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Weekly Update Volume 30, Issue 22




The D.C. Circuit held that an EPA rule establishing a bifurcated schedule for hazardous waste combustors to comply with strict new emission standards was arbitrary and capricious. The rule, promulgated under the CAA and RCRA, required the combustors to either modify existing facilities and processes to bring emission levels below the new limits within three years, or notify EPA within one year that it would cease burning hazardous waste altogether. EPA has the authority under the CAA to set multiple compliance dates. However, EPA failed to show how the early cessation program would benefit human health and the environment, which the rule claimed to provide. In issuing the rule, EPA recognized that during the year between the early cessation and compliance dates, hazardous waste would simply be shifted away from combustors that comply with current RCRA standards but elect not to meet the new emission limits and redirected to facilities operating under the same conditions. The early cessation rule will not significantly reduce the amount of hazardous waste produced, the amount of hazardous waste burned, or the levels of hazardous air pollutant emissions. Instead, waste will be reallocated to other combustion facilities. Moreover, nothing in the record suggested that the early cessation program would further the goals of the CAA. Finally, the notification of intent to comply and the progress report requirements also were invalidated because it is impossible to determine whether EPA would have promulgated these requirements independently of the early cessation program. Chemical Manufacturers Ass'n v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 99-1514 (D.C. Cir. July 25, 2000) (9 pp.).


The Eighth Circuit upheld a district court decision finding a chemical recycler liable under CERCLA for EPA response costs incurred at the Findett/Hayford Bridge Road site in St. Charles, Missouri. In 1990, EPA and the recycler entered into a consent decree in which the recycler agreed to implement the remediation plan for the site. The consent decree, however, made clear that the recycler did not admit liability for the contamination. The decree also reserved the government's right to recover additional costs incurred at the site. In 1997, the United States filed suit against the recycler to recover additional response costs related to the site. The recycler claimed that the suit was barred by CERCLA §113(g)(2)(B), which requires initial actions to be brought within 6 years after the physical on-site construction of the remedial action has begun. The 1997 suit, however, was a subsequent action. Although the 1990 consent decree did not declare the recycler liable, the 1990 action was the initial action. Consequently, the government was required to commence the subsequent action no later than 3 years after the response action was completed. Here, the response action was ongoing when the government filed its complaint. Moreover, even were the 1997 action the initial action, the 6-year statute of limitations would not apply because construction did not begin before the limitations cut-off date. In addition, no genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the government's response costs were properly documented or were inconsistent with the NCP. United States v. Findett Corp., No. 99-3679 (8th Cir. Aug. 3, 2000) (12 pp.).


The Sixth Circuit held that a village that contracted for wholesale water from a rural water district in 1971 violated CFRDA §1926(b) when it contracted with a municipality for additional water. The village entered into the contract with the municipality because the water district was unable to keep up with demand. CFRDA §1926(b), which protects rural water associations indebted to the Farmers Home Administration from municipal encroachment, should not be construed narrowly to prohibit municipal encroachment only if technically by annexation or grant of franchise, but should be applied broadly to competition from expanding municipal systems. Here, it is undisputed that the water district qualifies as an association protected under the Act. Thus, it follows that the village's contracting with the municipality for additional water supplies constitutes an encroachment in violation of CFRDA §1926(b). The water district's contract minimum and maximum amounts were irrelevant, as was the fact that the contract between the municipality and the village was between two public entities. The court, therefore, reversed the district court's holding to the contrary. Adams County Regional Water District v. Village of Manchester, Ohio, No. 98-4117 (6th Cir. July 28, 2000) (9 pp.).

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed a magistrate judge decision awarding a transporter $90,766 for damages arising from hazardous sludge loaded onto the transporter's barge by the seller of spent lube oil. The seller contracted with the transporter to carry 18,000 barrels of spent lube oil. However, the seller did not have enough oil to fill 18,000 barrels and, therefore, determined to get all the oil possible from its storage tank, allowed the transfer pump to suck air for 5 to 10 minutes, ultimately transferring hazardous sludge to the transporter's barge along with the spent oil. Consequently, the barge required extensive cleaning and could not be used for 80 days. The magistrate judge properly allowed testimony of the transporter's expert witness concerning fluid dynamics because the seller opened the door to the testimony during its cross-examination. Additionally, the seller owed a legal duty to the transporter to alert the transporter of the transfer method used and the possibility of harm to the transporter's barge. Moreover, the magistrate judge was correct in concluding that the seller's method of draining its storage tank violated industry standard. Further, the discarded residue material was properly characterized as hazardous waste. Finally, the award of damages was appropriate based on testimony of lost profits. Canal Barge Co., Inc. v. Torco Oil Co., No. 99-30002 (5th Cir. July 20, 2000) (9 pp.).

red bar graphic  NEPA, ALIEN SPECIES:

The Ninth Circuit held that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) properly analyzed under NEPA the impact of the expansion of Maui's Kahului Airport on the introduction of alien species into Maui. The FAA's EIS predicts a modest increase in international arrivals. However, this increase is not assured given the variables that exist in the airline and tourism industries. Moreover, evidence in the EIS demonstrates that international arrivals could grow even if the expansion does not occur. Additionally, the EIS contains extensive discussion of the fact that the alien species impact of the project is highly uncertain. Of the relatively small influx of plants, animals, and insects resulting from foreign flights, it is impossible to determine which species will be introduced at Kahului or whether they will be dangerous. Further, the EIS focuses on broad mitigation measures to combat all types of alien species that might arrive at Kahului. Although funding for the mitigation measures is lacking, the FAA did not violate the Airport and Airway Improvement Act because the funding does not have to be finalized for the FAA to approve the project. Finally, §4(f) of the Transportation Act does not apply because the environmental groups cannot show any use, or impairment of the economic or environmental value, of property protected by the Act. National Parks & Conservation Ass'n v. U.S. Department of Transportation, No. 9871268 (9th Cir. July 26, 2000) (13 pp.).

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The Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a district court decision dismissing a wrongful death action brought by the deceased's family and held that a special jury instruction should have been given allowing for the possibility that exposure to nuclear fuel rods caused the deceased's death. The family of the deceased woman claimed that her husband, who worked at a nuclear plant, inadvertently brought home microscopic particles of radioactive material containing radiation dosages in excess of the maximum allowable by federal regulations that came in contact with the deceased and caused her fatal cancer. The district court dismissed all products liability claims against the nuclear fuel rods manufacturer and rejected the family's request to give a special jury instruction regarding causation under Rutherford v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 914 P.2d 1203 (Cal. 1997). Depsite the district court's conclusion to the contrary, Rutherford, a California case that deals with the proper jury instruction to be given on causation when multiple potential causes of the injury exist, is applicable here. Rutherford usually has been applied in cases with multiple defendants, however, there is little distinction between a Rutherford case with multiple defendants, each of whose products may have been a cause of the plaintiff's injury, and a case in which a single defendant argues that the plaintiff cannot show causation because there exist other potential sources that may have been the legal cause of the harm. Moreover, although the jury instruction proposed by the family was not a proper Rutherford instruction, the district court was not relieved from the responsibility of giving a proper instruction, and the district court's failure to do so was not harmless error. Kennedy v. Southern California Edison Co., No. 9856157 (9th Cir. July 20, 2000) (20 pp.).


A district court ordered the beneficiary of a land trust that formerly held title to property subject to a CERCLA investigation to provide EPA a completed financial statement form and access to land trust files and to pay a $45,525 civil penalty for failing to comply with the Agency's information request. EPA's information request was warranted because its investigation was properly authorized, limited in scope, and in furtherance of the legislative purpose of CERCLA. Moreover, an environmental consultant's affidavit presented on behalf of the beneficiary did nothing to undermine the fact that EPA had a reasonable basis to believe that there may be a threat of a release of hazardous substances at the property. In fact, EPA actually discovered hazardous materials on the site. Further, although the beneficiary eventually responded to certain aspects of the information request--607 days after the deadline--he still has yet to submit a financial statement form signed by himself and has failed to provide EPA access to land trust files for the property. The court, therefore, ordered the beneficiary to respond to the outstanding requests for information and to pay a $75 a day penalty for each of the 607 days of noncompliance. In addition, the beneficiary must pay $75 per day for each day he fails to respond to EPA's outstanding requests. If  the beneficiary still has not provided the requested information within 14 days of the court's opinion, the penalty will be increased to $1,000 per day. United States v. Martin, No. 99 C 1130 (N.D. Ill. July 26, 2000) (Coar, J.) (12 pp.).

red bar graphic  WETLANDS, CWA, NEPA:

A district court held on motions for summary judgment that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was not arbitrary or capricious in granting a developer a permit to fill wetlands abutting Lake Ponchatrain in Louisiana without first preparing an EIS. Although the environmental group challenging the permit raised good faith, legitimate concerns about whether the Corps engaged in a vigorous, comprehensive assessment of cumulative impacts, they failed to create a genuine issue of material fact rising to the level of an arbitrary or capricious decision by the Corps. The contested permit concerns 120 acres of jurisdictional wetlands that have been closed off from Lake Ponchatrain since 1929 and have practically no contributory effects on the surrounding environment. Additionally, the Corps tiered its EA to an earlier EIS the Corps prepared for a 1987 Federal Highway Administration highway expansion project that recognized that the area in question would eventually become developed. Moreover, the Corps required the developers to mitigate the impact of losing the wetlands by constructing a 228 acre marsh open to the lake. Accordingly, the group's case was dismissed. Save Our Wetlands, Inc. v. Conner, No. Civ.A. 98-3625 (E.D. La. July 20, 2000) (Barbier, J.) (7 pp.).

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A district court found a company and a newspaper liable under CERCLA in connection with waste they allowed a landowner to dispose of on his property without a permit. The state's action against the company and newspaper is not barred by the statute of limitations. Because hazardous substances remain at the site, the removal action has not yet been completed and the three-year statute of limitations has not run. Similarly, because inspection and sampling conducted by the state environmental agency does not constitute physical initiation of the remedial action, the six-year statute of limitations has not run. Further, the company and the newspaper meet all elements of CERCLA liability. There is no question that the site is a facility as that term is defined in CERCLA. Additionally, the company and the newspaper arranged for the disposal of hazardous substances. The newspaper admitted that its drums contained wastes listed as hazardous under the CAA, therefore, those wastes must be considered hazardous substances under CERCLA. Also, evidence showed that chemicals used by the company were present in samples taken from the drums. Moreover, there was a release of substances from the barrels onto the property. Finally, the government incurred response costs, and whether they are consistent with the national contingency plan is irrelevant to the issue of liability. The newspaper and the company also are liable under the Illinois Act because all parties agreed that liability under that Act is dependent on liability under CERCLA. Illinois v. Grigoleit Co., No. 98-CV-2261 (C.D. Ill. July 14, 2000) (McCuskey, J.) (28 pp.).


Applying Colorado law, a district court granted an insurer summary judgment and held that it had no duty to defend or indemnify an industrial crankshaft reconditioning company that was the subject of state and federal lawsuits for spilling chromic acid at its plant, thereby contaminating surrounding groundwater. The insurer issued the reconditioning company three separate policies and each policy contained an absolute pollution exclusion clause. The company argued that the exclusions were ambiguous. The pollution exclusion endorsement to the first policy, however, clearly and unambiguously replaced the limited pollution exclusion clause contained in the body of that policy and did not render the policy ambiguous. Additionally, the "Notice to Policyholders" in the second policy did not suggest that the insurer was confused about the coverage in the first policy and thereby render the first policy ambiguous. Further, an endorsement in the first policy that relates to business autos and trucks does not affect the pollution exclusion clause because the auto and truck endorsement is distinct from other portions of the policy. Language in one part of a policy cannot affect the coverage in another part unless it explicitly addresses coverage provided elsewhere in the policy. Likewise, the commercial property coverage in the second and third policies did not conflict with the pollution exclusions in those policies. Finally, the pollution exclusion in the second and third policies did not reduce the coverage offered in the first policy and, therefore, did not require written notice to the company. Power Engineering Co. v. Royal Insurance Co. of America, No. Civ.A. 98-B-1547 (D. Colo. July 21, 2000) (14 pp.).


A district court held that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers properly granted a riverboat casino operator a CWA and RHA  permit to construct and operate a riverboat gambling facility on the Ohio River in Indiana. Environmental groups challenged the permit claiming that the Corps violated the APA, the CWA, NEPA, and the RHA. The Corps, however, properly identified and evaluated the reasonably foreseeable indirect effects of the proposed project and adequately considered the project's cumulative effects. Further, the fact that the Corps ordered additional studies on the effects of the cruising schedule on rush hour traffic and the operation of the riverboat on mussel beds in the river show that the Corps considered these issues and did not prematurely grant the permit. Moreover, the Corps properly examined the impact of the project on floodplains and considered feasible alternatives before incorporating project modifications in the permit to protect the floodplains. The Corps also adequately considered ozone impacts the project had on the region's air quality plan. Similarly, the Corps properly considered the narrow range of alternatives, given the limiting factors surrounding the placement of the project. Finally, the public review conducted by the Corps was adequate. Hoosier Environmental Council, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. IP98-0606-C-M/S (S.D. Ind. July 19, 2000) (McKinney, J.) (57 pp.).

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red bar graphic  TAKINGS, BILLBOARDS:

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that a town's regulation prohibiting billboards on rooftops did not effect a taking of an outdoor advertiser's interests. The regulation, enacted in 1975, prohibited rooftop billboards after 1987. After the prohibition went into effect, the outdoor advertiser renewed its leases for rooftop billboards with various building owners. The town, however, denied the advertiser's request for a variance from the billboard prohibition. No taking occurred because as a lessee, the outdoor advertiser's property interest rights are limited to the rights possessed by the lessors, the owners of the buildings who leased the rooftop sites. The lessors never had an absolute right to display signs on the rooftops of their buildings because they had no right to prevent the imposition of the regulation, which represented a reasonable exercise of police power. Therefore, the right to display rooftop billboards could not be transferred to the outdoor advertiser. Leasing a small interest in the property does not transform the regulation into a taking because of its disproportionate effect on the narrow interest leased. Moreover, the advertiser was aware of the regulation and had no reasonable expectation that it could maintain the billboards after the regulation went into effect. Adams Outdoor Advertising v. City of East Lansing, No. 113674 (Mich. July 26, 2000) (10 pp.).


The Maine Supreme Court vacated and remanded a trial court decision because the trial court improperly excluded evidence central to a wool processing mill owner's case against the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) under CERCLA and contract law. FAME'S predecessor had a deed to the mill, taken in lieu of foreclosure, and entered into a sale agreement with a realty company that then leased the land to the mill owner. Although the predecessor had received multiple letters from the state environmental agency about wastewater lagoons on the property and agreed to clean the lagoons or make cleanup of them a condition of sale, FAME's predecessor failed to notify the realty company of the lagoons. The mill owner sued FAME in federal court under CERCLA, but the case was dismissed. The mill owner then sued FAME in state court claiming breach of contract for FAME's failure to notify the realty company about the lagoons. The mill owner's state-law action is not barred by the federal CERCLA case because the federal court had no jurisdiction over the state-law claims now at issue. Additionally, the claims are not barred by sovereign immunity because the state legislature waived FAME's immunity when FAME's predecessor entered the contract for sale of the property. Moreover, the case was ripe and the trial court properly granted declaratory relief. However, the trial court improperly excluded testimony from the president of the realty company as to whether the company would have purchased the property had it known about the lagoons. Further, the trial court applied the wrong measure of damages. On remand, the mill owner must prove breach of contract and that the damages it seeks to recover were reasonably within the contemplation of the contracting parties when the agreement was made. Waterville Industries, Inc. v. Finance Authority of Maine, No. Ken-99-426 (Me. July 14, 2000) (16 pp.).

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Copyright© 2000, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved

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Note: Citations below are to the Federal Register.

red bar graphic  AIR:

  • EPA and the DOJ promulgated a rule that provides for access to information concerning the potential off-site consequences of hypothetical accidental chemical releases from industrial facilities in a manner designed to minimize the likelihood of accidental releases, the risk to national security associated with posting the information on the Internet, and the likelihood of harm to public health and welfare. 65 FR 48107 (8/4/00). 
  • EPA revised the motor vehicle inspection/maintenance (I/M) program requirements to provide additional flexibility to state I/M programs. 65 FR 45526 (7/24/00).
  • EPA announced that its proposed "not to exceed" and supplemental steady state test provisions, which would apply to heavy-duty highway engines and vehicles, was signed on July 31, 2000, and is available on an EPA website so that commenters could better respond to the Agency's June 2, 2000, notice of proposed rulemaking proposing changes to standards for heavy-duty engines and sulfur fuel controls for highway diesel fuel. 65 FR 47706 (8/3/00).
  • EPA announced that there are no hexachlorobenzene (HCB) emissions from tire production manufacturing, which previously was listed as a major contributor of HCB emissions. 65 FR 47725 (8/3/00).
  • EPA revised the definition of glycol ethers under CAA §112(b)(1) by excluding surfactant alcohol ethoxylates and their derivatives from the glycol ethers category in the list of hazardous air pollutants. 65 FR 47342 (8/2/00).
  • EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking describing the Agency's program to address emissions of hazardous air pollutants from mobile sources. 65 FR 48057 (8/4/00).
  • EPA issued a supplemental notice that clarifies and expands on issues relating to the motor vehicle emissions budgets in its December 16, 1999, (64 Fed. Reg. 70317), proposal to approve or disapprove alternative attainment demonstration SIPs for 10 areas in the eastern United States. 65 FR 46383 (7/28/00).
  • EPA delegated authority to North Carolina to implement and enforce existing new source performance standards that have been previously adopted by the state agency but have remained undelegated by EPA. 65 FR 46364 (7/28/00).


  • EPA proposed to revise its policy with respect to the construction completion category established in the NPL under CERCLA. 65 FR 47988 (8/4/00). 
  • EPA entered into a proposed administrative settlement under CERCLA §122(h) in connection with the Bioclinical Laboratories Superfund site in Bohemia, N.Y. 65 FR 45774 (7/25/00).
  • EPA entered into a proposed prospective purchaser agreement under CERCLA in connection with the Copley Square Plaza Superfund site in Copley, Ohio. 65 FR 46269 (7/27/00).
  • EPA proposed to enter into a prospective purchaser agreement under CERCLA in connection with the Trans Circuits, Inc, Superfund site in Lake Park, Fla. 65 FR 47503 (8/2/00).
  • EPA announced its intent to grant a site-specific treatment variance from the land disposal restrictions treatment standards for approximately 2,850 cubic yards of hazardous waste that Safety-Kleen (Deer Park), Inc., is currently storing at its Deer Park, Tex., facility. 65 FR 45978 (7/26/00).
  • EPA announced that an exemption to the land disposal restrictions under RCRA has been granted to Amoco Petroleum Products for three class I injection wells located in Texas City, Tex. 65 FR 47727 (8/3/00).
  • EPA authorized revisions to Indiana's hazardous waste program under RCRA. 65 FR 45925 (7/26/00).
  • EPA authorized revisions to Virginia's hazardous waste program under RCRA. 65 FR 46606 (7/31/00).

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red bar graphic  PESTICIDES:

  • EPA announced the availability of the revised risk assessments and related documents for the organophosphate pesticide phosalone. 65 FR 45982 (7/26/00).
  • EPA announced the availability of human health and ecological risk assessments and related documents for propargite.  65 FR 47494 (8/2/00).

red bar graphic  PROJECT XL:

  • EPA finalized a site-specific rule to provide regulatory flexibility under the CWA as part of an XL Project with International Paper's Androscoggin Mill pulp and paper manufacturing facility in Jay, Me. 65 FR 46104 (7/27/00).
  • EPA requested comments on a draft Project XL final program agreement for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. 65 FR 45601 (7/24/00).
  • EPA announced the availability of a proposed Project XL final project agreement for Buncombe County, North Carolina, concerning the use of certain bioreactor techniques at its municipal solid waste landfill to accelerate the biodegradation of landfill waste and to decrease the time it takes for the waste to stabilize in the landfill. 65 FR 46456 (7/28/00).
  • EPA requested comments on a draft Project XL for Communities (XLC) final project agreement and draft SDWA variance for the city of Columbus, Ohio. 65 FR 46166 (7/27/00).

red bar graphic  WATER QUALITY:

  • EPA announced the availability of a nutrient criteria technical guidance manual for rivers and streams. 65 FR 46167 (7/27/00).
  • EPA announced the availability of a document entitled Method Guidance and Recommendations for Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Testing (40 CFR Part 146)65 FR 46457 (7/28/00).
  • EPA approved the minimum water quality standards, antidegradation policies, and implementation procedures submitted by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio that are consistent with the Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes System, but disapproved those elements that were inconsistent with the guidance. 65 FR 47864 (8/4/00).
  • EPA determined that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waters of Buzzards Bay, Mass. 65 FR 46712 (7/31/00).

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  • U.S. v. American Chemical Service, Inc., No. 2:00CV430JM (N.D. Ind. July 12, 2000) (settling CERCLA defendants must pay up to $30,000 toward the federal and state natural resource damage assessment costs resulting from the release of hazardous substances at the American Chemical Service Superfund site in Griffith, Ind., must pay $250,000 for the acquisition of certain real property proposed for restoration as a replacement for the injured natural resources at the site, and must pay $50,000 for natural resource restoration activities at the property to be acquired), 65 FR 46948 (8/1/00);
  • U.S. v. Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 50, No. H-00-1931 (S.D. Tex. July 13, 2000) (a settling defendant that violated the CWA in its operation of a publicly owned sewage treatment works in Barrett Station, Tex., must take measures to properly operate and maintain the collection system, must identify problems that lead to noncompliance within the collection system and facility, must undertake the necessary capital improvements to eliminate unauthorized discharges, and must pay a $10,000 civil penalty), 65 FR 46948 (8/1/00);
  • U.S. v. Morgan-Skinner, No. C-1-00-424 (S.D. Ohio May 26, 2000) (under one consent decree, numerous settling  CERCLA defendants that contributed hazardous substances to the Skinner Landfill Superfund site in West Chester, Ohio, must implement an EPA-approved remedial action at the site, the settling owner must grant access to the site and must sell an option to purchase the site for $5,000 to the work parties, two settling federal agencies must pay $602,599.12 into a special account, and settling de minimis federal agencies must pay $87,804.29 into the special account; the second consent decree requires seven settling municipalities to pay $17,218 into the special account, which will be made available to the work parties for their remediation work), 65 FR 46948 (8/1/00);
  • U.S. v. Willamette Industries, Inc., No. CV-00-1001-HA (D. Or. July 20, 2000) (a CAA defendant that failed to install pollution control devices and obtain permits at various wood product manufacturing facilities it owned and operated in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oregon, and South Carolina must pay a $11.2 million civil penalty, must perform supplemental environmental projects costing at least $8 million, must install pollution control devices at its facilities, and must perform environmental audits of its facilities), 65 FR 46949 (8/1/00).

Copyright© 2000, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved  


red bar graphic ALABAMA

Dept. of Envtl. Management

Proposed Regulations-Water Quality

Proposed Regulations-Air Quality

  • Proposed SIP revisions regarding implementation of the one-hour ozone standard in the Birmingham nonattainment area. Gasoline sulfur content and Reid Vapor Pressure controls, as well as nitrogen oxide emission controls on electric utility plants, are among the proposed control strategies. Public hearing on Aug. 16; comments due Aug. 18. Details at http://www.adem.state.al.us/phdiv3.html

Public Notices–Permit Applications 

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red bar graphic  ALASKA

Dept. of Envtl. Conservation

Water/Wastewater Operator Certification

Cruise Ship Regulation

red bar graphic ARIZONA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Water Quality-CWA 305(b) Report

Reopened Proposed Regulations-UST Release Reporting and Corrective Action

Superfund Program-Proposed Registry Inclusions, Prospective Purchaser Agreements

red bar graphic ARKANSAS

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Draft Remedial Action Decisions

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red bar graphic CALIFORNIA

Air Resources Board

Diesel Risk Reduction Plan and Permitting Guidance-Stationary Diesel Engines

Proposed Regulations-Conflict of Interest Code

  • 45 day Notice of Public Hearing to Consider the Adoption of d Amendments to Regulations Regarding the Conflict of Interest Code of the Air Resources Board. This document and the
    associated "formal" regulatory materials can be accessed at http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/conflict/conflict.htm

Final "Smog Check" Report

Carpool Lane Use-Qualifying Vehicles

Dept. of Toxic Substances Control

Proposed Negative Declaration

  • Proposed California Environmental Quality Act negative declaration regarding reuse of lead-contaminated soil by the California Department of Transportation. Comments due Aug. 27. See http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/pdf2html.html

Integrated Waste Management Board

Proposed Regulations-Enforcement and Compliance Procedures

  • Proposed revisions to Title 14, Division 7 California Code of Regulations will reflect changes in the Public Resources Code brought about by the enactment of AB 59 (Sher). A 45-day public comment period ran through May 8. The public hearing has been postponed until Aug. 22-23. Details at http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Rulemaking/enforcep/

Final Regulations-Farm and Ranch Cleanup

  • New regulations, effective July 29, provide for a grant process that allows qualifying parties to obtain funding for cleanup of solid waste illegally disposed of on farm and ranch properties. Details at http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Rulemaking/RgUpdate.htm

Water Resources Control Board

Proposed General Discharge Requirements-Application of Biosolids to Land

  • Proposed General Waste Discharge Requirements for discharge of biosolids to land for use as a soil amendment in agricultural, silvicultural, horticultural, and land reclamation activities will be considered at a SWRCB meeting on Aug. 17. Details at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/news/biosolidswrk.htm

South Coast Air Quality Management District

Proposed Fleet Emission Reduction Regulations

  • Public hearing Aug. 18 regarding proposed Rule 1186.1, which will require public and private fleet operators to acquire alternative fueled or otherwise less-polluting sweepers when purchasing or leasing these vehicles for operations undertaken by government jurisdictions or agencies with greater than 15 vehicles. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/00072a.html
  • Public hearing Aug. 18 on proposed Rule 1194, which will require airport ground public access services to purchase compliant vehicles when adding or replacing vehicles in an existing fleet or when forming a new fleet. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/00072a.html

Proposed Regulations-New Source Review of Toxic Air Contaminants

  • Proposed revisions to Rule 1401, to be considered Aug. 18, will update the list of compounds and effective dates in Table I. Details at http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/00072a.html

Proposed Regulations-Recordkeeping for Volatile Organic Compound Emissions

  • Proposed amendments would streamline existing daily recordkeeping requirements, allow monthly recordkeeping for qualifying sources, and allow sources to implement alternative recordkeeping systems approved by the District. Subject of Aug. 18 public hearing. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/00072a.html

Proposed Regulations-BACT/RECLAIM

  • Proposed amendments, to be considered at a Sept. 15 public hearing, will separate BACT for RECLAIM and non-RECLAIM sources into LAER for federal major sources, and BACT for minor sources pursuant to state law. Currently, LAER is required for emission increases from all sources. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/000072a.html

Proposed Regulations-Fuel Sulfur Content

  • Proposed amendments will establish an immediate sulfur content for ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and, after Jan. 1, 2004, will prohibit the purchase, sale or burning of diesel fuel that exceeds the sulfur standard. Subject of Sept. 15 public hearing. See http://www.aqmd.gov/hb/00072a.html

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red bar graphic COLORADO

Water Quality Control Commission

Proposed Regulations

red bar graphic  CONNECTICUT

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Request for Proposals

red bar graphic FLORIDA

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Proposed Regulations-Contaminant Cleanup Target Levels, Brownfield Cleanup Criteria

New Legislation-Air Quality

General Permit-Temporary Agricultural Activities

  • Proposed rule will develop permitting criteria for horticultural, seasonal crops that are harvested in one growing season. No additional rule development workshops are currently scheduled. 

Proposed Regulations-NPDES Program; Stormwater

  • Proposed regulations would allow completion of NPDES delegation by incorporating standards governing stormwater and federal facilities. The proposed rule includes fees for implementing the NPDES stormwater program. 

Proposed Regulations-Surface Water Classification

  • Proposed rule amendment would reclassify Prospect Lake in Broward County. 

Proposed Regulations-Drinking Water

  • Proposed amendments will incorporate revisions to federal standards. 

Proposed Regulations-Air

  • Correction of technical errors in standards governing sulfur storage and handling facilities.

State Revolving Fund-Drinking Water

  • Proposed rule amendments would enable funding of additional wastewater management systems.

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red bar graphic GEORGIA

Dept. of Natural Resources

Air Permit Applications

NPDES Permit Applications

red bar graphic IDAHO

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Proposed Rules-Air Quality

Outstanding Resource Waters-Petitions

Risk Based Corrective Action

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red bar graphic ILLINOIS

Pollution Control Board

Inquiry Hearings-Peak Load Electric Generating Facilities

  • Series of public hearings has been established regarding recent increase in the number of natural gas-fired peak load electric generating facilities (also known as "peaker plants"). The hearings were requested by Governor Ryan's office and will be held on Aug. 23-24, Sept. 7, Sept. 14, Sept. 21, and Oct. 5-6 at locations to be announced. See http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/news/news.htm and http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/rules/proposal.htm

Envtl. Protection Agency

Permit Applications

Strategic Planning Process

red bar graphic INDIANA

Dept. of Envtl. Management

Proposed Regulations-Air

Final Regulations-Air

Proposed Regulations-Water 

Proposed Regulations-Waste

  • Oct. 17 public hearing regarding proposed amendments to 329 IAC 3.1, 329 IAC 12, and 329 IAC 13 regarding rules for secondary containment for used oil containers and underground tanks. The proposal also amends 329 IAC 3.1 to require two paper copies and an electronic copy of groundwater laboratory analytical data and field parameters and revises 329 IAC 127-7-6 to allow flexibility in the timing of training courses for solid waste facility operators. See http://www.state.in.us/legislative/register/August-1-2000.html

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red bar graphic  LOUISIANA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Final Regulations-Fugitive Air Emissions

Permit Applications

Proposed Settlement

red bar graphic MARYLAND

Dept. of the Environment

Public Meetings/Hearings

Water Quality Standard-Triennial Review

red bar graphic MASSACHUSETTS

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Final Regulations-Waterways

Proposed Regulations-Air

Enforcement Actions

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red bar graphic  MICHIGAN

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Management Team Public Meeting

Permit Applications-Air

 Air Quality Division Newsletter

Surface Water Quality Division Bulletin

Surface Water Quality Division-Draft Regulations

red bar graphic MINNESOTA

Pollution Control Agency

Permit Applications, Other Notices

red bar graphic  MISSOURI

Dept. of Natural Resources

Final Regulations-Air

Watershed Protection Conference

Water Pollution Control-Permit Applications

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red bar graphic NEW JERSEY

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Proposed Regulations-Freshwater Wetlands

Draft Watershed Management Rules

Current DEP Bulletin (Permit Applications; Proposed Regulations)

red bar graphic NEW YORK

Dept. of Envtl. Conservation

Comparative Risk Project

Proposed Regulations-Air Emissions 

Environmental Notice Bulletin (Permit Applications)

Permit Applications

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red bar graphic  NORTH CAROLINA

Dept. of Envt. and Natural Resources

Division of Air Quality-Proposed Regulations

  • Proposed nitrogen oxide emission control plan and rules will be submitted to the Environmental Management Commission on Sept. 1. See http://daq.state.nc.us/News/noxresponse_00700.html
  • Hearing Aug. 16 regarding a number of proposed revisions to air regulations, including revisions to Title V permitting rules, clarification that the visible emissions rule does not apply to engine maintenance facilities where controls are infeasible, to revoke permit exemptions for noncompliant sources, and to change schedules for submitting permit applications. Rule revisions would also change the definition of a Title V facility for fee purposes, extend Title V nonattainment area fees to certain Title V facilities outside nonattainment areas, and adopt a new general standard for the control of odors. Written comments are due Aug. 31. See http://daq.state.nc.us/Rules/Hearing

Division of Air Quality Penalty Assessments

DENR Enforcement Data

Water Quality-Basinwide Assessment Reports

red bar graphic OHIO

Envtl. Protection Agency

OPEA Actions, Notices by County

Pending Air Permits

Proposed Regulations-Air

Permit Applications

Draft TMDL

red bar graphic OKLAHOMA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Draft Source Water Assessment and Protection Program Document

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red bar graphic OREGON

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Water Quality Permit Applications

Public Notices-Cleanup Remedies

red bar graphic PENNSYLVANIA

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Proposed Regulations-Storage Tank Spill Prevention

Proposed Regulations-Coal Refuse Disposal

Proposed Area Designations-Air Quality

Final General NPDES Permit-CAFO Operations

Final Regulations-Air

Proposed General NPDES Permit Revision

NPDES Permit Applications

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red bar graphic SOUTH CAROLINA

Dept. of Health and Envtl. Control

Permit Application Notices

red bar graphic  TENNESSEE

Dept. of Environment and Conservation

Proposed Regulations-Water Quality-Fees

Grant Availability-Recycling Marketing

red bar graphic  TEXAS

Natural Resource Conservation Commission

Final Regulations-Solid Waste

Final Regulations-Air

Proposed Regulations

Submitted Report-Air-Protection of Visibility

Permit Hearings

Sunset Advisory Commission

Strategic Plan

red bar graphic  UTAH

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Permit Applications

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red bar graphic VIRGINIA

Dept. of Envtl. Quality

Landfill Closure Proposal

  • Comments accepted through Oct. 13 on reports that propose that certain landfills be closed by 2005, other identified facilities by 2010, and five more by 2020, on the basis of risk of exposure to contaminants. The DEQ has also compiled new data regarding the receipt of out-of-state generated municipal solid waste in 1999. For details, see http://www.deq.state.va.us/news/releases/964019031.html

Proposed Consent Orders

Public Meeting Notices

red bar graphic  WASHINGTON

Dept. of Ecology

Adopted Regulations

Proposed Regulations

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red bar graphic WEST VIRGINIA

Dept. of Envtl. Protection

Public Notice Bulletin (Permit Applications, Proposed Regulations)

red bar graphic WISCONSIN

Dept. of Natural Resources

Public Hearing and Meeting Schedule

Copyright© 2000, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

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red bar graphic CLIMATE CHANGE

  • According to an Aug. 2, 2000, article in The New York Times, the United States has filed with the United Nations for the upcoming round of Kyoto Protocol talks at The Hague in November (the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Treaty) a document that "propos[es] that countries get as much credit for using forests and farmers' fields to sop up carbon dioxide, the chief warming gas, as they would for cutting emissions from smokestacks and tail pipes." Andrew C. Revkin, U.S. is Proposing New Way to Fight Global Warming, N.Y. Times, Aug. 2, 2000, at A1. See http://www.nytimes.com/auth/login?URI=http://www.nytimes.com

  • However, "the position is being criticized by some private environmental groups, which have pressed to cut the burning of coal and oil, which caused most of the carbon dioxide buildup in the first place. They point to uncertainties about how long plants and soils could continue to absorb carbon. And the proposal is at odds with the stance of the European Union which, given its relative lack of open land for tree-planting, would be at a disadvantage." A position paper prepared by the State Department states that "[r]educing the rate of deforestation and increasing the rate of sequestration through improved forest and cropland management would result in even greater net removals of carbon from the atmosphere, counterbalancing in part the effects of fossil fuel emissions." The U.S. submission is available at http://www.state.gov/www/global/global_issues/climate/climate_2000_submiss.html

  • The U.S. Department of Energy plans on spending almost $14 million during a three-year period to study greenhouse gas carbon sequestration (capturing of gases and storing or recycling them). Private sector cosponsors will contribute an additional $10 million. The 13 projects selected comprise the first of two phases of a competition DOE began last year. The second round of proposals are due Aug. 31. Details on the approved projects may be found at http://www.fe.doe.gov. Additional information is available at http://www.doe.gov/news/releases00/julpr/pr00189.htm

  • A coalition of environmental groups urged the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in Japan to accelerate their work under the Kyoto Protocol. Rudd Lubbers, International President of the WWF and a former Prime Minister of The Netherlands, emphasized to G8 leaders that the Kyoto treaty "appears in be in peril at a time when the evidence of the effects of climate change is becoming ever more disturbing." The groups wanted a declaration that the G8 would give priority to domestic emission reductions and rule out reliance on measures such as counting the carbon absorbed in soils. According to the WWF, "G8 members are currently split on their responses to global warming. Germany is two-thirds of the way towards its goal of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2005. The United Kingdom's target is a 20 percent cut by 2010. The French Parliament gave a first reading to a bill to ratify the Protocol in April of this year. The United States, however, which accounts for nearly half (48 percent) western nations' carbon pollution, sees its emissions increasing 30 percent above the 1990 level by 2010." See http://www.panda.org/climate/g8leaders_210700.cfm

  • G8 leaders, wrapping up their summit in Japan, issued a statement noting that they "are determined to achieve a successful outcome at the COP6" November meeting at The Hague. 

  • German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin announced on July 26 that the National Climate Protection Strategy will be issued by late summer. Measures such as speed limits, further reductions in utility emissions, and increased energy standards for new buildings are being contemplated. The 25 percent reduction pledge, initially made in 1995 and reaffirmed in 1999, will only be met through additional measures. Approximately a 15 percent reduction from 1990 levels was accomplished through 1999. Further efforts will likely be concentrated in the transportation, building design and operation, and energy production sectors. The Green Party has proposed that an emissions trading program be developed in consultation with industry and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, a proposal that met with approval from the Environment Minister.  

  • Ford Motor Company announced on July 25 that it intends to increase its average fleet fuel economy of 16 miles per gallon 25 percent over a five year period. Most of the increases will be due to vehicle modifications to the Explorer, Expedition, Excursion, Mountaineer, Navigator, and Land Rover models, with roughly 30 percent of the improvements due to the introduction of a new smaller sport-utility vehicle, called Escape. General Motors countered by announcing that it would introduce hybrid-powered models of its Silverado and Sierra vehicles.

  • A report issued by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change documents the work done by several companies in ascertaining and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. See http://www.pewclimate.org/media/pr_801greenhouse.html

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red bar graphic ASIA

  • ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, issued a statement on July 15 encouraging Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam to increase efforts to regulate domestic shipments and disposal of hazardous waste. ASEAN's Inter-Parlimentary Organization encouraged member nations to work together to craft "uniform laws to prevent transfer of dangerous waste across national borders." A new website is to be created that will assist in the tracking of hazardous waste shipments in the region and to alert member countries about episodes of illegal transport. 

  • ASEAN, during a July 21 World Trade Organization meeting, complained that a recently proposed European Commission directive on electronics disposal would have adverse effects on international trade. The EC proposed directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment would impose manufacturer responsibility ("take back") requirements for manufacturers of certain electronic equipment. A second directive, also pending before the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, would prohibit the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, certain flame retardants, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenylethers. The proposals have, in varying degrees, also been criticized by the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Korea's Ministry of Environment has endorsed manufacturer responsibility requirements, beginning in 2003, for products such as glass, plastic containers, television sets, refrigerators, computers, washing machines, and other household and automotive products. The measures would be implemented pursuant to a proposed amendment to the Act Relating to the Promotion of Resource Saving and Reutilization. Korea is not a member of ASEAN. 

  • A multi-million dollar class action lawsuit was filed on August 1 regarding the collapse of a mound of garbage at the Payatas landfill in Quezon City, Philippines, that killed 218. The local government and private waste contractors have been named as defendants. An Aug. 31 deadline exists for naming a contractor to construct a new landfill to serve the Manila area. See http://www.philstar.com. Shipment of Manila-area waste by rail to outlining areas has also been proposed. See http://www.mb.com.ph/MAIN/2000-08/MN080111.asp

  • Several Japanese whaling vessels recently left port to conduct a large-scale research expedition that has been criticized by the International Whaling Commission, a number of environmental groups, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Research whaling is allowed but the hunt will include Sperm whales, which have not been hunted in over a decade. See Defiant Japan Sends Out Whaling Vessels, Financial Times, Aug. 1, 2000, at 5.  

  • According to The Miami Herald, Beijing is making a concerted effort to improve air quality in anticipation of hosting the 2008 Olympics. See http://www.herald.com/content/today/docs/095270.html

  • The BBC reports that environmentalists and government officials are concerned that illegal mining activity may cause devastating environmental impacts in the Bay of Manado in Indonesia. See BCC News, "Gold Rush Poisons Environment", http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/asia-pacific/newsid_859000/859780.stm

  • A senior Chinese official has recommended bear farming as a way to address the nation's CITES obligations and reduce hunting of bears for their bile. See http://www.scmp.com/News/HongKong/Article/FullText_asp_ArticleID-20000801020800107.asp

  • A $34.6 wetlands protection effort, funded in part by the United Nations Development Program and by Australia, is set to begin in China. See http://chinadaily.com.cn.net/cndy/history/2000/07/d1-4wet.725.html

  • India will begin testing of genetically modified cotton crops, according to the BBC. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_843000/843292.stm. See also http://envfor.nic.in

  • Turkey's Environment Minister stated that he has made finding an alternative to the problematic Mamak landfill near Ankara a priority for this office. A plan to construct transfer stations to ship the waste to a newer facility near Sincan faces significant funding obstacles. See http://www.TurkishDailyNews.com

  • A high-ranking member of a Chinese "democratic party" has called for prompt action to address environmental problems in Zhejiang province resulting from illegally discharged sewage and industrial waste, according to the South China Morning Post (Shirley Lau, Action Demanded to Fight Pollution, Aug. 4). 

  • Over a thousand people were injured by a gas leak at a shipyard in Taiwan.

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red bar graphic EUROPE

  • A registry of emissions of 50 pollutants will be created to implement Directive 96/61, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control. The registry will be introduced in 2003. It will be publicly available, similar to the TRI information available in the United States; "The Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, will make the date in the [European Pollutant Emission Register] database publicly accessible by dissemination of the reported data on the Internet, including disclosure of site-specific information of individual industrial facilities."

  • A Green Paper on PVC waste, which is based largely on studies compiled at http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/waste/facts_en.htm, is available for review and comment through November. See http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/environment/pvc/index.htm

  • The EC announced on July 28 that it will continue actions against Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, and the United Kingdom for failure to comply with a Directive 96/59, Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Polychlorinated Terphenyls. Actions against Austria, for violation of Directive 94/3; Germany, for violation of Directive 91/689 and Regulation 259/93; Belgium, for violation of Directive 94/3, France, for violation of Directive 89/369, Portugal and Spain, for violation of Directive 80/778, Greece, for violation of Directive 91/156, and Spain-Portugal-Greece-Belgium-Luxembourg, for violations of Directives 85/337 and 97/11, were also announced.  

  • A German consumer group, Stiftung Warentest, issued a report stating that genetically modified foods often end up on consumers' tables without their knowledge. Of 80 tested common food products, more than a third contained genetically modified ingredients. In no case, however, was this fact listed on package labels. See http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/de-news/ThisYear/ThisMonth/272130.html

red bar graphic CANADA

  • The Tenth Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality, released on July 26 by the International Joint Commission, is critical of United States-Canadian efforts to implement the 1978 Agreement Between the United States and Canada on Great Lakes Water Quality. See http://www.ijc.org/comm/10br/en/indexen.html Environment Canada's response, which states that "(t)he Government of Canada remains strongly committed to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement", is available at http://www.ec.ga.ca/Press/000726_n_e.htm

  • Formaldehye would be regulated as toxic under the Environmental Protection Act  under a proposed rule issued for public comment by Environment Canada. Comments are due Sept. 20. See http://canada.gc.ca/gazette/part1/ascII/g1-13430-e.txt

  • A group of Canadian provincial leaders and governors of New England states urged Environment Canada and the U.S. EPA to enhance efforts to address transboundary air pollution and to increase public awareness. The group also endorsed increased measures to reduce mercury emissions from incineration and the identification and control of mercury emissions from other sources. 

  • A new Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (C$30 million) was announced on July 20. The Fund will be used to promote community projects including habitat restoration programs, cleanup of contaminated sediments and stewardship projects to reduce urban and agricultural runoff of nonpoint source pollutants. See http://www.ec.gc.ca/Press/000720-2_n_e.htm

  • Toxic emissions from 169 companies dropped 67 percent from 1994 to 1998, according to a new Environment Canada report (Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET) Environmental Leaders 3 Update Report), available at http://www.ec.gc.ca/Press/000724_n_e.htm

  • A recently released Environment Canada report reveals that transboundary movement of hazardous waste into Canada increased 18 percent from 1998 to 1999. The rate of increase is largely explained by differences in standards for the pretreatment of waste and by the lower Canadian dollar. Environment Minister David Anderson called for "a Canadian solution that requires both domestically generated and imported hazardous waste to be pre-treated to render them safe, prior to disposal. I will use the powers in the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act to ensure that national standards for transboundary movements of hazardous waste are in place." See http://www.ec.gc.ca/Press/000727-2_n_e.htm

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  • The CEC's Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) on July 31 issued for public comment "Draft JPAC Public Review of Issues Concerning the Implementation and Further Elaboration of Articles 14 and 15". Article 14 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) provides that the CEC can consider a submission from any person or nongovernmental organization asserting that a party to the Agreement is failing to enforce its environmental laws effectively. The submission may, pursuant to Article 15, lead to further investigation and publication of findings in a factual record. The draft document outlines the processes and steps that JPAC proposes to follow. The document will, after a review of comments, be subject to approval at a meeting in October. Comments are due by Sept. 22. See http://www.cec.org/news/announce/Data.cfm?varlan=english&unique_no=284 for further information. 

  • CEC terminated a complaint filed by Instituto de Derecho Ambiental, A.C. against the Mexican government claiming that Mexico's failure to respond to the Institute's complaint concerning pollution of the Lerma Santiago River-Lake Chapala Basin constitutes a failure of Mexico to enforce environmental legislation effectively. See http://www.cec.org/news/announce/Data.cfm?varlan=english&unique_no=283

  • CEC has received a response from Canada regarding a complaint filed by the Suzuki Foundation regarding alleged nonenforcement of the Fisheries Act in British Columbia. See http://www.cec.org/news/announce/Data.cfm?varlan=english&unique_no=281

red bar graphic AUSTRALIA

red bar graphic CENTRAL AMERICA

red bar graphic RUSSIA

  • The U.S. Department of Energy announced a joint project with former Soviet biological weapons scientists to, among other things, establish a sustainable ecology center that "will allow scientists to pursue the development of novel bioactive compounds from selected pristine and contaminated environments in Russia." See http://www.doe.gov/news/releases00/julpr/pr00191.htm

red bar graphic AFRICA

  • Scientists have begun to ascertain the extent of damage to South Africa's Ngagane River after a number of industrial spills killed fish up to 400km from the discharge point.