In Wednesday's environmental law news, the British government has announced that 95% of Britain's rivers, 82% of lakes and other water bodies, and 53% of ground water is at risk of failing new water standards established by the European Union. The standards will not become effective until 2015, giving the government some time to come into compliance. It is unknown what fines the UK could face if improvements are not made. The London Telegraph has the full story.
In other environmental news...
- The CITGO petroleum company has reached a settlement [PDF] with the EPA and the US Justice Department for violations of the Clean Air Act at six CITGO oil refineries. The settlement, which is still subject to public comment and court approval, requires installation of new emission controls at the refineries, a reduction in pollution levels, and more than $8.6 million in penalties and other fees. The new controls alone are expected to cost the company over $320 million, but should reduce harmful air emissions by more than 30,000 tons per year. The EPA press release is here.
- Thousands of Coasta Rican banana pickers have filed a lawsuit against the Dole, Chiquita, and Fresh Del Monte food companies and the Dow and Shell chemical companies alleging that the pickers were exposed to dibromochloropropane [PDF] (DCBP), a pesticide, on bananas in Central America after it was banned in the US in 1979. DCBP is known to cause a range of reproductive and other disorders. Reuters has the full story.
- The South African government will consider a comprehensive response strategy to global warming this week, SA Environmental Affairs minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has announced. The plan is expected to affect all government departments. The Cape Town Cape Argus has more.