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Weekly Update Volume 37, Issue 36

12/24/2007

LITIGATION


ESA, CWA, LIVESTOCK ALLOTMENTS

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court's denial of environmental groups' petition for review of the U.S. Forest Service's authorization of livestock grazing in the Medicine Bow National Forest. The ESA requirements are not violated where revised forage utilization effects are found to be consistent with earlier analyses and where consideration is given only to the mouse's survival and not the species' recovery. Additionally, where the Forest Service has implemented Best Management Practices with respect to fecal-coliform non-point sources, but has not entirely eliminated such water quality exceedances, there is no violation of the CWA. Center for Native Ecosystems v. Cables, No. 06-113, 37 ELR 20311, (10th Cir. Dec. 17, 2007) (53 pp.).


SMCRA, CITIZEN SUIT, FEE RECOVERY

The Fourth Circuit affirmed an award of attorney fees in a citizen suit brought under SMCRA with respect to the preliminary injunction phase of the litigation, but reversed fees awarded for the supplemental claims phase. The supplemental phase included plaintiffs' efforts in the administrative arena, which are not recoverable under 30 U.S.C. §1270(d), and will not qualify pursuant to a catalyst theory award because the plaintiffs’ phase two litigation was not shown to be a significant or substantial cause of defendant's remedial actions. Ohio River Valley Environmental Coalition, Inc. v. Green Valley Coal Co., No. 06-1475, 37 ELR 20312, (4th Cir. Dec. 19, 2007) (17 pp.).


CWA, CITIZEN SUIT, RES JUDICATA

On remand, a district court again dismissed a citizen suit against a municipal sewage district on res judicata grounds because a 2002 agreement with state regulators was “calculated in good faith” to address repeated sewer overflows into Lake Michigan. The state is in privity with the plaintiffs because the original agreement was intended to address overflows. The fact that overflows have continued since the agreement does not undercut this finding when the agreement itself allows for future overflows. Courts must assume that state agencies act diligently in executing their duties, and here it appears that the state attempted to achieve compliance in 2002. Friends of Milwaukee's Rivers v. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, No. 02-C-270, 37 ELR 20313 (E.D. Wis., Dec. 14, 2007) (19 pp.).


CERCLA, INTERVENTION

A district court denied a motion to intervene by two private owners of groundwater wells in the entry of a CERCLA consent decree. As public citizens, the owners’ remedy is to comment in the public comment period on the consent decree. The state and federal governments have adequately represented the owners’ public interests. As private parties impacted by the contamination, the owners have private legal remedies unaffected by the current consent decree, which by its terms excludes rights to groundwater asserted by third parties. United States v. Kennecott Utah Copper Corp., No. 2:07CV485DAK, 37 ELR 20314 (D. Utah, Nov. 30, 2007) (5 pp.).



CEQA, LAND EXCHANGE

A California appellate court reversed a lower court's denial of a petition for a writ of mandate, which challenged the certification of an EIR under CEQA and the approval of a developer's tentative subdivision tract map in Inyo County. Where an EIR fails to adequately analyze a possible land exchange with the federal Bureau of Land Management as an alternative to a project involving potential impacts on an exceptional environmental area and landscape area, such EIR is inadequate. Save Round Valley Alliance v. County of Inyo, No. E041364, 37 ELR 20310, (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 17, 2007) (47 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, for the purpose of public review and comment, announced the availability of the draft document titled, Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur—Environmental Criteria; First External Review Draft. 72 FR 72719 (12/21/07).
  • SIP Approvals: Michigan (clean air interstate rule (CAIR)) 72 FR 72256 (12/20/07). Nebraska (interstate transport of air pollutants) 72 FR 71245 (12/17/07). South Dakota (revisions to new source review rules) 72 FR 72617 (12/21/07). West Virginia (CAIR) 72 FR 71576 (12/18/07).
  • SIP Proposals: California (nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions from boilers, steam generators, and process heaters at petroleum refineries) 72 FR 72322 (12/20/07). Nebraska (interstate transport of air pollutants; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 71297 (12/17/07).    

GENERAL:

  • NRC announced the establishment of an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board comprised of three administrative judges to preside over a proceeding concerning a request for license amendment regarding an in-situ leach uranium recovery facility in Crawford, Nebraska. 72 FR 71448 (12/17/07).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA announced the availability of and invites public comment on the Draft Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report, which assesses solid waste, hazardous waste, sewage, graywater, and bilge water waste streams from cruise ships. 72 FR 72353 (12/20/07).

MINING:

  • OSM announced receipt of a proposed amendment to the Texas regulatory program under SMCRA concerning annual permit fees. 72 FR 71293 (12/17/07).
  • OSM announced receipt of revisions to a previously proposed amendment to the Virginia regulatory program under SMCRA concerning the state's standards for revegetation success for certain postmining land uses. 72 FR 71295 (12/17/07).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA announced the 2008 agenda for its Integrated Risk Information System and requested scientific information on health effects that may result from exposure to the chemical substances on the agenda. 72 FR 72715 (12/21/07).
  • EPA promulgated water quality standards for Puerto Rico that establish methods to implement the territory’s existing antidegradation policy for waters within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. 72 FR 70517 (12/12/07).
  • EPA announced its intention to approve revisions to New York’s Public Water System Supervision Program and announced an opportunity to request a hearing. 72 FR 67932 (12/3/07).

WILDLIFE:

  • NOAA-Fisheries announced the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources’ (CCAMLR’s) adoption of new and revised conservation and management measures and resolutions that restrict overall catches of certain species of finfish, squid, krill, and crabs, restrict fishing in certain areas, restrict use of certain fishing gear, specify implementation and inspection obligations supporting the Catch Documentation Scheme of Contracting Parties, and promote compliance with CCAMLR measures by non-contracting party vessels. 72 FR 72825 (12/21/07).
  • FWS designated revised final critical habitat in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties, California, for the coastal California gnatcatcher. 72 FR 72009 (12/19/07).
  • FWS proposed to list the Chatham petrel, Fiji petrel, and magenta petrel as endangered and the Cook's petrel, Galapagos petrel, and the Heinroth's shearwater as threatened under the ESA. 72 FR 71298 (12/17/07).  

DOJ NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Green, No. 1:00-cv-637 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 7, 2007). A settling CERCLA defendant connected with the release or threatened release of hazardous substances at the Green Industries Superfund site in Sharonville, Ohio, will have claims against it resolved on an inability to pay basis and, because it is dissolved and without assets available to satisfy its CERCLA liability, Omni Industrial Properties Inc. will pay $218,250 on its behalf. 72 FR 72375 (12/20/07).

GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS:

  • TOXIC CHEMICAL RELEASES: EPA Actions Could Reduce Environmental Information Available to Many Communities, AD05061, GAO, 11/07.
  • COASTAL WETLANDS: Lessons Learned from Past Efforts in Louisiana Could Help Guide Future Restoration and Protection, AD05062, GAO, 12/07.

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

THE CONGRESS

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

Chamber Action

  • H.R. 1374 (Florida National Forest Land Management Act), which would amend the Florida National Forest Land Management Act of 2003 to authorize the conveyance of an additional tract of National Forest System land under that Act, was passed by the House. 153 Cong. Rec. H15475-76 (daily ed. Dec. 17, 2007).
  • H.R. 2419 (Farm Bill Extension Act), which would provide for the continuation of agricultural programs through fiscal year 2012, was passed by the Senate. 153 Cong. Rec. S15622-41 (daily ed. Dec. 14, 2007).
  • H.R. 3454 (George Washington National Forest Land Conveyance), which 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, was passed by the House. 153 Cong. Rec. H15474-75 (daily ed. Dec. 17, 2007).

Committee Action

  • S. 1523 (CAA) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 110-254. 153 Cong. Rec. S16003 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill would amend the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from the Capitol power plant.
  • House Resolution 877 (energy) was reported by the Committee on Rules. S. Rep. No. 110-496, 153 Cong. Rec. H15736 (daily ed. Dec. 17, 2007). The resolution would provide for consideration of the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 6) to move the United States toward greater energy independence and security; to increase the production of clean renewable fuels; to protect consumers; to increase the efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles; to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options; and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government.
  • H.R. 29 (water facilities) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-503 Pt. 1. 153 Cong. Rec. H16945 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct facilities to provide water for irrigation, municipal, domestic, military, and other uses from the Santa Margarita River, California.
  • H.R. 135 (Twenty-First Century Water Commission) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-504 Pt. 1. 153 Cong. Rec. H16945 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill would establish the Twenty-First Century Water Commission to study and develop recommendations for a comprehensive water strategy to address future water needs.
  • H.R. 1528 (National Trails System Act) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-502. 153 Cong. Rec. H16945 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill would amend the National Trails System Act to designate the New England National Scenic Trail.
  • H.R. 1834 (ocean exploration and undersea research) was reported by the Committee on Science and Technology. H. Rep. No. 110-311, Pt. 2, 153 Cong. Rec. H16832 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill would authorize the national ocean exploration program and the national undersea research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • H.R. 3058 (entitlement land payments) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-505 Pt. 1. 153 Cong. Rec. H16945 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill would amend chapter 69 of title 31, United States Code, to provide full payments under such chapter to units of general local government in which entitlement land is located, and would provide transitional payments during fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to those states and counties previously entitled to payments under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000.
  • H.R. 3111 (Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rep. No. 110-506 Pt. 1. 153 Cong. Rec. H16945 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill would provide for the administration of Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial as a unit of the National Park System.

Bill Introduced

  • S. 2489 (Johnson, D-S.D.)(Pick-Sloan Missouri River basin program) would enhance and provide to the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Angostura Irrigation Project certain benefits of the Pick-Sloan Missouri River basin program. 153 Cong. Rec. S15651 (daily ed. Dec. 14, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  • S. 2494 (Cantwell, D-Wash.)(hydropower) would provide for equitable compensation to the Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation for the use of tribal land for the production of hydropower by the Grand Coulee Dam. 153 Cong. Rec. S15770 (daily ed. Dec. 17, 207). The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  • S. 2502 (Akaka, D-Haw.)(Kalaupapa National Historical Park) would provide for the establishment of a memorial within Kalaupapa National Historical Park located on the island of Molokai, in the State of Hawaii, to honor and perpetuate the memory of those individuals who were forcibly relocated to the Kalaupapa Peninsula from 1866 to 1969. 153 Cong. Rec. S15910-11 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2506 (Snowe, R-Me.)(Energy Policy and Conservation Act) would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to modify a provision relating to the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve Account. 153 Cong. Rec. S15911 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2508 (Salazar, D-Colo.)(open space protection) would provide for a study of options for protecting the open space characteristics of certain lands in and adjacent to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in Colorado. 153 Cong. Rec. S15911 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2509 (Inhofe, R-Okla.)(SDWA) would amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to prevent the enforcement of certain national primary drinking water regulations unless sufficient funding is available or variance technology has been identified. 153 Cong. Rec. S15911 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2512 (Cochran, R-Miss.)(Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area) would establish the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area in the State of Mississippi. 153 Cong. Rec. S15911 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2513 (Kennedy, D-Mass.)(Minute Man National Historical Park) would modify the boundary of the Minute Man National Historical Park. 153 Cong. Rec. S15911 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2520 (Johnson, D-S.D.)(renewable resources) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Indian tribal governments to transfer the credit for electricity produced from renewable resources. 153 Cong. Rec. S16005 (daily ed. Dec. 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • H.R. 4773 (Young, R-Ala.)(renewable energy projects) would authorize the Department of Energy to make grants to carry out renewable energy projects. 153 Cong. Rec. H15738 (daily ed. Dec. 17, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 4775 (DeFazio, D-Or.)(sodium fluoroacetate) would prohibit the manufacture, processing, possession, or distribution in commerce of sodium fluoroacetate (known as ``Compound 1080''); provide for the collection and destruction of remaining stocks of Compound 1080; compensate persons who turn in Compound 1080 to the Secretary of Agriculture for destruction; and prohibit the use of certain predator control devices by the federal government. 153 Cong. Rec. H16832 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Agriculture, and the Judiciary.
  • H.R. 4828 (Ortiz, D-Tex.)(Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Act of 1991) would amend the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Act of 1991 to expand the boundaries of the historic site. 153 Cong. Rec. H16832 (daily ed. Dec. 18, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4841 (Bono, R-Cal.)(tribal water resources) would approve, ratify, and confirm the settlement agreement entered into to resolve claims by the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians relating to alleged interferences with the water resources of the Tribe, and would authorize and direct the Secretary of the Interior to execute and perform the Settlement Agreement and related waivers. 153 Cong. Rec. H16946 (daily ed. Dec, 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4857 (Capuano, D-Mass)(CERCLA) would limit liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 for service station dealers with respect to the release or threatened release of recycled oil. 153 Cong. Rec. H16946 (daily ed. Dec, 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 4893 (Gohmert, R-Tex.)(fossil fuels) would penalize states that prohibit oil and gas exploration within their borders by denying them the use of any oil or natural gas produced domestically elsewhere. 153 Cong. Rec. H16947 (daily ed. Dec, 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 4928 (Udall, D-Colo.)(water project) would authorize the Chief of Engineers to conduct a feasibility study relating to the construction of a multipurpose project in the Fountain Creek watershed located in the State of Colorado. 153 Cong. Rec. H16948 (daily ed. Dec, 19, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H. Res. 899 (Clay, D-Mo.)(Langston Golf Course) would recommend that the Langston Golf Course located in northeast Washington, D.C., and owned by the U.S. National Park Service, be recognized for its important legacy and contributions to African American golf history. 153 Cong. Rec. H16949 (daily ed. Dec, 19, 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:

Alaska California Louisiana Montana New Mexico Tennessee Arizona Florida Maine Nevada Oklahoma Vermont Arkansas Idaho Michigan New Jersey Oregon  

ALASKA

Air:

ARIZONA

Air:

  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has amended R18-2-326 and R18-2-511. ADEQ is amending these rules to change the fees it charges for air quality permits. The fees that will be affected are fees for permit actions, administrative and emission based fees for Title V sources, inspection fees for non-Title V sources, and fees for general permits. These rules became effective December 4, 2007. See http://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Register/2007/50/final.pdf (pp. 4379-4410)

ARKANSAS

Solid & Hazardous Wastes:

  • The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments on proposed changes to Commission Regulation No. 22, the Arkansas Solid Waste Management Code. Proposed changes to Regulation 22 that are subject to public comments include: revised language in the regulation’s Section 22.421(d)(2) and Section 22.520(c) to require Class 1 and Class 3 landfill operators to maintain waste receipt records for the weight of waste disposed of in the landfill by each waste hauler or generator using the facility; revised language in Section 22.709 which prohibits the disposal in landfills of the bulb or tube portion of any electric lighting device containing more than 0.2 milligrams per liter of leachable mercury; and the addition of a new Section 22.1304 that requires the Commission to prioritize and authorize any expenditures from the Landfill Post-Closure Trust Fund in excess of $50,000 for any formerly unpermitted closed landfill determined by the ADEQ to need remedial action. The hearing will be held January 17, 2008. See http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/ftproot/pub/pa/Regulation_Notices/2007-12-12_Notice_of_Proposed_Changes_to_Regulation_22.mht

CALIFORNIA

Air:

FLORIDA

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing if requested on amendments to Rule 62-4.001. The proposed rule amendments address air operation permitting requirements for “major sources of air pollution,” also referred to as “Title V sources.” The proposed rule involves amendments to Chapter 62-4, F.A.C., related to the Department’s Title V air permitting program. The amendments extend the lead time for applying for renewal of a Title V permit. The hearing will be held January 10, 2008. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=4945174&type=1&File=62-4.001.htm
  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing if requested on amendments to air quality rules 62-210.200: Definitions, 62-210.300: Permits Required, 62-210.360: Administrative Permit Corrections, and 62-210.900: Forms and Instructions. The proposed rule involves amendments to Chapter 62-210, F.A.C., related to implementation of permitting requirements for Title V sources subject to the U.S. EPA’s Clean Air Interstate Rule, Clean Air Mercury Rule, and Acid Rain program. The proposed rule amendment addresses Title V air operation permitting requirements. The hearing will be held January 10, 2008. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=4945271&type=1&File=62-210.200.htm
  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing if requested on amendments to numerous air quality rules in 62-213. The proposed rule involves amendments to Chapter 62-213, F.A.C., related to implementation of the U.S. EPA’s permitting requirements for Title V sources that are subject to the Clean Air Interstate Rule, Clean Air Mercury Rule, and federal Acid Rain Program. The proposed rule amendments address Title V air operation permitting requirements for electrical generating units. The hearing will be held January 10, 2008. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=4945368&type=1&File=62-213.205.htm
  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing if requested on amendments to numerous air quality rules in 62-214. The proposed rule amendments address requirements for the Acid Rain Part of a Title V air operation permit for a source that is subject to the federal Acid Rain Program or that elects to opt in to such program. The proposed rule involves amendments to Chapter 62-214, F.A.C., related to implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s permitting requirements for sources that are subject to the federal Acid Rain Program or elect to “opt in” to the program. The hearing will be held January 10, 2008. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=4945465&type=1&File=62-214.100.htm

IDAHO

Water:

LOUISIANA

Air:

Toxic Substances:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing to consider amendments to the Radiation Protection regulations, LAC 33:XV.493. This proposed rule is identical to federal regulations found in 10 CFR 20.2207, which are applicable in Louisiana. The hearing will be held January 24, 2008. Comments are due January 24, 2008. See http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/portals/0/planning/regs/pdf/RP047ftpro.pdf

Water:

MAINE

Air:

MICHIGAN

Air:

MONTANA

Toxic Substances:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality has adopted the amendment of ARM 17.56.502, 17.56.507, 17.56.604, 17.56.607, and 17.56.608, and a new rule pertaining to reporting and numbering petroleum releases. The amendments became effective December 21, 2007. See http://www.deq.state.mt.us/dir/legal/Notices/17-264adp.pdf

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing in the matter of the amendment of ARM 17.30.610 Water-Use Classifications--Missouri River Drainage Except Yellowstone, Belle Fourche, And Little Missouri River Drainages. The hearing will be held January 28, 2008. Comments are due January 28, 2008. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-266pro.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing in the matter of the amendment of Montana's water quality rules in ARM 17.30.502, 17.30.619, 17.30.702, and 17.30.1001, to incorporate proposed revisions to Montana's numeric water quality standards contained in Department Circular DEQ-7 (February 2006 edition). The hearing will be held January 30, 2008. Comments are due January 30, 2008. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-265pro.pdf

General:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality will conduct a public hearing in the matter of the adoption of new rules pertaining to definitions, certification of energy production, transportation, and research facilities for tax abatement and classification. The hearing will be held January 15, 2008. Comments are due January 17, 2008. See http://deq.mt.gov/dir/legal/Notices/17-267pro.pdf

NEVADA

General:

NEW JERSEY

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection is proposing new rules to be included in N.J.A.C. 7:27-17, Control and Prohibition of Air Pollution by Toxic Substances. The Department is proposing to regulate the use and air emissions of perchloroethylene, an air toxic regulated by N.J.A.C. 7:27-17, in the dry cleaning industry; amendments to N.J.A.C.7:27-17 that will require a transition from the use of perchloroethylene at dry cleaning facilities to alternative technologies; and requirements that operators of all existing and new perchloroethylene machines comply with federal rules for perchloroethylene dry cleaners. The hearing will be held January 18, 2008. Comments are due February 15, 2008. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/notices/121707b.html

Land Use:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection has amended coastal zone management rules and coastal permit program rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7E and 7:7, concerning public access. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/adoptions/2007_1217coastal.pdf
  • The Department of Environmental Protection will conduct public hearings on the proposal to amend the coastal zone management rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7E-8.11 and 8A.  The proposed amendments would allow for the modification of the linear public access along a tidal waterway at marinas, superhighways, and for homeland security.  Amendments are also proposed to modify the requirements for municipalities participating in Shore Protection Program funding through a State Aid Agreement for projects along the Atlantic Ocean, Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay and Delaware Bay and their shores. The hearings will be held January 16 and 17, 2008. Comments are due February 15, 2008. See http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/notices/121707a.html

NEW MEXICO

Air:

Climate:

OKLAHOMA

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality will hold public hearings on proposed amendments to air quality rules. The Department is considering increases in annual operating fees found in OAC 252:100-5-2.2 (b) for both minor facilities and Part 70 sources. Additional income resulting from a fee increase is needed to cover current and anticipated staffing requirements in administering the Department's air pollution control programs. The hearings will be held January 15 and February 29, 2008. Comments are due January 14, 2008. See http://www.oar.state.ok.us/register/Volume-25_Issue-07.htm#a16166

Water:

  • The Oklahoma Water Resources Board will conduct a public hearing on the proposal to amend water resources rules as follows: the stream water permit application fees are proposed to be increased from the current range (depending on the volume requested) of $125 to $2000 to a new range of $250 not to exceed $4000. Likewise, the groundwater permit application fees are proposed to be increased from the current range (depending on the volume requested) of $125 to $2000 to a new range of $250 not to exceed $4000. The hearing will be held January 17, 2008. Comments are due January 18, 2008. See http://www.oar.state.ok.us/register/Volume-25_Issue-07.htm#a30479

OREGON

Climate:

  • The Department of Energy is soliciting public comment on the expansion of the Business Energy Tax Credit program. The proposed rules would establish rules for taxpayer and applicant to be consistent with Oregon tax law, establish rules for renewable energy manufacturing facility eligibility, establish rules for energy facility site, and establish rules for renewable energy resource facilities eligibility. Comments are due January 22, 2008. See http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/1207_Bulletin/1207_rulemaking_bulletin.html

TENNESSEE

Water:

VERMONT

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality held a public hearing to consider proposed amendments to §5-261 of the Air Pollution Control Regulations. These amendments would update the hazardous ambient air standard, action level, and/or toxicity category for many hazardous air contaminants in Appendix C and revise Appendix D, which contains the methodology for deriving a hazardous ambient air standard. The hearing was held November 5, 2007. Comments are due December 27, 2007. See http://www.anr.state.vt.us/air/htm/ProposedAmendments.htm

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

INTERNATIONAL

MEXICAN INTIATIVE WILL SUPPORT BIOFUEL PRODUCERS

  • Starting next year, the Mexican government will provide economic support to farmers who are cultivating plants for fuel production. Mexico hopes to encourage biodiesel production from beets, sorghum, and yucca, particularly because tough competition from Brazil and the United States limits the viability of ethanol production in that country. Critics argue that increased demand for crops associated with fuel production hurts the poor by driving up the cost of food. See http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSN1941689220071219

UK TO DEVELOP OFFSHORE CONSERVATION AREAS

  • The United Kingdom has begun consulting stakeholders on the establishment of the UK’s first offshore Special Areas of Conservation. The government is considering seven sites including over 4,000 square miles for this designation, which so far has been extended only to terrestrial, coastal, and inland locations. Conservationists are welcoming the development of this project, as the proposed areas include critical habitat for marine life, such as sandbanks, sand volcanoes and cold water coral reefs. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7152722.stm

EUROPEAN COMMISSION SETS EMISSIONS FINES FOR CARMAKERS

  • The European Commission agreed on a fee scale that will encourage carmakers to develop and manufacture vehicles that emit less carbon dioxide. Starting in 2012, manufacturers whose fleets emit over 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer on average will pay a fine, which will increase in 2016. Environmentalists and the automobile industry have tussled over the conditions of this initiative, which still must get the support of member states and the European Parliament. See http://www.enn.com/energy/article/27753

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

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