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Weekly Update Volume 37, Issue 4

02/05/2007

LITIGATION

CWA, DREDGE AND FILL, INCIDENTAL FALLBACK:

A district court invalidated the "Tulloch II" rule, which governs when the use of mechanized earth-moving equipment that results in the discharge of dredged or fill material requires a CWA §404 permit. The original Tulloch rule defined the discharge of dredged material as "any addition of dredged material into, including redeposit of dredged material within, the waters of the United States." The D.C. Circuit remanded it to EPA and the Corps because it set no bright line separating incidental fallback from regulable redeposits. EPA and the Corps then issued a new rule, the Tulloch II rule, that defined incidental fallback and exempted it from the permitting requirements. The new definition, however, contemplates only "small" volumes of fallback. Although prior decisions in this litigation have described incidental fallback in terms of volume, none have gone so far as to require that the volume of fallback be small. Rather, the difference between incidental fallback and redeposit is better understood in terms of: (1) the time the material is held before being dropped to earth; and (2) the distance between the place where the material is collected and the place where it is dropped. For that reason, the rule must be rewritten. In addition, the court noted that the agencies should reconsider their statement that they regard the use of mechanized earth-moving equipment as resulting in a discharge of dredged material unless project-specific evidence shows otherwise. The agencies cannot require "project-specific evidence" from projects over which they have no regulatory authority. National Association of Home Builders v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 01-0274, 37 ELR 20028 (D.D.C. Jan. 30, 2007) (Robertson, J.) (10 pp.).

CAA, SIP, AMENDMENT:

The Ninth Circuit held that EPA erred in approving an amendment to Idaho's SIP that allowed farmers to burn the residue left in their fields after harvesting their crops. EPA grounded its approval on the premise that the preexisting Idaho SIP did not ban field burning and that the amendment only clarified what was already the case. Yet Idaho's SIP clearly banned field burning. This ban does not produce "absurd results" or contravene the pertinent administrative history. Likewise, no administrative intent contradicts the plain meaning of the ban. Hence, federal law, by virtue of the SIP, banned field burning in Idaho at the time EPA approved the amendment. Because CAA §§110(l) and 193 prohibit SIP amendments that interfere with meeting air quality standards, at least absent further analysis, and because EPA's approval would weaken the preexisting SIP, its action was arbitrary and capricious. Safe Air for Everyone v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 05-75269, 37 ELR 20026 (9th Cir. Jan. 30, 2007) (24 pp.).

NEPA, NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT, FINAL AGENCY ACTION, MOOTNESS:

The D.C. Circuit dismissed environmental organizations' claims that EPA, HUD, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) failed to conduct the environmental and historical assessments required by NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act in connection with a transit park in Kentucky. NEPA claims must be brought under the APA and allege final agency action. Hence, the court rejected the organizations' argument that it had no need to establish final agency action because "the cumulative substantial involvement of federal agencies" in the transit park "federalized the project from its inception." And although the TVA did take final agency action by making a grant to a transit park tenant, the organizations produced no evidence of continuing TVA authority over the project. Their claim against the TVA, therefore, was moot. Karst Environmental Education & Protection, Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 06-5059, 37 ELR 20025 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 30, 2007) (14 pp.).

EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT, PREVAILING PARTY:

The EPA Environmental Appeals Board upheld an administrative law judge's decision denying a CWA defendant's petition for an award of attorneys' fees and other expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act, but reversed portions of its legal analysis. In order to be considered the “prevailing party” under EAJA §504(a)(1), a defendant must be successful in defending against one or more claims, causes of action, or counts of liability. Therefore, a defendant who succeeds in obtaining a penalty reduction by way of proving mitigating circumstances, such as ability-to-pay problems, but fails in vindicating its conduct, has not "prevailed" for EAJA purposes. And while EAJA §504(a)(4) provides an avenue for non-prevailing parties to recover attorneys' fees and expenses in those instances where "the demand by the agency is substantially in excess of the decision of the adjudicative officer and is unreasonable when compared with such decision, under the facts and circumstances of the case," such was not the case here. In re Cutler, EAJA Appeal No. 05-01, 37 ELR 41308 (EPA EAB Jan. 3, 2007) (35 pp.).

RCRA, STORAGE PERMIT EXEMPTION:

An administrative law judge (ALJ) granted in part and denied in part EPA's motion for accelerated decision on liability under RCRA and state law against the owner and operator of a hazardous waste facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The facility was liable for failing to maintain employee training records in violation of state law because on numerous occasions the facility could not produce the necessary records at its site. Consequently, it was not eligible for a storage permit exemption under state law and was required to obtain a RCRA permit. Because it failed to obtain such a permit from either EPA or the state, it was also liable for failure to obtain a RCRA permit for the storage of hazardous waste. However, the ALJ denied EPA's motion as to its claims that the facility failed to provide hazardous waste training to personnel and that its contingency and preparedness and prevention plans violated state law. In re Minnesota Metal Finishing, Inc., RCRA No. 05-2005-0013, 37 ELR 47879 (EPA ALJ Nov. 9, 2006) (50 pp.).

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, LAND USE:

A California appellate court upheld the dismissal of an individual's lawsuit against a county for approving a coastal development permit on his neighbor's property. In administrative proceedings conducted by county officials and later by the California Coastal Commission, the real parties in interest--developers--won approval to construct a large single-family dwelling on the Big Sur Coast. The developers and the county then successfully demurred to the individual's complaint before a trial court, which then dismissed the case. The individual now appeals. Yet there is no merit in the individual's jurisdictional claims that the county's action was a legal nullity, since those allegations conflict with judicially noticed documents and represent bare legal conclusions. Nor can the individual state a valid cause of action against the county under the California Environmental Quality Act because the county's determinations were superseded by the Coastal Commission's environmental review. And procedurally, the trial court acted within its discretion in entertaining a second demurrer to the individual's complaint after the conclusion of Coastal Commission proceedings. McAllister v. County of Monterey, No. H028813, 37 ELR 20029 (Cal. App. 6th Dist. Jan. 31, 2007) (49 pp.).

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT, CONTRACTS:

A California appellate court reversed a lower court decision vacating an agreement between a water district and a water company for the sale and purchase of spring water. Local groups argued that the district failed to conduct any environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) prior to approving the agreement, and the lower court agreed. But the district's execution of the agreement was not an "approval" of a "project" within the meaning of CEQA because the agreement was expressly conditioned on later CEQA compliance. Subsequent compliance with the CEQA review procedures is therefore permissible. Concerned McCloud Citizens v. McCloud Community Services District, No. C050811, 37 ELR 20030 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. Jan. 2, 2007) (27 pp.).

WATER CONTAMINATION, CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS:

A Tennessee appellate court upheld a $2 million jury verdict against a pulp and paper mill for the impact its discharges into Pigeon River, North Carolina, had on property owners. The lower court did not err in certifying the lawsuit as a class action. Common issues of law and fact predominate, and the unique factual setting of the case makes a class action the superior method of adjudicating the controversy. Nor did the court err in submitting the question of damages to the jury on a class wide basis. The court also rejected the mill's claims that the lower court erred in admitting certain expert testimony and in allowing the jury to consider "fear of chemicals" in its determination of damages. Lastly, the property owners' counsel did not make improper closing arguments such that a new trial is warranted. Freeman v. Blue Ridge Paper Products, Inc., No. E2006-00293, 37 ELR 20027 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2007) (15 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: Michigan (Reid vapor pressure fuel requirements) 72 FR 4432 (1/31/07). Utah (administrative procedures) 72 FR 4641 (2/1/07). Virginia (emission standards for consumer products) 72 FR 4207 (1/30/07).
  • SIP Proposals: Kansas (PSD air quality rule updates) 72 FR 4472 (1/31/07). South Dakota (PSD regulations) 72 FR 4671 (2/1/07). Utah (administrative procedures; see above for direct final rule) 72 FR 4674 (2/1/07).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS announced its 12-month finding on a petition to list the American eel as a threatened or endangered species throughout its range; the agency found that listing the American eel is not warranted at this time. 72 FR 4967 (2/2/07).
  • FWS revised critical habitat for the Alabama beach mouse; the revised designation encompasses approximately 1,211 acres of coastal dune and scrub habitat in Baldwin County, Alabama. 72 FR 4329 (1/30/07).
  • FWS announced the availability of a final comprehensive conservation plan and FONSI for the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge in Martin County, Florida. 72 FR 4017 (1/29/07).
  • NOAA-Fisheries, to provide protection to an aggregation of northern right whales, announced temporary restrictions for lobster trap/pot and anchored gillnet fishermen in an area east of Portland, Maine. 72 FR 4657 (2/1/07).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Agere Systems, Inc., No. AMD-07- 155 (D. Md. Jan. 19, 2007). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $507,300 to natural resource trustees, must finance and perform a future groundwater remedy not to exceed $10 million, and must finance and perform the surface remedy selected for the Spectron, Inc., Superfund site in Elkton, Maryland, to resolve complaints filed in connection with the site. 72 FR 4725 (2/1/07).
  • United States v. City of Wakefield, No. 8:07-cv- 00014-TDT (D. Neb. Jan. 9, 2007). A settling CWA defendant that violated the NPDES permit for its POTW must pay a civil penalty of $20,000, must comply with the CWA and the terms of its NPDES permit, and must perform injunctive relief including increased monitoring of its POTW. 72 FR 4726 (2/1/07).
  • United States v. M.G. Waldbaum Co., No. 8:07-cv- 00014-TDT (D. Neb. Jan. 9, 2007). A settling CAA and CWA defendant must pay a civil penalty of $1,050,000, must comply with the schedule in its permit for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, and must obtain a permit for its farm facility in Nebraska to resolve claims of overloading the city of Wakefield's wastewater treatment lagoons, illegally discharging manure-laden runoff from one of its farm facilities to waters of the United States, improperly land-applying process wastes in violation of its permit, and improperly storing and handling anhydrous ammonia at one of its egg processing facilities in Nebraska. 72 FR 4726 (2/1/07).
  • In re Foamex International, Inc., No. 05-12685(KG) (Bankr. D. Del. Jan. 12, 2007). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay a civil penalty of $128,560, must increase the capacity of the secondary containment for the tank truck unloading area at its Corry facility in Pennsylvania, and must have its Omega Chemical Corporation Superfund site in California "pass-through'' the bankruptcy unaffected to be dealt with in the reorganized debtor's ordinary course of business to resolve alleged violations observed during a multimedia inspection of one of its facilities. 72 FR 4727 (2/1/07).

GUIDANCE DOCUMENT:

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

THE CONGRESS

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

COMMITTEE ACTION:

  • S. Res. 46 (environment) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. 153 Cong. Rec. S1326 (daily ed. Jan. 30, 2007). The original resolution would authorize expenditures by the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. Res. 57 (agriculture) was reported by the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. 153 Cong. Rec. S1409 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The original resolution would authorize expenditures by the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

BILLS INTRODUCED:

  • S. 409 (Conrad, D-N.D.) (environmental assistance) would provide environmental assistance to nonfederal interests in the state of North Dakota. 153 Cong. Rec. S1237 (daily ed. Jan. 26, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 410 (Conrad, D-N.D.) (water) would amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1999 to direct the Secretary of the Army to provide assistance to design and construct a project to provide a continued safe and reliable municipal water supply system for Devils Lake, North Dakota. 153 Cong. Rec. S1237 (daily ed. Jan. 26, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 411 (Smith, R-Or.) (renewable energy) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide credit rate parity for all renewable resources under the electricity production credit. 153 Cong. Rec. S1237 (daily ed. Jan. 26, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 424 (Collins, R-Maine) (rivers) would require the Secretary of the Army to carry out the Penobscot River Restoration Project. 153 Cong. Rec. S1284 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 425 (Smith, R-Or.) (renewable energy) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand the resources eligible for the renewable energy credit to kinetic hydropower. 153 Cong. Rec. S1284 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.
  • S. 426 (Nelson, D-Neb.) (biofuels) would provide that all funds collected from the tariff on imports of ethanol be invested in the research, development, and deployment of biofuels, especially cellulosic ethanol produced form biomass feedstocks. 153 Cong. Rec. S1284 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 440 (Enzi, R-Wyo.) (wildlife) would designate the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, as the "National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States." 153 Cong. Rec. S1409 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 443 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (national heritage area) would establish the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area in the state of Colorado. 153 Cong. Rec. S1409 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 444 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (national heritage area) would establish the South Park National Heritage Area in the state of Colorado. 153 Cong. Rec. S1409 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 452 (Cantwell, D-Wash.) (cleanup) would amend title 11, U.S. Code, to ensure that liable entities meet environmental cleanup obligations. 153 Cong. Rec. S1410 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 462 (Reid, D-Nev.) (water) would approve the settlement of the water rights claims of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Nevada and require the Secretary of the Interior to carry out the settlement. 153 Cong. Rec. S1410 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
  • H.R. 700 (McNerney, D-Cal.) (CWA) would amend the CWA to extend the pilot program for alternative water source projects. 153 Cong. Rec. H986 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 707 (Deal, R-Ga.) (wilderness) would establish the Mountaintown National Scenic Area in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia, and designate additional National Forest System land in the state of Georgia as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. 153 Cong. Rec. H986 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 713 (Slaughter, D-N.Y.) (national heritage area) would establish the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area in the state of New York. 153 Cong. Rec. H987 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 715 (Woolsey, D-Cal.) (health) would provide funding for programs at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regarding breast cancer in younger women. 153 Cong. Rec. H987 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 716 (Woolsey, D-Cal.) (water) would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Santa Rosa Urban Water Reuse Plan. 153 Cong. Rec. H987 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 720 (Oberstar, D-Minn.) (CWA) would amend the CWA to authorize appropriations for state water pollution control revolving funds. 153 Cong. Rec. H1053 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 723 (Bishop, D-N.Y.) (CWA) would amend the CWA to reauthorize programs to improve the quality of coastal recreation waters. 153 Cong. Rec. H1053 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 729 (Inslee, D-Wash.) (energy) would amend the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to promote energy independence and self-sufficiency by providing for the use of net metering by certain small electric energy generation systems. 153 Cong. Rec. H1054 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 754 (Cubin, R-Wyo.) (wildlife) would designate the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, as the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States. 153 Cong. Rec. H1150 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 761 (Fortenberry, R-Neb.) (land conveyance) would authorize the Secretary of Interior to convey to The Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitor Center Foundation, Inc., certain federal land associated with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in Nebraska to be used as an historical interpretive site along the trail. 153 Cong. Rec. H1150 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 764 (Grijalva, D-Ariz.) (national parks) would expand the boundary of Saguaro National Park and study additional land for future adjustments to the boundary of the Park. 153 Cong. Rec. H1150 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 765 (Weller, R-Ill.) (alternative fuel) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase and extend the alternative motor vehicle credit for certain flexible fuel hybrid vehicles. 153 Cong. Rec. H1150 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 767 (Kind, D-Wis.) (wildlife) would protect, conserve, and restore native fish, wildlife, and their natural habitats at national wildlife refuges through cooperative, incentive-based grants to control, mitigate, and eradicate harmful nonnative species. 153 Cong. Rec. H1150-51 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 771 (Lewis, R-Cal.) (water) would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Southern California Desert Region Integrated Water and Economic Sustainability Plan. 153 Cong. Rec. H1151 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 777 (Pallone, D-N.J.) (offshore drilling) would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently prohibit the conduct of offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf in the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic planning areas. 153 Cong. Rec. H1151 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 778 (Weller, R-Ill.) (energy) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the residential energy efficient property credit. 153 Cong. Rec. H1151 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 781 (Ross, D-Ariz.) (rivers) would redesignate Lock and Dam No. 5 of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System near Redfield, Arkansas, as the "Colonel Charles D. Maynard Lock and Dam." 153 Cong. Rec. H1151 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 783 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (national parks) would modify the boundary of Mesa Verde National Park. 153 Cong. Rec. H1151 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 786 (Linda Sanchez, D-Cal.) (water) would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Los Angeles County Water Supply Augmentation Demonstration Project. 153 Cong. Rec. H1151 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 791 (Weller, R-Ill.) (renewable fuel) would increase the renewable fuel content of gasoline sold in the United States by the year 2025 to 25 billion gallons. 153 Cong. Rec. H1152 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 792 (Weller, R-Ill.) (energy) would amend the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to direct the head of each federal agency to ensure that, in areas in which ethanol-blended gasoline is reasonably available at a generally competitive price, the federal agency purchases ethanol-blended gasoline containing at least 10% ethanol rather than nonethanol-blended gasoline for use in agency vehicles that use gasoline. 153 Cong. Rec. H1152 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
  • H.R. 793 (Weller, R-Ill.) (energy) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the renewable electricity production credit. 153 Cong. Rec. H1152 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 794 (Weller, R-Ill.) (wind power) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the credit for electricity produced from wind. 153 Cong. Rec. H1152 (daily ed. Jan. 31, 2007). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

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:

Alabama Minnesota Texas Alaska Montana Washington Connecticut Ohio Wyoming Illinois Pennsylvania   Maine South Carolina  

ALABAMA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Management will hold a public hearing on Rule 335-6-10-.07, Toxic Pollutant Criteria Applicable to State Waters, and Rule 335-6-11-.02, Use Classifications, for the purpose of revising water quality criteria and standards of quality for surface waters of the state. The hearing will be held March 19, 2007. Comments are due March 19, 2007. Copies of the proposed rules and the summary of reasons can also be found at http://adem.alabama.gov/PubHearings/PubHearings.htm See http://www.adem.state.al.us//PublicNotice/Jan/Div6.htm

ALASKA

Fisheries:

  • The Department of Fish and Game is soliciting public comment on the proposal to adopt regulation changes in Title 5 of the Alaska Administrative Code, dealing with reports required of fishermen, buyers, processors, and others within statewide commercial fisheries. The changes, in connection with proposed regulatory actions by the Board of Fisheries, would separate and establish the fish ticket reporting requirements in 5 AAC 39.130 in a new commissioner regulation. Comments are due March 14, 2007. See http://notes4.state.ak.us/pn/pubnotic.nsf/1604e1912875140689256785006767f6/d3daa7b2e2f517838925727000064076?OpenDocument

CONNECTICUT

Hazardous and Solid Waste

  • The Department of Environmental Protection has approved amendments to the state’s Solid Waste Management Plan. The amendments are comprehensive, replacing the existing State Solid Waste Management Plan dated 1991. The plan examines the state of solid waste management in Connecticut, establishes goals and objectives, identifies problems and barriers, and outlines strategies for achieving the goals. The plan will serve as the basis for solid waste management planning and decisionmaking for a 20-year planning horizon. See http://dep.state.ct.us/wst/solidw/swplan/index.htm

ILLINOIS

General:

  • The Pollution Control Board has adopted amendments to 35 Ill. Adm. 901.121, Sound Emission Standards and Limitations for Property Line--Noise Sources. The Board is adopting a site-specific amendment to an existing site-specific noise rule to allow the Vaughan & Bushnell Manufacturing Company to extend the operational levels of its forging facility located at the intersection of Davis and Main Streets, Bushnell, in McDonough County. The amendment became effective January 12, 2007. See http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/register_volume31_issue4.pdf (p. 1984)

MAINE

Fisheries:

  • The Department of Marine Resources will hold a public hearing on Ch. 11.15, Scallop Research Conservation Areas, Beals-Jonesport. The Department's Scallop Advisory Council, The Downeast Institute, and members of the Jonesport/Beals area scallop fishery are proposing to close two small areas of state waters to all diver and mobile gear fishing in Moosebec Reach for a period of three years to conduct a scallop enhancement and re-colonization experiment. Within these two small areas, research will be conducted to determine the best methods of handling, moving, and placing sea scallops on the bottom and to determine their survival rate over time. The hearing will be held February 20, 2007. See http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2007/013107.htm

MINNESOTA

Water:

  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is soliciting public comments on its planned amendment to rules governing the non-degradation criteria that affect the quality of Minnesota's waters set forth in Chapter 7050. The Agency is considering amendments to its rules to reflect changes that have occurred since the existing rules were adopted and to address the effect of stormwater discharges. Comments are due April 30, 2007. See http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore/stateregister/31_31.pdf

MONTANA

Land Use:

  • The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has adopted new rules I through XV and repealed ARM 12.8.211, pertaining to commercial use of lands under the control of the department. The new rules concern definitions, commercial use rules, fishing access permits, and restricted use permits. See http://sos.mt.gov/arm/Register/archives/MAR2007/MAR07-02.pdf (p. 88)

OHIO

Water:

  • The Chief of the Division of Watercraft will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to 1501:47-1-01, Notice of public hearing to adopt, amend, or rescind rules; 1501:47-1-07, Watercraft Identification; 1501:47-1-08.1, Waiver of watercraft registration certificate fee: eligibility; 1501:47-1-09, Boating accidents; 1501:47-2-03, Definitions for rules set forth in 1501:47-2-01 to 1501:47-2-36 of the Administrative Code; 1501:47-2-31, Seaplanes; 1501:47-2-33, Equipment for sound signals; 1501:47-3-07, Incorporation of state watercraft navigation laws; 1501:47-3-16, No powercraft permitted; 1501:47-3-17, Lakes permitting electric motors only; 1501:47-3-20, Lakes permitting more than 10 horsepower; 1501:47-3-24, Special water ski zones; 1501:47-3-25, Public use docks; and 1501:47-3-29, Boat docking restrictions. The hearing will be held March 1, 2007. See http://www.registerofohio.state.oh.us/pdfs/phn/1501$47_NO_35283_20070126_1332.pdf

PENNSYLVANIA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection is soliciting public comments on the proposed TMDLs developed for:  Mahanoy Creek Watershed in Columbia, Northumberland, and Schuylkill Counties; Spring Run Watershed in Elk County; and Walley Run Watershed in Clarion and Forest Counties. Comments are due February 27, 2007. See http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol37/37-4/index.html

SOUTH CAROLINA

Water:

  • The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control proposes to amend specific sections of R.61-68, Water Classifications and Standards, and sections of R. 61-69, Classified Waters. Some of the changes concern the adoption of revised federal water quality criteria to reflect federal law, the assessment of the bacteriological indicator for protection of recreational uses, the addition or revision of definitions, a site-specific dissolved oxygen standard for portions of the Savannah River, and possible revisions to the arsenic criteria. Comments are due February 26, 2007. See http://www.scdhec.gov/eqc/water/pubs/pn0107.pdf

TEXAS

Air:

Fisheries:

WASHINGTON

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Department of Ecology will hold a public hearing on proposed Chapter 173–308 WAC, Biosolids management. This chapter establishes requirements for sewage treatment plants and other facilities that generate, treat, or use biosolids pursuant to RCW 70.95J and 70.95. The hearing will be held February 27, 2007. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/wac173308/p0606.pdf

Water:

  • The Department of Ecology has adopted amendments to: Chapter 173-18 WAC, Shoreline Management Act: streams and rivers constituting shorelines of the state; Chapter 173-20 WAC, Shoreline Management Act: lakes constituting shorelines of the state; Chapter 173-22 WAC, Adoptions of designations of wetlands associated with shorelines of the state; and Chapter 173-27 WAC, Shoreline management permit and enforcement procedures. The amendments became effective February 3, 2007. See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/activity/wac173_18_22_27.html

WYOMING

Water:

  • The Environmental Quality Council will hold a public hearing to solicit public comment and consider proposed revisions to Chapter 1 of the Wyoming Water Quality Rules and Regulations. The major revisions proposed in this rulemaking include: (1) two new stream classifications and a procedure for calculating ambient-based criteria applicable to "effluent dependent waters"; (2) revision of the pathogen criteria for recreational use protection; (3) update of the numeric criteria for a broad range of chemical pollutants; (4) establishment of site-specific criteria in selected watersheds; and (5) creation of new criteria and procedures for establishing effluent limits for the protection of agricultural uses. The hearing will be held February 15, 2007, potentially extending through February 16. See http://deq.state.wy.us/wqd/events/EQC/2-14-07%20Hearing/PN_12_2006.pdf

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

INTERNATIONAL

AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES PLAN TO RESTORE RIVERS

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced a 10-year plan to spend more than $10 billion AUD ($7.7 billion USD) to restore the nation's ailing rivers. According to Reuters News Service, the plan allocates $6 AUD billion ($4.6 billion USD) to repair and cover irrigation channels along Australia's Murray-Darling river basin, an area the size of France and Spain that accounts for 41 percent of the nation's agriculture. Without action, the government says water from the Murray, which plays a crucial role in supporting Australia's economy and rural life, could be unfit to drink within 20 years. See http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SYD13831.htm

ECO-FUNDING DEAL TO SUPPORT GREEN BUSINESSES IN CANADIAN RAINFOREST

International environmental groups and Canadian officials have agreed to allocate $120 million CAD ($103 million USD) to help fund environmentally friendly businesses in Canada's Pacific coast rainforest. International donors, primarily in the United States, have pledged $60 million CAD ($50 million USD) to the funding pool; however, that money was contingent on both Ottawa and the province of British Columbia contributing $30 million CAD ($25 million USD). The federal share had been tentatively agreed upon by the preceding Liberal government, but the final deal has been delayed after the Conservatives were elected in January 2006. A significant portion of the money will be used in small Native American communities, where unemployment is often more than 70% due to the decline of the fishing and timber industries. See http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N21402288.htm

PARIS TO DISTRIBUTE FREE BICYCLES

Paris plans to make thousands of bikes available to commuters, strollers, and tourists free of cost as part of an effort to help cut down on pollution. Paris City Hall publicized its decision to use the French outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux SA to operate the new free bicycle service in the capital. The firm plans to deploy some 14,100 bikes in the capital by this summer. See http://www.enn.com/med.html?id=1394

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