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Environmental brief ~ Judge rules NJ railroad waste transfer stations can stay open

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental law news, Judge Katherine Hayden of the US District Court for the District of New Jersey [official website] ruled Monday that the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway [corporate website] could continue to operate five waste transfer stations in North Bergen NJ until at least the end of the year. The New Jeresy Department of Environmental Protection [official website] wanted to close the railroad's transfer stations and collect more than $2.5 million in fines assessed against the railroad in July. The railroad argues that it exempt under federal law from state and local regulation, but is attempting to comply with the new state transload facility regulations. Judge Hayden will revisit the public health and safety issues in December, when the railroad's promised improvements are supposed to be in place. NorthJersey.com has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • The Texas General Land Office (GLO) [official website] has approved the lease [GLO backgrounder] of an 11,000 acre tract in the Gulf of Mexico, 7 miles off the Galveston coast, for the development of a 50 turbine wind farm. The 30 year lease went to the Galveston Offshore Wind company for $10,000 a year, for the first five years, then up to a minimum of $4.9 million in royalties. The money the state receives will go into the state education budget. The company is expected to begin energy production between 2010 and 2012, and hopes to provide energy for about 40,000 homes. AP has more.

  • Japanese prosecutors received a case from the Japan Coast Guard [official website] Monday alleging that JFE Steel Corp. [corporate website] and four employees of the company discharged waste water containing toxic cyanide compounds and hydrogen ions exceeding regulatory standards [official factpage] into the eastern part of Tokyo Bay. Prosectors are also investigating allegations of environmental data falsification. Kyodo news has more.

  • Japan's Ministry of the Environment [official website] proposed Tuesday that a tax on energy consumption be levied beginning in 2007. The taxes would include 1.58 yen per kilogram for coal, 0.25 yen per kilowatt-hour for electricity, 1.38 yen per cubic meter for manufactured gas and 1.52 yen per liter for gasoline. The taxes are expected to cost each household an average 2,100 yen (US$18) annually. Kyodo News has more.

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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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