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Weekly Update Volume 40, Issue 18

06/21/2010

LITIGATION 

TAKINGS, BEACH RESTORATION:

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a beach restoration project under Florida's Beach and Shore Preservation Act did not unconstitutionally deprive beachfront property owners of littoral rights without just compensation. Private beachfront property owners have, among other things, rights to receive accretions to the littoral property. An accretion occurs gradually and imperceptibly, while a sudden change is an avulsion. The littoral owner automatically takes title to dry land added to his property by accretion. With avulsion, however, the seaward boundary of littoral property remains what it was: the mean high-water line before the event. Property owners filed the instant suit after a city and county sought, and were granted, a permit to restore 6.9 miles of beach eroded by several hurricanes, adding about 75 feet of dry sand seaward of the mean high-water line. When, as here, a project is undertaken under the Act, the state entity that holds title to the seabed sets a fixed "erosion control line" to replace the fluctuating mean high-water line as the boundary between littoral and state property. Thereafter, when accretion moves the mean high-water line seaward, the littoral property remains bounded by the permanent erosion-control line. The owners argued that by issuing the permits, the state environmental agency eliminated their littoral rights to receive accretions to their property and to have their property's contact with the water remain intact. But Florida law allows the state to fill in its own seabed, and the resulting sudden exposure of previously submerged land is treated like an avulsion for ownership purposes. The right to accretions was therefore subordinate to the state's right to fill. Notably, Justice Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion, also concluded that if a court declares that what was once an established right of private property no longer exists, it has taken that property in violation of the Takings Clause. But only three other justices agreed with him on this point, rendering this dicta. Scalia, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, IV, and V, in which Roberts, C.J., and Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, and Sotomayor, JJ., joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts II and III, in which Roberts, C.J., and Thomas and Alito, JJ., joined. Kennedy, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Sotomayor, J., joined. Breyer, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Ginsburg, J., joined. Stevens, J., took no part in the decision of the case.Stop the Beach Renourishment Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 40 ELR 20160, No. 08-1151 (U.S. June 17, 2010).

CWA, SMCRA, MINING:

A district court denied a mining company's motion to dismiss environmental groups' CWA and SMCRA citizen suit against it for violating its NPDES and mining permits and held that the groups are entitled to injunctive relief. The court rejected the company's claims that a modified consent decree entered in a county court rendered the action moot, that the groups erred in failing to join the state environmental agency as an indispensable party, and that the court should abstain from exercising its jurisdiction. As to the merits of the groups' CWA and SMCRA claims, the groups are entitled to summary judgment. The company's discharge monitoring reports for October 2009 show that it was in violation of the selenium limits set forth in its NPDES permit. These reports constitute binding admissions on the part of the company that may be used to establish liability. Thus, the reports are sufficient to establish that the company is in violation of the CWA and SMCRA. In addition, injunctive relief is warranted in this case. The groups have shown that the company is contributing to the degradation of the Mud River watershed in the form of excess selenium pollution. This is sufficient to establish irreparable harm. The balance of hardships also weighs in favor of an injunction, and the public interest will not be disserved by injunctive relief. The court, therefore, ordered a hearing be held in August 2010 to address the scope and terms of the injunctive relief.Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Inc. v. Hobet Mining LLC, 40 ELR 20161, No. 3:09-1167 (S.D. W. Va. June 14, 2010) (Chambers, J.).

OIL SPILL, ENVIRONMENTAL CLAIMS:

A district court issued an order stipulating that environmental claims against the owner ofDeepwater Horizonmay go forward in court. The order allows claims brought under the CWA, the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), CERCLA, the Park Systems Resource Protection Act, the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, and the Rivers and Harbors Act, but claims brought by OPA-responsible parties are enjoined. The owner must file $26 million to serve as security for such claims. No claims may be filed after November 15, 2010, except for good cause.In re Transocean Holdings LLC, 40 ELR 20162, No. 4:10-cv-1721 (S.D. Tex. June 14, 2010) (Ellison, J.).

PREEMPTION, HAULING, ETHANOL:

The Fourth Circuit held that the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA) preempts a city ordinance and haul permit that regulate ethanol transloading at a railway's facility in Virginia. It is well established that a state or local law that permits a non-federal entity to restrict or prohibit the operations of a rail carrier is preempted under the ICCTA. Here, the ordinance and permit directly regulate the facility and its transloading operations. And although the ordinance and permit seek to enhance public safety, they unreasonably burden rail carriage and, thus, cannot escape ICCTA preemption under the police power exception. Claims concerning federal preemption under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and the Federal Rail Safety Act were dismissed as moot. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. City of Alexandria, Nos. 09-1566, -1608, 40 ELR 20159 (4th Cir. June 16, 2010).

SDWA, MINING, INDIAN LAND:

The Tenth Circuit vacated EPA's final land status determination that a company’s land qualified as "Indian land" and, thus, was required to obtain a mining permit under the SDWA from EPA rather than from New Mexico's environmental agency. Except for mining activities on Indian lands, EPA delegated its permitting authority under the SDWA to the state agency. In this case, the company sought and obtained a permit from the state for its mining activities. But EPA took the position that the company's land is Indian country and subject to federal jurisdiction because it is part of a "dependent Indian community" under 18 U.S.C. §1151(b), which concerns federal criminal jurisdiction. EPA argued that because some sufficiently significant (though unspecified) percentage of neighboring lands—what EPA calls "the community of reference"— is Indian country, the company's land must be considered Indian country, too. But this interpretation cannot be reconciled with the U.S. Supreme Court's explanation of §1151(b)'s plain meaning. InAlaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, 522 U.S. 520 (1998), the Court identified two requirements of all "dependent Indian communities" under §1151(b). First, the land in question must be an "Indian community" in the sense that it has been explicitly set aside by Congress "for the use of the Indians as Indian land." Second, the land in question must be "dependent" in the sense that it is "under federal superintendence." The company's land is neither of these things.Hydro Resources, Inc. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 07-9506, 40 ELR 20158 (10th Cir. June 15, 2010).

NEPA, RAILROADS:

The D.C. Circuit denied two petitions challenging the Surface Transportation Board's approval of the acquisition of certain railroads by another railroad. One of the petitioners, an environmental group, challenged the Board's decision not to prepare an EIR until the railroad decided whether it would construct a track connecting an acquired rail line in South Dakota to certain coal mines in Wyoming. But the Board will not allow the line to be built until after an EIR is prepared—the very relief the group seeks. Accordingly, it lacks standing. The second petitioner, a commuter rail service in the Chicago area, challenged the Board's failure to impose conditions protecting the service's rights over its trackline. But the Board's decision to approve the transaction was not arbitrary and capricious.Commuter Rail Division v. Surface Transportation Board, No. 08-1346, 40 ELR 20157 (D.C. Cir. June 15, 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 expanded the list of acceptable substitutes for ozone-depleting substances under the Significant New Alternatives Policy program for use in refrigeration and air-conditioning, foam blowing, aerosols, and sterilants.75 FR 34017(6/16/10).
  • EPA gave final approval to Rhode Island's air emission standards for halogenated solvent cleaning machines.75 FR 34647(6/18/10).
  • EPA proposed to amend specific provisions in the 2009 Final Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to correct certain technical and editorial errors that have been identified since promulgation and to clarify or propose minor updates to certain provisions that have been the subject of questions from reporting entities.75 FR 33950(6/15/10).
  • EPA proposed to approve Rhode Island's air emission standards for halogenated solvent cleaning machines; see above for direct final rule.75 FR 34673(6/18/10).
  • SIP Approval:Maryland (transportation conformity regulations)75 FR 34644(6/18/10).
  • SIP Proposals:Alabama (attainment of the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter NAAQS for the Birmingham nonattainment area)75 FR 33562(6/14/10). Delaware (control of volatile organic compounds)75 FR 34671(6/18/10). Maryland (transportation conformity regulations; see above for direct final rule)75 FR 34669(6/18/10).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA withdrew the "emission comparable fuel" exclusion under RCRA; the Agency concluded that emission comparable fuel is more appropriately classified as a discarded material and regulated as a hazardous waste.75 FR 33712(6/15/10).
  • EPA proposed giving final authorization to Washington's hazardous waste management program.75 FR 34674(6/18/10).
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA that requires the settling parties to pay $200,000 in past and future U.S. response costs incurred at the Great Lakes Container Corporation Superfund site in Coventry, Rhode Island, to perform a removal action to address hazardous substances at the site, and to pay all oversight and response costs related to the removal action.75 FR 34448(6/17/10).
  • EPA entered into a proposed cost recovery settlement agreement under CERCLA that requires the settling party to pay $225,000, plus interest, in past U.S. response costs incurred at the H.M. Quackenbush, Inc. Superfund site in Herkimer, New York, and to pay $75,000 into an interest-bearing escrow account for site-related restoration purposes.75 FR 34117(6/16/10).
  • EPA entered into a proposed settlement under CERCLA that requires the settling party to pay $147,935 in U.S. response costs incurred at the West Huntington Spill Superfund site in Huntington, West Virginia.75 FR 33617(6/14/10).

PESTICIDES:

  • EPA amended the pesticide container and containment regulations by extending until December 16, 2010, the compliance deadline for label requirements.75 FR 33705(6/15/10).
  • EPA proposed to amend the pesticide container and containment regulations by extending the date for compliance with label requirements until August 16, 2011.75 FR 33744(6/15/10).

RADIOACTIVE WASTE:

  • The NRC proposed security requirements for the use and transport of Category 1 and Category 2 quantities of radioactive material to provide additional protection against theft or diversion.75 FR 33902(6/15/10).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on five petitions to list seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees as endangered and to designate critical habitat under the ESA; the Agency found that listing may be warranted and initiated a status review.75 FR 34077(6/16/10).

DOJ NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing, LLC, No. 04-cv-01064 (D. Kan. June 9, 2010). Under a modified 2004 consent decree, settling CAA defendants will be given a 15-month extension to install air pollution controls at their oil refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas; the defendants must also take specified measures to reduce additional emissions caused by the delay.75 FR 33825(6/15/10).

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

THE CONGRESS

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

Public Law:

  • S. 3473 (oil spill), which amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to authorize advances from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for theDeepwater Horizonoil spill, was signed into law on June 15, 2010. Pub. L. No. 111-191, 156 Cong. Rec. D666 (daily ed. June 16, 2010).

Chamber Action:

  • S. 1660 (Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act), which would amend TSCA to reduce the emissions of formaldehyde from composite wood products, was passed by the Senate. 156 Cong. Rec. S4891 (daily ed. June 14, 2010).
  • H.R. 4451 (hydroelectric power), which would reinstate and transfer certain hydroelectric licenses and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects, was passed by the House. 156 Cong. Rec. H4542 (daily. ed. June 16, 2010).

Committee Action:

  • S. 2852 (renewable energy)was reported by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. S. Rep. No. 111-206, 156 Cong. Rec. S4884 (daily ed. June 14, 2010). The bill would establish, within NOAA, an integrated and comprehensive ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric research, prediction, and environmental information program to support renewable energy.
  • H.R. 4451 (hydroelectric power)was reported by the Energy and Commerce Committee. H. Rep. No. 111-505, 156 Cong. Rec. H4424 (daily ed. June 14, 2010). The bill would reinstate and transfer certain hydroelectric licenses and extend the deadline for commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects.

Bills Introduced:

  • S. 3487 (Udall, D-Colo.) (energy usage)would amend the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to add the right to access electric energy information, including consumer's individual energy usage. 156 Cong. Rec. S4938 (daily ed. June 15, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3489 (Vitter, R-La.) (deepwater drilling)would end the moratorium on deepwater drilling issued by the Secretary of the Interior. 156 Cong. Rec. S4938 (daily ed. June 15, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3492 (Lautenberg, D-N.J.) (offshore drilling)would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require the drilling of emergency relief wells. 156 Cong. Rec. S4938 (daily ed. June 15, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3495 (Dorgan, D-N.J.) (electric cars)would promote the deployment of plug-in electric drive vehicles. 156 Cong. Rec. S4938-4939 (daily ed. June 15, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3497 (Brown, R-Mass.) (oil spill)would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require leases entered into under that Act to include a plan that describes the means and timeline for containment and termination of an ongoing discharge of oil. 156 Cong. Rec. S4989 (daily ed. June 16, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 3508 (Udall, D-Colo.) (renewable energy)would strengthen the capacity of the United States to reverse renewable natural resource degradation trends around the world. 156 Cong. Rec. S5112 (daily ed. June 17, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  • S. 3509 (Udall, D-Colo.) (gas extraction)would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote the research and development of technologies and best practices for the safe development and extraction of natural gas and other petroleum resources. 156 Cong. Rec. S5112 (daily ed. June 17, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5519 (Cassidy, R-La.) (deepwater drilling)would terminate the moratorium on deepwater drilling and require the Secretary of the Interior to ensure the safety of deepwater drilling operations. 156 Cong. Rec. H4424 (daily ed. June 14, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5520 (Kagen, D-Wis.) (oil spill)would require an immediate payment by BP to the United States for use to compensate all affected persons for removal costs and damages arising from the explosion and sinking ofDeepwater Horizon, and would make that amount available to the Secretary of the Interior to pay such compensation. 156 Cong. Rec. H4424 (daily ed. June 14, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 5521 (Castle, R-Del.)(wind power)would extend credits related to the production of electricity from offshore wind. 156 Cong. Rec. H4424 (daily ed. June 14, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
  • H.R. 5525 (Olson, R-Tex.) (deepwater drilling)would terminate the moratorium on deepwater drilling issued by the Secretary of the Interior. 156 Cong. Rec. H4505 (daily ed. June 15, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 5531 (Herger, R-Cal.) (endangered species)would amend the ESA to enable federal agencies responsible for the preservation of threatened species and endangered species to rescue and relocate members of any of those species that would be taken in the course of certain reconstruction, maintenance, or repair of federal or non-federal manmade flood control levees. 156 Cong. Rec. H4506 (daily ed. June 15, 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:

ArizonaArkansasConnecticutIndianaIowaKansasMaineNevadaNew YorkNorth CarolinaOklahomaPennsylvaniaSouth DakotaTennesseeUtahWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsin

ARIZONA

Land Use:

ARKANSAS

Air:

CONNECTICUT

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection seeks public comment on proposed guidelines for beneficial use determination pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §22a-209f(b)(2). The comment period ends July 7, 2010. Seehttp://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2586&Q=461216

Water:

INDIANA

Air:

  • The Air Pollution Control Board has temporarily amended 326 Ind. Admin. Code §§1-4 to include the federal redesignations for Lake and Porter counties and Lawrenceburg Township, Dearborn County, to attainment for the eight-hour ozone standard. The emergency rule took effect June 4, 2010. For the updated designations, seehttp://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20100616-IR-326100354ERA.xml.html.

General:

IOWA

Air:

  • The Environmental Protection Commission seeks public comment on proposed amendments to Iowa Admin. Code ch. 23, Emission Standards for Contaminants; ch. 24, Excess Emission; and ch. 28, Ambient Air Quality Standards. Changes are largely designed to adopt by reference new federal codes for ambient air quality, but also include the Commission's strategy for implementing and enforcing new standards in addition to strategies to assist operations that previously had no air standards. There will be a public hearing on July 19, 2010, and the last day to submit comments is July 20. Seehttp://www.legis.state.ia.us/aspx/ACODOCS/DOCS/06-16-2010.Bulletin.pdf(pp. 2804-10)

KANSAS

Air:

  • The Department of Health and Environment proposed amendments to Kan. Admin. Regs. §28-19, which governs air quality. Changes will raise emissions fees and alter the emissions inventory reporting process, among other alterations. There will be a public hearing on August 30, 2010, which is also the close of the comment period. Seehttp://www.kssos.org/pubs/register%5C2010%5CVol_29_No_24_June_17_2010_p_977-996.pdf(pp. 987-88)

MAINE

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has proposed changes to Ch. 4.08, which governs falconry. Changes would allow for the live capture of northern peregrine falcons by a limited number of permit holders, upon approval by the FWS. The Department expects that Maine will receive two of the 36 permits being issued to states by the Service. The deadline for comments is July 16, 2010. Seehttp://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2010/061610.html

NEVADA

General:

  • The Nevada Energy Commission proposed amendments to Nev. Admin. Code §701A, pertaining to provisions for energy-related tax incentives. Changes prescribe the process by which organizations or individuals may apply for a tax abatement and provide for a government hearing for applications. For the draft of amendments, seehttp://www.leg.state.nv.us/register/2010Register/R094-10P.pdf

NEW YORK

Air:

  • The Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to amend NYCRR tit. 6 part 212, which pertains to nitrogen oxide emission reduction practices and potential controls for hot mix asphalt production plants. Among other changes, the amendment would require the owner or operator of a hot mix asphalt production plant to perform an annual tune up on the dryer burner and submit to the Department a plan to reduce the moisture content of the stockpiles. The comment period ends July 16, 2010. Seehttp://www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2010/jun16/pdfs/rules.pdf(pp. 5-10)
  • The Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed changes to NYCRR tit. 6 parts 200 and 228, which pertain to volatile organic compounds. Amendments are designed to reduce the eight hour ozone levels for New York's designated nonattainment areas by limiting the use of volatile organic compounds from commercial and industrial adhesives, sealants and primers. Seehttp://www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2010/jun16/pdfs/rules.pdf(pp. 10-15)

Wildlife:

  • The Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to amend N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 6, §§1.30 and 6.3, which pertain to deer management assistance permits and the use of "pelt seals" for beaver. Hunters with assistance permits would be required to attach identification tags to deer carcasses, and only the taker of beaver would be allowed to possess the pelt or carcass. Seehttp://www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2010/jun16/pdfs/rules.pdf(pp. 3-5)

NORTH CAROLINA

Water:

  • The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has proposed changes to 2 N.C. Admin. Code §34.0102 regarding the classification of termite pesticides. The comment period ends August 16, 2010. Seehttp://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume24Issue24June152010.pdf(pp. 2156-59)
  • The Environmental Management Commission has proposed changes to 15A N.C. Admin. Code §02T.1310-.1311, which would remove fecal coliform and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) from the list of parameters to be sampled as part of the animal operations monitoring standards of the Aquifer Protection section of water quality code. The comment period ends August 16, 2010, and the amendment has a proposed effective date of January 1, 2011. Seehttp://www.ncoah.com/rules/register/Volume24Issue24June152010.pdf(pp. 2238-41)

OKLAHOMA

Water:

  • The Grand River Dam Authority adopted changes to Okla. Admin. Code tit. 300, §§20-1-1 through 20-1-16, which governs the Grand River Dam Authority's Purchasing Unit. It now grants the general manager authority to approve change orders to contracts provided the total amount of the cumulative change orders does not exceed $50,000 and is reported to the Board of Directors at the next regularly scheduled meeting. The amendments take effect June 25, 2010. Seehttp://www.oar.state.ok.us/register/Volume-27_Issue-19.htm#a258060

PENNSYLVANIA

Land use:

Wildlife:

SOUTH DAKOTA

Air:

TENNESSEE

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Department of Environment and Conservation seeks public comment on proposed changes to Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1200-02-10, which governs the handling of radioactive waste. The hearing will be on August 8, 2010, and the deadline for written comments is August 9. Seehttp://state.tn.us/sos/rules_filings/06-04-10.pdf

UTAH

Land Use:

  • The Department of Natural Resources proposed to significantly alter the definition of "valid existing rights" in the context of who may lawfully conduct coal mining and reclamation operations on certain land pursuant to R645-100, §200. There will be a public hearing on June 23, 2010, and the deadline for public comments is July 15. The change is expected to become effective on July 28. Seehttp://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2010/b20100615.pdf(pp. 40-43)
  • The Department of Natural Resources proposed to amend R645-103, §200, which determines which proposed coal mining proposals can be authorized in accordance with state and federal law. The Department also proposed changing R645-201, §300, to mandate public notification for coal exploit projects. There will be a public hearing for both proposals on June 23, 2010, and the deadline for public comments is July 15. The changes are expected to become effective on July 28. Seehttp://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2010/b20100615.pdf(pp. 43-56)

WASHINGTON

Air:

  • The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency proposed an added section to Wash. Rev. Code §70.94.141, which governs air pollution control authority. New sections pertain to emissions standards for gasoline dispensing facilities. There will be a public hearing on July 22, 2010. Seehttp://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/laws/wsr/2010/12/10-12-098.htm.

Hazardous and Solid Waste:

  • The Department of Ecology proposes to amend Wash. Admin. Code 173-350, which pertains to the handling of recyclable hazardous materials by waste facilities. Proposed changes include new exemptions for organic materials and definitions for take-back centers. The Department is also considering the repeal of 173-345, which sets the minimum standards for transporters of hazardous waste. According to the Department, changes are necessary to promote organic recycling and provide exemptions for compost. Seehttp://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/laws/wsr/2010/12/10-12-051.htm

Wildlife:

WEST VIRGINIA

Air:

  • The Air Quality Agency seeks public comment on proposed changes to W. Va. Code R. Title 45, and amendments regarding ambient air quality, standards of performance for new stationary sources, control of air pollution from combustion of solid waste, emissions standards for hazardous air pollution, and control of air pollution from hazardous waste treatment. The hearing will be on July 12, 2010, and written comments must be received by then. Seehttp://www.sos.wv.gov/administrative-law/register/Documents/2010/061110.pdf

Water:

WISCONSIN

Water:

  • The Department of Natural Resources proposed to amend Wis. Admin. Code NR §142 and create §856, which would alter requirements for withdrawals of waters of the state and diversions of water from the Great Lakes Basin. The Department also proposed to create §850, which relates to mandatory fees for those withdrawing more than 50,000,000 gallons per year from the waters of the Great Lakes Basin, and §852, which creates mandatory water conservation and efficiency measures for waters withdrawn from the Basin. There will be public hearings on June 28, 29, and 30, 2010. Seehttp://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/register/reg654a.pdf(pp. 30-38)

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

INTERNATIONAL

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DISPUTES NOTION OF "POLLUTION HAVENS"

In the European Commission's weekly publicationScience for Environment Policy, the Commission, which is responsible for proposing and enforcing environmental legislation, cited a 2009 study of countries' environmental policies' effects on attracting and maintaining industry to dispute the "pollution haven" thesis, the idea that geographically inconsistent environmental policies result in a high concentration of polluting industries in nations without regulations. The study, which empirically studied data for 16 manufacturing industries from 13 European countries, concluded that population skill levels and resource availability were much stronger factors. According to the Commission's article, "stringent environmental policies do not deter manufacturing industries in general." For the Commission's article, seehttp://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/199na2.pdf. For the report, seehttp://www.springerlink.com/content/q2w1v488756j086h/fulltext.pdf

NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT THREATENS EXXON MOBIL SANCTIONS

In the wake of the May oil spill which left 300 barrels of crude in one of the firm's offshore platforms, the Nigerian government has threatened sanctions to Exxon Mobil over a "concerning" number of oil spills. According to the nation's spill response agency, 2,405 oil spills involving all the major international oil companies operating in Nigeria have occurred since 2006. The Nigerian government has criticized Exxon Mobil's use of dispersal spray and the firm's response in general. The government claims 546 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Niger Delta over the last 50 years, but blamed much of the damage on militants. Meanwhile, west of Nigeria, an organization called Oilwatch Ghana has bemoaned the nation's reliance on fossil fuels as Jubilee field, the country's first major offshore deposit, begins to produce and export. The Ghanaian government has planned to launch an oil monitoring taskforce, but civil service organizations in Accra have used the Nigerian spill and the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as evidence of the fuel's hazardous potential. For news on potential sanctions, see AFP:http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gwv4pd7Ov4JIBDdls7tt-kAZjr4A. For a history of Nigeria's struggles with oil spills, see theNew York Timespiece athttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/world/africa/17nigeria.htmland the NPR story athttp://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2010/06/17/127917637/easy-oil-hard-oil-and-nigeria-s-lesson. For news on Ghanaian oil, seehttp://allafrica.com/stories/201006161139.htmlandhttp://allafrica.com/stories/201006170980.html.

UNITED KINGDOM BOOSTS FUNDS FOR WIND ENERGY, CUTS NUCLEAR SPENDING

Despite budget upheavals that have left many new programs floundering and Labour Party members fighting a £2 billion cut to new project spending, the British government has agreed to devote over £72 million to offshore wind energy development. In partnership with Mitsubishi, the government will continue the project, located in Blyth, to test a new wind turbine site. The Treasury recently reviewed a number of large projects announced in January, a number of which were related to sustainable energy, and found the project worth the funding. However, proposed nuclear technology spending received the ax: the government rescinded a loan promise toSheffield Forgemastersworth £80 million to create next generation nuclear energy parts--the cut left workers "absolutely gutted," according to the BBC. For the new wind energy project spending, see Reuters:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65G5SV20100617. For UK spending cuts, see BBC:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/politics/10341015.stm.

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

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