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Environmental brief ~ US FWS to review polar bear status under Endangered Species Act

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, the US Fish and Wildlife Service [official website] announced [press release] today that it has initiated a status review of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) [backgrounder, video] to determine whether it should be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act [text]. If listed, federal agencies would have to factor in the health of the species before taking any action, a move which could effect greenhouse gas emissions and other regulations. The FWS will accept comments regarding the species for a 60 day period, beginning February 9. AP has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • Japan's Environment Ministry [official website] has announced it will allow private companies to import and export industrial waste, as long as the company ensures the waste is properly disposed or recycled. Under the current Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law [PDF text] only local governments and others legally responsible for waste disposal can import and export industrial waste. The Ministry hopes that increased trade in the waste will lead to more recycling, particularly of electronic parts that contain scarce metals and other elements. The Asahi Shimbun has more.

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