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Weekly Update Volume 41, Issue 12

04/18/2011

LITIGATION 

CAA, GREENHOUSE GASES, INTERVENTION:

A district court denied two aviation associations' motions to intervene in a case asking the court to order EPA to use its authority under the CAA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from marine vessels, aircraft, and other nonroad vehicles. The aviation associations filed the instant motions to intervene in support of EPA. The associations, however, failed to establish Article III standing. The implementation and enforcement of new emissions standards--and thus, the economic consequences thereof--are too hypothetical and too far removed to constitute a “certainly impending,” causally connected injury for standing purposes. The environmental groups seeking to compel agency action merely ask EPA to make an endangerment finding. The association's alleged economic injury, however, is based entirely on the potential substantive outcome of EPA's endangerment determination, an issue not before the court. If the court were to order EPA to make an endangerment finding, the associations would only suffer economic harm if EPA were to then make a positive finding and initiate a rulemaking establishing emissions standards that forced the movants to spend money. Center for Biological Diversity v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 10-00985, 41 ELR 20147 (D.D.C. Apr. 11, 2011) (Kennedy, Jr., J.).


NEPA, NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE:

A district court held that FWS complied with NEPA when it approved the opening and expansion of sport hunting in 60 National Wildlife Refuges. Between 1997 and 2005, the FWS issued nine final rules creating or expanding recreational hunting opportunities on 60 wildlife refuges. In 2006, a court held that FWS failed to consider the cumulative impacts of increased hunting prior to promulgating the rules in violation of NEPA. It therefore granted FWS additional time to complete a new environmental analysis. In 2007, the FWS completed the revised EAs, again concluding hunting would not have a significant impact on the overall environment, thereby resulting in a finding of no significant impact (FONSI). The FWS also conducted a supplemental cumulative impact analysis in 2008. The plaintiffs in the 2006 case renewed their lawsuit, again challenging FWS' decision not to prepare an EIS. They argued that the FWS failed to address the cumulative impact of increased hunting on non-hunting visitors, migratory birds, and endangered species. But the FWS' bottom-up analysis identified and assessed the cumulative impact of increased hunting across the entire refuge system. The record also demonstrates that the FWS' EA and FONSI are neither arbitrary nor capricious. The FWS also complied with the prior court order in reaching its decisions. Accordingly, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the government. Fund for Animals v. Hall, No. 1:03-CV-0677, 41 ELR 20149 (D.D.C. Apr. 13, 2011) (Gwin, J.).


CERCLA, RCRA:

A district court, on motions for summary judgment, held that a property owner may go forward with its CERCLA claims against a printing company for environmental contamination stemming from the company's operations, but it dismissed the owner's RCRA claims against the company. The printing company argued that the owner's CERLCA claim should be dismissed because its remediation of the site failed to conform to the national contingency plan (NCP). But to establish compliance with the NCP, a plaintiff need only show that its remediation was conducted under the aegis of a state environmental agency. Here, the owner acted under a consent order with the state environmental agency. Because there is a genuine dispute over the material issue of whether the owner's partial noncompliance rendered its remediation effort inconsistent with the NCP, the court denied the company's motion for summary judgment. But the court granted the company's motion for summary judgment on the owner's RCRA claim. The owner seeks an order enjoining the company from the disposal of solid and hazardous waste at the site and directing it to investigate and remediate the contamination caused by its disposal practice. But the owner seeks to enjoin activity in which the company no longer engages and to direct a remediation that is already being conducted under the supervision of the state. As such, the court cannot award the relief sought. Rococo Associates, Inc. v. Award Packaging Corp., No. 06-CV-975, 41 ELR 20148 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2011) (Seybert, J.).


WATER QUALITY, COOLING WATER INTAKE STRUCTURES:

Massachusetts' highest court vacated a nuclear power company's action seeking a judgment declaring that state regulations governing cooling water intake structures (CWIS) exceeded the state environmental agency's authority under the commonwealth's Clean Waters Act. A lower court ruled that the regulations, as applied to the CWIS at issue in this case, were ultra vires and beyond the agency's authority to adopt. But the Act authorizes the agency to regulate cooling water intake structures when it is reasonably necessary to protect water resources. It is true that the Act emphasizes, as the primary mechanism for achieving water quality, the management of water pollution in the traditional sense. But the Act's emphasis on traditional threats to water resources cannot be read to deprive the agency of authority to address atypical or novel threats that may also harm those resources. Accordingly, the absence of references to CWISs or water withdrawals in the Act is not material. Here, the agency has concluded that regulation of CWISs may be necessary to perform its duties under the Act. Nothing in the record would suggest that that determination is unreasonable. The ecological harms associated with CWISs are well understood--the intake of water by a CWIS at a single power plant can kill or injure billions of aquatic organisms in a single year. Accordingly, authority to regulate CWISs reasonably may be implied as necessary to protect water quality in the commonwealth, and the CWIS regulations at issue here, which implement that authority, are not ultra vires. Entergy Nuclear Generation Co. v. Department of Environmental Protection, No. SJC-10732, 41 ELR 20150 (Mass. Apr. 11, 2011) (Defense counsel included Assistant Attorney General Andrew Goldberg, Environmental Protection Division, in Boston, Mass.).


CONCENTRATED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS, RULEMAKING:

A Michigan appellate court upheld the state environmental agency's concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) rule. The challenged rule falls within the scope of the agency's statutory rulemaking authority, is rationally related to the agency's statutory mandate to protect Michigan's waters from pollution, and is neither arbitrary nor capricious as a matter of law. As such, the agency was fully authorized to require CAFOs to either seek and obtain an NPDES permit--irrespective of whether they actually discharge pollutants--or satisfactorily demonstrate that they have no potential to discharge. The fact that the state agency adopted portions of federal regulations struck down in Waterkeeper Alliance, Inc. v Environmental Protection Agency, 399 F3d 486, 35 ELR 20049 (2d Cir. 2005), does not necessarily mean that the corresponding state regulation is invalid. Rather, the powers conferred upon the agency by Michigan's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act are broader than the powers conferred upon EPA by the CWA, and the reasoning of the Waterkeeper decision does not apply in this case. Michigan Farm Bureau v. Department of Environmental Quality, No. 290323, 41 ELR 20151 (Mich. Ct. App. Mar. 29, 2011).


Copyright© 2011, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


THE FEDERAL AGENCIES

Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register (FR).


AGRICULTURE:



  • The Forest Service proposed to establish a state-specific rule to provide management direction for conserving and managing inventoried roadless areas on National Forest System lands in Colorado. 76 FR 21272 (4/15/11).

AIR:



  • SIP Approvals: California (nitrogen oxide emissions for the Sacramento metropolitan air quality management district) 76 FR 20242 (4/12/11). District of Columbia (1997 eight-hour ozone and 1997/2006 fine particulate matter (PM) NAAQS) 76 FR 20237 (4/12/11). Florida (PSD construction permit program) 76 FR 20239 (4/12/11). Indiana (sulfur dioxide (SO2) and PM limits) 76 FR 20846 (4/14/11); (volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions at gasoline dispensing facilities) 76 FR 20850 (4/14/11). Kentucky (maintenance plans for the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS) 76 FR 20853 (4/14/11).

  • SIP Proposals: Alabama (attainment of the 1997 annual average fine PM NAAQS for the Birmingham nonattainment area) 76 FR 20291 (4/12/11). Florida (PSD construction permit program; see above for direct final rule) 76 FR 20296 (4/12/11). Indiana (SO2 and PM limits; see above for direct final rule) 76 FR 20906 (4/14/11); (VOC emissions at gasoline dispensing facilities; see above for direct final rule) 76 FR 20910 (4/14/11). New Mexico (PSD permitting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions) 76 FR 20907 (4/14/11). North Carolina/South Carolina (attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill nonattainment area) 76 FR 20293 (4/12/11). Ohio (emissions of organic materials from stationary sources) 76 FR 20598 (4/13/11). Texas (disapproval of interstate transport plan) 76 FR 20602 (4/13/11).

HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE:



  • EPA proposed to revise the procedure for applying threshold planning quantities for extremely hazardous substances that are non-reactive solid chemicals in solution form. 76 FR 21299 (4/15/11).

WATER:



  • EPA announced the availability for public comment of its proposed decision identifying three water quality limited segments and associated pollutants in Louisiana to be listed under CWA §303(d). 76 FR 20664 (4/13/11).

  • EPA Region 2 received a petition to determine whether adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of the Long Island Sound. 76 FR 19989 (4/11/11).

WILDLIFE:



  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the prairie chub as threatened or endangered under the ESA and to designate critical habitat in Oklahoma and Texas; the agency found that listing may be warranted and initiated a status review. 76 FR 20911 (4/14/11).

  • FWS announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Hermes copper butterfly as endangered under the ESA and to designate critical habitat; the agency found that listing is warranted but precluded by higher priority actions. 76 FR 20918 (4/14/11).

  • FWS amended the list of endangered and threatened wildlife under the ESA by adding 10 marine taxa, delisting 1 marine taxon, reclassifying 1 marine taxon, and revising 32 marine taxa. 76 FR 20558 (4/13/11).

  • FWS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Spring Mountains acastus checkerspot butterfly as endangered under the ESA; the agency found that listing may be warranted and initiated a status review. 76 FR 20613 (4/13/11).

  • FWS proposed to list the Three Forks and San Bernardino springsnails as endangered under the ESA and to designate approximately 11.9 acres in Apache and Cochise Counties, Arizona, as critical habitat for the species. 76 FR 20464 (4/12/11).

  • NOAA-Fisheries established regulations under the ESA and the Marine Mammal Protection Act to prohibit vessels from approaching or parking in the path of killer whales, except for a specific no-go zone. 76 FR 20870 (4/14/11).

  • NOAA-Fisheries designated 3,013 square miles in Alaska as critical habitat for the Cook Inlet beluga whale distinct population segment, excluding the Port of Anchorage and portions of military lands. 76 FR 20180 (4/11/11).

DOJ NOTICES OF SETTLEMENT:



  • United States v. Foss Maritime Co., No. 11-cv-5263 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 6, 2011). Settling CERCLA, CWA, and OPA defendants responsible for discharges of oil into the Middle Waterway of the Commencement Bay/Nearshore Tideflats Superfund site in Tacoma, Washington, must pay $7,802,081.29 in U.S. response costs and natural resource damages, must pay $300,000 toward the Trustees' long-term restoration project oversight and stewardship activities and $700,000 to reimburse Trustee damage assessment costs, and must preserve the site of a former marine dock in perpetuity for use as a habitat restoration site. 76 FR 21405 (4/15/11).

  • United States v. Arch Coal, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-00055 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 8, 2011). Settling CERCLA defendants responsible for violations at the Missouri Electric Works Superfund site in Cape Girardieu, Missouri, must pay $145,028.45 in U.S. response costs incurred at the site. 76 FR 21006 (4/14/11).

  • United States v. Williams, No. 11-00689-PHX-MEA (D. Ariz. Apr. 8, 2011). Settling CERCLA defendants responsible for violations at the Gila River Indian Reservation Removal Superfund site in Maricopa County, Arizona, must pay $462,500 in U.S. response costs incurred at the site. 76 FR 20709 (4/13/11).

  • United States v. City of Waukegan, No. 04C 5172 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 31, 2011). A settling CERCLA defendant fire insurance company now responsible for violations at the Waukegan Manufactured Gas and Coke Plant Superfund site in Waukegan, Illinois, must finance implementation of remedial action at the site up to a $10.5 million limit, which represents 50% of past and ongoing remedial costs. 76 FR 20371 (4/12/11).

  • In re Motors Liquidation Corp., No. 09-50026 (REG) (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2011). Settling CERCLA defendants responsible for violations at various sites in New Jersey and New York must provide the United States with an allowed general unsecured claim of $11,571,413. 76 FR 20372 (4/12/11).

  • United States v. Bar-1 Ranch, Ltd., No. 9:09-cv-00130-DWM-JCL (D. Mont. Mar. 31, 2011). Settling CWA defendants that discharged pollutants into waters of the United States without a permit must pay a civil penalty and must restore the impacted areas. 76 FR 20009 (4/11/11).

Copyright© 2011, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


THE CONGRESS

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


Bills Introduced:



  • S. 781 (Thune, R-S.D.) (CAA) would amend the CAA to conform the definition of renewable biomass to the definition given the term in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. 157 Cong. Rec. S2348 (daily ed. Apr. 8, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 791 (Udall, D-N.M.) (uranium mining) would amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to improve compensation for workers involved in uranium mining. 157 Cong. Rec. S2387 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

  • S. 793 (Graham, R-S.C.) (harbor maintenance) would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out harbor deepening projects. 157 Cong. Rec. S2387 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 802 (Inhofe, R-Okla.) (water storage) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the storage and conveyance of nonproject water at the Norman project in Oklahoma. 157 Cong. Rec. S2446 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 806 (Baucus, D-Mont.) (levee systems) would require the Secretary of the Army to conduct levee system evaluations and certifications on receipt of requests from non-federal interests. 157 Cong. Rec. S2446 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 810 (Cantwell, D-Wash.) (great ape conservation) would prohibit the conducting of invasive research on great apes. 157 Cong. Rec. S2446 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 828 (Udall, D-Colo.) (energy) would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to establish the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as the lead Federal agency for coordinating federal, state, and local assistance provided to promote the energy retrofitting of schools. 157 Cong. Rec. S2506 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

  • S. 838 (Tester, D-Mont.) (toxic substances) would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to certain sporting good articles, and to exempt those articles from a definition under that Act. 157 Cong. Rec. S2506 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 841 (Udall, D-Colo.) (energy efficiency) would provide cost-sharing assistance to improve access to the markets of foreign countries for energy efficiency products and renewable energy products exported by small-and medium-sized businesses in the United States. 157 Cong. Rec. S2506 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

  • S. 847 (Lautenberg, D-N. J.) (toxic substances) would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure that risks from chemicals are adequately understood and managed. 157 Cong. Rec. S2507 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 861 (Landrieu, D-La.) (Gulf of Mexico) would restore the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine habitats, and coastal wetland of Gulf Coast states. 157 Cong. Rec. S2507 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • S. 862 (Nelson, D-Fla.) (Gulf of Mexico) would provide for a comprehensive Gulf of Mexico restoration plan. 157 Cong. Rec. S2507 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

  • H.R. 1445 (Broun, R-Ga.) (hunting and fishing) would prohibit the EPA Administrator from regulating, based on material composition, any type of firearm ammunition or fishing tackle. 157 Cong. Rec. H2569 (daily ed. Apr. 8, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1452 (Heinrich, D-N.M.) (uranium mining) would amend the Mineral Leasing Act to provide for the leasing of federal lands for uranium mining. 157 Cong. Rec. H2569 (daily ed. Apr. 8, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 1456 (Kind, D-Wis.) (migratory birds) would reauthorize the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. 157 Cong. Rec. H2569 (daily ed. Apr. 8, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 1461 (Pearce, R-N.M.) (water rights) would authorize the Mescalero Apache Tribe to lease adjudicated water rights. 157 Cong. Rec. H2570 (daily ed. Apr. 8, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 1480 (Guinta, R-N.H.) (Great Bay) would delay enforcement and establishment of certain water quality standards within the Great Bay Estuary. 157 Cong. Rec. H2603 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

  • H.R. 1485 (Herger, R-Cal.) (forest management) would require the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to expedite forest management projects relating to hazardous fuels reduction, forest restoration, forest health, and watershed restoration. 157 Cong. Rec. H2603 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 1487 (Israel, R-N.Y.) (toxic substances) would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban the use of the arsenic compound known as roxarsone as a food additive. 157 Cong. Rec. H2603 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1490 (Lujan, D-N.M.) (uranium mining) would amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to improve compensation for workers involved in uranium mining. 157 Cong. Rec. H2603 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Education and the Workforce, and Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1499 (Shimkus, R-Ill.) (HVAC efficiency standards) would create clean energy jobs and set efficiency standards for small-duct high-velocity air conditioning and heat pump systems. 157 Cong. Rec. H2603 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1500 (Tierney, D-Mass.) (federal land) would direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a boundary study of the lands and waters in the greater Salem Sound and the city of Salem to determine the suitability and feasibility for inclusion within the boundary of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. 157 Cong. Rec. H2603-04 (daily ed. Apr. 12, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 1513 (Bartlett, R-Md.) (great ape conservation) would prohibit the conducting of invasive research on great apes. 157 Cong. Rec. H2664 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1516 (Boswell, D-Iowa) (renewable fuel) would authorize loan guarantees for projects to construct renewable fuel pipelines. 157 Cong. Rec. H2664 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

  • H.R. 1520 (Inslee, D-Wash.) (oil spill prevention) would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require that oil and gas drilling and production operations on the outer continental shelf must have in place the best available technology for blowout preventers and emergency shutoff equipment. 157 Cong. Rec. H2665 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1522 (Mack, R-Fla.) (energy) would repeal the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. 157 Cong. Rec. H2665 (daily ed. Apr. 13, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce; Small Business; Oversight and Government Reform; Science, Space, and Technology; Transportation and Infrastructure; Financial Services; House Administration; Natural Resources; Foreign Affairs; Education and the Workforce; and Ways and Means.

  • H.R. 1533 (Tiberi, R-Ohio) (harbor maintenance) would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exempt certain shipping from the harbor maintenance tax. 157 Cong. Rec. H2854 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

  • H.R. 1553 (Johnson, R-Ill.) (national heritage area) would include Livingston, Union, and Stephenson Counties in Illinois to the Lincoln National Heritage Area. 157 Cong. Rec. H2855 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

  • H.R. 1558 (Miller, R-Fla.) (toxic substances) would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to certain sporting good articles, and to exempt those articles from a definition under that Act. 157 Cong. Rec. H2855 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • H.R. 1568 (Woolsey, D-Calif.) (oil spill) would amend title VII of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. 157 Cong. Rec. H2855 (daily ed. Apr. 14, 2011). The bill was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Copyright© 2011, 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 2011, visit our list of Cumulative State Developments. For state material reported prior to 2011, visit the ELR Archives.


The states below have updates this week:

Arkansas
Colorado
Florida

Illinois
Indiana
Louisiana

Montana
New York
Vermont

ARKANSAS


Energy:



COLORADO


Hazardous & Solid Waste:



  • The Department of Public Safety adopted 8 Colo. Code. Regs. §1507.25, Rules and Regulations Concerning the Permitting, Routing, & Transportation of Hazardous and Nuclear Materials in the Intrastate Transportation of Agricultural Products in the State of Colorado. Regulation changes reflect changes to port of entry nuclear materials inspection and investigative authorities, changes to rules governing the issuance of nuclear materials transportation permits, and updates to current federal regulations. See http://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/Upload/AGORequest/AdoptedRules02011-00028.DOC.

  • The Department of Public Health and Environment proposed to amend 6 Colo. Code. Regs. §1007.2, Regulations Pertaining to Solid Waste Sites and Facilities. Changes relate to applications for solid waste disposal sites. There will be a public hearing on May 17, 2011. See http://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/Upload/NoticeOfRulemaking/ProposedRuleAttach2011-00221.RTF.

  • The Department of Public Health and Environment proposed to amend 6 Colo. Code. Regs. §1007.3, Hazardous Waste, to add "notice of environmental use restriction" to the list of documents subject to review fees. There will be a public hearing on May 17, 2011. See http://www.sos.state.co.us/CCR/Upload/NoticeOfRulemaking/ProposedRuleAttach2011-00213.RTF.

FLORIDA


Air:



  • The Department of Environmental Protection proposed to amend 62 Fla. Admin. Code §210.200, Stationary Sources--General Requirements, and §213.202, Operation Permits for Major Sources of Air Pollution. The proposal would eliminate Title V air general permits and replace them with non-Title V air general permits. The deadline for comment is April 29, 2011. See https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleNo.asp?id=62-210.200.

ILLINOIS


Air:



INDIANA


Wildlife:



  • The Natural Resources Commission amended 312 Ind. Admin. Code §9.5.4 to remove the four-toed salamander from and add the plains leopard frog and mole salamander to the list of endangered species of reptiles and amphibians. The rule takes effect May 13, 2011. See http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/20110413-IR-312110196NIA.xml.pdf.

LOUISIANA


Water:



  • The Office of Conservation amended LAC 56:I chapters 1, 3, 5, and 7 to address numerous typographical changes arising as a result of Act 437 of 2009, which transferred the duties and responsibilities relative to groundwater resources, water wells, and drillers from the Department of Transportation and Development to the Department of Natural Resources. The amendments also require specific latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates in addition to a general hand-drawn location on the water well registration forms in the definition of "as accurately as possible." See http://www.doa.la.gov/osr/reg/1103/1103.pdf (pp. 905-13).

MONTANA


Air:



  • The Board of Environmental Review amended Mont. Admin. R. 17.8.763, pertaining to revocation of permit. Changes relate to failed attempts to reach the permittee by certified mail. The amendment was certified to the Secretary of State on April 4, 2011. See http://sos.mt.gov/arm/Register/archives/MAR2011/MAR11-07.pdf (p. 568).

Water:



  • The Board of Environmental Review proposed to amend Mont. Admin. Code 17.38.101, 17.38.106, 17.38.502, 17.38.511, and 17.38.513 pertaining to plans for public water supply or wastewater system, fees, definitions, water supply, and chemical treatment of water. Changes would add a definition for "rural distribution systems." There will be a public hearing May 11, 2011. See http://sos.mt.gov/arm/Register/archives/MAR2011/MAR11-07.pdf (pp. 521-27).

NEW YORK


Climate:



  • The Department of Environmental Conservation amended N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 6, §§200, 201, & 231, New Source Review Requirements for Proposed New Major Facilities and Major Modifications to Existing Facilities. Changes would alter definitions to include references to carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. The emergency regulation took effect March 28, 2011. See http://www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2011/apr13/pdfs/rules.pdf (pp. 9-16).

VERMONT


Hazardous & Solid Waste:



  • The Waste Management Division proposed a complete revision of subchapter 11 related to organics management, composting, and anaerobic digestion. Revisions would also allow for Research Demonstration and Development Permits to allow for the recirculation of leachate and landfills in subchapter 6. There will be a public hearing on April 26, 2011, and the deadline for comment is May 6. See http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/solid/ProposedRules_MAR2011.htm.

Copyright© 2011, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.


INTERNATIONAL

CHINA TO INCREASE SHALE PRODUCTION; STUDY QUESTIONS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

The deputy director of China's Ministry of Land and Resources said that the country may begin shale gas production within the next five years to "meet rising demand for cleaner-burning fuels," according to Reuters. Deputy director Che Changbo said that China wants to triple the use of natural gas to help cut its reliance on coal. According to a U.S. Energy Department report, shale reserves in China that are "technically recoverable" stand at about 1,275 trillion cubic feet, about 19 percent of the world's 6,622 trillion and about 12 times the amount of conventional gas reserves. In Australia, which is a major supplier of China's shale gas, Pedro Haas, a senior expert with consultants McKinsey and Company, warned a conference in Perth that Chinese domestic production could provide as much as a quarter of the country's gas demand within a few years. A study recently released from Cornell questioned the environmental benefits of shale gas, stating that, due to high levels of methane released during extraction, the carbon footprint of shale gas may be higher than coal in some instances. For the full story, see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-14/china-may-start-shale-gas-production-by-2015-ministry-says-1-.html. For Australia's response, see http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/business/a/-/wa/9178795/australia-warned-on-chinas-shale-gas-boom/. For the story on the study, see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412065948.htm


UK, EU CARBON TAX PROPOSALS UNDER FIRE, AUSTRALIA'S QUESTIONED BY BUSINESSES

Point Carbon analysts said that UK's plan to introduce a price floor for carbon emissions permits may harm business by introducing a £9.3 ($15) billion burden, but will likely cut emissions from the energy industry by 5.3 percent. The proposed floor will begin at £16 ($26) per metric ton in 2013 and rise to £30 ($49) per metric ton by 2030. However, according to Point Carbon, the price could rise to €54 ($78) per metric ton by 2020, while the rest of EU's Emissions Trading Scheme sees prices closer to €36 ($52). Under the proposed measure, fuel suppliers would be required to pay a "floor tax" regardless of any fluctuations in price set by the Emissions Trading Scheme. Supporters say that the measure will give suppliers certainty about the price of carbon in the future, and will drive investment in low carbon technology. Critics claim that it will raise the price of energy and result in windfalls of billions of pounds to existing nuclear power plants and wind farms. Fuel suppliers may face further taxes in the future if the European Commission's proposed tax on high carbon fuels goes ahead as planned. The proposal would apply to all member states, requiring a minimum of €20 per metric ton of carbon dioxide. "It is about ensuring that the way we tax things is providing the right incentives, and at least not providing the wrong incentives," said Connie Hedegaard, European commissioner for climate change. The measure would have no effect in places where existing taxes are higher than the minimum. Meanwhile, Australian officials said that a planned carbon tax would add only a fraction to the cost of production of steel and aluminum goods, but the country's largest steel manufacturer warned that it would cause the loss of thousands of jobs. For the full story on UK's price floor, see http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2043519/carbon-uk-carbon-floor-price-cut-emissions-cent and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/14/us-carbon-floor-idUSTRE73D1JR20110414. For the story on EU's proposed tax, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/13/fuel-tax-diesel-prices-europe. For Australia's carbon tax, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/13/us-australia-carbon-idUSTRE73C0T420110413.


BRAZIL FINES FOR DEFORESTATION; MAY BE HASTENING BIODIVERSITY LOSS

Brazilian officials announced last week that the government would seek $1.2 billion in fines against over a dozen companies being investigated for buying beef from farms illegally deforesting or engaging in slave labor. The complaint also implicated Brazil's Institute for the Environment, which was accused of failing to supervise the companies. However, while Brazil has managed to reduce levels of deforestation by 70 percent since 2004, other areas of Brazil may have borne the brunt of the switch away from using deforested areas as grazing lands for livestock. Farmers have begun altering the cerrado, the most biologically rich savanna, which occupies a huge expanse of the high plains of central Brazil on the Atlantic side of the Amazon basin, to turn it into a suitable grazing area. More than 60 percent of the cerrado's 200 million hectares have disappeared in the last two decades. For the story on the beef industry, see http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i2kn13gE_j uV8KXgXAc57p3ZY4qQ?docId=CNG.9baeed4b77985cc23322a6a1edf5ef6e.881. For the story on the cerrado, see http://e360.yale.edu/feature/the_cerrado_brazils_other_biodiversity_hotspot_loses_ground/2393/


 

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