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Environmental brief ~ California air board approves emissions plan for shipping industry

[JURIST] Leading Friday's environmental law news, the California Air Resources Board [official website] has approved a plan [text and backgrounder] that calls for new emissions regulations and business incentives to reduce air pollution from shipping companies, railroads and trucking companies. The plan is specifically aimed at achieving federal standards for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels under the Clean Air Act [text]. AP has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • Two former Bristol Township, Pennsylvania [government website] wastewater treatment plant employees pleaded guilty Thursday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania [official website] to felony violations [information, PDF] of the Clean Water Act [PDF text] for dumping untreated sewage into the Delaware River. Plant superintendent Steven McClain and operator Ronald C. Meinzer discharged thousands of gallons of sewage into the river at least twice between August and September 2004, disconnected alarms that would have signaled a lack of chlorine in the discharge, and falsified water testing samples. Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2006, and the men could face up to five years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection [official website] announced a consent order and agreement Thursday with Molycorp [corporate website] for violating the state Clean Streams Law [text]. Molycorp produced metallurgical products, including molybdenum, at their Washington County site until 2001. Radioactive elements were disposed at the site and have contaminated local groundwater. Molycorp has been cleaning up the site for a number of years and under the agreement cleanup will continue and the company will pay $475,000, which will go into the state's Clean Water Fund. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.

  • Residents of DuPage County, Illinois seek class certification in a lawsuit filed Thursday for groundwater contamination. The suit was brought against the DuPage County Forest Preserve District [official website] and BFI Waste Systems (now Allied Waste Systems) [corporate website], which operated a 534 acre landfill on Forest Preserve property from 1975 to 1999. County-owned landfills were closed by 2000 after a court order disallowing landfills on public lands. 80 households that draw well water have unsafe levels of vinyl chloride [EPA backgrounder], a carcinogen, that is allegedly seeping from the landfill. The county has been providing bottled water, but the residents seek compensation to hook into a public water system. The Chicago Tribune has more.

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