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Environmental brief ~ Federal judge stops mining near Everglades

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's environmental law news, Judge William M. Hoeveler of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] has ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers [official website] and the US Fish and Wildlife Service [official website] failed to adequately study the environmental impacts before issuing mining permits in 2002. The permits allowed for a 10 year continuation of limestone mining on 5,000 acres of land at the edge of the Everglades National Park [official website]. The area has been mined since the 1950s, but critics claimed that the environmental impacts of the additional mining had not been studied. AP has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • The Maine Senate [official website] approved two bills Wednesday that should decrease the amount of mercury being used in the state. The first, LD 1058, would make it illegal to sell or distribute mercury-added button cell batteries after June 30, 2011. The batteries are often found in toys and other novelty products. The second bill, LD 1338, would require dentists to annually report the amount of mercury amalgams they purchase and use to the state. Both bills are now waiting to be signed by the governor. Village Soup has more.

  • British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown [official profile] released his 2006 budget [PDF text] Wednesday, which included increased excise taxes for vehicles based on their carbon emissions. The tax, applied to the sale of new vehicles, ranges from zero for electric cars to over US$364 for some sports cars and sport utility vehicles. BBC News has more.

  • A Tennessee Blount County Circuit Court [official website] judge dismissed a suit Wednesday against ALCOA Inc. [corporate website] that alleged secondary exposure to asbestos caused the death of Amanda Satterfield on January 1, 2005. The suit was originally filed by Ms. Satterfield in 2003, alleging that she was exposed to asbestos brought home on the work clothes of her father, Doug Satterfield, which caused her to contract mesothelioma. After her death, her father continued the suit as representative of her estate. In his dismissal, Judge W. Dale Young, wrote that as a matter of law ALCOA owed no legal duty of care to Ms. Satterfield. The Maryville Daily Times has more.

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