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Environmental brief ~ California to enforce vehicle idling ban

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, California state officials have decided to begin to enforce the state's vehicle idling ban [text]. The measure bans trucks from idling for over 5 minutes and busses for over 10, with some exceptions. Tickets will start at $100, and there is no maximum. The measure will apply to over 400,000 diesel vehicles that weigh over 5 tons. The restrictions hope to cut down on air pollution from the running engines. The Modesto (CA) Bee has the full story.

In other news,

  • Legislators in Washington State are proposing to enact the California emission standards [official CA emission program website] for new automobiles sold in the state starting in 2009 and for new light trucks in 2016. Bills in both the WA House and Senate propose the measure, and a public hearing on the clean car proposal is scheduled before the Senate Water, Energy and Environment Committee on Wednesday. Six states have adopted the CA emission standards. AP has more.

  • Enough signatures have been collected to put to a vote a measure that would ban genetically modified (GM) crops and livestock for 10 years in Sonoma County, CA. Sonoma County is in the heart of California's wine region, and currently does not have any GM farming, although some farmers were looking into using GM products to reduce the need for pesticides. If the measure passes, Sonoma would become the fourth CA county to ban GM crops. Reuters has the full story.

  • The National Marine Fisheries Service [official website] has extended the comment period for a proposed rule [text] that would establish critical habitat areas along the Pacific northwest coastline. The areas proposed for designation would help protect 20 species of Pacific salmon and O. mykiss, including steelhead salmon and rainbow trout. Comments can be made here until March 14.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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