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Environmental brief ~ Alaska petroleum reserve sites opened for drilling

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's environmental law news, the Alaska Bureau of Land Management [official website] has issued [PDF press release] a Record of Decision [PDF text] Wednesday that will open approximately 500,000 acres of land in the National Petroleum Reserve [backgrounder] in Alaska to oil and gas drilling. The RoD contains amendments to the Final Environmental Impact Statement [PDF text] including setting aside roadless areas within the area to protect goose and caribou habitat areas. AP has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • The Boeing Co. [corporate website] has agreed to pay $30 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed a partial nuclear meltdown at the company's Santa Susana Field Laboratory [corporate website] in Ventura County CA caused many nearby residents to get cancer. The accident occurred in 1959, but did not create much concern until a disclosure in 1989 of continuing low-level nuclear and chemical contamination. AP has more.

  • Criminal charges have been brought against former treatment plant supervisor Robert Lee Shewell and plant engineer Joseph Edward Ambrozewicz, Jr. for conspiring to coverup a raw sewage spill at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds [official website] in Maryland. The men had worked for the Maryland Environmental Service [corporate website], an independent, quasi-state agency that had operated the wastewater plant at the base. The spill occurred when sewage overran a containment pit and went into a marsh that adjoined the nearby Gunpowder River. The men allegedly submitting reports claiming that the spill was of water that had already been treated. The Baltimore Sun has more.

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