to $2,543,748.92 in response costs plus $137,588.87 in statutory prejudgment interest, for a total of $2,681,337.79. In addition, the defendants are jointly and severally liable. Although the owner only owned some of the parcels at the site, it failed to establish that the harm was geographically divisible. The undisputed evidence is that the contamination was not separate and that hazardous wastes migrated or otherwise moved from one area to another within the site. The United States also sought civil fines against the owner and operator for violating administrative orders to clean up the site. Because neither party had a good faith reason to think it was not liable, the court ordered the owner to pay $230,250 and the operator to pay $220,500 in civil fines. The court also ordered the operator to pay $23,100 in civil penalties for failing to comply with the government's requests for information. United States v. Capital Tax Corp., No. 04 C 4138, 37 ELR 20208 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 1, 2007) (Marovich, J.) (11 pp.).

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, LAND USE:

A California appellate court upheld a city's approval of changes in a plan for a large real estate development project in downtown Los Angeles. Rival developers argued that the modified project is so different as to constitute a new project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). They also argued that the changes will have new or more severe environmental effects than the originally approved project due to an increase in square footage, building height, and a change in use from office to residential. But the court ruled that the original 1989 environmental impact report for the project, with an updated 2005 addendum, was sufficient. The focus on whether the changes amount to a "new project" is not determinative under CEQA. Even though the overall square footage and floor area are somewhat larger in the modified project, the modified project's substitution of residential use in place of some office, retail, and cultural uses will result in fewer significant impacts compared to the original project. Mani Brothers Real Estate Group v. City of Los Angeles, No. B194309, 37 ELR 20203 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Aug. 3, 2007) (23 pp.).

INSURANCE, HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES:

A California appellate court reversed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company in a case involving several personal injury actions arising from the operation of an oil and gas production facility next to Beverly Hills High School. The complaints allege that hazardous substances were "spilled, emitted, released, [and] discharged" into the environment. They also allege that the operations resulted in "releases, discharges, fugitive emissions, leaks and spills." Hence, the complaints allege damage of a nature and kind covered by the policy. Nor do the allegations foreclose the possibility that the damage was caused by a sudden and accidental release. Therefore, the facts alleged were sufficient to create a potential for coverage giving rise to a duty to defend under California law. Frontier Oil Corp. v. RLI Insurance Co., No. B189158, 37 ELR 20201 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Aug. 6, 2007) (44 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:

  • SIP Approvals: Arizona (particulate matter (PM) emissions from the paving of unpaved roads) 72 FR 43537 (8/6/07). Iowa (clean air interstate rule) 72 FR 43539 (8/6/07). Kansas (maintenance plan revision to the eight-hour ozone NAAQS) 72 FR 44781 (8/9/07). Missouri (maintenance plan revision to the eight-hour ozone NAAQS) 72 FR 44778 (8/9/07). Ohio (eight-hour ozone standard, maintenance plan, and motor vehicle emission budgets) 72 FR 44784 (8/9/07).
  • SIP Proposals: Arizona (PM emissions from the paving of unpaved roads; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 43580 (8/6/07). Kansas (maintenance plan revision to the eight-hour ozone NAAQS; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 44816 (8/9/07). Missouri (maintenance plan revision to the eight-hour ozone NAAQS; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 44817 (8/9/07).

HAZARDOUS AND SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA announced the availability of the operator training grant guidelines for states that receive UST funds from the Agency. 72 FR 44523 (8/8/07).
  • EPA authorized changes to Florida's hazardous waste program under RCRA. 72 FR 44973 (8/10/07).
  • EPA proposed to grant Florida final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under RCRA; see above for immediate final rule. 72 FR 45001 (8/10/07).

WETLANDS:

  • EPA announced the availability of its Draft Federal Geographic Data Committee's Wetland Mapping Standard for review and comment . 72 FR 44133 (8/7/07).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS removed the Idaho springsnail from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife after determining that it is not a listable entity as defined by the ESA. 72 FR 43560 (8/6/07).
  • FWS proposed to designate critical habitat on approximately 3,014 acres of land in San Bernardino and San Diego counties, California, for the endangered San Bernardino bluegrass and on approximately 1,930 acres of land in San Bernardino County, California, for the endangered California taraxacum. 72 FR 44231 (8/7/07).
  • FWS announced the availability of the draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat designation for Yadon's piperia. 72 FR 44069 (8/7/07).
  • FWS announced the availability of the draft comprehensive conservation plan and EA for the Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Montana. 72 FR 44170 (8/7/07).
  • FWS announced that it will prepare a draft EIS and socio-economic assessment in conjunction with a proposed rule to amend the 1998 final rule that authorized the establishment of a nonessential experimental population of the Mexican gray wolf in Arizona and New Mexico. 72 FR 44065 (8/7/07).
  • FWS announced its intent to gather information necessary to prepare a comprehensive conservation plan and EA for the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in Liberty County, Texas. 72 FR 45059 (8/10/07).
  • NOAA-Fisheries established a Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force to recommend whether NOAA-Fisheries should authorize the intentional lethal taking of California sea lions that prey on ESA-listed salmonids in the Columbia River. 72 FR 44833 (8/9/07).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Cook Development Corp., No. 3:06-CV-617 (D. Or. Aug. 1, 2007). A settling CAA defendant who violated the asbestos NESHAPs in connection with the renovation of an apartment complex in The Dalles, Oregon, must pay a $7,500 civil penalty and must not engage in any asbestos demolition or renovation activity in the future. 72 FR 44857 (8/9/07).
  • United States v. Country Acres Farm, Inc., No. 07-07-B-W (D. Me. Aug. 2 2007). A settling CWA defendant that allegedly discharged significant amounts of process-generated wastewater into waters of the United States from its concentrated animal feeding operation in Dixmont, Maine, must implement remedial work to clean up manure storage lagoons and other activities. 72 FR 44857 (8/9/07).
  • In re Marcal Paper Mills, Inc., No. 06-21886(MS) (Bankr. D.N.J. July 26, 2007). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $3,000,000 for natural resource damages and response costs incurred and to be incurred at the Diamond Alkali Superfund site in New Jersey. 72 FR 44858 (8/9/07).
  • United States v. City of San Diego, No. 01-CV-0550B (POR) (S.D. Cal. July 31, 2007). A settling CWA defendant that allowed sanitary sewer overflows to occur in violation of its NPDES permit must implement a six-year program to improve its system and reduce spills and must continue to create programs and maintain and upgrade its sewer infrastructure. 72 FR 44858 (8/9/07).

GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS:

  • EPA announced the availability of the draft document titled Climate and Land Use Change Effects on Ecological Resources in Three Watersheds: A Synthesis Report for pre-dissemination peer review. 72 FR 45045 (8/10/07).
  • EPA announced the availability of the draft document titled Effects of Climate Change on Aquatic Invasive Species and Implications for Management and Research for pre-dissemination peer review. 72 FR 45046 (8/10/07).
  • EPA announced the availability of the draft document titled Preliminary Assessment of Climate Change Effects on Stream and River Biological Indicators for pre-dissemination peer review. 72 FR 45048 (8/10/07).

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

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

CHAMBER ACTION:

  • S. 775 (National Infrastructure Improvement Act), which would establish a National Commission on the Infrastructure of the United States, was passed by the Senate. 53 Cong. Rec. S10844 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007).
  • S. 1983 (FIFRA), which would amend FIFRA to renew and amend the provisions for the enhanced review of covered pesticide products, to authorize fees for certain pesticide products, and to expend and improve the collection of maintenance fees, was passed by the Senate. 53 Cong. Rec. S10842 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007).
  • H.R. 2776 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act), which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation, was passed by the House. 153 Cong. Rec. H9915(daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007).
  • H.R. 2863 (Native Americans), which would authorize the Coquille Indian Tribe of the state of Oregon to convey land and interests in land owned by the tribe, was passed by the Senate, clearing the measure for the President. 53 Cong. Rec. S10844 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007).
  • H.R. 2952 (Native Americans), which would authorize the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Indians of the state of Michigan to convey land and interests in land owned by the tribe, was passed by the Senate, clearing the measure for the president. 53 Cong. Rec. S10844 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007).
  • H.R. 3161 (appropriations), which would make appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, was passed by the House. 53 Cong. Rec. H9606, H9641 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007).
  • H.R. 3221 (New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act), which would move the United States toward greater energy independence and security by developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure, was passed by the House. 53 Cong. Rec. H9722, H9843, H9861, H9870 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007).

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. 742 (TSCA) was reported by the Committee on Environmental and Public Works. 153 Cong. Rec. S10786 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill would amend TSCA to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products.
  • S. 775 (infrastructure) was reported by the Committee on Environmental and Public Works. 153 Cong. Rec. S10786 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill would establish a National Commission on the Infrastructure of the United States.
  • S. 1785 (CAA) was reported by the Committee on Environmental and Public Works. 153 Cong. Rec. S10786 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill 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.
  • H.R. 50 (wildlife) was reported by the Committee on Environmental and Public Works. 153 Cong. Rec. S10786 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill would reauthorize the African Elephant Conservation Act and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994.
  • H.R. 189 (national park) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-310, 153 Cong. Rec. H10016 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill would establish the Paterson Great Falls National Park in the state of New Jersey.
  • H.R. 465 (wildlife) was reported by the Committee on Environmental and Public Works. 153 Cong. Rec. S10786 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill would reauthorize the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997.
  • H.R. 1834 (oceans) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-311, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H10016 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill would authorize the national ocean exploration program and the national undersea research program within NOAA.
  • H.R. 1933 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Science and Technology. H. Rep. No. 110-301, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reauthorize and improve the carbon capture and storage research, development, and demonstration program of the DOE.
  • H.R. 2337 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-296, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would promote energy policy reforms and public accountability, alternative energy and efficiency, and carbon capture and climate change mitigation.
  • H.R. 2635 (global warming) was reported by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H. Rep. No. 110-297, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would reduce the federal government's contribution to global warming through measures that promote efficiency in the federal government's management and operations.
  • H.R. 2773 (biofuels) was reported by the Committee on Science and Technology. H. Rep. No. 110-302, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would enhance research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of biofuels related technologies Committee on Science and Technology.
  • H.R. 2774 (solar energy) was reported by the Committee on Science and Technology. H. Rep. No. 110-303, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would support the research, development, and commercial application of solar energy technologies.
  • H.R. 3236 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 110-304, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would promote greater energy efficiency.
  • H.R. 3237 (electricity) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 110-305, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would facilitate the transition to a smart electricity grid.
  • H.R. 3238 (renewable fuels) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 110-306, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would promote the development of renewable fuels infrastructure.
  • H.R. 3239 (hybrid vehicles) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 110-307, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would promote advanced plug-in hybrid vehicles and vehicle components.
  • H.R. 3240 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 110-308, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would seek to enhance availability of critical energy information.
  • H.R. 3241 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H. Rep. No. 110-309, Pt. 1, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill would clarify the amount of loans to be guaranteed under title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
  • H. Res. 615 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Rules. H. Rep. No. 110-300, 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The resolution would provide for consideration of the bill H.R. 321 moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure, and for consideration of the bill H.R. 2776 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation.

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 1938 (Reed, D-R.I.) (flood insurance) would provide for the reviewing, updating, and maintenance of National Flood Insurance Program rate maps. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
  • S. 1939 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (land conveyance) would provide for the conveyance of certain land in the Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1940 (Bingaman, D-N.M.) (watershed management) would reauthorize the Rio Puerco Watershed Management Program. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1941 (Lincoln, D-Ark.) (National Park System) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the Wolf House, located in Norfolk, Arkansas, as a unit of the National Park System. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1949 (Reid, D-Nev.) (invasive species) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to provide loans to certain organizations in certain states to address habitats and ecosystems and to address and prevent invasive species. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1952 (Murray, D-Wash.) (forest conservation bonds) would provide a federal tax exemption for forest conservation bonds. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 1961 (Sessions, R-Ala.) (boundary expansion) would expand the boundaries of the Little River Canyon National Preserve in the state of Alabama. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1962 (Sessions, R-Ala.) (Food Security Act) would amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to authorize a regional water enhancement program in the environmental quality incentives program. 153 Cong. Rec. S10787 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 1968 (Inhofe, R-Okla.) (water) would provide for security at public water systems and publicly owned treatment works. 153 Cong. Rec. S10788 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 1969 (Hatch, R-Utah) (National Park System) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating Estate Grange and other sites related to Alexander Hamilton's life on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a unit of the National Park System. 153 Cong. Rec. S10788 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1976 (Tester, D-Mont.) (Food Security Act) would amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to include a provision on organic conversion in the environmental quality incentives program. 153 Cong. Rec. S10788 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
  • S. 1983 (Harkin, D-Iowa) (FIFRA) would amend FIFRA to renew and amend the provisions for the enhanced review of covered pesticide products, to authorize fees for certain pesticide products, and to expend and improve the collection of maintenance fees. 153 Cong. Rec. S10788 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was considered and passed.
  • S. 1987 (Stabenow, D-Mich.) (alternative motor vehicles) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for alternative motor vehicle facility bonds. 153 Cong. Rec. S10901 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 1991 (Bunning, R-Ky.) (historic trail) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to include additional sites associated with the preparation and return phases of the expedition. 153 Cong. Rec. S10901 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1993 (Brown, D-Ohio) (boundary modification) would modify the boundary of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in the state of Ohio. 153 Cong. Rec. S10901 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 1997 (McCaskill, D-Mo.) (fuel) would require all new and upgraded fuel pumps to be equipped with automatic temperature compensation equipment. 153 Cong. Rec. S10902 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • S. 2005 (Clinton, D-N.Y.) (secondhand smoke) would amend the Public Health Service Act to provide education on the health consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke. 153 Cong. Rec. S10902 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
  • S.J. Res. 17 (Stevens, R-Alaska) (fish) would direct the United States to initiate international discussions and take necessary steps with other nations to negotiate an agreement for managing migratory and transboundary fish stocks in the Arctic Ocean. 153 Cong. Rec. S10902 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The joint resolution was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  • H.R. 3327 (Gallegly, R-Cal.) (Animal Welfare Act) would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit dog fighting ventures. 153 Cong. Rec. H9654 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • H.R. 3328 (Giffords, D-Ariz.) (water) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, to conduct a feasibility study of water augmentation alternatives in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed. 153 Cong. Rec. H9654 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3331 (Higgins, D-N.J.) (hazardous substances) would prohibit, as a banned hazardous substance, certain household dishwashing detergent containing phosphorus. 153 Cong. Rec. H9654 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3335 (Lamborn, R-Colo.) (national heritage area) would establish the South Park National Heritage Area. 153 Cong. Rec. H9655 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3336 (Lamborn, R-Colo.) (historic districts) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to carry out a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing a historic district to the Camp Hale on parcels of land in the state of Colorado. 153 Cong. Rec. H9655 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3339 (McCollum, D-Minn.) (TSCA) would amend TSCA to reduce the health risks posed by asbestos-containing products. 153 Cong. Rec. H9655 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3350 (Young, R-Alaska) (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) would amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to provide for equitable allotment of lands to Alaska Native veterans. 153 Cong. Rec. H9655 (daily ed. Aug. 2, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3358 (Upton, R-Mich.) (radioactive waste) would enhance the management and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste and to ensure the expansion of clean nuclear power in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our domestic energy security. 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3360 (Schakowsky, D-Ill.) (FWPCA) would amend the FWPCA to require the concurrence of all bordering states when a permit for the discharge of pollutants into one of the Great Lakes is issued. 153 Cong. Rec. H9704 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 3365 (Filner, D-Cal.) (CAA) would amend the CAA to delay the effect of reclassifying certain nonattainment areas adjacent to an international border. 153 Cong. Rec. H9705 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3366 (Filner, D-Cal.) (armed services) would amend title 10, U.S. Code, to require the Department of Defense and all other defense-related agencies of the United States to fully comply with federal and state environmental laws, including certain laws relating to public health and worker safety. 153 Cong. Rec. H9705 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committees on Armed Services, Energy and Commerce, Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, and Education and Labor.
  • H.R. 3379 (Bordallo, D-Guam) (radiation) would amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to include the Territory of Guam in the list of affected areas with respect to which claims relating to atmospheric nuclear testing shall be allowed. 153 Cong. Rec. H9705 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  • H.R. 3397 (Ellison, D-Minn.) (lead-based paint) would amend the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 to define environmental intervention blood lead level. 153 Cong. Rec. H9706 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
  • H.R. 3398 (Ellison, D-Minn.) (infrastructure) would establish a National Commission on the Infrastructure of the United States. 153 Cong. Rec. H9706 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 3399 (Ellison, D-Minn.) (pesticides) would prohibit the use, production, sale, importation, or exportation of any pesticide containing atrazine. 153 Cong. Rec. H9706 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Foreign Affairs.
  • H.R. 3401 (Ellison, D-Minn.) (infrastructure) would establish the National Infrastructure Bank to provide funding for qualified infrastructure projects. 153 Cong. Rec. H9706 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Financial Services.
  • H.R. 3408 (Hastings, R-Wash.) (boundary adjustment) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the boundary of the Stephen Mather Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park to allow the rebuilding of a road outside of the floodplain while ensuring that there is no net loss of acreage to the park or the wilderness. 153 Cong. Rec. H9706 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3435 (Pickering, R-Miss.) (energy) would seek to improve energy security of the United States through a reduction in the oil intensity of the economy of the United States and expansion of secure oil supplies by increasing the availability of alternative fuel sources, fostering responsible oil exploration and production, and improving international arrangements to secure the global oil supply. 153 Cong. Rec. H9707 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Science and Technology, Natural Resources, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Intelligence.
  • H.R. 3437 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (Jackson Gulch) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to carry out the Jackson Gulch rehabilitation project in the state of Colorado. 153 Cong. Rec. H9708 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3448 (Waxman, D-Cal.) (ozone) would reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances to protect the climate and stratospheric ozone layer. 153 Cong. Rec. H9708 (daily ed. Aug. 3, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 3452 (Becerra, D-Cal.) (water) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit with respect to clean renewable water supply bonds. 153 Cong. Rec. H10016 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 3454 (Boucher, D-Va.) (land conveyance) would provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of National Forest System land in the George Washington National Forest in Alleghany County, Virginia, that contains the cemetery of the Central Advent Christian Church and an adjoining tract of land located between the cemetery and road boundaries. 153 Cong. Rec. H10016 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 3456 (Thompson, D-Cal.) (forest conservation) would provide a federal tax exemption for forest conservation bonds. 153 Cong. Rec. H10016 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 3459 (Markey, D-Mass.) (ESA) would amend the ESA to require the Director of the FWS to publish a summary statement of the scientific basis for a decision concerning the listing or delisting of an endangered species or the designation of critical habitat. 153 Cong. Rec. H10016 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3460 (Hill, D-Ind.) (national trail) would amend the National Trails System Act to extend the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. 153 Cong. Rec. H10017 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 3465 (Udall, D-Colo.) (water) would seek to promote greater cooperation with local governments in connection with environmental analyses of certain water projects. 153 Cong. Rec. H10017 (daily ed. Aug. 4, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

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 Minnesota North Carolina Texas California Louisiana Montana Rhode Island Virginia Colorado Maine New Jersey South Carolina Wisconsin Georgia Maryland New Mexico Tennessee  

ARIZONA

Air:

  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality conducted public hearings to consider changing the fee schedule for permit processing, annual emission, and annual administrative fees. The hearings were held August 2 and August 10, 2007. See http://www.azdeq.gov/function/laws/draft.html#fees2007

CALIFORNIA

Air:

  • The deadline for comment on proposed amendments to the Zero Emission Bus Regulation has been extended to August 13, 2007. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/zbus06/15daynotice.pdf
  • The Air Resources Board will conduct a set of workshops to discuss proposed regulatory language to reduce emissions from in-use, on-road, heavy-duty diesel vehicles. This regulation includes, but is not limited to, long and short haul truck-tractors, construction related trucks, agricultural trucks, wholesale and retail goods transport trucks, tanker trucks, package and household goods transport trucks, and any other diesel-powered trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 lbs. The workshops will be August 22, 23, and 28, 2007. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents/August_Workshops_Notice.pdf

Water:

  • The State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources will hold a joint meeting to consider the effects of climate change on water resources and discuss existing policies and programs to identify areas in which the Boards can integrate climate change aspects and comply with the goals stated in the enacted legislation of AB 32 (Statues of 2006, Chapter 488). The State Water Board will also be determining how climate change is directly impacting its programs and what to do to address those impacts. At the meeting, the State Water Board may consider adopting a resolution directing staff to explore specific options. No regulatory actions will be taken at the meeting. The meeting will be held August 23, 2007. Comments are due September 14, 2007. See http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/workshops/climate/notice_climatechange.pdf

COLORADO

Air

  • The Air Quality Control Commission will hold a public rulemaking hearing to consider proposed revisions to its vehicle emissions inspection program that would provide the Division the authority to develop and implement a remote sensing based pilot high emitting vehicle program. The proposed revisions would provide the Air Pollution Control Division the authority to develop and modify program criteria as it works to identify effective program elements. The hearing will be held October 18, 2007. Comments are due October 4, 2007. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/aqcc/aqccdown/NoticeOctReg11.pdf
  • The Air Quality Control Commission will hold a written comment only public rulemaking hearing to consider proposed revisions to its Regulation Number 6, Part A, to incorporate by reference additions and changes U.S. EPA made to its new stationary source performance standards in 40 C.F.R. Part 60. The hearing will be held October 18, 2007. Comments are due October 5, 2007. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/aqcc/aqccdown/NoticeOctReg6PartA.pdf
  • The Air Quality Control Commission will hold a public rulemaking hearing to consider revisions to Regulation Number 6, Parts A and B, that would include revisions to the federal new source performance standards for coal-fired power plants, state-only new source performance standards for coal-fired power plants specific to mercury, and changes associated with reorganizing Regulation 6. The hearing will be held October 18, 2007. Comments are due October 4, 2007. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/aqcc/aqccdown/NoticeOctReg6PartAandB.pdf
  • The Air Quality Control Commission will hold a public rulemaking hearing to consider proposed revisions to its Regulation Number 3, Part A, Section VI.D.1., that would raise the annual emission fees for criteria and hazardous air pollutants in accordance with the provisions of Section 25-7-114.7. C.R.S. commencing in 2007. The proposed increase raises fees to the limit set by the Colorado Legislature and would be used to fund legislatively approved staffing increases to address permitting, oil and gas activities, and additional air quality monitoring. The hearing will be held October 18, 2007. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/aqcc/aqccdown/NoticeOctReg3.pdf
  • The Air Quality Control Commission will hold a public rulemaking hearing to consider revisions to its procedural rules regulation. The proposed revisions would require electronic filing of documents for rulemaking and adjudicatory hearings. The electronic filing of documents is intended to lessen the paperwork and copying of materials associated with rulemakings and adjudications. The hearing will be held October 18, 2007. Comments are due October 5, 2007. See http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/op/aqcc/aqccdown/NoticeOctProRules.pdf

GEORGIA

Water:

  • The Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources proposed an amendment to the state's rules and regulations for water quality control, Chapter 391-3-6. The proposed amendment would revise Rule 391-3-6- .03, Water Use Classifications and Water Quality Standards, to allow the state to grant variances to a water quality standard and to remove a designated use through a use attainability analysis. The hearing will be held September 19 and 20, 2007. Comments are due September 24, 2007. See http://www.gaepd.org/environet/6/notice.pdf

ILLINOIS

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Pollution Control Board is soliciting public comment on proposed amendment to 35 Ill. Adm. Code 810, Solid Waste Disposal: General Provisions. The amendments would update the Board's solid waste disposal regulations to reflect practical experience gained through the implementation of those rules and the expanded technical and scientific knowledge achieved since the Board first adopted these standards in 1990. Comments are due September 17, 2007. See http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/register_volume31_issue31.pdf (pp. 11107-11111)
  • The Pollution Control Board is soliciting public comment on proposed amendment to 35 Ill. Adm. Code 811, Standards for New Solid Waste Landfills. The amendments would update the Board's solid waste disposal regulations to reflect practical experience gained through the implementation of those rules and expanded technical and scientific knowledge achieved since the Board first adopted these standards in 1990. See http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/register_volume31_issue31.pdf (pp. 11112-11167)

Water:

LOUISIANA

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality has incorporated by reference certain U.S. EPA national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. (LAC 33:III.507, 2160, 3003, 5116, 5122, 5311, and 5901). See http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/portals/0/planning/regs/pdf/AQ284ftfin.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing on the proposed incorporation of revised substantive changes to the proposed amendments to the Air Quality regulations, LAC 33:III.211, 223, 551, 5101, 5103, 5105, 5107, 5109, 5111, and 5112 (Log # AQ256S1). The Department is proposing revised substantive changes to address comments received during the public comment period for the proposed rule, AQ256S. The hearing will be held September 26, 2007. Comments are due October 3, 2007. See http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/portals/0/planning/regs/pdf/AQ256S1pro.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing on the proposed incorporation of revised substantive changes to the proposed amendments to the Office of the Secretary regulations, LAC 33:I.3905, 3919, 3925, and 3931 (OS078S). The Department is proposing substantive changes to address comments received during the public comment period for proposed rule OS078. The proposed rule moved the unauthorized discharge reporting requirements in LAC 33:III.5107.B to LAC 33:I. Chapter 39 to streamline reporting requirements and to remove duplicative reporting language from the regulations. The hearing will be held September 26, 2007. Comments are due October 3, 2007. See http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/portals/0/planning/regs/pdf/OS078Spro.pdf

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Water Quality regulations, LAC 33:IX.2315, 2501, 2707, 3113, 4730, 4735, and 4761-4779. This proposed rule would add language promulgated by U.S. EPA on June 16, 2006, in 71 Fed. Reg. 35006, and on November 27, 2006, in 71 Fed. Reg. 68492. The amendments would establish categorical §316(b) requirements for intake structures at new offshore oil and gas extraction facilities that have a design intake flow threshold of greater than 2 million gallons per day and that withdraw at least 25 percent of the water exclusively for cooling purposes. The hearing will be held August 20, 2007. Comments are due August 20, 2007. See http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/portals/0/planning/regs/pdf/WQ071ftpro.pdf

MAINE

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources adopted Ch. 266, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Quarantine. This rule adds six towns in Maine and additional counties in other states that have been found to be infested with this pest to the area under quarantine. It also simplifies some of the reporting requirements imposed on State Plant Regulatory Officials in states that are free of this pest. This rule became effective August 5, 2007. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2007/080807.htm

Water:

  • The Bureau of Land and Water Quality announced its intention to develop a new rule, Chapter 340, Community Public Water Supply Primary Protection Areas, and to amend Chapter 305, Permit by Rule, Concerning Community Public Water System Primary Protection Areas (adding Section 21). "Community public water supply primary protection areas" were added to the list of protected natural resources in the Natural Resources Protection Act by PL 2007, Ch. 353 (effective September 20, 2007). This rulemaking is intended to adopt Chapter 340, which establishes individual permit requirements related to activities in community public water supply primary protection areas, and to add a section to Chapter 305, Permit by Rule, 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

MARYLAND

Wildlife:

  • The Secretary of Natural Resources is soliciting public comment on its proposal to amend Regulation .01 and to adopt new Regulation .14 under COMAR 08.03.08, Threatened and Endangered Species. The changes would allow persons to incidentally take endangered Puritan tiger beetles under certain conditions. Comments are due September 4, 2007. See http://www.dsd.state.md.us/mdregister/3416/main_register.htm
  • The Secretary of Natural Resources is soliciting public comment on proposed amendments to Regulations .04—.09 under COMAR 08.03.08, Threatened and Endangered Species. The amendments would change Maryland's official list of species that are in need of conservation, threatened, or endangered, based on a review of the biological data associated with Maryland's biota. The action would add eight new species to the listing categories and would reclassify 20 listed species by changing the status of 9 species and removing 11 listed species. Comments are due September 4, 2007. See http://www.dsd.state.md.us/mdregister/3416/main_register.htm

MINNESOTA

Water:

MONTANA

Water:

  • The Board of Environmental Review will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed amendment of ARM 17.38.101 and 17.38.106 pertaining to plans for public water supply or wastewater system and fees. The hearing will be held August 30, 2007, in Room 111, Metcalf Building, 1520 East Sixth Avenue, Helena, Montana. Comments are due September 6, 2007. See http://sos.mt.gov/arm/Register/archives/MAR2007/MAR07-15.pdf (pp. 1067-1076)
  • The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission adopted emergency rules closing the Missouri River from American Bar Gulch to Beartooth Landing, Lewis and Clark County, Montana. This rule became effective July 26, 2007. This rule is effective as long as this portion of the Missouri River is needed as a source of water for fighting wildfires. Comments are due August 23, 2007. See http://sos.mt.gov/arm/Register/archives/MAR2007/MAR07-15.pdf (pp. 1094-1096)
  • The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation adopted amendments to ARM 36.12.101, Definitions, and ARM 36.12.113, Reservoir Standards. See http://sos.mt.gov/arm/Register/archives/MAR2007/MAR07-15.pdf (pp. 1098-1099)

NEW JERSEY

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection adopted the Diesel Retrofit Program Rule. As part of the state's diesel initiative, directed at reducing diesel emissions and the health impacts associated with diesel exhaust, the adopted rules have two components: the installation of closed crankcase ventilation systems on school buses; and retrofitting the exhaust systems of certain solid waste vehicles, commercial buses, and publicly owned on-road vehicles and off-road equipment. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/adoptions.html

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing to consider amendments to its Site Remediation Program.  The Department is proposing to amend the Technical Rules to include mandatory notification requirements for the person conducting the remediation of a contaminated site. The amendments require the person conducting the remediation to identify sensitive populations located within 200 feet of the site. The hearing will be held September 7, 2007. Comments are due October 5, 2007. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/notices/080607b.htm

NEW MEXICO

Water:

  • The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider the Canadian River Watershed Part 1 TMDL and Rio Puerco Watershed Part 2 TMDL. The hearing will be held August 14, 2007. See http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/wqcc/Agendas/08-14-07.pdf

NORTH CAROLINA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing to consider its proposal to amend the rules cited as 15A NCAC 01N .0101-.0103, .0201- .0202, .0301, .0303, .0401-.0402, .0502, .0701, .0704, .0801, and .0902, and to repeal the rules cited as 15A NCAC 01N .0403, .0601-.0606, concerning the drinking water treatment fund. The hearing will be held August 22, 2007. Comments are due October 1, 2007. See http://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume22Issue03August12007-2.pdf (pp. 158-164)

RHODE ISLAND

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Management is soliciting public comment on its proposal to refile Air Pollution Control Regulation No. 10, Air Pollution Episodes, with the Secretary of State pursuant to the requirements of §42-35-4.1 of the General Laws of Rhode Island. The regulation would set pollutant levels for ambient air that would constitute an Air Pollution Alert, Warning, and Emergency, and contain abatement strategies for air pollution sources to implement should air pollution reach such levels. The regulation would also require that certain air pollution sources prepare standby plans to reduce or eliminate emissions of air pollutants during these air pollution episodes. Comments are due September 4, 2007. See http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/air/ref1007.htm

SOUTH CAROLINA

Toxic Substances:

TENNESSEE

Toxic Substances:

  • There will be a public rulemaking hearing before the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Solid Waste Management, to consider the adoption and promulgation of new rule, Chapter 1200-1-20, Asbestos Accreditation Requirements. The hearing will be held September 18, 2007. See http://www.state.tn.us/environment/swm/ppo/asbestoshearing.pdf

TEXAS

Air:

  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality adopted amendments to its General Air Rules citations. The amendments update citations of Chapters 115 and 117 in the General Air Quality Rules because of SIP amendments to 115/117, and amend Chapter 101 based on staff review to remove obsolete language, update definitions, and delete obsolete sections. Changes will become effective August 16, 2007. See http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/adopt.html
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality adopted the Transportation Conformity Rule and a SIP revision. This rulemaking incorporates recent federal transportation conformity revisions into the state SIP and rule, including those from the six-year surface transportation reauthorization act of 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SAFETEA-LU revisions substantially reduce the requirement for state revisions each time there is a federal revision. This rule became effective July 19, 2007. See http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/adopt.html
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality adopted amendments to its air quality rules. This rulemaking cleaned up certain transportation-air quality related rules, definitions, and a memorandum of understanding in Title 30 to the TAC. Specifically, it repealed or amended the following provisions: mobile emission reduction credit program and fund; transportation control measures substitution; and vehicle emission information brochure. This rule became effective July 19, 2007. See http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/adopt.html
  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality revised the Stage II Vapor Recovery Rule. Among other things, the revision removed Stage II requirements for facilities where a sufficient number of its fleet is equipped with on-board refueling vapor recovery systems (recognizing that new vehicle technology renders Stage II unnecessary). This rule became effective July 19, 2007. See http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/adopt.html

Hazardous & Solid Wastes:

  • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality adopted amendments to RCRA Rule Clusters XI, XII, XIII, and XV. The rulemaking updates Chapters 305 and 335 to include mandatory federal rule changes in order for Texas to maintain its RCRA authorization. Changes become effective August 16, 2007. See http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/rules/adopt.html

Water:

VIRGINIA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality held a public meeting to discuss TMDLs and a study to restore water quality in stream and river segments in the Dan River watershed in Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties. Virginia agencies are working to identify sources of bacteria contamination in stream segments in the Dan River watershed in Central Virginia. The hearing was held August 9, 2007. Comments are due September 10, 2007. See http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=9505
  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct the first public meeting on the development of a TMDL to address benthic and bacteria impairments in parts of Accotink Creek and Difficult Run located in the City of Fairfax and Fairfax County. The hearing will be held August 14, 2007. Comments are due September 13, 2007. See http://www.townhall.state.va.us/L/ViewMeeting.cfm?MeetingID=9579

WISCONSIN

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on Natural Resources Board Emergency Order No. WT-32-07(E) pertaining to general permit criteria requiring decontamination of equipment for invasive species and viruses. The emergency rule, which took effect on July 12, 2007, creates provisions in chs. NR 320, 323, 328, 329, 341, 343, and 345, Wis. Adm. Code. The hearing will be held August 13, 2007. Comments are due August 23, 2007. See http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/news/hearmeet.html

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

INTERNATIONAL

SWAZILAND DECLARES FIRES TO BE NATIONAL EMERGENCY

The government of Swaziland has declared that fires raging across many parts of the kingdom constitute a national emergency, the response to which must take precedence over all other government activities. So far, the fires have claimed the lives of 12 people and have caused extensive crop damage, particularly in timber forests. High winds have been an obstacle to firefighters, who have been working without rest to bring the fire under control. Some believe that an arsonist started the fire, although the traditional practice of burning cultivated fields after harvest has contributed to the fires' spread. See http://allafrica.com/stories/200708030799.html

AUSTRALIAN MILITARY TO RECONSIDER CULLING KANGAROOS ON BASES

Public protest against a plan to kill thousands of kangaroos on Australian military bases has forced the government to consider an expensive plan to transport many of the animals to a rural area. Growing populations of eastern grey kangaroos on two bases in Canberra has led to severe erosion of the land, as well as to the decline of a lizard species and the threatened gold sun moth. The original plan to cull the populations was met with significant public protest, in part due to the kangaroo's status as an Australian icon. The proposed alternative plan includes the air-conditioned transport of hundreds of kangaroos to the countryside and the sterilization of thousands of others. See http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=13259

CANADA EXPANDS NATIONAL PARK RESERVE

Canada will double the size of Nahanni National Park Reserve in the southwest region of the Northwest Territories, the government announced last week. The nation hopes to further protect the northern wilderness habitat of caribou, grizzly bears, and Dall's sheep from commercial development. The expansion of Nahanni, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, will bring its total size to over 10,000 square kilometers. See http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN0837251620070808

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

Note: To order documents or request additional information, please call (800) 433-5120 or (202) 939-3844. Orders may also be sent by e-mail to orders@eli.org or by fax to (202) 939-3817. Please specify the issue of UPDATE about which you are inquiring. In most instances, for the cost of copying and postage, ELR can supply copies of materials cited. Charges for ELR Subscribers are 25 cents/page, $10 minimum; all others, 50 cents/page, $20 minimum. Documents may also be available free or at a nominal charge from the applicable court or agency. Copyright© 2007, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

ELR STAFF

Leslie Carothers, Publisher
Scott Schang, Editor-in-Chief
Linda L. Johnson, Managing Editor
Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Senior Editor
Erin Webreck, Associate Editor
Carolyn Fischer, Books Editor
William J. Straub, Desktop Publisher
April King, Editorial Associate
Amanda Martin, Contributing Editor
Elliot Chiu, Publications Intern
James Goodwin, Publications Intern