[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, signatories of the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer meet this week to discuss the progress that has been made in the reduction of ozone depleting substances (ODS). It is expected that at least 17 developed countries will ask for an extension of the final phase out day for methyl bromide, used in agriculture as a fumigant pesticide. Under the protocol, use of the chemical in developed countries has been held at 1995 levels, and is set for a total phase out on January 1, 2005. Developing countries have until 2015 to phase out the chemical. Background on the protocol is here. The Financial Times has more.
In other news, the San Francisco Commission on the Environment today will consider a proposal that would place a tax on grocery bags. The tax would help offset the cost to the city for the cleanup, disposal and recycling of plastic garbage bags. Many proponents of the tax are environmentalists who hope to cut down on the use of plastic bags which they view as environmentally unfriendly. The tax would increase the price of the currently free grocery bags to 17 cents a piece. If the proposal is approved by the Commission, it would have to be approved by the city's Board of Supervisors and the Mayor. USA Today has the full story....At a New Jersey state board meeting yesterday, environmentalists voiced their support for a proposal that would add carbon dioxide to the list of air pollutants to be regulated by the state's Department of Environmental Protection under the Air Pollution Control Act. Regulation of the gas has not occurred on the federal level, but New Jersey and 8 other northeastern states have declared their intent to regulate carbon dioxide in the region, setting emission levels and allowing the trade of pollution credits between industrial companies. New Jersey is expected to finalize the listing in the next few months. The NJ Star-Ledger has more.