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Litigation

SOUTHERN COMPANY CLIMATE REPORT FAILS TO ANALYZE STRINGENT CAPS

Southern Company has issued its long-awaited climate change report to shareholders without analyzing the potential impact of highly stringent regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States over the next decade, marking a contrast to several other electric utilities which have recently said in similar reports that such regulations are inevitable.

The controversial report also comes as a group of state treasurers and other pension funds have agreed to spend $1 billion over the next year to promote clean energy technologies to mitigate global climate change.

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ACTIVISTS WARN EXCHANGE RULES SET BAD PRECEDENT FOR FUTURE MANDATE

Environmentalists are raising concerns after the first sale of agricultural offsets took place on the Chicago Climate Exchange, the nation's only broad-based market for trading greenhouse gas credits. Activists warn the exchange's rules do not ensure that the offsets are real, and worry that farmers might want to hold on to the same rules under any future mandate to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2).

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SMALL FARMERS EYE SUIT OVER REQUIRED FUNDING OF EPA SAFE HARBOR

Small pork producers are likely to sue the federal government over the funding mechanism for EPA's controversial enforcement safe harbor agreement with concentrated animal feeding operations, arguing farmers who do not support the initiative are being forced to pay for it through a mandatory industry fee.

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ACTIVISTS THREATEN LAWSUIT TO FORCE INTERSTATE MERCURY CONTROLS

Environmentalists in Idaho are negotiating with Nevada officials to control mercury releases from mining operations that allegedly cross state boundaries, threatening that failure to reach an agreement could prompt a lawsuit under the Clean Air Act.

Nevada officials say a three-year-old voluntary program to reduce mercury emissions has had significant success, but acknowledge that there has been confusion over pollution levels reported by mining operations in the state.

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FOUNDRY AGREEMENT ON MERCURY MAY AFFECT UTILITY CONTROLS

An agreement by a New Jersey foundry to install a mercury-control technology identical to that used by some coal-fired power plants should force the electric utility industry to use the technology sooner than EPA is planning to require it, some state sources say.

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PESTICIDE MAKERS MULL EPA RULES TO ADDRESS HIGH COURT BATES RULING

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The pesticide industry may urge EPA to promulgate new rules under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to address the Supreme Court's recent Bates ruling, which curtailed federal preemption of state claims based on pesticide labels, industry officials say.

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HAWAII ACTIVISTS DEMAND NEW INJUNCTION TO HALT STRYKER CONSTRUCTION

With construction scheduled to begin in the next few weeks, a coalition of Hawaiian environmental organizations is making a last-ditch effort to save what they call "irreplaceable cultural and biological treasures" by asking a federal judge to enjoin the Army from clearing new training grounds for its planned Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT).

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NAVY ASKS APPELLATE COURT TO STAY OLF INJUNCTION, CITING NEPA ERRORS

The Navy is asking a federal appeals court to stay, suspend or modify a district court injunction that has halted all work on its outlying landing field (OLF) in North Carolina, saying the district judge committed serious errors when he issued the injunction based upon violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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FIRST-TIME APPELLATE RULING BARS PRIVATE PARTIES' RCRA SUITS AGAINST U.S.

A federal appeals court has, for the first time, ruled that the waiver of sovereign immunity under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) does not allow private parties to sue federal agencies to recoup cleanup costs and damages stemming from environmental contamination.

The court ruled that the waiver that Congress provided in 1992 in the Federal Facilities Compliance Act (FFCA), which amended RCRA, only allows states to sue federal agencies.

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OKLAHOMA SUIT AGAINST EPA COULD DETERMINE KEY AUTHORITY FOR TRIBES

EPA is facing litigation from Oklahoma for allowing Native American officials to set water quality standards on tribal lands, in a case that could set a precedent for 37 other tribes in the state that have petitioned the agency for similar authority.

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