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Weekly Update Volume 40, Issue 5

02/08/2010

APA, PARKS MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss environmental groups’ action against the National Park Service (NPS) on the grounds that NPS did not act arbitrarily and capriciously under the APA by adopting a management plan that permitted the continued use of motorized raft and support equipment in Grand Canyon National Park. In their action, the groups argued that the plan was arbitrary and capricious because it violated NPS’s own policies and decisions. The court held that, since the policies did not prescribe substantive rules and were not promulgated in conformance with the procedures of the APA, they were not enforceable against NPS. And, considering the plan’s general consistency with the policies, as well as the leeway given federal agencies in interpreting their own policies and regulations, the policies do not render the plan arbitrary and capricious. In regards to prior decisions, the plan cannot be arbitrary and capricious solely because it differs from earlier decisions made by NPS. Part of the discretion granted to federal agencies is the freedom to change positions. The groups also argued that the plan violated the NPS Concessions Management and Improvement Act (Concessions Act) and the NPS Organic Act (Organic Act). In light of the judicial presumption favoring validity of administrative actions and the administrative discretion granted NPS under the Concessions Act, the court held that NPS did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when it found that the types and levels of motorized uses authorized by the plan were necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the park. The court further held that NPS did not act arbitrarily or capriciously since the plan did not interfere with free access by the public or impair the natural soundscape of the park within the meaning of the Organic Act.River Runners for Wilderness v. Martin, No. 08-15112, 40 ELR 20033 (9th Cir. Feb. 1, 2010).

DOE, NUCLEAR WASTE, JURISDICTION

The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court decision holding that a circuit court mandamus order, which interpreted DOE’s obligations to a nuclear power producer under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), was void and not entitled to anyres judicataeffect in a breach of contract action. In that action, the producer sought damages on account of DOE’s failure to accept nuclear waste starting on the deadline set forth in the contract between DOE and the producer. This deadline was also mandated under NWPA. DOE proposed to defend in part on the grounds that its failure to meet the deadline was excused under the “Unavoidable Delays” clause of the contract. The producer sought to bar DOE from asserting this defense as it conflicted with a circuit court order that interpreted DOE’s obligations to it under NWPA. In response, DOE asserted that, because the circuit court lacked jurisdiction in the prior matters, its order was void. Reviewing each of three grounds relied on by the lower court, the court held that the circuit court had jurisdiction in the prior matters. First, the court held that NWPA §119 places review of matters arising under NWPA §302 in a court of appeals. Even if the statute is regarded as ambiguous, any such ambiguity must be resolved in favor of court of appeals review. Second, according APA §10(c) its natural meaning, the “no adequate remedy” requirement of this provision is associated with “nonstatutory review” and does not apply to special statutory review provisions such as §119. Since §10(c) is not an impediment to court of appeals review, APA §10(a) acts to waive sovereign immunity for judicial review by the circuit court. Finally, the circuit court order was issued pursuant to its authority to construe NWPA and to direct DOE to comply with its obligations under the statute. Even though it was clear that the order would affect later litigation over contract-based rights, it remains the case that the circuit court was interpreting statutory, not contractual, rights. Accordingly, the circuit court’s action was not impliedly forbidden by the Tucker Act.Nebraska Public Power District v. U.S., No. 2007-5083, 40 ELR 20036 (Fed Cir. Jan. 12, 2010).

HAZARDOUS WASTE, TORTS, EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

A district court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment to dismiss personal injury plaintiffs' claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress relating to the improper disposal of hazardous waste. Relying on prior caselaw, the court held that a plaintiff asserting a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress must show that the defendant’s conduct was directed at that particular plaintiff. It is not enough to show that the defendant knew or should have known that there may be people in the area who might be affected by its conduct. Since plaintiffs failed to submit any evidence showing that defendants’ conduct was directed at them in particular, their claim was dismissed.Whitlock v. Pepsi Americas, No. C08-2742, 40 ELR 20035 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 26, 2010) (Illston, J.).

CAA, SIP, CITIZEN SUITS

A district court granted an environmental group’s motion to reconsider its ruling that CAA §304(a)(1) does not permit the group to bring a citizen suit against the State of Ohio for failing to enforce and implement the Ohio SIP. The Ohio EPA adopted revised Ohio Administrative Code §3745-31-05(A)(3), which exempted new and modified sources that have the potential to emit less than 10 tons per year of NAAQS pollution or precursors to NAAQS pollution from the Ohio SIP requirement to use best available technology (BAT). Ohio EPA ceased enforcing and implementing the BAT requirement against such sources before it submitted a proposed SIP revision to EPA. When it finally submitted a revision, the EPA concluded that it was incomplete and could not be processed. The environmental group filed suit against the state and then sought partial summary judgment on its count that the Ohio EPA’s adoption and enforcement of the revisions violated CAA §§110 and 116. Relying on a Sixth Circuit opinion decided under an analogous statute, the court held that, because a state violates an emission standard or limitation each time it fails to enforce it, citizens may bring suit against a state under CAA §304(a)(1)(A) when the state fails to enforce a SIP emission standard or limitation. The court went on to hold that Ohio EPA’s failure to enforce and implement the Ohio SIP violated CAA §§110 and 116, and granted the environmental group partial summary judgment.Sierra Club v. Korleski, No. 2:08-cv-865, 40 ELR 20034 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 2, 2010) (Abel, M.J.).

HAZARDOUS WASTE, CONTRACTS, INDEMNITY CLAUSE

A district court denied a property seller’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that the sale agreement between the seller and buyer did not bar statutory claims asserted by the buyer under CERCLA, RCRA, and the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act. The court held that, although the agreement clearly indicated that the parties intended that there would be a mutual three-year indemnity and hold harmless provision, this provision must be construed together with the nonwaiver of remedies provision. Construing the agreement as a whole, the court concludes that the indemnification provision of the agreement is cumulative and not exclusive. Since the claims asserted by the buyer do not arise under the agreement, they are not barred by it.Trinity Indus., Inc. v. Greenlease Holding Co., No. 08-1498, 40 ELR 20037 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 29, 2010) (Conti, J.).

WATER APPROPRIATION

The Nevada Supreme Court reversed and remanded a lower court decision that held that the Nevada State Engineer did not violate his statutory duty by failing to rule on the water appropriation applications of a regional water authority within one year of the protest period closing. At the time the applications were filed, Nev. Rev. Stat. §533.370(2) required the State Engineer to approve or reject water appropriation applications within one year of the final protest date, except where written authorization from the applicant and protestants was obtained or where an ongoing water supply study or court action necessitated postponement. The State Engineer failed to show that either of these exceptions applied. The State Engineer nonetheless argued that, pursuant to amendments made to §533.370 thirteen years after the applications were filed, he was allowed to postpone a ruling on “pending” applications made for municipal purposes. The court disagreed, finding that “pending” applications are those that were filed within one year prior to the amendment being enacted (i.e. those in which the one-year period under §533.370 had not yet passed). And, in the absence of statutory language and legislative history demonstrating an intent that the amendment apply retroactively to the regional water authority’s application, the State Engineer could not take action on them pursuant to the amendment. The State Engineer therefore violated his statutory duty. The court reversed and remanded for the lower court to determine whether the regional water authority must file new water appropriation applications or whether the State Engineer must re-notice the original applications and reopen the period in which protests may be filed.Great Basin Water Network v. Taylor, No. 49718, 40 ELR 20031 (Nev. Jan. 28, 2010).

STANDING, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

A California appellate court affirmed a lower court’s decision to vacate an ordinance issued by the City of Manhattan Beach, which prohibited certain retailers from distributing plastic bags to customers at the point of sale, until the city prepared an environmental impact report pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). On the basis of an initial study, the city concluded that the plastic bag distribution ban could not have a significant effect on the environment, and adopted the ordinance without completing an environmental impact report. Plaintiff, an association of plastic bag manufacturers that would be economically damaged by the ordinance, filed a writ of mandamus to require the city to complete an environmental impact report before implementing the ban. As a preliminary matter, the city argued that plaintiff did not have standing to bring the writ since it did not have the requisite “beneficial interest.” The court disagreed, holding that, under the public right/duty exception to the beneficial interest requirement for a writ of mandate, plaintiff had standing. That some of plaintiff’s members might benefit commercially does not deny it standing. On the merits, after determining that the ordinance was a project within the meaning of the CEQA, the court held that, based on substantial evidence in the record, it could be fairly argued that a plastic bag distribution ban may have a significant impact on the environment: a plastic bag ban is likely to lead to increased use of paper as well as reusable bags; paper bags have greater negative environmental effects as compared to plastic bags; and the negative environmental effects include greater nonrenewable energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, solid waste production and acid rain. An environmental impact report must therefore be prepared.Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach, No. B215788, 40 ELR 20030 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2010).

FORESTS, TIMBER HARVESTING PLANS, MITIGATION MEASURES

A California appellate court reversed a lower court’s dismissal of an action on the grounds that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) improperly granted an exemption from the California Forest Practice Act (FPA) to a property owner to convert his timberland to an orchard without environmental review. One of the mitigation measures in two expired timber harvesting plans for the same property was that the trees in question remain in place to protect the plaintiff neighbor’s property. In his action, plaintiff objected to the exemption on the grounds that, among other things, (1) it violated the FPA and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it would destroy a mitigation previously deemed necessary; and (2) the property owner did not have, and CDF failed to determine he had, a bona fide intent to convert the land to an orchard. The court held that, where a public agency has adopted a mitigation measure for a project, it may not authorize destruction or cancellation of the mitigation – whether or not the approval is ministerial – without reviewing the continuing need for the mitigation, stating a reason for its actions and supporting its actions with substantial evidence. The CDF must therefore justify its decision to allow the timber to be harvested. As to bona fide intent, the court held that, in light of the factual dispute raised by the administrative record, it was incumbent upon the CDF to determine whether the property owner had a bona fide intent to convert the property. The record contained no such determination. For these and other reasons, the court reversed the lower court’s dismissal of the action.Katzeff v. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, No. A122642, 40 ELR 20032 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2010).

THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

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

AIR:

  • SIP Approval:Arizona (excess emissions for Albuquerque-Bernalillo County)75 FR 5698(2/4/010).
  • SIP Proposal:Arizona (excess emissions for Albuquerque-Bernalillo County; see above for direct final rule)75 FR 5707(2/4/10).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:

  • EPA proposed adding the waste management and remediation services industry, the wood product manufacturing industry, the fabricated metal product manufacturing industry, the electronics and electrical equipment manufacturing industry, and hazardous substances recycling facilities to those for which the Agency plans to develop, as necessary, a proposed regulation identifying appropriate financial responsibility requirements under CERCLA §108(b).75 FR 5715(2/4/10).

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT:

  • The president issued "A Comprehensive Federal Strategy on Carbon Capture and Storage."75 FR 6087(2/5/10).

TOXIC SUBSTANCES:

  • EPA proposed a significant new use rule under §5(a)(2) of TSCA for the chemical substance identified generically as multi-walled carbon nanotubes.75 FR 5546(2/3/10).
  • EPA promulgated significant new use rules under §5(a)(2) of TSCA for 15 chemical substances.75 FR 4983(2/1/10).

WATER:

  • EPA proposed to designate two new ocean dredged material disposal sites near the mouth of the Siuslaw River, Oregon, under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.75 FR 5708(2/4/10).
  • EPA Region 1 issued draft NPDES general permits for discharges from small municipal separate storm sewer systems in Massachusetts.75 FR 5788(2/4/10).

WILDLIFE:

  • FWS proposed to reestablish the Sonoran pronghorn as a nonessential experimental population in southwestern Arizona under §10(j) of the ESA.75 FR 5732(2/4/10).
  • FWS proposed to reclassify the Okaloosa darter from endangered to threatened under the ESA and to allow Eglin Air Force Base to continue activities under a special rule.75 FR 5263(2/2/10).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:

  • United States v. Lafarge North America, Inc., No. 10-CV-00044 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 21, 2010). Settling CAA defendants must pay a $5,075,000 civil penalty for violations of PSD, new source review, and SIP provisions at their Portland cement plants across the country, must implement pollution control technologies to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide at certain facilities, and must meet established emission limits. 75 FR 6060 (2/5/10).
  • United States v. Nassau Metals Corp., Inc., No. 3: 96-CV-562 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 28, 2010). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay $753,222 in U.S. response costs incurred at the C&D Recycling Superfund site, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and must pay all future response costs incurred at the site.75 FR 5806(2/4/10).
  • United States v. Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, No. 93-3213 (E.D. La. Jan. 27, 2010). Under a modified 1998 consent decree, a settling CWA defendant must continue the comprehensive remediation program interrupted by Hurricane Katrina and must complete the plan by no later than July 2015.75 FR 5807(2/4/10).
  • United States v. U.S. Borax Inc., No. 4:10-cv-00057 (W.D. Mo. Jan. 20, 2010). A settling CERCLA defendant must pay past and future U.S. response costs incurred at the Armour Road Superfund site in North Kansas City, Missouri, and must perform a remedial investigation and feasibility study for the site, all at an expected cost of $600,000.75 FR 5343(2/2/10).
  • United States v. Newell Holdings Delaware, Inc., No. 5:07-cv-164 (N.D. W. Va. Jan. 27, 2010). A settling CERCLA defendant must market and sell the Eighth and Plutus Streets Pottery Superfund site in Chester, West Virginia, to pay a percentage of net sales proceeds for U.S. response costs incurred at the site.75 FR 5344(2/2/10).
  • United States v. United Fibers, LLC, No. 1:09-cv-00602 (GLS/RFT) (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 21, 2010). Settling CERCLA defendants must pay $498,519.18 in U.S. response costs incurred at the Stevens & Thompson Paper Company Superfund site in Washington County, New York.75 FR 5344(2/2/10).

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

THE CONGRESS

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

Committee Action

  • S. 850 (Magnuson-Stevens)was reported by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. S. Rep. No. 111-124, 156 Cong. Rec. S481 (daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill would amend the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to improve the conservation of sharks, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.
  • S. 952 (algal blooms)was reported by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. S. Rep. No. 111-125, 156 Cong. Rec. S481 (daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill would develop and promote a comprehensive plan for a national strategy to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia through baseline research, forecasting and monitoring, and mitigation and control while helping communities detect, control, and mitigate coastal and Great Lakes harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events, with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.
  • S. 1733 (Clean energy jobs) was reported by the Committee on Environment and Public Works. S. Rep. No. 111-121, 156 Cong. Rec. S438 (daily ed. Feb. 2, 2010). The bill would create clean energy jobs, promote energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy.
  • H.R. 995 (nutrient management)was reported by the House of Representatives. H. Rep. No. 111-407, 156 Cong. Rec. H426 (daily ed. Jan. 29, 2010). The bill would provide a resolution of inquiry requesting the President to transmit to the House of Representatives all information in the possession of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency relating to nutrient management of the Illinois River Watershed, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Bills Introduced

  • S. 2976 (Levin, D-Mich.) (wilderness)would authorize as wilderness certain land and inland water within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the State of Michigan. 156 Cong. Rec. S439 (daily ed. Feb. 2, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2993 (Sanders, I-Vt.).(energy)would increase the quantity of solar photovoltaic electricity by providing rebates for the purchase and installation of an additional 10,000,000 solar roofs and additional solar water heating systems with a cumulative capacity of 10,000,000 gallons by 2019. 156 Cong. Rec. S481 (daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • S. 2995 (Carper, D-Del.) (CAA)would amend the Clean Air Act to establish a national uniform multiple air pollutant regulatory program for the electric generating sector. 156 Cong. Rec. S481 (daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
  • S. 2999 (Udall, D-Colo.)(land use) would provide consistent enforcement authority to the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service to respond to violations of regulations regarding the management, use, and protection of public lands under the jurisdiction of these agencies. 156 Cong. Rec. S482 (daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4558 (Hoekstra, R-Mich.) (wilderness)would designate as wilderness certain lands and inland waters within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the State of Michigan. 156 Cong. Rec. H470 (daily ed. Feb. 2, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4572 (Skelton, D-Mo.) (CAA)would amend the Clean Air Act relating to greenhouse gases. 156 Cong. Rec. H471 (daily ed. Feb. 2, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 4579 (Filner, D-Cal.) (water)would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in phase one of the South San Diego County Water Reclamation Project. 156 Cong. Rec. H554 (daily ed. Feb. 3, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
  • H.R. 4589 (Salazar, D-Colo.) (land use)would provide consistent enforcement authority to the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service to respond to violations of regulations regarding the management, use, and protection of public lands under the jurisdiction of these agencies. 156 Cong. Rec. H555 (daily ed. Feb. 3, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and Committee on Agriculture.
  • H.R. 4597 (Cohen, D-Tenn.) (energy) would increase the quantity of solar photovoltaic electricity by providing rebates for the purchase and installation of an additional 10,000,000 solar roofs and additional solar water heating systems with a cumulative capacity of 10,000,000 gallons by 2019. 156 Cong. Rec. H601(daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  • H.R. 4604 (Hoekstra, R-Mich.) (fisheries) would direct the Secretary of the Army to prevent the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes and the tributaries of the Great Lakes. 156 Cong. Rec. H601(daily ed. Feb. 4, 2010). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • H.R. 4613 (Simpson, R-Idaho) (land)would settle land claims within the Fort Hall Reservation. 156 Cong. Rec. H602(daily ed. Feb. 4, 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:

AlaskaIllinoisLouisianaCaliforniaIndianaMassachusettsDelaware  

ALASKA

Fisheries:

  • The Department of Fish and Game seeks public comment on proposed amendments to Alaska Admin. Code tit. 5, § 95.011, dealing with waters important for the spawning, rearing, or migration of anadromous fish. Several revisions are proposed to be made to the Atlas and Catalog. The list of rivers, lakes, and streams will be updated, including additions, deletions, and changes to the legal descriptions of many of these waters. Minor revisions will be made to the introduction of the Catalog and Atlas, including updates to regional contact information. Species-specific information will be used in place of undifferentiated species information wherever possible. Comments are due March 13, 2010. Seehttp://notes4.state.ak.us/pn/pubnotic.nsf/cc52605f7c156e7a8925672a0060a91b/9bfedada4db91931892576c000072831?OpenDocument

CALIFORNIA

Air:

  • The Air Resources Board will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to Cal. Code Regs. tit. 17, § 70200, Area Designations for State Ambient Air Quality Standards. The amendments would remove language requiring a district to initiate the request for nonattainment transitional designation, add a provision to allow current attainment areas without current monitoring data to remain attainment if emissions have not substantially increased, remove references to Appendix 4 and outdated screening criteria contained therein, and delegates authority to the Executive Officer to review and approve annual changes to area designations and to provide for a public hearing if requested. The hearing will be March 25, 2010. Seehttp://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2010/area10/area10.htm

Water:

  • The State Lands Commission seeks public comment on proposed amendments to Cal. Code Regs. tit. 2, § 2297.1, Performance Standards for the Discharge of Ballast Water for Vessels Operating in California Waters. The proposed amendments would require the submission of information, on forms developed by the Commission, regarding the installation and use of ballast water treatment systems on vessels operating in California waters. Comments are due March 22, 2010. Seehttp://www.slc.ca.gov/Spec_Pub/MFD/Ballast_Water/Ballast_Water_Default.html

DELAWARE

Hazardous & Solid Waste:

ILLINOIS

Air:

  • The Pollution Control Board has adopted amendments to Ill. Admin. Code tit. 35, § 211, Definitions and General Provisions; Ill. Admin. Code tit. 35, § 218, Organic Material Emission Standards and Limitations for the Chicago Area; and Ill. Admin. Code tit. 35, § 219, Organic Material Emission Standards and Limitations for the Metro East Area. Comments are due March 22, 2010.http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/register_volume34_issue6.pdf(pp. 1766-2086)

INDIANA

Air:

LOUISIANA

Toxic Substances:

  • The Department of Environmental Quality has adopted amendments to La. Admin. Code tit. 33, § I.807, Expedited Penalties for Asbestos and Lead. The rule makes additions to the list of violations that may qualify for expedited penalties for certain asbestos and lead violations. Seehttp://www.doa.la.gov/osr/reg/0901/0901.pdf(pp. 63-5)

MASSACHUSETTS

Toxic Substances:

  • The Department of Environmental Protection has adopted emergency amendments to 314 Mass. Code Regs. 19.00, Oil Spill Prevention and Response. The amendments add provisions for the dispatch of state-provided tugboat escort services for tank vessels carrying 6,000 barrels or more of oil in Buzzards Bay and specify equipment, manning, and response requirements related to the operation of state-provided tugboat escorts. Seehttp://www.mass.gov/dep/cleanup/laws/spillact.htm#tugreg

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

INTERNATIONAL

CHINA OUTPACES EU AND U.S. WITH NEW WIND TURBINES

According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), last year China nearly doubled its wind energy capacity in 2009 with 13 gigawatts of new generating capacity, compared to 10.5 gigawatts in Europe and 9.9 gigawatts in the United States. Overall, the global industry boosted capacity by 31 percent to 158 gigawatts. Despite its cautious stance at climate talks in Copenhagen, China has continued to develop green power. "The Chinese government is taking very seriously its responsibility to limit carbon dioxide emissions while providing energy for its growing economy," said Li Junfeng, secretary general of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association. Increasing oil prices as the current economic crisis wanes have bolstered the investment case for wind energy, said Christian Kjaer, chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). For the full story, visithttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6123X520100203

FRANCE BACKS BAN ON BLUEFIN TUNA EXPORTS

France has joined several Mediterranean countries in calling for the addition of bluefin tuna to the list compiled by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Overfishing has significantly reduced Atlantic bluefin tuna populations. Conservationists estimate that numbers have fallen to about 15% of their pre-industrial levels. For the full story, visithttp://www.economist.com/research/articlesbysubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=348924&story_id=15328534

HACKERS ATTACK EUROPE CARBON REGISTRIES

Carbon trading registries in half of Europe have been hit by hackers who broke security systems to steal emissions rights certificates from companies last week, the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) newspaper reported. "There has been a highly professional attack," a spokesman for the German carbon registry DEHSt was quoted as saying. Carbon trading under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme has not been impaired by the case which is now being investigated by the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, the newspaper said.An email phishing scam forced several European emissions registries to close temporarily last week after a suspect email was sent to market participants requesting their account details. The scam didn't affect the market, but traders said they had received warning emails after the European Commission advised registries to notify account holders. Registry entries denoting ownership changes of carbon certificates have not been possible since last Friday, and this would remain the case for the rest of the week at DEHSt, the newspaper said. For the full story, seehttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6121JW20100203

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

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