Posted by: Steven M. Taber | August 23, 2010

Environmental Law and Climate Change Law Newsletter, August 23, 2010, vol. 2, no. 23

The following is a summary review of articles from all over the nation concerning environmental law settlements, decisions, regulatory actions and lawsuits filed during the past week.  These were all first posted, in abbreviated form, on http://twitter.com/smtaber.  This Newsletter also appears as a post on our website Taber Law Group every Monday. Archives can be found there and on our blog, The Environmental Law and Climate Change Law Blog.  For more information about the Taber Law Group, please visit our website at taberlaw.com.

SETTLEMENTS

New Jersey Landfill Owners Agree to Comply with Clean Air Act. – Department of Justice News Release, August 9, 2010
The second of two agreements to resolve longstanding problems with landfill gas emissions and their negative impacts on air quality at the Middlesex County and Edgeboro landfills in New Jersey has been reached to bring them into compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Justice Department and   Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.  The two settlements together resolve all outstanding compliance issues at the landfill facilities. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was also a party to the agreement. Under the agreements, both facilities will enhance environmental controls at the site, conduct regular monitoring and make other required infrastructure improvements to meet federal standards. Landfill gas collected by the separate Middlesex County Utilities Authority (MCUA) and Edgeboro Disposal Inc. (EDI) gas collection systems is treated and then used to generate electricity.
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Washington University in St. Louis to Pay $15,000 Civil Penalty, Clean High School Labs to Settle Hazardous Waste Allegations. – EPA News Release, August 9, 2010
Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., will pay a $15,000 civil penalty and spend at least $45,000 on a supplemental project to help clean local high school laboratories of hazardous waste, as part of a settlement with EPA Region 7 over hazardous waste management issues at the university’s Danforth and School of Medicine campuses. According to an administrative consent agreement filed in Kansas City, Kan., an EPA representative conducted compliance evaluation inspections at the university’s Danforth Campus, at One Brookings Drive, and at the School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, on separate dates in April 2008. Those inspections noted several violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.
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Plains Pipeline to Spend $41 Million to Prevent Oil Spills Across 10,000 Miles of Pipeline. – EPA News Release, August 10, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Justice Department announced that Plains All American Pipeline and several of its operating subsidiaries have agreed to spend approximately $41 million to upgrade 10,420 miles of crude oil pipeline operated in the United States. The settlement resolves Plains’ Clean Water Act violations for 10 crude oil spills in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and requires the company to pay a $3.25 million civil penalty. “In the last year alone, transportation pipelines released more than two million gallons of oil into the environment, posing a serious threat to human health and natural habitats,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “These spills – and the recent pipeline spill in the Kalamazoo River – remind us that we must be diligent in our enforcement efforts and work to ensure that companies are meeting their environmental obligations.”
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Houston-based Plains Pipeline to Spend More Than $44 Million to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations. – Department of Justice News Release, August 10, 2010
Plains All American Pipeline L.P. and several of its operating subsidiaries will spend approximately $41 million over the next three years to prevent and remediate corrosion, improve leak detection practices and capabilities, and enhance pipeline oversight on 10,420 miles of crude oil pipeline operated in the United States, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.   The settlement resolves Houston-based Plains’ Clean Water Act violations arising out of 10 crude oil spills in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kansas and also requires the pipeline company to pay a $3.25 million civil penalty. Between June 2004 and September 2007, approximately 6,510 barrels of crude oil were discharged from various pipelines and one tank owned and operated by Plains into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.   The 10 spills ranged in size from 2.5 barrels to 4,500 barrels and most were caused by pipeline corrosion.   Oil spills are known to cause both immediate and long-term harm to human health and ecosystems, including the suffocation of wildlife and the contamination of nesting habitats.
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Tanco Kansas City to Pay $97,845 Civil Penalty for Violations of Clean Water Act, Failure to Prepare Facility Response Plan. – EPA News Release, August 10, 2010
Tanco Kansas City, LLP, a bulk materials storage facility, has agreed to pay a $97,845 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it violated federal laws by failing to properly document its storage of sulfuric acid and prepare a Facility Response Plan (FRP) to guard against spills of its materials into a tributary of the Missouri River. Tanco’s facility at 10520 Wolcott Drive, Kansas City, Kan., did not have an FRP in place at the time of a May 2009 EPA inspection, in violation of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), according to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan.
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EPA, DOJ, State of Hawaii, environmental groups, reach agreement with the City and County of Honolulu to address wastewater collection and treatment systems. – EPA News Release, August 10, 2010
A comprehensive settlement has been reached with the City and County of Honolulu that will address Clean Water Act compliance at Honolulu’s wastewater collection and treatment systems, the Justice Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Hawaii Attorney General’s Office, Hawaii Department of Health, and three environmental groups announced today.  The settlement which also resolves lawsuits brought by the Sierra Club, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends and Our Children’s Earth Foundation, includes a comprehensive compliance schedule for the city to upgrade its wastewater collection system by June 2020. Under the settlement, the Honouliuli wastewater treatment plant will need to be upgraded to secondary treatment by 2024. The Sand Island plant will need to be upgraded by 2035, but could be extended to 2038 based on a showing of economic hardship.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Settlement Reached with City and County of Honolulu to Address Wastewater Collection & Treatment Systems. – Department of Justice News Release, August 10, 2010
A comprehensive settlement has been reached with the City and County of Honolulu that will address Clean Water Act compliance at Honolulu’s wastewater collection and treatment systems, the Justice Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Hawaii Attorney General’s Office, Hawaii Department of Health, and three environmental groups announced today. The settlement which also resolves lawsuits brought by the Sierra Club, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends and Our Children’s Earth Foundation, includes a comprehensive compliance schedule for the city to upgrade its wastewater collection system by June 2020. Under the settlement, the Honouliuli wastewater treatment plant will need to be upgraded to secondary treatment by 2024. The Sand Island plant will need to be upgraded by 2035, but could be extended to 2038 based on a showing of economic hardship.
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Owner of Fertilizer and Feed Supplement Maker in Fairbury, Neb., to Pay $30,000 Penalty for Violations of Clean Water Act. – EPA News Release, August 11, 2010
International Minerals Technology, LLC, of The Woodlands, Texas, has agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it violated the federal Clean Water Act at its Tetra Micronutrients production facility in Fairbury, Neb. Tetra Micronutrients produces zinc and manganese fertilizers and feed supplements at the facility located at 71025 569th Avenue in Fairbury. According to an administrative complaint and consent agreement filed in Kansas City, Kan., a March 2009 inspection found that Tetra Micronutrients exceeded the effluent limits of its stormwater permit for the years 2005 through 2009. Tetra Micronutrients’ facility also violated inspection and review requirements of its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), the inspection found. Permit effluent limits are imposed to protect aquatic life and water quality. Runoff from the Tetra Micronutrients facility contained pollutants, including cadmium, copper, lead and zinc. Polluted runoff can harm or kill fish and wildlife, and impact the quality of drinking water.
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Cheese Manufacturer Sorrento Lactalis to Pay U.S. $315,000 for Exceeding Discharge Levels into Idaho’s Mason Creek. – EPA News Release, August 18, 2010
Cheese manufacturer Sorrento Lactalis Inc. will pay the United States a $315,000 penalty for excess discharges in violation of its wastewater permit levels, according to an agreement between the company, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company discharged the excess pollutants into Mason Creek from its factory operations in Nampa, Idaho, in violation of the Clean Water Act. Sorrento, which treats wastewater in a facility separate from its cheese-making plant, repeatedly violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit over a period of three years from December 2005 to September 2008.
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EPA and Lancaster Company Reach Settlement on Chemical Reporting Violations. – EPA News Release, August 18, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Maxima Technologies & Systems, LLC has settled alleged violations of toxic chemical reporting requirements at its plant on Rohrerstown Road in Lancaster, Pa. EPA cited the company for violating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which requires companies that manufacture, use or produce more than a threshold amount of listed toxic chemicals to file an annual toxic chemical release form with EPA and the state. Companies must also report both routine and accidental releases of toxic chemicals, as well as the maximum amount of any listed chemicals at the facility and the amount contained in wastes transferred off-site.
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DECISIONS

EPA issues order to Estate of James Campbell and Weston Solutions, Inc., to complete final cleanup at former wood treatment facility on Oahu / Action requires completion of final remedy for soil and groundwater at the 2.6-acre site. – EPA News Release, August 11, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has negotiated terms and ordered cleanup of the former Chem-Wood wood treatment facility located in the Ewa Beach area of Oahu. The consent order directs the Estate of James Campbell, a former property owner, and Weston Solutions Inc., the current property owner, to grade the site and consolidate contaminated soil under an asphalt cap. In addition, groundwater will be monitored and treated, and restrictions placed on the property to prevent future residential use and use of groundwater. Weston will also fund a Trust Account to ensure that the final remedy is completed. EPA selected the final remedy in late 2009.
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Judge Revokes Approval of Modified Sugar Beets. – Andrew Pollack, New York Times, August 14, 2010
A federal district court judge revoked the government’s approval of genetically engineered sugar beets Friday, saying that the Agriculture Department had not adequately assessed the environmental consequences before approving them for commercial cultivation. The decision, by Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco, appears to effectively ban the planting of the genetically modified sugar beets, which make up about 95 percent of the crop, until the Agriculture Department prepares an environmental impact statement and approves the crop again, a process that might take a couple of years.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Update on U.S. District Court Activity by Sugar Industry Biotech Council.Sugar Industry Biotech Council, August 14, 2010
On August 13, 2010, Judge Jeffrey White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied plaintiffs’ motion for a permanent injunction banning Roundup Ready sugar beets.  The Court vacated the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) original deregulation decision and remanded the matter back to APHIS.  APHIS may now consider implementing interim measures for planting future Roundup Ready sugar beet crops that comply with applicable federal law, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Court’s order does not interfere with the harvest and processing of Roundup Ready sugar beet and sugar beet seed crops planted before the date of the order.  The Court ruled “such crops may be harvested and processed,” and sugar from the 2010 sugar beet crop may be supplied to the market without limitation.
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Genetically Modified Beets Banned By SF Judge. – Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service, August 14, 2010
A federal judge banned the United States Department of Agriculture from continuing to plant genetically modified sugar beets, granting the Center for Food Safety’s request to vacate approval of the crop. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White limited the order to next year’s crop, allowing beets already planted to be processed and sold as sugar. White ruled last September that the USDA’s planting of the beets violated federal environmental law but did not suggest a remedy. He also urged growers to use conventional seeds. But in his decision Friday, White found the USDA should cease planting the seeds pending a full review from the agency on potential environmental harm. White also disagreed with the USDA’s contention that its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s “deficiencies” in deciding to deregulate the crop without preparing an environmental impact statement “were not that serious or numerous.” “The fact that the Court has already found that APHIS failed to fully consider the potential consequences of deregulation may significantly affect the environment demonstrates that APHIS’s errors are not minor or insignificant,” White wrote.
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Sumner, Washington landowners fined $18,000 for wetlands violations. – EPA News Release, August 18, 2010
Michael and Stacey Ota have agreed to pay a $18,000 penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at their property at 3201 West Valley Highway in Sumner, Washington, according to an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2005, the Otas placed fill material into four acres of wetlands without the required permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to the order. The Otas cleared the property for agricultural purposes. On July 29, 2009, EPA ordered the Otas to restore the wetlands and ditches impacted by these activities. The Otas have restored the site as required by the order and must continue monitoring it until 2019. Michael Ota had previously filled the wetlands at this property without the appropriate permits. He voluntarily restored the site in 1996 with the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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LAWSUITS AND ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS FILED

Eight Beef Feedlots in Northwest Iowa Face Enforcement Actions as EPA Emphasizes Compliance with Clean Water Act. – EPA News Release, August 12, 2010
EPA Region 7 has taken a series of civil enforcement actions against eight beef feedlot operations in northwest Iowa for violations of the Clean Water Act, as part of a continuing enforcement emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the region’s rivers and streams. “EPA has two important jobs: enforcing the Clean Water Act and educating about the benefits of cleaner water,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “Responsible livestock producers understand and work with the agency to advance both goals.” “Clean Water Act permits, which are a crucial tool to maintain water quality, create legal duties to better protect this nation’s waters,” Brooks noted. “EPA works with our state partners to promote producers’ legal compliance. Enforcing and promoting feedlot permits will produce cleaner waters and likely require fewer enforcement actions in the future.”
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EPA Cites International Petroleum Corporation of Delaware for an Oil Spill in Chester County, Pa. – EPA News Release, August 12, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a Clean Water Act complaint against International Petroleum Corporation of Delaware in connection with a 30 gallon oil spill that entered Trout Run in Avondale, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The spill occurred when 400 gallons of oil was discharged onto Pennsylvania State Highway Route 41 in Avondale. The oil traveled through a nearby storm drain into Trout Run, which is a navigable water of the United States. The oil entered the waterway causing a sheen on the surface of Trout Run. EPA is seeking a penalty of $11,000. Trout Run flows into the White Clay Creek which in turn flows into the Christiana River. White Clay Creek is considered an environmentally-sensitive watershed by the U.S. Congress under the National Wild and Scenic River Act.
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Environmental group raising stink in Boca.Associated Press, August 15, 2010
An environmental advocacy group is raising a stink, accusing the Boca Raton wastewater management system of improperly disposing its wastewater. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which filed a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, claims the city spilled 25 million gallons of treated wastewater into a canal in 2006. The group is asking the EPA to investigate that incident and a dozen other alleged infractions. Boca Raton Assistant City Manager Mike Woika said the significance of some violations had been inflated.
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U.S. Chamber Challenges Wisdom of Regulating Climate Change under Clean Air Act.mfrtech.com, August 15, 2010
Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s National Chamber Litigation Center, has issued the following statement on the Chamber’s lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) denial of the Chamber’s petition to reconsider triggering the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions: “The U.S. Chamber, policymakers, numerous trade groups, state governments, and businesses throughout the country have collectively raised strong concerns about the significant negative impact the EPA’s endangerment finding will have on jobs and local economies.”
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U.S. Files Amended Complaint against Owners and Operators of Massachusetts Plant That Exploded in 2006. – EPA News Release, August 17, 2010
The United States has filed an action in U.S. District Court against the operators and owners of an inks and paint products manufacturing facility in Danversport, Mass., that exploded and burned the day before Thanksgiving, 2006. On July 19, 2010, the United States amended a complaint that was filed in March of this year. The civil action against operators C.A.I. Inc., Arnel Company Inc., and two related owner entities seeks to recoup $2.7 million incurred by the United States in connection with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) clean-up of the site following the explosion. The amended complaint also includes claims against the operators seeking penalties for violations of the General Duty Clause of the Clean Air Act, a federal law that requires companies to take measures to prevent and minimize the effects of accidental releases of extremely hazardous substances.
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Los Angeles Men Arrested for Clean Air Act Asbestos Worker Protection Violations. – Department of Justice News Release, August 19, 2010
Charles Yi and John Bostick were arrested Wednesday for violations of the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards committed during the renovation of a 204-unit apartment building in Winnetka, Calif., in January through February of 2006, the Justice Department announced today. The arrest follows a six-count indictment returned against Yi and Bostick by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on July 22, 2010. The indictment also charged the defendants with conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act requires those who remove asbestos from buildings to adhere to established work practice standards to ensure the safe removal, transportation, and disposal of the asbestos.
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REGULATORY ACTIONS

Air

EPA Sets First National Limits to Reduce Mercury and Other Toxic Emissions from Cement Plants. – EPA News Release, August 9, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing final rules that will protect Americans’ health by cutting emissions of mercury, particle pollution and other harmful pollutants from Portland cement manufacturing, the third-largest source of mercury air emissions in the United States. The rules are expected to yield $7 to $19 in public health benefits for every dollar in costs. Mercury can damage children’s developing brains, and particle pollution is linked to a wide variety of serious health effects, including aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and premature death in people with heart and lung disease. “Americans throughout the country are suffering from the effects of pollutants in our air, especially our children who are more vulnerable to these chemicals,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “This administration is committed to reducing pollution that is hurting the health of our communities. With this historic step, we are going a long way in accomplishing that goal. By reducing harmful pollutants in the air we breathe, we cut the risk of asthma attacks and save lives.”
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EPA Proposes Rules on Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions. – EPA News Release, August 13, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing two rules to ensure that businesses planning to build new, large facilities or make major expansions to existing ones will be able to obtain Clean Air Act permits that address their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the spring of 2010, EPA finalized the GHG Tailoring Rule, which specifies that beginning in 2011, projects that will increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit. Today’s rules will help ensure that these sources will be able to get those permits regardless of where they are located. The Tailoring Rule covers large industrial facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the GHGs from stationary sources. The proposals announced today are a critical component for implementing the Tailoring Rule and would ensure that GHG emissions from these large facilities are minimized in all 50 states and that local economies can continue to grow.
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EPA considers expanding fracturing study to air quality. – Dennis Webb, The Daily Sentinel, August 14, 2010
Recently retired Environmental Protection Agency environmental engineer Weston Wilson is best known for criticizing his employer’s 2004 finding that hydraulic fracturing poses little or no risk to domestic groundwater. Now, the Denver EPA whistleblower is encouraged by the agency’s interest in studying the natural gas development procedure’s potential impacts on air quality as well. “I’m proud of EPA now,” not just for undertaking the study, but indicating it may expand the study’s reach beyond water, Wilson said. His position puts him at odds with the oil and gas industry. At a Denver EPA meeting this summer, several industry representatives argued the study should be limited, as directed by a congressional committee, to the relationship between fracturing and groundwater. “And certainly not air quality,” as Kathleen Sgamma of the Western Energy Alliance put it.
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Frisco’s air has too much lead under new federal pollution rules. – Matthew Haag and Valerie Wigglesworth, The Dallas Morning News, August 16, 2010
An area of Frisco that encompasses downtown, several schools and neighborhoods will soon be in violation of new federal lead pollution standards. The 2.4-square-mile nonattainment area, which the city and Exide Technologies Inc. contend is too big, will carry one of 20 such designations nationwide when they become final in mid-October. Few of those sites are in counties or cities as densely populated as Frisco. The designation means the air in the heart of Frisco is unhealthy to breathe. A decades-old lead smelter operated by Exide that crushes and recycles used automotive and industrial batteries is to blame. The plant’s lead emissions are among the highest in the south-central United States.
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Water

EPA Approves Kansas’ List of Impaired Waters. – EPA News Release, August 13, 2010
EPA has approved Kansas’ 2010 list of impaired waters, which removes 264 waters from the previous impaired waters list and adds 468 waters. This brings the total number of impaired waters in the state to 1,387.  A water body is placed on the impaired waters list when monitoring finds that pollutant levels prevent the lake, river, or stream from attaining its beneficial uses. Beneficial uses include human recreation, fish consumption, and maintaining healthy aquatic life.  EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said, “The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s extensive monitoring system helps locate waters in need of our attention. We now must take action to clean them up. The Clean Water Act was passed almost 40 years ago, and while we have made much progress in the last 40 years, we still have a great deal of work to do to make our waters safe and healthy.”
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EPA Proposes Sediment Limits for Chesapeake Bay Pollution Diet. – EPA News Release, August 13, 2010
EPA today announced draft sediment limits as the next step in establishing the Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) for the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The TMDL is a rigorous pollution diet for meeting the water quality standards in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, and restoring local rivers and streams throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed. The six watershed states and the District of Columbia are expected to use the limits, along with those previously issued for nitrogen and phosphorus, as the basis for completing WIPs detailing how they will further divide these limits among pollution sources, and what practices will be implemented to meet water quality standards. An EPA analysis indicates the likelihood that measures to control and reduce nutrient pollution as outlined in these WIPs will also significantly reduce sediment runoff, achieving the annual sediment limits.
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Decision on Iowa’s Water Quality Standards. – EPA News Release, August 18, 2010
EPA has approved revised Iowa water quality standards to support recreational activities and the protection of aquatic life. The approved water quality standards verify the state’s designated uses for 64 water body segments in Iowa. “EPA is committed to assuring that the waters relied upon and enjoyed by the people of Iowa are protected by the Clean Water Act,” said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. “Working together, we will enhance and expand environmental protection for the waters of the state.” Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) submitted new and revised Iowa surface water quality standards to EPA for review and approval, as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA). The state based its recommendations on specific field data gathered by representatives of IDNR in Iowa streams, lakes and rivers.
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Waste

Superfund cleanup in Idaho draws local opposition. – Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press, August 14, 2010
People who live around a toxic former silver mining complex in Idaho have a message for federal environmental officials who want to expand a lengthy cleanup effort: Go home, your help is no longer wanted. Despite the government’s best intentions, some locals think a prolonged federal presence will scare away businesses by sending a message that the Silver Valley is a dangerous place to live. Residents and politicians in this conservative region also believe it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and that the real intention of the government is to shut down the remaining mines.
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EPA Recovers A Quarter Million Dollars In Cleanup Costs at H.M. Quackenbush Site in Herkimer, N.Y., After EPA Removed Tons of Toxic Waste and Sludge. – EPA News Release, August 16, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Frederick H. Hager, the former Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and majority shareholder of H.M. Quackenbush, Inc. for EPA’s cleanup work at the H.M. Quackenbush Superfund site in the Village of Herkimer, New York. The 1.5-acre property was a manufacturing and metal plating factory between 1874 and 2005. In 2006, EPA removed and disposed of hazardous substances that remained on the property. Under the settlement, Mr. Hager is paying EPA $225,000 plus interest, which represents a portion of what EPA spent to conduct cleanup work at the site. The amount reflects Mr. Hager’s ability to pay. “This financial settlement illustrates the strength of our Superfund program and the requirement that the polluter pays,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Using money from the Superfund program, EPA took action, and completed and paid for this cleanup in 2006. We then took steps to recover as much money as possible from the part this is responsible for the pollution. This approach allows for a quicker and saves tax dollars.”
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EPA accepting comments on proposed Lafarge hazardous waste permit. – EPA News Release, August 16, 2010
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 will accept public comments until Sept. 30 on Lafarge North America’s request for a hazardous waste management permit at its Paulding, Ohio, facility. EPA has scheduled a 45-day comment period from Aug. 15-Sept. 30. Written comments must be postmarked by midnight, Sept. 30 and should be sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Land and Chemicals Division (LR-8J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604, Attn: Jae Lee, or e-mail lee.jae@epa.gov. The proposed permit would set air emissions standards for equipment leaks at the company’s cement factory in Paulding. EPA is acting on the hazardous waste permit application under its responsibilities set out in the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
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EPA Proposes Plan to Clean Up the Source of Ground Water Contamination at the Cortese Landfill Site in Sullivan County, NY. – EPA News Release, August 20, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a plan to clean up recently discovered areas of contaminated liquid under the landfill and near some contaminated lagoons at the Cortese Landfill Superfund site in Sullivan County, NY. The ground water beneath this closed landfill was contaminated over several decades by hazardous waste disposed of at the site and it continues to be affected by the two areas of contamination to be addressed by EPA’s proposed plan. EPA is taking public comment on its proposed cleanup plan until September 12, and will hold a public meeting on Monday, August 23 to discuss the details of the plan. “EPA has already removed thousands of drums of hazardous waste from this site, and capped the landfill to prevent rainwater from carrying contamination from it into surrounding areas,” said Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Now, we are planning the final stage of the cleanup, which will tackle the recently discovered source of the contamination at the site.”
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Other

EPA Proposes Improvements to Chemical Reporting Actions to help keep children, families safer. – EPA News Release, August 11, 2010
As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s commitment to strengthen and reform chemical management, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing several actions to improve reporting on chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Inventory Update Reporting Rule enables EPA to collect and make current information on volumes of chemical production, manufacturing facility data, and how the chemicals are used. This information helps the agency determine whether chemicals may pose risks to people or the environment. In addition to enhancing the information to be reported, EPA is proposing to increase the frequency of reporting.
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Power line project faces a three-year delay in N.J. – Wayne Witkowski, Pocono Record, August 15, 2010
It might be even more important now to attend the power line public hearings at Country Club of the Poconos clubhouse on Tuesday and the following day at Stroudsmoor Country Inn the following day, both starting at 6 p.m., after the latest developments. The Susquehanna to Roseland (N.J.) line hit a snag last week on the New Jersey side when Public Service Electric and Gas Co. learned its upgrade likely will be delayed three years to 2015 because of problems with environmental permits. PSE&G on July 29 withdrew its flood hazard application for the eastern half of the project, citing the DEP’s contention that the wetlands application was incomplete because the BPU approved the line in its entirety, rather than the two parts in separate states. A spokesman for PSE&G said new permit applications will be submitted to the DEP soon but the utility also needs to get permits to do work on a potion that crosses Picatinny Arsenal, according to the Sierra Club.
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EPA questions plan for Canada-Texas pipeline Agency calling for a closer look at its impact on minorities, poor. – Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle, August 15, 2010
A proposed pipeline that would ferry Canadian crude oil to Texas refineries has run afoul of the recharged federal push to protect minorities and the poor from an overburden of pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the pipeline plan doesn’t evaluate the potential health impacts on Port Arthur, where one fork of the pipeline will end. The criticism reflects new priorities at the EPA under administrator Lisa Jackson, who has intensified its quest for environmental justice, a movement rooted in the idea that minorities and the poor bear an unfair share of society’s toxic ills. The EPA wants to make sure its actions do not add to that burden. In her two years on the job, Jackson has visited low-income and minority communities across the country. Her stated goal is to include those who are often at the greatest risk of harm but outside the main environmental movement.
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EPA to Take Action on Chemicals Used in Dyes, Flame Retardants, and Industrial Detergents Efforts to limit exposure and reduce harm to people. – EPA News Release, August 18, 2010
As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s commitment to strengthen and reform chemical management, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released action plans today to address the potential health risks of benzidine dyes, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and nonylphenol (NP)/nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). The chemicals are widely used in both consumer and industrial applications, including dyes, flame retardants, and industrial laundry detergents. The plans identify a range of actions the agency is considering under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  “The action plans announced today are examples of EPA’s renewed dedication to improve chemical safety to protect the health of the American people and the environment.” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “These action plans lay out concrete steps EPA intends to take to address the risks associated with chemicals commonly used in this country.”
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STATE & FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION

States struggle to curb pollution by cruise ships. – Lee Van Der Voo, The Spokeman-Review, August 15, 2010
After a week aboard the Carnival Spirit, its passengers can’t help but hit the Seattle pier a little tired. They’re grinning too. With its 16 lounges and bars, 13 decks, three restaurants and four swimming pools, the Spirit offers quite an adventure for the 2,124 people on board. Owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, the Spirit now docks weekly in Seattle’s Elliott Bay. It’s the biggest of the ships home-ported in Seattle in 2010, part of a burgeoning Alaska cruise market that’s expected to bring nearly 900,000 tourists through the city by October. Cruising pumps about $16 million into state and local tax coffers annually and $1.7 million into the Seattle economy every time a ship docks there. But those benefits come at a cost. The very attractions that draw tourists to Alaska-bound ships, such as pristine sanctuary waters, marine wildlife and mountainous seascapes, can be harmed by pollution from cruise ships.
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Bill Introduced to Tackle Sixth Circuit Permitting Problem.National Association of Wheat Growers, August 15, 2010
Agriculture leaders in the Senate and House have introduced legislation that would eliminate the need for additional permitting for pesticide or other crop protection product applications if they are performed within existing label requirements. The question of permitting has become a serious concern for agricultural producers and a major area of work for agriculture advocacy organizations like NAWG since a Sixth Circuit Court ruling in early 2009. Ruling the case of National Cotton Council of America v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Court concluded pesticide discharge is a point source of pollution subject to additional regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA), meaning producers would need additional permitting for every crop protection application. In February, the Supreme Court declined to take the case on appeal, so the Sixth Circuit’s ruling stands as law despite being duplicative of existing regulation and fraught with unintended complications.
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ENERGY

Oil

With BP spill under control, US looks at drill ban. – Chris Kahn, Dina Cappiello, Harry R. Weber, Associated Press, August 14, 2010
Now that the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history has effectively been stopped, the White House is considering an early end to its moratorium on deepwater drilling. But four months after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, regulators have only started to make good on promises to overhaul drilling. Tough measures are stalled in Congress. A $1 billion emergency response network proposed by the industry won’t be operational for another year. And while doomsday scenarios from the BP spill, like oil washing up the East Coast, have not come to pass, there are no guarantees that drilling will be any safer once it does resume. What’s changed is “not enough to make a big difference,” said Charles Perrow, a Yale professor who has studied the spill in the Gulf.
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Natural Gas

EPA moves NY drilling hearing, expecting crowds. – Mary Esch, Bloomberg Businessweek, August 15, 2010
In anticipation of as many as 8,000 people at a public hearing on natural gas drilling, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it was moving it from Binghamton University to a Syracuse convention center 65 miles north. The hearing is the fourth and last by the EPA around the country to get public comment on its study of hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells. Critics say the technology, which blasts chemical-laced water into the earth, could poison water supplies. The industry says it’s been used safely for decades. The EPA said 300 people have signed up to speak at Thursday’s sessions and 1,200 are expected to attend. But C. Peter Magrath, interim president of Binghamton University, said information from law enforcement and various interest groups suggest that an estimated 8,000 people could descend on the campus, prompting the university to raise its cost estimate to cover increased security and a larger meeting area.
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