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Environmental brief ~ HHS to ban tobacco on its property

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Thompson has announced that starting in January all tobacco will be banned on HHS property. The Department, which has about 66,000 employees, currently bans smoking inside its buildings. The new ban will extend the smoking ban to all outdoor property as well as including smokeless tobacco products. Enforcement with the new policies will be done by securities officers who will issue warnings and submit violators' names to supervisors for possible additional action. HHS is also beginning treatment programs for smokers, providing counseling and products for coping with withdrawal, such as nicotine gum and patches. HHS has set up a website with advice for quitting smoking here. The Washington Post has more.

In other news, the former project manager at the Anaconda mine superfund site in Nevada has filed a whistleblower complaint against the Bureau of Land Management. Earle Dixon worked as the environmental protection specialist overseeing various pollution and hazardous materials issues at the mine. He was dismissed on October 5, 2004, and claims that he was fired for pointing out numerous problems at the site that would increase cleanup costs. PEER News has more.... The UK Environment Agency has fined Kronospan Co., a maker of wood panels and flooring, about US$111,000 for eight counts of water pollution. The company spilled oil into a tributary in July 2003 and had accidentally released non-treated effluent into a river over a period of months. BBC News has more.

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