In Court

Published: Tuesday 31 July 2007

epa's jurisdiction In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled on June 25 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can issue water pollution permits to states even if it appears to violate the Endangered Species Act 1973. The court reversed an appeals court decision that required the USEPA to consider the protection of listed species before handing permissions under the Clean Water Act, 1972, over to the states. Environmental groups had argued that the EPA violated a key provision of the endangered species law, which bars federal agency actions that jeopardise a species. Developers often need water pollution permits before they can proceed with building projects.

court fine The Tsu District Court in Mie Prefecture in Japan's Honshu island fined chemical maker Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd around US $405,788 and convicted two of its former officials for illegally dumping industrial waste as a recycled product on June 25. The product, 'Feroshilt', which the company sold as a soil-backfilling and reinforcement material, was initially certified by the Mie prefecture government as a recycled product but was later declared an industrial waste as toxic substances beyond allowable levels were detected in it.

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