Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Its time to undertake all of the community mitigation efforts: we have a PSI category 4 pandemic at least and WHO is set to declare the pandemic to be stage 5

Even a day makes a difference!  WHO is now considering increasing its phase to Phase 5.  The US now has a death rate that exceeds 1%, so the Pandemic Severity Index in the US is a Category 4 severity, especially given the death rate in Mexico which appears to be in excess of 2% and thus a Category 5 severity.  So NOW would be the time to begin all of those community mitigation efforts in every affected state....and at least most of them throughout the US.  For the details about what we should do and why, see this reposting from yesterday.  Secondguessing the CDC  But suffice it to say, we need to isolate the ill, quarentine those in close contact with them at home, close schools and deliver instruction on line, reduce business meetings and encourage telework, cancel large gatherings, and in general promote social distancing.  My guess is that it will take another dozen deaths and the spread to another 15 states before the CDC issues these recommendations.   

April 29, 2009 in Governance/Management | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CDC count at 91; new confirmed cases in Michigan Massachusetts, Arizona, and Nevada; one toddler dies in Texas

Wednesday, April 29th AM update

The WSJ has a great map -- it appears to be using official CDC and WHO numbers as opposed to state and national numbers, but still its very useful.  WSJ map

We now have confirmed cases in Michigan, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Nevada and a total of 91 confirmed cases.  

The first confirmed death was a toddler who crossed the border with his family from Mexico into south Texas and who died from the new strain of swine flu in a Houston hospital. The boy, almost 2 years old, was initially treated for flu symptoms in Brownsville, at the far southern tip of Texas, and was transferred to Houston because of the severity of his systems.  The boy appears to have been vulnerable due to underlying medical conditions.  WSJ story

Tuesday, April 28th PM update

With a confirmed case in Indiana and 15 confirmed cases in California, the US case count is now 71.  ABC news link There are also suspected cases in Florida and New Jersey.link to NJ cases  

Richard Besser, acting director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declined to comment on the California investigation, but said, "I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection." ABC news link

Monday, April 27th

With three cases in Sacramento as of Monday evening, the California case count has risen to 13.  Sacramento news link  While CDC still has a total of 40 confirmed cases posted on its site, the number of confirmed cases appears to have risen to 55: 13 in California and 42 in other states.  The Sacramento cases are particularly important because they are the first in Northern California.  Texas also confirmed four more cases, bringing the state total to six.  The new cases in Dallas involve a wider age group -- a 24 year old, a 7 year old and a 3 month old.  Texas news link

April 29, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Check out Peter Gleick's blog on water issues

Gleick Joins the Blogosphere

 

Read and discuss everything water with internationally renowned expert Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, on his new blog.

GleickFeatured on City Brights, San Francisco Chronicle's luminary blogger site, Gleick explores the water challenges facing California, the West, and our world. Follow along as he discusses the threats to our freshwater resources and viable solutions to those threats, drawing from not only his experiences and viewpoint, but also by way of numbers: each post will include an important, unusual, or newsworthy "water number" that will highlight some piece of the water issue.

Click to check it out or join the conversation:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/gleick/index

April 28, 2009 in International, Physical Science, US, Water Quality, Water Resources, Weblogs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NEW GLOBAL WATER AND SANITATION BILL: "THE SENATOR PAUL SIMON WATER FOR THE WORLD ACT OF 2009"

Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on Earth Day would put the United States in the lead of responding to the worldwide crisis in drinking water and sanitation. The new bill, "The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009," commits the U.S. to extending safe, affordable and sustainable supplies of water and sanitation to 100 million people by 2015. Joining companion legislation introduced in the Senate last month, this major bipartisan initiative would put the U.S. in the forefront of addressing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for drinking water and sanitation.

Nearly a billion people currently lack access to safe water, and 2.5 billion people lack a way to dispose of their human wastes safely. More than two dozen resulting diseases-including cholera, typhoid, hookworm and schistosomiasis-trigger the world's most serious public health problem. Diarrheal dehydration caused by these diseases kills more children than AIDS, malaria and TB combined.

Development experts point out that inadequate water and sanitation undermine not only global health but efforts to protect the environment, keep children in school, and empower women. Women and children, as the primary water-haulers across the developing world, bear the brunt of this crisis.

The bill would also strengthen the capacity of USAID and U.S. Department of State to ramp up U.S. developmental and diplomatic leadership, while buttressing American private-citizen initiatives to provide safe, affordable and sustainable drinking water and basic sanitation. The bill builds on the similarly-named landmark 2005 legislation ("The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act") that at long last made safe drinking water and sanitation a priority of U.S. foreign development assistance.

"This new legislation is critical for bringing support-both financial and human-for the water and sanitation crisis to respectable levels," said Patricia Simon, wife of the late Senator Paul Simon. "We shouldn't forget that this problem is solvable; we know the solutions."

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Bush Administration Midnight ESA Consultation Rule Revoked

  FWS Press Release:

Salazar and Locke Restore Scientific Consultations under the Endangered
             Species Act to Protect Species and their Habitats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the two departments are revoking an eleventh-hour Bush administration rule that undermined Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections. Their decision requires federal agencies to once again consult with federal wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – the two agencies that administer the ESA – before taking any action that
may affect threatened or endangered species.

“By rolling back this 11th hour regulation, we are ensuring that threatened and endangered species continue to receive the full protection of the law,” Salazar said. “Because science must serve as the foundation for decisions we make, federal agencies proposing to take actions that might affect threatened and endangered species will once again have to consult with biologists at the two departments.”

“For decades, the Endangered Species Act has protected threatened species and their habitats,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “Our decision affirms the Administration’s commitment to using sound science to promote conservation and protect the environment.”

April 28, 2009 in Biodiversity, Governance/Management, Physical Science, US | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Huge chunk of Wilkins Ice Shelf collapses

When the Wilkins Shelf ice bridge shelf collapsed earlier in April, it was the beginning of the end of the whole shelf.  Today, a 270 square mile chunk of the northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf broke off.  This latest loss from the Wilkins adds to the 150 square miles of icebergs formed by the ice bridge collapse and another 60 square miles of icebergs that have broken off since the ice bridge collapse.  All told nearly 500 square kilometers of ice have broken up.  Scientists estimated that the Wilkins ice shelf could lose a total of 500 to 2,000 square miles after the ice bridge shattered.  The loss of Wilkins and nine other ice shelves does not raise sea levels significantly because the ice is floating and already mostly submerged by the ocean  However, the ice shelfs are almost a dike holding back ice sheets on land.  The loss of the ice shelfs allows that land ice to move faster into the ocean, causing substantial amounts of sea level rise. Reuters report

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CDC Swine Flu Widget

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

California declares state of emergency as confirmed cases rise to 15; LA coroner investigating 2 flu-related deaths discounts swine flu in one case and is still investigating the other

ABC news reports: link

Alarmed by the growing number of swine flu cases and the possibility that a California man may have died from the disease, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency today to help deal with the outbreak....The swine flu virus outbreak spread to two more states and the total number of cases confirmed in the U.S. jumped to 71, health officials said. That figure is expected to keep rising...."I do expect more cases and expect more states to be affected," Rear Admiral Dr. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's science and public health program, told a Senate hearing today.

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

WHO Continues to Advocate No Restrictions on International Travel

I wonder whether WHO has been captured somehow by the WTO or perhaps just aliens.  It continues to advocate no restrictions on international travel:

WHO does not recommend to restrict international travel. As usual it is considered prudent for people who are ill to delay international travel and for people developing symptoms following international travel to seek medical attention.  Regarding the risk of being infected by an influenza virus, travellers are advised, whenever possible, to avoid crowded enclosed spaces and close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections. WHO Update 4, April 28th

WHO must live in a different universe.  How can air travelers or anyone using commercial or public transportation "avoid crowded enclosed spaces and close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections?"  Close contact is defined as within 6 feet,  Just imagine everyone traveling by air trying to maintain a 6 foot circle free of strangers with respiratory infections.  In fact, the product Airborne was created just to deal with the respiratory infections that proliferate on planes, in classrooms, and other crowded quarters.

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

WHO Swine influenza - update 4 - additional confirmed cases in Israel, Spain, and US

28 April 2009--The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 19:15 GMT, 28 April 2009, seven countries have officially reported cases of swine influenza A/H1N1 infection. The United States Government has reported 64 laboratory confirmed human cases, with no deaths. Mexico has reported 26 confirmed human cases of infection including seven deaths.  The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Canada (6), New Zealand (3), the United Kingdom (2), Israel (2) and Spain (2).

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Comparison of EPA Authorities under CAA with Proposed Cap-and-Trade

Here's an interesting paper produced by NYU's Institute for Policy Integrity, outlining EPA's obligations under the CAA given the endangerment finding and contrasting that approach with the proposed cap-and-trade legislation pending in Congress.  The Road Ahead

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CDC Raises Case Count to 64; Increase due to NYC Count; 3 Cases Counted by California as Confirmed Still Missing from CDC Count

CDC Swine Influenza (Flu) Page CDC link

Swine Flu website last updated April 28, 2009 11:00 AM ET

U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
(As of April 28, 2009 11:00 AM ET)
State # of laboratory
confirmed cases
California 10 cases
Kansas 2 cases
New York City 45 cases
Ohio 1 case
Texas 6 cases
TOTAL COUNT 64 cases
International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection
See: World Health OrganizationExternal Web Site Policy.

The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally. Today, CDC reports additional cases of confirmed swine influenza and a number of hospitalizations of swine flu patients. Internationally, the situation is more serious too, with additional countries reporting confirmed cases of swine flu. In response to the intensifying outbreak, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4External Web Site Policy.. A Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.” The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.

CDC has activated its emergency operations center to coordinate the agency’s emergency response. CDC ’s goals are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this swine influenza virus. Yesterday, CDC issued a travel warning recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. CDC continues to issue interim guidance daily on the website and through health alert network notices. CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.

WHO still has not updated their international count.  Again, I'll bet they're busy.

April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Findlaw environmental case summaries February 2009

Table of Contents - February 23rd - 27th

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• US v. Holden
• Sierra Club v. EPA
• Am. Farm Bureau Fed. v. EPA

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U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, February 24, 2009
US v. Holden, No. 07-5573, 07-5574
Defendants' conviction for impeding an EPA investigation was affirmed, where the District Court did not abuse its discretion by excluding evidence of a witness's drug use that did not clearly affect his ability to recall events. Read more...

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, February 26, 2009
Sierra Club v. EPA, No. 07-4485
A petition for review of the EPA's decision not to object to a power plant's air-pollution permit is denied where the EPA may alter its position about a power plant's compliance with the Clean Air Act based on intervening events. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, February 24, 2009
Am. Farm Bureau Fed. v. EPA, No. 06-1410
Petition for review of EPA air quality standards is granted in part and denied in part, where the EPA failed to adequately explain why its fine particulate matter standard was "requisite to protect the public health" under 42 U.S.C. section 7409(b)(1). Read more...

Table of Contents - February 9-13th

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Ohio Valley Env't Coalition v. Aracoma Coal Co.
• Friends of Milwaukee v. Milwaukee Metro. Sewerage Dist.
• Hill v. Gould

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U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, February 13, 2009
Ohio Valley Env't Coalition v. Aracoma Coal Co., No. 071355
In challenge to the Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of permits allowing the filling of West Virginia stream waters in conjunction with area surface coal mining operations, grant of judgment in favor of plaintiffs is reversed and remanded where: 1) the Corps did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in determining the scope of its National Environmental Policy Act analysis; 2) findings regarding stream structure and function, mitigation, or cumulative impacts were not an "abuse of discretion" or "not in accordance with law," 5 U.S.C. section 706(2) (2000); 3) Combined Decision Documents issued with each permit included substantial analysis and explanation about the Corps' impact findings which were within the agency's special expertise and were based on Corps staff's best professional judgment; 4) compensatory mitigation plans contained in the CDDs for the challenged permits were sufficient both for purposes of satisfying the Corps' requirements under the Clean Water Act and ! for justifying issuance of a mitigated finding of no significant impact under NEPA; 5) Corps did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in conducting its required cumulative impact analysis; 6) stream segments, together with the sediment ponds to which they connect, are unitary "waste treatment systems," not "waters of the United States," and the Corps' did not exceed its section 404 authority in permitting them; 7) plaintiff's stream segments claim was not barred by principles of res judicata; and 8) Corps' interpretations of its authority was reasonable in light of the CWA and entitled to deference. Read more...

U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, February 13, 2009
Friends of Milwaukee v. Milwaukee Metro. Sewerage Dist., No. 081103
In a citizens' suit against defendant-sewer district under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) alleging that certain sanity sewer overflows that occurred were violations of defendant's CWA permit and of the CWA itself, dismissal of plaintiffs' suit is affirmed over claims that: 1) the district court violated court mandate by not "considering and giving due weight to post-stipulation violations of the Act; 2) had the district court considered post-stipulation events it would have had no choice but to find that the 2002 Stipulation did not constitute diligent prosecution by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR); and 3) the district court erred by refusing to admit and consider the letter from the EPA to the WDNR. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, February 13, 2009
Hill v. Gould, No. 07-5026
Denial of an application to recover appellant's attorney's fees and expenses under the Equal Access to Justice Act, brought after she won a lawsuit against the Secretary of the Interior, is affirmed where the Secretary's position at the merits stage was substantially justified. Read more..




April 28, 2009 in Air Quality, Cases, Energy, Environmental Assessment, Law, Mining, Sustainability, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Findlaw environmental case summaries March 2009

Table of Contents - March 16-29th

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Trout Unlimited v. Lohn
• Natural Resources Def. Coun. v. EPA

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U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 16, 2009
Trout Unlimited v. Lohn, No. 07-35623
In a challenge to a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulation distinguishing between natural and hatchery-spawned salmon and steelhead when determining the level of protection each species should receive under the Endangered Species Act, the majority of District Court's rulings are affirmed where NMFS decisions were not arbitrary, but reversed where summary judgment to Plaintiff was erroneous. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, March 20, 2009
Natural Resources Def. Coun. v. EPA, No. 07-1151
Petitioner's petition for review of EPA air quality regulations is denied, where: 1) Petitioner failed to object to the EPA's definition of "natural event" during the rulemaking process; and 2) the preamble to the regulations was not a final agency action, and thus was not reviewable under the Clean Air Act. Read more...

Table of Contents - March 9 - 15th

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Am. Bird Conservancy v. Kempthorne
• Dallas v. Hall
• Hempstead County Hunting Club v. Southwestern Electric Power
• Washington v. Chu
• Delaware Dept. of Natural Res. & Envt'l. Ctrl. v. FERC
• Eastern Niagara Pub. Pwr. Alliance & Pub. Pwr. Coal. v. FERC
• State of California v. Allstate Ins. Co.
• People v. Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC

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U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, March 11, 2009
Am. Bird Conservancy v. Kempthorne, No. 07-4609
In an action involving environmental rulemaking, dismissal of plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed where the challenge to the denial by the Fish and Wildlife Service to undertake an emergency rulemaking listing the red knot species of bird endangered, is rendered moot by the publication of the warranted but precluded by higher priority listing in the periodic Candidate Notice of Review. Read more...

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 12, 2009
Dallas v. Hall, No. 08-10890
In an action by a city against the Fish & Wildlife Service based on the agency's establishment of a conservation easement on the city's land, summary judgment for Defendant is affirmed, where the FWS considered a reasonable range of alternatives before creating the easement, and was not required to consider the impact on a potential water source. Read more...

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 12, 2009
Hempstead County Hunting Club v. Southwestern Electric Power , No. 08-2613
In an environmental action, appeal of a denial of a preliminary injunction to halt preconstruction activities for defendant's failure to obtain the permit required by the Clean Air Act is dismissed as moot where defendant has since received the Clean Air Act permit and lawfully begun construction at the site. Read more...

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 10, 2009
Washington v. Chu, No. 06-35227
In an action by the state of Washington against the Department of Energy for violation of hazardous waste management regulations, summary judgment for Plaintiff is affirmed, where the Washington Hazardous Waste Management Act plainly exempts designated nuclear waste from the storage and land-disposal prohibitions "with respect to WIPP" only. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, March 13, 2009
Delaware Dept. of Natural Res. & Envt'l. Ctrl. v. FERC, No. 07-1007
Petitioner state agency's petition for review of FERC's approval of an application to operate a natural gas site is dismissed, where Petitioner lacked standing to challenge the order because it was expressly conditioned on Petitioner's approval. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, March 13, 2009
Eastern Niagara Pub. Pwr. Alliance & Pub. Pwr. Coal. v. FERC, No. 07-1472
Petitioner's petition for review of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) approval of a state agency's license to operate a power project is denied, where FERC's decision to issue the license was reasonable and reasonably explained. Read more...

Supreme Court of California, March 09, 2009
State of California v. Allstate Ins. Co. , No. S149988
In an action arising from efforts to obtain insurance coverage for property damage liability imposed in a federal lawsuit as a result of discharges from a hazardous waste disposal facility, grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is reversed where: 1) triable issues of fact exist as to whether the 1969 overflow fell within the meaning of the absolute pollution exclusion for watercourses contained in the insurance policy; 2) evidence the State should have known flooding was likely is insufficient to prove as an undisputed fact that the waste discharge in 1978 due to flooding was expected and therefore nonaccidental; and 3) there is a triable issue as to whether the cost of repairing the property damage from the 1969 and 1978 discharges can be quantitatively divided among the various causes of contamination. Read more...

California Appellate Districts, March 11, 2009
People v. Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC, No. A116792
In an action involving food warnings, trial court's ruling for the defendant is affirmed where substantial evidence supports the trial courts finding that methylmercury is naturally occurring in canned tuna and thus defendants and other tuna companies are exempt from the warning requirements of Proposition 65. Read more...

Table of Contents - March 2 - 8th

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Summers v. Earth Island Inst.
• Martex Farms, S.E. v. US EPA
• Izaak Walton League of Am., Inc. v. Kimball
• Latino Issues Forum v. EPA

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U.S. Supreme Court, March 03, 2009

Summers v. Earth Island Inst., No. 07-463
In an action challenging Forest Service regulations exempting certain land management activities from the agency's review process, an injunction against the regulations is reversed where Plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the regulations absent a live dispute over a concrete application of those regulations. Read more...

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, March 05, 2009
Martex Farms, S.E. v. US EPA, No. 08-1311
Final decision and order of the Environmental Appeals Board holding plaintiff liable for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is affirmed where: 1) there is no legal basis for plaintiff's argument that the EPA's enforcement action amounted to selective prosecution; 2) plaintiff's claim that it was deprived of a full and fair opportunity to present its case fails as the denial of its motion to depose four witnesses was justified; and 3) there is no evidence that there is any basis for reversal as to the substantive violations committed by plaintiff. Read more...

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 06, 2009
Izaak Walton League of Am., Inc. v. Kimball , No. 07-3689
In an action involving the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act, district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff's claims that the Forest Service violated the Act are time barred by the six year statute of limitations in the Act; and 2) there is no appellate jurisdiction over the appeal of the district court's order remanding the matter to the Forest Service to prepare an environmental impact statement assessing the sound impact of the proposed snowmobile trail. Read more...

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 05, 2009
Latino Issues Forum v. EPA, No. 06-71907
In a petition for review of the EPA's approval of a state air-pollutant reduction program, the petition is denied where the EPA acted lawfully under 42 U.S.C. section 7509(d)(2) by not requiring implementation of "all feasible measures" into the program. Read more...

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April 28, 2009 in Air Quality, Cases, Energy, Environmental Assessment, Forests/Timber, Governance/Management, Land Use, Law, Science, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Findlaw environmental case summaries - March 30 - April 3

Table of Contents

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc.
• New Jersey Dept. of Envtl. Prot. v. US Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n
• Columbia Venture LLC v. S.C. Wildlife Fed.
• Center for Biological Diversity v. Marina Pt. Dev. Co.

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U.S. Supreme Court, April 01, 2009
Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., No. 07-588
In a petition for review of EPA national performance standards for cooling water intake structures, the grant of the petition is reversed, where the EPA permissibly relied on cost-benefit analysis in setting the national performance standards and in providing for cost-benefit variances from those standards. Read more...

U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, March 31, 2009
New Jersey Dept. of Envtl. Prot. v. US Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n, No. 07-2271
Petition for review of an Nuclear Regulatory Commission decision denying NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection request to intervene in relicensing proceedings for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station is denied where in reviewing the application to relicense the nuclear power facility, the Commission is not required to make an environmental impact analysis of a hypothetical terrorist attack on the facility as the relicensing of Oyster Creek does not have a reasonably close causal relationship with the environmental effects that would be caused by a terrorist attack. The NRC also already addressed the environmental impact of such an attack in its Generic Environmental Impact Statement and site-specific Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Read more...

U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 03, 2009
Columbia Venture LLC v. S.C. Wildlife Fed., No. 05-2398
In a challenge to a FEMA decision regarding certain base flood elevation determinations, the District Court's order vacating those determinations is reversed, where Plaintiffs failed to show that they were prejudiced by FEMA's failure to timely publish notice of the decision in the Federal Register. Read more.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, March 30, 2009
Center for Biological Diversity v. Marina Pt. Dev. Co., No. 06-56193
In an action under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA), judgment for Plaintiffs is reversed, where: 1) Plaintiffs did not give sufficiently specific notice of intent to sue under the CWA; and 2) the ESA action was moot because the species at issue had been delisted during the pendency of the appeal. Award of attorney's fees to Plaintiffs is affirmed, where the mootness of the ESA action did not affect the fee award. Read more...

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April 28, 2009 in Air Quality, Biodiversity, Cases, Governance/Management, Sustainability, US, Water Quality | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Now back to our regularly scheduled program: Findlaw environmental case summaries

Here are the Findlaw case summaries from mid-April.  No cases of interest were published during the last week.

Table of Contents

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CASES

• Ecology Center v. Castaneda
• Kane Cty. v. Salazar
• Arizona Pub. Serv. Co. v. EPA
• Hydro Resources, Inc. v. EPA
• Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Dep't of Interior

FindLaw's case summaries are copyrighted material and are not intended for republication without prior approval. You may, however, freely redistribute this e-mail in its entirety.  To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. [Subscribing to FindLaw is free]

 U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 17, 2009

Ecology Center v. Castaneda, No. 07-35054
In a challenge to Defendant Forest Service's approval of timber sales, summary judgment for Defendant is affirmed, where: 1) Defendant met the "best available science" requirement in setting the old growth standard; and 2) the guideline language underlying Plaintiff's claim was not mandatory. Read more...

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 13, 2009
Kane Cty. v. Salazar, No. 07-4207
In an action alleging that the Secretary of the Interior's land management plan violated Plaintiff county's water rights, the dismissal of the complaint is affirmed, where Plaintiffs failed to allege that the Secretary failed to take a discrete action that it was required to take, as required by 5 U.S.C. section 706. Read more...

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 14, 2009
Arizona Pub. Serv. Co. v. EPA, No. 07-9546
In a petition for review of an EPA regulation limiting emissions, the petition is granted in part, where the parties agreed to a remand regarding fugitive dust limits, but denied in part, where the Clean Air Act does not prohibit the EPA from relying on current air quality monitoring data. Read more...

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, April 17, 2009
Hydro Resources, Inc. v. EPA, No. 07-9506
In a petition for review of the EPA's determination that land owned by Plaintiff was "Indian country," the petition is denied, where Congress set aside the land for use by Indians as Indian land, the federal government was actively involved in superintending the land, and there was an "element of cohesiveness" in the community there. Read more...

U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, April 17, 2009
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, No. 07-1247
In a petition for review of a Department of Interior oil and gas leasing program, the petition is granted in part, where the program's environmental sensitivity rankings were irrational, but denied in part, where Petitioners' remaining claims were unripe because there was no allegation that they would be affected by potential climate change. Read more...

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April 28, 2009 in Cases | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Bending over backwards: Waxman and Markey grant Republicans another day of hearings on climate change bill

Listing the 40 days of hearings that have already been held, Waxman and Market nevertheless agree to hold another day of hearings on May 1, 2009.  The list is a good beginning for a legislative history on the bill. hearings list I I just hope that the quality of witnesses is better than Newt Gingrich saying that he's still not sure that global warming is caused by humans.

April 28, 2009 in Air Quality, Climate Change, Current Affairs, Energy, Governance/Management, Legislation, Sustainability, US | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing on Swine Flu Scheduled for Thursday

Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on “Swine Flu Outbreak and the U.S. Federal Response”

Publications - Media Advisories
April 27, 2009
The Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled, “Swine Flu Outbreak and the U.S. Federal Response,” on Thursday, April 30, 2009, in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.  The hearing will examine the recent outbreak of swine flu and the next steps for a federal response at the Department of Health and Human Services.

WHEN:          10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 30

WHERE:        2123 Rayburn House Office Building

 


April 28, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Enormous Gap between WHO figures and Mexico figures about extent of swine flu

The report from Mexico is at least 20 confirmed deaths and up to 149 deaths from the swine flu epidemic:

Mexico cancelled school nationwide Monday and warned the death toll from a swine flu epidemic believed to have killed 149 people would keep rising before it can be contained. Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said 20 of the deaths have been confirmed to be from swine flu and the government was awaiting results on the other deaths. "We are the most critical moment of the epidemic. The number of cases will keep rising so we have to reinforce preventative measures," Cordova said at a news conference that was briefly shaken by an earthquake centered in southern Mexico. Cordova said 1,995 people have been hospitalied with serious cases of pneumonia since the first case of swine flu was reported on April 13. The government does not yet know how many were swine flu. Of those hospitalied, 1,070 have been released.Link to recent story

WHO is currently reporting 26 confirmed cases with 7 confirmed deaths. WHO link Why are WHO figures lagging so badly?  It would seem to me that WHO should have real time data and direct communication with Mexico's health secretary! 

April 27, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WHO publishes the 2009 Pandemic Preparedness and Planning Recommendations

By an accident of timing, WHO just published new recommendations about pandemic preparedness and planning.  WHO Pandemic Influenza Planning document The recommendations have been 18 months in the making...but I guess WHO thought it was time to push them out the door.

April 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)