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Policy and Enforcement: Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

The Environmental Defense Fund, the American Lung Association and others have filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to revive the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The groups are saying that to uphold a lower court’s nullification of the major 2011 pollution rule would prevent regulators from ever tackling unhealthy power plant emissions that cross state lines, The Hill said.

A Shenzhen-listed company identified by authorities as responsible for a toxic spill that killed thousands of river fish has apologized. Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock, a manufacturer of inorganic chemicals, has halted production halt and will punish those responsible for the spill on a sewage release that exceeded standard levels, Reuters said.

South Korea banned all fishery imports from areas of Japan around the Fukushima nuclear plant. Korea’s indefinite ban, which takes effect on Monday, adds to international pressure on Japan to fix the crisis in Fukushima. Japan rejected the need for Korea’s ban, saying the country’s fishery exports are safe for consumption, and the toxic water is confined to a small bay near the plant, Reuters said.

The Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed final rule to extend the length that wind farms are permitted to kill or disturb eagles from five years to 30 years remains under debates after groups met last week to discuss the proposal. AWEA, Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society were among the environmental and wind industry groups that met with the Obama administration to try to reach consensus on the disputed regulation, writes the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition.

The EPA and Coast Guard have reached an agreement in principle with Carnival Corporation to develop advanced emission control technology to be used in waters surrounding US coasts. Under the agreement, Carnival will develop and deploy a new exhaust gas cleaning system on up to 32 ships over the next three years to be used in emission control areas, the agency said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is reviewing results of legislation banning plastic bags in Wales where plastic bag use was cut by 80 percent since 2011. England is the only home nation without the bag ban since Northern Ireland introduced a scheme in April and Scotland will charge beginning October 2014,The Telegraph writes.

Shell Gulf of Mexico and Shell Offshore have reached a settlement with the EPA for alleged violations of Clean Air Act permits for arctic oil and gas exploration drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, off Alaska. Shell has agreed to pay a $710,000 penalty related to violations of the Discoverer air permit and a $390,000 penalty for violations of the Kulluk air permit, the EPA said.

The DOE intends to modify the scope of the Northern Pass Transmission Line Project Environmental Impact Statement, part of a Presidential permit to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a new electric transmission line across the US-Canada border into northern New Hampshire. The EIS will provide the analysis to support a Forest Service decision on whether to issue a special use permit within the White Mountain National Forest, and will include a floodplains and wetlands assessment as appropriate, according to the Federal Register.

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