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Weekly Update Volume 40, Issue 15

05/24/2010

LITIGATION 

CAA, NAAQS, LEAD:

The D.C. Circuit denied a petition for review challenging EPA's revision of air quality criteria and NAAQS for lead. The revision was designed to provide, in light of recent science, the requisite protection of public health and welfare by revising the permissible level of lead in ambient air and revising the averaging time over which the level must be met. The final rule also revised data handling procedures and emissions inventory reporting requirements and provided guidance on implementation. The court rejected petitioners' arguments that the revision was arbitrary and capricious. Petitioners' assertion that the revised lead NAAQS is overprotective because it is more stringent than necessary to protect the entire population of young U.S. children ignores that the CAA allows protection of sensitive subpopulations. Given the recent scientific evidence on which it relied, EPA's decision to base the revised lead NAAQS on protecting a subset of children likely to be exposed to airborne lead at the level of the standard was not arbitrary and capricious. EPA's selection of scientific studies was also reasonable. The Agency adequately justified its decision to rely on analyses of IQ in children with blood lead levels closest to those of today's population of children when revising the lead NAAQS. Petitioners also failed to show that EPA's conclusions regarding the lead NAAQS were valid only for exposures to lead averaged over a one-year period.Coalition of Battery Recyclers Association v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 09-1011, 40 ELR 20140 (D.C. Cir. May 14, 2010).

CERCLA, LIABILITY, AGGREGATION:

A district court held that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision inBurlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1870,39 ELR 20098(2009), did not constitute a change in law regarding the apportionment of liability under CERCLA. A mine operator's motion for reconsideration, therefore, was denied. The court previously held the operator liable for the full costs of cleanup of a contaminated site. The operator now seeks an order that its liability is subject to apportionment in light ofBurlington Northern. ButBurlington Northerndoes not constitute a change in law as required for reconsideration.Burlington Northernsimply reiterated the law and examined the record to resolve a factual question of whether the record supported apportionment.Burlington Northerndid not add a new mandate that district courts must apportion harm.United States v. Iron Mountain Mines, Inc., No. 96-768, 40 ELR 20143 (E.D. Cal. May 6, 2010) (Mendez, J.).

OIL, NEPA, OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT:

The Ninth Circuit, in a memorandum opinion, ruled that the Minerals Management Service (MMS) complied with NEPA and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) in approving oil companies' plans for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, Alaska. Petitioners claimed that there are multiple deficiencies in the two EAs prepared by the MMS, as well as deficiencies in the companies' proposed exploration plans. The court disagreed. The MMS took a hard look at the consequences of its actions, considered the relevant factors, and reasonably explained why the projects' impacts are insignificant. In addition, the MMS' decision to approve the exploration plans under OCSLA was supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole.Native Village of Point Hope v. Salazar, Nos. 09-73942 et al., 40 ELR 20142 (9th Cir. May 13, 2010).

WILDLIFE, INTERVENTION, HUNTING:

The Tenth Circuit reversed a lower court decision denying a hunting organization's motion to intervene in an action challenging the National Park Service's proposal to reduce the elk population in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The organization demonstrated a sufficient interest in maintaining and furthering the use of hunting and culling at the Rocky Mountain National Park and other national parks for wildlife management and conservation purposes. If the plaintiffs were to prevail on their broad legal contentions, this case could establish a precedent that prohibits hunting on these public lands for the purpose of culling overpopulated wildlife absent specific statutory authorization. Accordingly, the organization demonstrated that it has a substantial interest in the district court proceedings and that its interest might be impaired as a result of the litigation. On remand, the lower court must determine whether the National Park Service can adequately represent the organization's interest.WildEarth Guardians v. National Park Service, No. 08-1479, 40 ELR 20139 (10th Cir. May 12, 2010).

WATER SERVICE, COMPETITION:

The Eight Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision granting summary judgment in favor of a city accused of illegally providing water and sewer services to customers within a nearby water district's boundaries. In 2007, the USDA granted the water district a $2 million loan under 7 U.S.C. §1926(a) for the purpose of extending and improving the district's sewer system. As a federally indebted rural water association, the district became insulated from competition under 7 U.S.C. §1926(b), which protects a rural water association's service area from certain incursions by nearby cities. Because the city was providing sewer and water services to certain customers within the district's boundaries, the district filed suit. The city, however, may continue to provide service to customers it began serving before the district obtained the USDA loan. The city may also providewaterservice to customers within the district's boundaries since the USDA loan was secured to expand the district'ssewersystem and was secured only by its sewer revenues. And the city may provide sewer service to customers at six tracts of properties that the city did not begin serving until after the district closed on the USDA loan because the district did not have the physical ability to service those properties. As for a seventh property, the case was remanded for consideration of whether the district had "made service available."Public Water Supply District No. 3 v. City of Lebanon, No. 09-2006, 40 ELR 20141 (8th Cir. May 14, 2010).

PESTICIDES, RISK ASSESSMENT:

A California appellate court affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a citizen group's petition challenging a state agency's risk assessment process for pesticides under California's Toxic Air Contaminants Act. Under the policy, those pesticides with known properties that render them most likely to be toxic air contaminants are assigned a higher priority and will be assessed first. The group argued that the process is contrary to the Act. But the factors enumerated in the Toxic Air Contaminants Act are not so different from the agency's new risk assessment policy as to be a violation of the statute. While the process may be slow, it is not a complete failure to comply with the law so as to justify court intervention. Nor does the prioritization policy constitute an underground regulation. Although the policy was intended as a rule of general application and was adopted to implement a statute--factors that point to it being a regulation--it falls under the APA's internal management exception because the rule does not require the individuals or entities affected to do anything they are not already required to do. Moreover, the allocation of the agency's resources should be considered an internal management determination that will ensure the efficiency and enforcement of the agency's statutory duty to evaluate all pesticides. In addition, the agency has not failed to implement the Act, and the lower court did not err in denying the group's request for judicial notice of scientific studies.Californians for Pesticide Reform v. California Department of Pesticide Regulation, No. C052373, 40 ELR 20138 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. May 17, 2010).

Copyright© 2010, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

Note: Citations below are to theFederal Register(FR).

AIR:

  • EPA proposed to amend the new source performance standards and emissions guidelines for hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators.75 FR 27249(5/14/10).
  • EPA delayed the effective date of the final rule "Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review: Aggregation" until review is completed.75 FR 27643(5/18/10).
  • EPA proposed to list isobutane, propane, HCR-188C, and HCR-188C1 as substitutes for use in household and commercial refrigeration.75 FR 25799(5/10/10).
  • EPA allocated essential use allowances for the import and production of Class I ozone-depleting substances for calendar year 2010.75 FR 25780(5/10/10).
  • EPA announced the availability of a report,Draft Emission Factors for Refined Semiconductor Manufacturing Process Categories, for public comment.75 FR 26904(5/13/10).
  • EPA redesignated Lake and Porter Counties, Indiana, to attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS; approved Indiana's maintenance plan through 2020 for Lake and Porter Counties and the Chicago-Gary-Lake County, Illinois-Indiana, ozone nonattainment area; approved the 2002 volatile organic compound (VOC) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission inventories; and approved the 2010 and 2020 VOC and NOx motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for Lake and Porter Counties.75 FR 26113(5/11/10).
  • EPA redesignated the Ohio and Indiana portions of the Cincinnati-Hamilton, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana, nonattainment area to attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS; approved the maintenance plan through 2020 for the area; approved the 2002 base year emissions inventory for the Indiana portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton area; approved the 2005 base year emissions inventory for the Ohio portion; and approved the 2015 and 2020 MVEBs for the Ohio and Indiana portions.75 FR 26118(5/11/10).
  • EPA proposed attainment of NAAQS for particulate matter for the Fort Hall nonattainment area on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho.75 FR 26898(5/13/10).
  • SIP Approvals:California (disapproval of VOC emissions revision for the South Coast air quality management district)75 FR 25775(5/10/10); (NOx emissions for the Yolo-Solano air quality management district)75 FR 25778(5/10/10); (limited approval of new source review revisions for the San Joaquin Valley unified air pollution control district)75 FR 26102(5/11/10); (reformulated gasoline and diesel fuel)75 FR 26653(5/12/10); (legal authority of SIP)75 FR 27938(5/19/10); (attainment of 24-hour particulate matter (PM) NAAQS for the Coso Junction nonattainment area)75 FR 27944(5/19/10). Colorado (performance testing requirements for air curtain destructors)75 FR 25772(5/10/10). Ohio (adoption of general provisions)75 FR 25770(5/10/10). Texas (general air quality rules)75 FR 27644,75 FR 27647(5/18/10).
  • SIP Proposals:California (NOx emissions for the Yolo-Solano air quality management district; see above for direct final rule)75 FR 25798(5/10/10). Colorado (performance testing requirements for air curtain destructors; see above for direct final rule)75 FR 25798(5/10/10); (PM emissions for the Imperial County air pollution control district)75 FR 27975(5/19/10); (nitrogen oxide and PM emissions for the San Joaquin Valley unified air pollution control district)75 FR 28509(5/21/10). District of Columbia (1997 eight-hour ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS)75 FR 27512(5/17/10). Kentucky (attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Kentucky portion of the Cincinnati-Hamilton nonattainment area)75 FR 26685(5/12/10). Ohio (adoption of general provisions; see above for direct final rule)75 FR 25797(5/10/10). Texas (partial approval of general air quality rules)75 FR 26892(5/13/10); (attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Beaumont-Port Arthur nonattainment area and maintenance plan)75 FR 27514(5/17/10). West Virginia (1997 eight-hour ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS)75 FR 27510(5/17/10).

ENERGY:

  • EPA's Science Advisory Board announced that it will convene workgroups of experts to provide rapid advice on scientific and technical issues related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.75 FR 28009(5/19/10).
  • EPA amended the diesel sulfur regulations to allow the use of an alternative affirmative defense for samples above the specified sulfur standard and to allow disqualified small refiners to generate gasoline benzene credits.75 FR 26121(5/11/10).
  • EPA made minor modifications and clarifications to certain Renewable Fuel Standard Program regulations promulgated on March 26, 2010.75 FR 26026(5/10/10).
  • EPA proposed to amend the diesel sulfur regulations to allow the use of an alternative affirmative defense for samples above the specified sulfur standard and to allow disqualified small refiners to generate gasoline benzene credits; see above for direct final rule.75 FR 26165(5/11/10).
  • EPA proposed to make minor modifications and clarifications to certain Renewable Fuel Standard Program regulations promulgated on March 26, 2010; see above for direct final rule.75 FR 26049(5/10/10).

NEPA:

  • FEMA announced the availability of draft environmental planning and historic preservation compliance costs and mitigation policies for public comment.75 FR 26270(5/11/10).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability of a draft pesticide registration notice entitled "False or Misleading Pesticide Product Brand Names" for public comment.75 FR 28012(5/19/10).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA announced a 90-day public comment and independent external peer review period for the draft entitled "EPA's Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments."75 FR 28610(5/21/10).

WATER:

  • EPA announced the availability of a final strategy for the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay pursuant to Executive Order No. 13508 of May 12, 2009, Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.75 FR 26226(5/11/10).
  • EPA announced the availability of a final guidance for federal land management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed pursuant to Executive Order No. 13508, Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.75 FR 27552(5/17/10).
  • EPA Region 9 announced the availability of nine proposed TMDLs in the Los Angeles area for public comment.75 FR 26956(5/13/10).
  • EPA received a petition requesting a determination from the commonwealth of Massachusetts that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters collectively known as the Upper North Shore.75 FR 28245(5/20/10).

WILDLIFE:

  • NOAA-Fisheries closed portions of the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean exclusive economic zones to all fishing due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill until further notice.75 FR 27217(5/14/10).
  • FWS initiated five-year reviews for 34 species in California and Nevada under the ESA and announced completion of 96 five-year reviews for species in California and Nevada in fiscal year 2009 and early 2010.75 FR 28636(5/21/10).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Washington Beef LLC, No. 10-cv-03025-EFS (E.D. Wash. May 5, 2010). A settling CWA defendant must pay a $750,000 civil penalty for unauthorized discharges from its slaughterhouse in Toppenish, Washington, and must install new equipment as injunctive relief.75 FR 26274(5/11/10).
  • United States v. Boeing Co., No. 10-758 (W.D. Wash. May 4, 2010). A settling CERCLA, CWA, Model Toxics Control Act, and OPA defendant must pay $2 million to trustees for natural resource damages to the Duwamish Waterway in Washington, must pay future costs of overseeing restoration projects, and must establish a permanent stewardship fund for the projects.75 FR 26275(5/11/10).
  • United States v. Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., No. 2:10-cv-01742-TJS (E.D. Pa. Apr. 20, 2010). A settling CWA defendant must pay a $1 million civil penalty for stormwater permit violations at various construction sites across the country and must institute a nationwide management, reporting, and training program at future construction sites as injunctive relief.75 FR 26275(5/11/10).
  • United States v. T. Frank Flippo & Sons, LLC, No. 3:10-cv-292 (E.D. Va. May 3, 2010). A settling CERCLA defendant must implement land use restrictions at the HH Burn Pit Superfund site in Hanover, Virginia, must file a notice to successors in title, and must retain a restrictive easement for any conveyance of the property.75 FR 28062(5/19/10).
  • United States v. City of Oswego, No. 5:10-cv-554 (N.D.N.Y. May 12, 2010). A settling CWA defendant that made unpermitted discharges from its sewer system and failed to comply with NPDES permit provisions must pay a $99,000 civil penalty to the United States and the state of New York and must perform corrective actions valued at $87 million.75 FR 28063(5/19/10).
  • United States v. Pep Boys, No. 10-cv-00745 (D.C. May 10, 2010). Settling CAA defendants that violated mobile source provisions must pay a civil penalty, must export or destroy certain illegally imported equipment from China, must implement future corporate compliance plans, must offer a warranty and reimbursement program free to consumers, and must offset the alleged illegal emissions through various programs.75 FR 27580(5/17/10).
  • United States v. Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority, No. 3:10-cv-01365 (SEC) (D.P.R. May 3, 2010). A settling CWA and SDWA defendant that violated drinking water and pollutant discharge regulations at its water treatment plants must pay a $1,024,267 civil penalty, must implement water treatment plant improvement projects over the next 15 years valued at $195 million, and must perform a supplemental environmental project valued at $2,540,000.75 FR 27580(5/17/10).

Copyright© 2010, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

THE CONGRESS

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

Committee Action

  • S.1214 (Lieberman, I-Conn.) (National Fish Habitat Conservation Act)was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 111-190, 155 Cong Rec. S3830 (daily ed. May 17, 2010). The bill would conserve fish and aquatic communities in the United States through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation.
  • H.R. 2288 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (fish recovery) was reported by the Committee on Natural Resources. 155 Cong. Rec. H3489-91, H3512 (daily ed. May 18, 2010). The bill would amend Public Law 106-392 and maintain annual base funding for the Upper Colorado and San Juan fish recovery programs through fiscal year 2023.

Bills Introduced

  • S. 3379 (Boxer, D-Cal.) (climate) would amend the CAA to reduce carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs. 155 Cong. Rec. S3831 (daily ed. May 17, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 3381 (Baucus, D-Vt.) (CAA) would amend the CAA to modify certain definitions of the term "renewable biomass." 155 Cong. Rec. S3831 (daily ed. May 17, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S.3382 (Cardin, D-Md.) (fish and wildlife) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, through the Coastal Program of the FWS, to work with willing partners and provide support to efforts to assess, protect, restore, and enhance important coastal areas that provide fish and wildlife habitat on which federal trust species depend. 155 Cong Rec. S3908 (daily ed. May 18, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 3385 (Bennett, R-Utah) (land use) would amend the Mineral Leasing Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to determine the impact of any proposed modification to the policy of the DOI relating to any onshore oil or natural gas preleasing or leasing activity. 155 Cong. Rec. S3983 (daily ed. May 19, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3387 (Udall, D-Colo.) (fish habitat) would provide for the release of water from the marketable yield pool of water stored in the Ruedi Reservoir for the benefit of endangered fish habitat in the Colorado River. 155 Cong. Rec. S3983 (daily ed. May 19, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3395 (Udall, D-Colo.) (energy efficiency)would provide cost-sharing assistance to improve access to the markets of foreign countries for energy efficiency products and renewable energy products exported by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States. 155 Cong. Rec. S4082 (daily ed. May 20, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
  • H.R. 5320 (Waxman, D-Cal.) (water)would amend the SDWA to increase assistance for states, water systems, and disadvantaged communities; encourage good financial and environmental management of water systems' strengthen EPA's ability to enforce the requirements of the Act; reduce lead in drinking water; and strengthen the endocrine disruptor screening program. 155 Cong. Rec. H3540 (daily ed. May 18, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5326 (Conaway, R-Tex.) (organic food)would repeal the national organic certification cost-share program. 155 Cong. Rec. H3540-41 (daily ed. May 18, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 5334 (Lujan, D-N.M.) (land use)would establish the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area in the state of New Mexico.155 Cong. Rec. H3540-41 (daily ed. May 18, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5339 (Chaffetz, R-Utah) (land use) directs the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal. 155 Cong. Rec. H3957-58 (daily ed. May 19, 2010). The bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5342 (Bishop, R-Utah) (climate) would prohibit the use of NEPA to document, predict, or mitigate the climate effects of specific federal actions. 155 Cong. Rec. H3957 (daily ed. May 19, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5344 (Kratovil, D-Md.) (wildlife) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, through the Coastal Program of the FWS, to work with willing partners and provide support to efforts to assess, protect, restore, and enhance important coastal areas that provide fish and wildlife habitat on which federal trust species depend. 155 Cong. Rec. H3957-58 (daily ed. May 19, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5352 (Young, R-Alaska) (hydroelectric energy)would require hydroelectric energy generated in Alaska to be considered as renewable energy for purposes of federal programs and standards. 155 Cong. Rec. H3701 (daily ed. May 20, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 5355 (Grajalva, D-Ariz.) (oil pollution)would amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to repeal the limitation of liability of a responsible party for a discharge or substantial threat of a discharge of oil from an offshore oil facility. 155 Cong. Rec. H3701 (daily ed. May 20, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 5358. (Castor, D-Fla.) (oil and gas leasing)would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit oil and gas preleasing, leasing, and related activities in certain areas of the outer continental shelf off the coast of Florida. 155 Cong. Rec. H3701 (daily ed. May 20, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

Copyright© 2010, 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. To access material previously reported in 2010, visit our list ofCumulative State Developments. For state material reported prior to 2010, visit theELR Archives.

The states below have updates this week:

AlabamaArizonaCaliforniaColoradoDelawareFloridaIdahoKentuckyMaineMichiganNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyWisconsin 

ALABAMA

Air:

  • The Alabama Management Commission seeks public comment on the proposal to remove Birmingham's nonattainment area status due to air quality monitoring that places the area within acceptable levels of fine particulate matter. The Commission seeks attainment status for the area. The hearing will be on June 9, 2010, and the deadline for written comments is June 11, 2010. Seehttp://www.adem.state.al.us/newsEvents/notices/apr10/4alsip.htm

Water:

ARIZONA

Water:

  • The Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona proposed changes to Ariz. Rev. Stat. §49-1203, which mandates which bodies can receive grants and loans for water infrastructure construction. Among other changes, the Authority proposes to make significant changes to who can receive Hardship Grants. Seehttp://www.azsos.gov/public_services/Register/2010/20/proposed.pdf

CALIFORNIA

Air:

  • The California Air Resources Board proposed revisions to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32; Statutes of 2006, chapter 488). The changes are proposed to comply with a 2009 executive order that the Air Resources Board adopt a regulation by July 31, 2010, requiring load serving entities to meet a 33% renewable energy target by 2020. The draft of revisions can be seen here:http://www.arb.ca.gov/energy/res/meetings/052010/may14draftregulation.pdf

Water:

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Fish and Game announced that the Friant Water Authority proposes to carry out a maintenance project that may adversely effect species protected under the California Endangered Species Act, including the California tiger salamander. The FWS issued a "no-jeopardy" federal biological opinion, and the Friant Water Authority seeks a determination that the project is in compliance with the California Endangered Species Act. Seehttp://www.oal.ca.gov/res/docs/pdf/notice/20z-2010.pdf(p. 704)

COLORADO

Wildlife:

DELAWARE

Air:

FLORIDA

Wildlife:

  • The Fish and Wildlife Commission proposes to amend Fla. Admin. Code Ann. r. 68B-14.0038, which governs recreational red snapper fishing. The changes would make Florida laws consistent with federal reef fish guidelines for the Gulf of Mexico and reduce overfishing of red snapper by reducing the length of the red snapper season. The deadline for written comments is June 4, 2010. Seehttps://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=2&tid=8637867&type=1&File=68B-14.0038.htm

IDAHO

Air:

KENTUCKY

Air:

MAINE

Air:

  • The Board of Environmental Protection adopted an amendment to Ch.123, Control of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from Paper, Film and Foil Coating Operations. The law has been updated to include requirements for film and foil coating operations to reduce VOC emissions. Seehttp://www.maine.gov/dep/air/regulations/recentlyadopted.htm

MICHIGAN

Air:

  • The Michigan Public Service Commission seeks public comment on amendments to 2008 Mich. Pub. Acts 295, which requires all Michigan electric providers to achieve a retail supply portfolio that includes at least 10% renewable energy by 2015. The new laws will govern the administration of 2008 Mich. Pub. Acts 295. The hearing will be on June 22, 2010, and the deadline for written comments is June 14, 2010. Seehttp://www.michigan.gov/documents/dleg/MR8_051510_321127_7.pdf(pp. 39-66).

Water:

NEVADA

General:

  • The Director of the Office of Energy proposed revisions to Nev. Admin. Code 701A.290. Revisions would allow the director to waive certain requirements for applicants seeking partial abatements of certain property taxes for buildings or structures that meet certain standards under the LEED Green Building Rating System. Seehttp://www.leg.state.nv.us/register/2010Register/R065-10RP1.pdf

NEW HAMPSHIRE

General:

NEW JERSEY

Land Use:

  • The Environmental Protection Pinelands Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposal submitted by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission to amend the forestry standards set forth at N.J. Admin. Code 7:50-6.46 of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan. Proposed amendments are intended to provide specific limitations on "disking" as a means of site preparation. The hearing will be June 30, 2010, and the deadline for written comments is July 16, 2010. Seehttp://www.lexisnexis.com/njoal/, 42 N.J.R. 875(a).

WISCONSIN

Air:

  • The Department of Natural Resources proposed an order that revises Wis. Admin. Code NR ch. 410, relating to the increase of asbestos inspection fees and the addition of fees for review of revised notifications and inspection of fire training burns. The public hearings will be June 3 and 4, 2010. Seehttp://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/register/reg653a.pdf(p. 19-20)

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Natural Resources has submitted a rule that amends Wis. Admin. Code NR chs. 8, 10, 12, and 17, relating to the 2010 Wildlife Management Bureau housekeeping rule, license and permit procedures, game and hunting, wildlife damage and nuisance control, and dog trials and training. A public hearing will be held on June 7, 2010. Seehttp://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/register/reg653a.pdf(p. 19)

Copyright© 2010, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

INTERNATIONAL

CHINA PLANS JUNE CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL RARE EARTH MINING

China's Ministry of Land Resources announced on its website that it's launching a six-month crackdown on illegal rare earth mining beginning in June. Although China has put restrictions on production and export of certain minerals, smuggling and illegal mining are common. China is estimated to currently possess around 97 percent of the world's supply of rare earth ores, which are used in a wide range of technology. The ministry plans to shut down illegal operations and confiscate mining equipment. For the full story, visithttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64K0LI20100521.

TAX FRAUD AFFECTS SEVEN PERCENT OF CARBON TRADING MARKET

According to the Environmental News Network, tax fraud is the carbon trading market's largest form of cheating, affecting about seven percent of the $125 billion industry in 2009. Last August, seven people were arrested in London for failure to pay taxes totaling £38 million on carbon permits, and 22 were arrested on similar charges throughout the United Kingdom in April. The European Union's investigation into tax fraud in carbon trading has overflowed into other EU countries. In Germany, officials and tax investigators swept 230 offices and residences, including Deutsche Bank AG. The investigation resulted in 180 million euros in tax evasion and an unreported number of arrests. For the full story, visithttp://www.enn.com/pollution/article/41345.

BOLIVA SEEKS DEEP CLIMATE CUTS FOR "MOTHER EARTH"

Bolivia President Evo Morales said a U.N. climate pact should set a goal of quickly slashing greenhouse gas emissions and of limiting any rise in average world temperatures to 1 degree Celsius (1.8 F) above pre-industrial times--the toughest goals set by any nation. "The debate will focus on stabilization of the temperature and reductions in emissions," Morales told a news conference during a visit to Oslo. "What must steer this is reason," he said of U.N. negotiations in 2010 that will culminate with a meeting of the world's environment ministers in Cancun, Mexico, between November 29 and December 10. Any U.N. deal would have to be adopted by unanimity, giving influence to nations such as Bolivia, which was among a handful of countries that blocked adoption of a non-binding deal to slow climate change at the U.N.'s Copenhagen summit in December. Morales said that "Mother Earth" is under threat. Bolivia submitted a document to the United Nations last month that proposes emissions cuts for rich nations of 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2013-17--far beyond any goals set by industrialized nations. For the full story, visithttp://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE64J0LC.htm.

Copyright© 2010, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

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