[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, the Southeastern PA Transit Authority (SEPTA) [corporate website] has received $23 million as part of a settlement agreement to reimburse the company for cleanup at the Paoli Rail Yard Superfund site [EPA website]. The site was originally used (and polluted) by the Penn Central railroad which dissolved in bankruptcy in 1976, and was then assumed and cleaned up by SEPTA, Conrail and Amtrak. In a separate settlement, Amtrak will receive $15 million for its costs associated with the cleanup. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
In other news,
- Indonesian legislators have passed a ban on smoking for public areas in the capital city of Jakarta. Under the bill, person caught violating the ban can be fined up to 50 million rupiahdollars or face up to 6 months in jail. AFP has more.
- Testifying before the Senate Agriculture Committee [official site], USDA Secretary Johanns reaffirmed yesterday the plan to reopen the border to imports of Canadian beef on March 7. Read the text of his statement, [text] or listen to a recording of the hearing [requires RealPlayer]. Imports of beef from Canada were banned in 2003 following cases of BSE [CDC factpage] (mad-cow disease) were found there. The CBC has more.
- The Schuylkill County, PA zoning hearing board approved a proposal Thursday that will create the first "wind farm" in the area. The approval is a first in the area traditionally known for its coal and coal-fired power plants. The proposed farm will have 13 wind turbines, each 380 feet tall, and could provide energy for up to 8,000 homes. Less then 1 percent of energy in PA comes from wind farms. The Allentown Morning Call has more.
- The US Agricultural Marketing Service [official site] seeks comments on a proposed rule [text] that would increase the assessment rate for the Prune Marketing Committee from $4 to $6 per salable ton of dried prunes. The money raised by the assessments on producers and handlers of the fruit in California pay for the national marketing program. The increase is proposed since the crop yield is expected to be 20K tons lower than last year (from 68,950 to 47,203 tons). Comments can be made here until March 7.