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Weekly Update Volume 40, Issue 25

09/13/2010

 

LITIGATION 

CAA, CITIZEN SUITS:

The Seventh Circuit held that residents may not use the CAA's citizen suit provision to enforce Illinois' air pollution and fugitive particular matter regulations against a nearby company that stores coal in an outdoor pile before loading it onto river barges. To establish a right of action, the residents must identify a regulation that qualifies as an "emission standard or limitation." Contrary to the lower court's ruling, the CAA permits citizen enforcement of standards found in an SIP, even if those standards are not repeated in a permit. Nevertheless, the regulations at issue do not set forth judicially enforceable standards or limitations. Accordingly, they cannot be used as the basis of a CAA citizen suit. The court, therefore, affirmed the lower court's decision in favor of the company.McEvoy v. IEI Barge Services, Inc. Nos. 09-3494, -3495, 40 ELR 20234 (7th Cir. Sept. 7, 2010).

NEPA, NATURAL GAS PIPELINE:

The Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review of a FERC order approving the construction of new facilities to allow for the flow of natural gas from Mexico northbound into Southern California. FERC's EIS contained a reasonably thorough discussion of the environmental impact of its actions based on information available to it. In addition, FERC's reliance on California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) gas quality standards was not arbitrary and capricious. The CPUC determination was the product of a lengthy decisionmaking process. Accordingly, FERC's reliance on these previous state agency findings was not in any way unreasonable or an abuse of discretion. Last, because the CAA does not require that FERC attempt to "leverage its legal authority to influence or control" state air quality issues, and because there remains substantial uncertainty regarding the eventual burning of gas in the North Baja pipeline system, FERC is not obligated to perform a full conformity determination regarding such burning under the CAA.South Coast Air Quality Management District v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 08-72265, 40 ELR 20239 (9th Cir. Sept. 9, 2010).

NEPA, ESA, FLPMA, GRAZING:

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of environmental groups on claims that the BLM violated NEPA and the ESA in adopting amendments to its grazing regulations in 2006, but it vacated the court's grant of summary judgment on the groups' FLPMA claims. Among other changes, the proposed amendments decreased public involvement in public lands management, put new limitations on the BLM’s enforcement powers, and increased ranchers' ownership rights to improvements and water on public lands. In adopting the amendments, the BLM failed to take the required "hard look" at the environmental effects of the revised regulations in violation of NEPA, and it failed to consult with the FWS in violation of the ESA. The court, therefore, upheld the lower court's injunction enjoining the BLM from enforcing the revised regulations. But the lower court failed to apply the analytical framework set out inChevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837,14 ELR 20507(1984), to the BLM's interpretation of its authority and obligations under FLPMA. Accordingly, the groups' FLPMA claims were remanded for further consideration.Western Watersheds Project v. Kraayenbrink, Nos. 08-35359, -35360, 40 ELR 20235 (9th Cir. Sept. 1, 2010).

DEER POPULATION CONTROL, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, PREEMPTION:

The Sixth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court decision rejecting claims that several city ordinances aimed at controlling deer populations violate the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions and are preempted by state statutes and administrative regulations. The lower court erred in concluding that Kentucky administrative regulations have no preemptive force as against Kentucky municipal ordinances. Accordingly, while the Deer-Feeding Ordinance is a legitimate exercise of municipal authority as applied to deer feeding outside the curtilage of the home, it is preempted insofar as it purports to ban deer feeding within the curtilage of city homes. But the court agreed with the lower court that the Bow-and-Arrow and Field-Dressing Ordinances were not preempted by state law, that the Deer-Feeding Ordinance is not unconstitutionally vague, and that the Bow-and-Arrow Ordinance does not violate due process.Sheffield v. City of Fort Thomas, No. 09-5619, 40 ELR 20236 (6th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010).

TORTS, JURY INSTRUCTIONS:

The Tenth Circuit vacated a $926 million judgment awarded to the owners of property near the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in their class action lawsuit against the facility's operators for trespass and nuisance arising from the release of plutonium particles onto their properties. Because the jury was not properly instructed on an essential element of the property owners' Price-Anderson Act--loss of or damage to property, or loss of use of property--the verdict must be set aside and the case remanded for further proceedings. On remand, plaintiffs will be tasked with producing additional evidence that could support a jury's finding that a nuclear incident occurred, in the form of "loss of or damage to property, or loss of use of property."Cook v. Rockwell International Corp., Nos. 08-1224 et al, 40 ELR 20241 (10th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010).

NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACT, BREACH OF CONTRACT:

The Court of Federal Claims ordered the United States to pay three utility companies more than $142 million in a contract dispute arising from the government's failure to accept and dispose of radioactive waste from the utilities. In 1983, as provided by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), the United States, represented by DOE, entered into contracts with the companies under which, in return for payment of fees funded by ratepayers calculated to cover DOE's costs of developing and implementing the waste disposal system required by that contract and the NWPA, DOE was to start removing, transporting, and disposing of spent nuclear fuel no later than January 31, 1998. The contracts have been breached by a series of substantial delays. The utility companies' construction of dry storage, purchase and loading of casks, as well as other mitigating measures, and consequent incurred costs, were a result of and substantially caused by DOE's delays. The companies established that in a plausible non-breach world where DOE timely commenced full performance, these decisions and expenditures would not have been made. The court therefore awarded the companies a total of $142 million, comprising the difference between their established actual expenses of reasonable and foreseeable mitigation substantially caused by DOE's partial breaches, less expenses that would have been incurred in the plausible non-breach world presented.Yankee Atomic Power Co. v. United States, No. 98-126C, 40 ELR 20243 (Fed. Cl. Sept. 7, 2010) (Merow, J.).

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION AUTHORIZATION ACT, PREEMPTION:

A district court upheld a "Clean Air Action Plan" adopted by a California port designed, among other things, to reduce emissions related to port operations, including emissions from heavily polluting trucks. A trucking association argued that the program was preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, but the court disagreed. The concession agreement implementing the plan contained five provisions concerning employee drivers, off-street parking, maintenance, placards, and financial capability. The employee driver and off-street parking provisions are related to motor carriers' price, route, or service, and thus fall under the FAAA Act, but the maintenance, placard, and financial capability provisions do not. And while the maintenance and placard provisions fall under the safety exception to the FAAA Act, the employee driver, off-street parking, and financial capability provisions do not. Nevertheless, all the provisions fall within the ambit of the market participant exception to the FAAA Act. The port's adoption of the program as a whole is an "essentially proprietary" action because the port took the action in order to sustain and promote port operations. In addition, the provisions do not constitute an undue burden on interstate commerce.American Trucking Ass'ns v. City of Los Angeles, No. 08-4920, 40 ELR 20240 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 2010) (Snyder, J.).

NEPA, FLPMA, MINING:

A district court largely denied a tribe's motions for summary judgment on claims that the BLM violated NEPA and FLPMA in approving a gold mining and processing operation on and around Mt. Tenabo in Lander County, Nevada. The Ninth Circuit already issued a preliminary injunction requiring the BLM to prepare an EIS for the project. To the extent that the Ninth Circuit’s decision cannot be considered a final determination of plaintiffs' NEPA claims for declaratory relief relating to mine dewatering and offsite ore transportation and processing, summary judgment on these claims in the tribe's favor is appropriate. But the court denied summary judgment on the remaining NEPA claims. The tribe's motion for summary judgment on its FLPMA claims was denied as well. While pine nut gathering appears to be a tribal tradition, it failed to explain how pine nut gathering in the pediment area is important to the tribe's religious practice. Absent evidence in the record suggesting that the pediment area is a sacred site, the BLM did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in failing to provide the tribe access to the area. As to the tribe's FLPMA-based mine dewatering claim, because it is yet to be seen whether the dewatering will cause unnecessary and undue degradation, summary judgment is inappropriate on this claim as well.South Fork Band v. United States Department of Interior, No. 3:08-CV-00616-LRH-RAM, 40 ELR 20242 (D. Nev. Aug. 25, 2010) (Hicks, J.).

CIVIL PROCEDURE, REQUIRED PARTY:

A district court held that the state of Oklahoma is not an indispensable party in a Native American tribe's action for natural resources damages against the successor entities of mining companies that operated in the former Tri-State Mining District. The natural resources at issue are located solely on tribal lands and do not fall within the regulatory authority of the state. Even if the court were to assume that the state claimed an interest in the subject matter of this case, dismissal would not be appropriate under Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(b). The fourth Rule 19(b) factor weighs most heavily against dismissal, and if this case were dismissed, the tribe would have no recourse for harm to natural resources located solely on Tribal land unless the state also chose to join a lawsuit. The court, therefore, denied the companies' motion to dismiss for failure to join required parties.Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma v. Blue Tee Corp., No. 03-CV-0846, 40 ELR 20244 (N.D. Okla. Aug. 20, 2010) (Eagan, J.).

WIND ENERGY, TRANSMISSION LINES:

Massachusetts' highest court upheld a Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board decision approving a power company's petition to build and operate two electric transmission lines to connect a proposed offshore wind-powered energy generating facility to the regional electric power grid. The power company demonstrated that the project was needed; compatible with environmental, public health, and safety considerations; and required to serve the public interest and convenience. In addition, the project conformed with state and local laws, except for limited aspects of the Cape Cod Act and the regional policy plan, exemption from which was reasonable and consistent with the siting board's statutory mandate to provide a reliable energy supply with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost. In addition, the state environmental agency's water-dependent use regulation, under which the transmission lines were deemed water dependent, is valid.Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, Inc. v. Energy Facilities Siting Board, No.10596, 40 ELR 20245 (Mass. Aug. 31, 2010).

NEW JERSEY SPILL COMPENSATION AND CONTROL ACT:

A New Jersey appellate court held that liability under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act is not imposed if a party's only link to the discharge is through the passive migration of pre-existing contamination. Accordingly, the court affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a property owner's claims against a prior owner because the evidence did not permit a finding that there had been a discharge during the period of the previous owner's ownership. The lower court also properly dismissed the owner's common law claims and denied its motion to add a new common law claim on the ground that the six-year limitation period, which commenced in 1998 when the owner knew it had a basis for asserting claims based on contamination of the property, had expired when the complaint was filed.Northern International Remail & Express Co. v. Robbins, No. A-4652-08, 40 ELR 20238 (N.J. App. Ct. Aug. 18, 2010).

MINERAL LEASES, RIGHT OF ACTION:

A Louisiana appellate court reversed a lower court decision denying property owners' right to sue oil and gas companies for contamination and damages due to their past operations on the site. The operations were conducted under mineral leases that remain active today. The owners purchased the site in 2004, and the 2004 deed of sale does not include a specific assignment of the right to sue for property damages that may have occurred prior to their acquisition of the property. The lower court held that the owners' tort/contract action was a personal right and that the owner of real property who sells it after damage has occurred, but without assigning the right to the damages, is the proper person to sue for the damages. But according to the Third Circuit, the right to restoration of damaged property is a real right that attaches to the property. Moreover, the Mineral Code places the lessee under an obligation to act as a prudent operator as to both the surface and subsurface. An assignment does not relieve the lessee of its obligation under the mineral lease. Rather, the leasehold owners--the oil and gas companies--have a continuing and correlative responsibility as to the surface owner. But in all other respects, the lower court's decision was affirmed.Wagoner v. Chevron USA, Inc., No. 45,507-CA, 40 ELR 20237 (La. Ct. App. Aug. 18, 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 finalized amendments to the NESHAPs from the Portland cement manufacturing industry and to the new source performance standards for Portland cement plants.75 FR 54970(9/9/10).
  • EPA updated outer continental shelf air regulations for California.75 FR 55277(9/10/10).
  • EPA proposed a federal implementation plan to allow states to issue permits under the new source review PSD program for sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs).75 FR 53883(9/2/10).
  • EPA proposed to find that 13 states with EPA-approved SIP new source review PSD programs are substantially inadequate to meet CAA requirements because they do not apply PSD requirements to GHG-emitting sources and to require these states, through a "SIP Call," to revise their SIPs as necessary to correct such inadequacies.75 FR 53892(9/2/10).
  • EPA proposed a method for measuring total reduced sulfur emissions from stationary sources.75 FR 53908(9/2/10).
  • EPA announced the availability of allowance allocations under the Clean Air Interstate Rule Nitrogen Oxide Annual Trading Program for Delaware and the District of Columbia.75 FR 52940(8/30/10).
  • EPA entered into a proposed settlement agreement under the CAA that requires the Agency to respond to an administrative petition seeking EPA's objection to a Title V operating permit issued to the Luke Paper Company in Luke, Maryland, by October 18, 2010.75 FR 54873(9/9/10).
  • SIP Approvals:California (attainment of the particulate matter (PM) NAAQS for the Coso Junction planning area)75 FR 54031(9/3/10). Connecticut (1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Greater Connecticut moderate nonattainment area)75 FR 53219(8/31/10). Louisiana (attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Baton Rouge moderate nonattainment area)75 FR 54778(9/9/10). Minnesota (carbon monoxide NAAQS for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area)75 FR 54773(9/9/10).
  • SIP Proposals:Arizona (partial approval of PM NAAQS for the Maricopa County nonattainment area)75 FR 54806(9/9/10); (PM emissions)75 FR 53907(9/2/10). Minnesota (carbon monoxide NAAQS for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area; see above for direct final rule)75 FR 54805(9/9/10).
  • SIP Withdrawal:Maryland (attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Baltimore moderate nonattainment area)75 FR 54497(9/8/10).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA entered into a proposed settlement agreement under CERCLA for reimbursement of past U.S. response costs concerning the Florida Petroleum Reprocessors Superfund site in Davie, Florida.75 FR 53694(9/1/10).
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative order on consent under CERCLA that requires the settling party to execute an environmental covenant and to provide access to real property for past and projected future U.S. response costs at the Standard Mine Superfund site in Gunnison County, Colorado.75 FR 53301(8/31/10).
  • EPA entered into two proposed de minimis administrative agreements under CERCLA that require the settling parties to pay a total of $161,217.67 in past and future U.S. response costs incurred at the Mercury Refining Superfund site in Guilderland and Colonie, New York.75 FR 52942(8/30/10).
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA that requires 32 settling parties to pay $1,015,013 in U.S. response costs incurred at the Malone Service Company Superfund site in Texas City, Texas.75 FR 55326(9/10/10).
  • EPA announced the availability of and requested public comment on a draft guidance document entitledBest Management Practices for Unused Pharmaceuticals at Health Care Facilities.75 FR 54627(9/8/10).
  • EPA Region 1 approved a modification to New Hampshire's municipal solid waste landfill program.75 FR 53220(8/31/10).
  • EPA Region 1 proposed to approve a modification to New Hampshire's municipal solid waste landfill program; see above for direct final rule.75 FR 53268(8/31/10).

RADIOACTIVE WASTE:

  • EPA announced the availability of and solicited public comment on the proposed approval of the radioactive contact-handled transuranic waste characterization program at the Hanford site in Richland, Washington.75 FR 54631(9/8/10).

WATER:

  • EPA designated an area offshore of Guam as a permanent ocean dredged material disposal site.75 FR 54497(9/8/10).
  • EPA proposed to establish a no discharge zone for sewage discharges from large passenger and oceangoing vessels.75 FR 53914(9/2/10).
  • EPA Region 8 announced its reissuance of five NPDES general permits for wastewater lagoon systems in Indian country in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.75 FR 53299(8/31/10).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS determined threatened status under the ESA for the shovelnose sturgeon due to its similarity of appearance to the endangered pallid sturgeon.75 FR 53598(9/1/10).
  • FWS proposed endangered status under the ESA for the Ozark hellbender throughout its entire range, but did not designate critical habitat.75 FR 54561(9/8/10).
  • FWS proposed to include the hellbender and its two subspecies in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.75 FR 54579(9/8/10).
  • FWS announced a revised 12-month finding on a petition to list the upper Missouri River distinct population segment of Arctic grayling as endangered or threatened under the ESA; the Agency found that listing is warranted but precluded by higher priority actions.75 FR 54708(9/8/10).
  • FWS announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the white-sided jackrabbit as endangered and to designate critical habitat under the ESA; the Agency found that listing is not warranted.75 FR 53615(9/1/10).
  • FWS announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Jemez Mountains salamander as an endangered or threatened species and to designate critical habitat under the ESA; the Agency found that listing is warranted but precluded by higher priority actions.75 FR 54822(9/9/10).
  • The National Marine Fisheries Service announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the China rockfish and the tiger rockfish as endangered or threatened under the ESA; the agency found that listing is not warranted.75 FR 52928(8/30/10).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • In re ASARCO, LLC, No. 05-21207 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. Aug. 24, 2010). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $100,000 to the United States for violations at the Kelly Camp Mine site located within the Colville National Forest in Ferry County, Washington.75 FR 55351(9/10/10).
  • United States v. FMC Corp., No. 99-296-E-BLW (D. Idaho Aug. 31, 2010). A settling CERCLA defendant must implement an amended remedy at a cost of approximately $50 million at the Eastern Michaud Flat Superfund site near Pocatello, Idaho, to assess and control past and ongoing releases of phosphorus and other contaminants of concern from its Simplot operable unit.75 FR 54651(9/8/10).
  • United States v. Air Products LLC, No. 4:10-cv-03074 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 25, 1010). A settling RCRA defendant responsible for violations at its chemical manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas, must pay a $1.485 million civil penalty, must manage spent sulfuric acid on site, and must certify compliance with labeling and other requirements for its hazardous waste storage tanks.75 FR 53717(9/1/10).
  • United States v. International Paper Co., Action No. 10-cv-03749-ADM-XXX (D. Minn. Aug. 26, 2010). Settling CERCLA defendants responsible for violations at the St. Regis Paper Company Superfund site in Cass Lake, Minnesota, must pay a total of $3,662,975 in U.S. response costs incurred at the site.75 FR 53718(9/1/10).
  • United States v. City of Revere, No. 1:10-cv-11460 (D. Mass. Aug. 25, 2010). A settling CWA defendant that discharged pollutants from its sanitary and storm sewer systems and failed to report sanitary sewer overflows must pay a $130,000 civil penalty and must implement remedial measures to its systems over a period of 12 years at an estimated cost of approximately $50 million.75 FR 53342(8/31/10).

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

THE CONGRESS

Congress is currently on recess but will reconvene September 13.

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:

 

AlabamaCaliforniaDelawareFloridaIdahoIndianaIowaLouisianaMarylandNew JerseyNew MexicoOhioOklahomaOregonSouth CarolinaTexas

 

ALABAMA

Air:

CALIFORNIA

Air:

  • The Air Resources Board proposed amendments to the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program. Changes would allow commercial truck and bus fleets to submit evidence of passing a Smog Check inspection as proof of compliance with the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program. The hearing will be on October 21, 2010, and the deadline for written comments is October 20. Seehttp://www.oal.ca.gov/res/docs/pdf/notice/36z-2010.pdf(pp. 1362-65).
  • The Air Resources Board proposed amendments to the Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Stationary Compression Ignition Engines. There will be a public hearing on October 21, 2010, and the deadline for written comments is October 20.Seehttp://www.oal.ca.gov/res/docs/pdf/notice/36z-2010.pdf (pp. 1366-77).

DELAWARE

Air:

FLORIDA

Energy:

  • The Executive Office of the Governor proposed to amend Fla. Admin. Code r. 27N-3.001, the ENERGY STAR rebate program. Changes would authorize a third party to administer the HVAC program and would establish which HVAC systems qualify for the rebate, the amount of the rebate, program duration, and application requirements. The comment period closes September 24, 2010. Seehttps://www.flrules.org/Gateway/View_notice.asp?id=9083000.

IDAHO

Water:

INDIANA

Air:

IOWA

Wildlife:

  • The Natural Resources Commission amended Iowa Admin. Code §571.113, Restitution for Pollution Causing Injury to Wild Animals. Amendments define "priority watershed" and direct compensation collected for natural resource damages from the vicinity of the loss to priority watersheds selected by the Department. A priority watershed is now one in which the principle objective is to manage wild animals and their habitats. The new rules take effect October 13, 2010. Seehttp://www.legis.state.ia.us/aspx/ACODOCS/DOCS/09-08-2010.Bulletin.pdf(pp. 392-93).

LOUISIANA

Water:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality proposed amendments to La. Admin. Code tit. 33:IX §1:9, Spill Prevention and Control. Changes would increase the minimum container volume for applicability of the spill prevention provisions from 660 gallons to 1320 gallons, establish a de minimis container size for aggregate container applicability that excludes containers smaller than 55 gallons of oil from consideration, and increase the interval between operators' required reviews of their spill prevention plans from three years to five years. Seehttp://www.doa.la.gov/osr/reg/1008/1008.pdf(pp. 1778-80).

MARYLAND

Water:

  • The Department of Environment proposed to amend Md. Code Regs. 26.17.01 to improve and expand soil erosion and sediment control. Written comments will be accepted until the public hearing on September 27, 2010. Seehttp://www.dsd.state.md.us/mdregister/3718.pdf(pp. 1244-51).

NEW JERSEY

Energy:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection adopted the new regulations N.J. Admin. Code §7:7-7:31 to facilitate review and construction of renewable energy facilities in appropriate locations in the coastal area. Changes add new permits and permits-by-rule for the construction of wind turbines and solar panels. Changes also institute plans to monitor and evaluate habitat and describe situations in which turbine or panel construction is not appropriate. The rules took effect September 7, 2010, and expire March 21, 2011. Seehttp://www.lexisnexis.com/njoal/(42 N.J.R. 2066 (b)).

NEW MEXICO

Air:

  • The Environmental Improvement Board proposed to amend N.M. Code R. 20.2.70, 20.2.74 and 20.2.301 to alter the air permitting program to reflect the designation of greenhouse gases as a regulated air pollutant under the CAA and to establish reporting requirements. There will be a public hearing on November 8, 2010. Seehttp://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmregister/xxi/xxi16/EIBnotice1.pdf.

OHIO

Air:

OKLAHOMA

Water:

OREGON

Water:

SOUTH CAROLINA

Air:

  • The Department of Health and Environmental Control proposed amendments to sections of the Air Permit Modeling Guidelines that address criteria that are used to determine which emissions subject to S.C. Reg. 61.62.5, Standard 2 and 7, may be exempted or deferred from air dispersion modeling at the time of a request for a construction permit or operating permit modification. The deadline for written comments is September 27, 2010. Seehttp://www.scdhec.gov/administration/regs/notice-air-model.htm.

TEXAS

Air:

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

INTERNATIONAL

WORLD BANK APPOINTS CLEAN ENERGY "CZAR"

The World Bank announced the appointment ofDaniel Kammen, an energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley,to be thechief technical specialist for renewable energy and energy efficiency. A primary responsibility of the role will be to assist the 1.5 billion people that have no access to clean and reliable energy sources, in addition to addressing climate change and development issues as linked challenges. The Bank has recently taken actions to combat climate change and deforestation, especially in developing areas, and, in June, it appointed Andrew Steer to be the first special envoy on climate change. However, the Bank has fallen under fire for financing carbon-heavy projects, like South African utility Eskom's coal-fired power plant. Steer has appeared reticent to openly discuss his own views on Bank decisions and policies but has said that the majority of World Bank shareholders have expressed a desire to include environmental protections in future loans. For the full story on Kammen, seehttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68840120100909. For recent news on Steer, seehttp://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/09/09/09climatewire-world-banks-climate-change-envoy-steers-arou-12297.html.

BRAZIL INCREASES INVESTMENT IN BIOFUELS

In spite of an upcoming tour by Prince Charles on a biofuel powered train, climate advisors warned the United Kingdom to cut its 2020 biofuel target. The Committee on Climate Change advised that the country's goal to obtain ten percent of transport fuel from renewable sources may harm climate goals by encouraging deforestation to make room for biofuel crops. The committee advised a goal of eight percent. The country's biofuel supply recently came under fire by the Renewable Fuels Agency, which claimed that the vast majority of biofuels sold there did not conform to environmental standards, and the conversion to biofuels has been blamed for the soaring price of wheat. The country is currently short on its 2020 energy targets, which include 12 percent of heat energy coming from renewable sources--it's currently at 1 percent. In addition, the country is falling short of renewable energy targets required by European Union goals, including the installation of 3 GW of wind energy by 2020. The UK is currently at 1 GW. For the story on the Committee on Climate, seehttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6890RX20100910. For the story on biofuels and environmental standards, seehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11112837. For the story on food prices and biofuels in the UK, seehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/sep/05/wheat-price-fears-over-biofuels.

ESKOM TO INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

The South African state power utility Eskom announced its plans to procure and fund renewable energy projects to relieve the country's power shortages. Starting in October or November, the utility will start a year-long procurement plan to add over 1,000 megawatts to the national grid. Plans include solar and wind plants in the Eastern, Northern, and Western Cape provinces. The utility is struggling to raise the 385 billion rand necessary to expand the nation's power capacity, and it had a 115 billion rand shortfall in its budget plans for the next five years, but Eskom announced that it may win an extra 150 billion from the National Treasury. Eskom faced criticism earlier this year for its plans to build the fourth dirtiest coal power plant in the world. South Africa's power supply still comes overwhelmingly from coal. For the full story, seehttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/09/10/bloomberg1376-L8J0O46S972C01-0IVGRP7S8JGLKAG7HG2QSVQAU7.DTL.

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

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