[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, US-based oil refining company ConocoPhillips [corporate website] has agreed to spend $525 million on emission controls and pay a $4.5 million dollar fine to settle federal charges that it violated air pollution laws. The company said yesterday that upgrading controls at 9 of the company's refineries is expected to reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 65%. NOx is a major contributor to groundlevel ozone pollution (smog). The Houston Chronicle has the full story.
In other news,
- Despite a request on Thursday from new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns, Japanese officials have announced that they will not set a specific date for resuming beef trade with the US. Japan banned the import of US beef in December 2003 following a case of mad-cow disease in Washington State. Johanns has said that resuming US beef exports is his top priority [JURIST report]. Xinhuanet has the full story.
- The USDAs Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [official website] seeks comments on an interim rule that adds parts of Middlesex and Union Counties, NJ to the list of quarantined areas due to Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) [USDA factpage] infestation. Quarantined areas have the shipment and sale of many hardwood products regulated [text of statute]. Portions of Illinois, Hudson County (NJ), New York City, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties (NY) are already designated as quarantined areas. Comments can be made here until March 29.