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Environmental brief ~ 9th Circuit rules in favor of fish over farmers

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] has ruled [PDF text] that the US Bureau of Reclamation [official website] must come up with a new plan to use water from the Klamath River. The river, which runs from northern California to the Oregon coast, has been source of controversy between farmers who want water for irrigation and environmentalists who claim water levels will become too low to support the Coho salmon, a threatened species [listing status] that lives in the river. The court ruled the National Marine Fisheries Service's alternative [PDF text], which would allow for the diversion of water for farmers, was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Endangered Species Act [text]. The Los Angeles Times has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney [official website] is considering proposals that would allow power plants within the state to produce more energy by relaxing air pollution regulations [listings]. The move is prompted by fears that blackouts could strike New England this winter leaving people without heat, and because of rising gas prices. The Boston Globe has more.

  • Trenton New Jersey school officials filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the New Jersey Schools Construction Corp. [corporate website] claiming a partially-built school is being constructed on ground contaminated with carcinogenic pollutants. The building has already cost the state $10 million. The school officials want the building torn down, the contaminated ground removed, and reimbursement for expenses. The Star-Ledger has more.

  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection [official website] agreed Tuesday to take over cleanup of the Ringwood mine and landfill [EPA factsheet, PDF] which had been contaminated by sludge from a former Ford [corporate website] paint plant. The state was asked to intervene in the cleanup by the regional US EPA [official regional website] director, who said that negotiations had broken down between local residents, the EPA, and Ford. The EPA and Ford have been cleaning up the site for over 20 years. NorthJersey.com has more.

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