[JURIST] In Wednesday's environmental law news, USDA [official website] Secretary Mike Johanns has announced [text] that he is delaying the effective date for the lifting of the ban on beef and cattle imports from Canada. The ban was scheduled to be lifted on March 7. Johanns met with Canadian Agriculture Minister Andrew Mitchell, and they also issued a joint statement [text] that reemphasizes the nations' combined commitment to lifting the ban as soon as scientifically prudent.
In other news,
- The Fish and Wildlife Service [official website] seeks comments on a proposed rule [text] that would reintroduce the northern aplomado falcon [FWS factpage] (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) into its traditional habitat of New Mexico and Arizona. The bird has been on the endangered species list [FWS factpage] since 1986, has not been seen in Arizona since 1940, and has only sporadically been spotted in New Mexico since the 1970s. If approved, as many as 150 of the currently captively-bred falcons could be introduced to the area annually. Comments can be made here until April 11.
- Also in falcon-related news, the FWS is seeking comments on a proposed rule [text] that would simplify the requirements and federal regulations that handle falconry. These changes would include eliminating the need for a seperate federal permit if a falconer already possesses a state or tribal permit for the practice. Comments can be made here until May 10.
- The EPA [official website] seeks comments on a petition [text] from Shell Oil [corporate website] to delist a certain type of sludge produced at its Houston TX facility from the list of hazardous waste. The company believes that the sludge does not meet the initial listing criteria required by the EPA. Comments can be made here until March 11.
- The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau [official website] is seeking comments on a proposed rule [text] that would establish the "Niagara Escarpment" viticultural area in Niagara County New York. The 28 mile-long area currently has 400 acres of vineyards. Comments can be made here until April 11.
- The EPA [official website] seeks comments about amendments [text] that will change parts of the national emission standards to control hazardous air pollutants emitted from catalytic cracking units, catalytic reforming units, and sulfur recovery units at petroleum refineries. The amendments will become effective April 11, unless the EPA receives significant adverse comments by March 11. Comments can be made here.