[JURIST] Leading Friday's environmental law news, a California law that makes it illegal to throw away electronic waste went into effect Thursday. Under the law [CIWMB backgrounder], residents will have to take most consumer electronic equipment, including computers, printers, VCRs, microwave ovens, fluorescent lighting, glass thermometers, old thermostats and batteries, to local household hazardous waste collection centers for recycling, storage or disposal. The collection centers are being funded through an additional state sales tax [CIWMB backgrounder] on new consumer electronic items [backgrounder]. Mercury News has more.
In other environmental law news...
- The US Environmental Protection Agency [official website] warned the state of Michigan Thursday that it had missed an April 2005 deadline to finalize a plan for requiring industrial plants to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. A Michigan Department of Environmental Quality [official website] spokesman says the plan should be done within a few months. The EPA warned that if the state does not finalize its plan, the EPA will impose its own cleanup plan, in accordance with the Clean Air Act [text]. The Lansing State Journal has more.
- Unnamed Ugandan government officials have dismissed allegations that the government is violating an international water use agreement by withdrawing more water from Lake Victoria for use by the Nalubaale and Kiira hydro-electric power plants than allowed. The allegations [PDF text; backgrounder], reported by the International Rivers Network [advocacy website], claim Uganda has used 55 percent more water in the past two years than it should have, resulting in a 45 centimeter decrease in the lake level. The Ugandan officials blame the water drop to a regional drought. BBC News has more.
- The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) [official website] wants to spray nearly 932,000 acres of land in 17 states annually with herbicides to kill cheatgrass and other non-native weeds. The public comment period for the proposed action [PDF backgrounder] ends today [press release], and the BLM could reach a decision on the program by this summer. The BLM plans to use different methods to get rid of the weeds on 5 million other acres, including prescribed burning, pulling and tilling, and releasing insects that feed on the plants. The BLM oversees 261 million acres of surface land. USA Today has more.