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Environmental brief ~ Earth Day celebrates 35th anniversary

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, today is the 35th celebration of "Earth Day", a day first started by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as a time to reflect on the environment and mankind's relationship to it. The first Earth Day in 1970 was marked with seminars held around the country on air and water pollution, wilderness, land use and the protection of species. Later that year, President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, and within four years a whole series of landmark legislation was enacted: the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Amendments, the Coastal Zone Protection Act, the Estuarine Act, the Marine Mammals Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. EPA has more on Earth Day events and history.

In other news,

  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission [official website](NRC) Thursday proposed [NRC press release] a record $5.45 million fine [NRC fine text] against FirstEnergy Corp. [company website] for neglect of safety procedures at the Davis-Besse [DoE factpage] nuclear power plant in Ottawa County, OH. The NRC said that $450,000 of the proposed fine is specifically attributed to a willful failure to provide the NRC with complete and accurate information about the plant's status after the reactor was refueled in 2000. There is also an ongoing federal grand jury investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing at the plant. The Toledo Blade has the full story.

  • Japan's Defense Facilities Administration Agency [official website, Japanese]and the US Navy [official website] have paid 35 million yen (approx. US$330,000) in compensation for two Japanese workers exposed to asbestos at a US Navy base. 22 million yen was paid to a relative of a Japanese worker who died two years ago at the age of 88 and 13 million yen went to a 70-year-old man suffering from serious lung problems as a result of asbestos exposure at the US Navy's Yokosuka base. Navy officials report that the base completed the removal of asbestos from all of its ships more than a decade ago. AP has the full story.

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