Environmental brief ~ US citizen settles asbestos claim with Australian company

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, a US citizen has settled a claim against Australian home products manufacturer James Hardie Industries [corporate website] for asbestos-related injuries. The confidential settlement is believed to be the first payout from the Australia-founded company (now incorporated in the Netherlands) outside of Australia and New Zealand. The company has an established settlement fund with the New Zealand government, and is in the process of establishing one in Australia. The Australian settlement fund has been controversial, raising concerns that non-Australians may be able to legally access the fund monies. The Australian has the full story.

In other news,

  • EU spokeswoman Barbara Helfferich has stated that any change in Britain's emissions trading plan would be considered illegal by the EU. The emissions trading plan is part of the EUs means of complying with the Kyoto Protocol [text] requirements which go into effect on Wednesday. The comments were made following discussion of proposed revisions by the UK government. Reuters has the full story.

  • The EPA [official website] seeks comments on an action [text] that would remove the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Site [EPA factpage] in Salinas, CA from the National Priorities List [EPA Superfund gateway](Superfund list). The former tire manufacturing plant operated from 1963 to 1980 and was listed as a Superfund site in 1987. Firestone (now Bridgestone Americas Holding [company website]) began cleaning up the site in 1983. Cleanup was completed in 1992, and testing since then has shown that there are no hazardous substances remaining at the site. Comments can be made here until March 16.


 

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