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Environmental brief ~ States sue USDA over invasive beetle control

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, four states have sued [press release] the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) [official website] for failing to impose effective controls against invasive wood-eating beetles. New York, California, Connecticut and Illinois filed a lawsuit [PDF complaint] which alleges that the USDA does not do enough to prevent the Asian long-horned beetle [profile], emerald ash borer [profile], and pine shoot beetle [profile] from entering the country. It is generally believed that the beetles enter the US on or within wooden shipping pallets. New regulations [text] for wood packaging material, which were finalized a year ago, take effect Friday [press release].

In other environmental law news...

  • China's Guangdong provincial government [official website] has announced that it will permanently shutdown all of its mines. The shutdowns began earlier this year as it closed 112 mines because they lacked the required production or work safety licenses. The government will soon close the remaining 141 mines, located in Meizhou, Qingyuan and Shaoguan, citing safety and environmental health concerns. The China Daily has more.

  • The Supreme Court of India [official website] will hear a case in which the government of India's state of Kerala is challenging the use of groundwater by the Coca-Cola India company [corporate website]. The High Court of Kerala [official website] had ruled that the company could extract 500,000 liters of water per day, under normal rainfall conditions. The state argues that the company's water usage deprives poor villages of water and violates the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of India's constitution. The company argues that the groundwater usage claims are without scientific basis [company backgrounder, case documents]. The New Kerala has more.

  • The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [official website] seeks comments on a proposed rule [text] that would reintroduce a population of northern aplomado falcons (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) [profile] into their historic habitat in southern New Mexico and Arizona, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act [text]. If the rule is finalized, the FWS could release up to 150 captive-raised northern aplomado falcons annually for 10 or more years, until a self-sustaining population is established. Comments can be made here until November 15, 2005.

  • The US FWS also seeks comments [press release] regarding the regulations for humane and healthful transport of wild mammals and birds to the United States. The current regulations [text] are in accordance with the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) [factpage] published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) [official website] in 1993 (20th edition). Since the regulations are 12 years old, the FWS wants to update the federal regulations to comply with the current edition of the LAR, which has been adopted by the European Union, a number of other governments, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) [official website], of which the US is a member. Comments can be made here until December 15, 2005.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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