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Litigation

Judge Questions GE Claims In Case About Superfund Constitutionality

A federal judge is questioning whether General Electric (GE) should have access to internal EPA documents the company says are necessary to advance its pending lawsuit against the constitutionality of a key enforcement provision of federal Superfund law.

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BUSH FAILURE TO APPEAL RULING MAY PROMPT ESA CONSULTATION RULES

A decision by the Bush administration not to appeal a recent court ruling finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has routinely failed to adequately protect the habitat of endangered species will likely result in new regulations with implications for various federal agencies, including EPA, according to government and other sources.

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DISTRICT COURT IN CALIFORNIA VACATES MMPA JUDGMENT IN LFA SONAR CASE

In light of 2003 legislation that amended the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), a federal district court in late September vacated a landmark judgment issued in August 2003 that found the Navy and federal marine regulators had violated aspects of the MMPA and other environmental laws with regard to the Navy's permitted use of low frequency active sonar. Congress' passage last year of measures that relaxed the military's requirements under MMPA, effectively mooted the judgment, the court ruled Sept. 21.

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DISTRICT COURT AGAIN REJECTS NAVY ATTEMPT TO LIFT OLF INJUNCTION

A federal district court judge in North Carolina has for the third time rejected the Navy's attempt to lift a preliminary injunction preventing the service from conducting any preparatory work for an aircraft landing field until the court rules on whether the Navy violated environmental laws when it chose a location for the field near a wildlife refuge.

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LANDMARK APPELLATE RULING ALLOWS GROUPS TO SUE FOR CLEAN WATER DATA

A federal appeals court has for the first time clearly stated that environmental groups have standing to sue dischargers to disclose monitoring and reporting data under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The Nov. 1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit is "critically important" to citizens' ability to enforce the CWA, an environmental attorney familiar with the case says, noting that the CWA permitting program is a self-monitoring system. "We think it is an important victory for environmental groups."

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FEDERAL COURT REJECTS NEPA INJUNCTION, CITING NATIONAL DEFENSE

A federal district court has rejected Native Hawaiian groups' initial efforts to stop the Army from expanding its training activities in Hawaii, arguing that national defense concerns should be given more weight than any potential harm to the environment or cultural resources.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS CONSIDERING LITIGATION OVER MID-FREQUENCY SONAR

Environmentalists are weighing whether to file suit against the Navy, which they say has failed to fully respond to allegations that it is violating environmental laws through its use of mid-frequency sonar in training.

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LANDMARK APPELLATE RULING ALLOWS GROUPS TO SUE FOR CLEAN WATER DATA

A federal appeals court has for the first time clearly stated that environmental groups have standing to sue dischargers to disclose monitoring and reporting data under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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NEW EPA TECHNOLOGY GROUP SEEKS TO TACKLE HIGH-PROFILE PROBLEMS

EPA's newly formed Environmental Technology Council (ETC) -- an agency clearinghouse intended to boost the use of innovative technologies to address environmental problems -- is targeting 10 high-profile environmental problem areas, including boosting compliance with expensive drinking water rules, limiting agricultural pollution and using new monitoring technologies to assist enforcement.

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SAB PANEL EYES INCREASED PENALTIES FOR ILLEGAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

An EPA peer review panel is likely to recommend that the agency use a method of calculating economic benefits that could dramatically increase fines for companies that gain a competitive advantage from violating environmental laws, panelists indicated at a recent teleconference on the agency's illegal competitive advantage (ICA) policy.

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