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Environmental brief ~ US announces new fuel economy rules

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, Norman Mineta, secretary of the US Department of Transportation [official website] has announced the final rule changes to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) [backgrounder] system, which governs the minimum fuel economy averages for vehicles sold in the US. The final rule [press release] applies to light trucks, i.e., pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans, and will create different standards based on the dimensions of the vehicle, as opposed to the single light truck category currently in place. Currently, light trucks sold in 2006 must get 21.6 mpg. The new rules are expected to increase the minimum fuel economy requirement to 24 mpg or higher by 2011. AP has more.

In other environmental law news...

  • The St. Lawrence Cement Co. [corporate website], South Jersey Port Corp. [corporate website], and 20 other businesses in southern New Jersey have agreed to settle a lawsuit [press release] brought by 50 Camden residents that alleged air pollution from the plants caused respiratory problems. Under the settlement, the companies agree to pay a combined total of US$650,000, which works out to US$10,000 per household and an additional US$5000 per individual resident. Another 20 nearby residents will be paid US$2000 to agree to bring no further air emissions actions against the companies. The South Jersey Courier-Post has more.

  • India's Gujarat state Pollution Control Board [official website] closed 71 industrial businesses Tuesday for a variety of pollution violations. The Board also issued legal notices to another 526 industrial sites, as part of a plan to improve the air and overall environment in the state. According to Mangubhai Patel, Minister of State for Environment and Forests [official website], Gujarat's city of Ahmedabad has been considered one of the "most polluted cit[ies] in the country." Fast improvements are expected under the new plan. The India Financial Express 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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