Friday, May 21, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, May 21, 2010

Douglas signs law curbing use of controversial chemical, 'BPA' | Times Argus Online
Gov. James Douglas this week signed into law one of the country's strongest bans on food containers that contain a common but controversial chemical that has been linked to health problems in several scientific studies.

Vermont's upcoming ban of baby bottles and sports bottles that contain the chemical Bisphenol A – more commonly known as BPA – is matched only by a law passed in recent years by the state of Connecticut.

BPA is found in a host of food and drink containers, but public health advocates say evidence has increasingly showed it to be dangerous, especially for infants, young children and pregnant women.

Obama taps Vermont Law School professor for EPA | Vtdigger.org
President Obama has appointed Professor Tseming Yang, director of Vermont Law School’s U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, to serve as deputy general counsel for international affairs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Yang, whose research and teaching have focused on U.S. and international environmental law, will assume his new duties as of June 1. He will support the EPA’s efforts on international and tribal affairs through his expertise in international law, knowledge of foreign environmental governance systems, and past work on federal Indian law. Yang will work most directly with the EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs but also expects to work on bilateral and multilateral efforts across the agency.
Colchester bike path opponents unsure about appeal | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
A Chittenden Superior Court judge last month said the town of Colchester was justified in taking bits of land along Holy Cross Road to build a 10-foot wide bike path.

Opponents said the bike path did not meet the stan­dards of necessity for when government takes land for projects deemed necessary for the public good. Judge Matthew Katz rejected that argument, writing that ne­cessity “does not mean an imperative, indispensable or absolute necessity, but only that the taking be reasonably necessary.”
Targeted for death, US moose gets a reprieve | msnbc.com
Vermont's favorite animal, which had been ordered last summer to be removed from a game preserve or destroyed, will now be allowed to stay on the land near the U.S.-Canada border under a compromise fashioned by state lawmakers in the waning hours of their session last week.

The turnabout came after the 700-pound (317-kilogram) moose's tale of woe went viral, prompting a "Save Pete the Moose" website, a Facebook page (3,510 people "like this" as of Friday), about 10,000 YouTube views and a rally at Vermont's statehouse.
Bills of Fare | Seven Days
In 2010, VT legislators laid down the law on farmers markets, compost, selling the state's name and more.
A new wildlife area | Bennington Banner
Quietly and as the result of cooperation among many players, Bennington has a new state Wildlife Management Area. The top of Whipstock Hill and wetlands to the west of the airport are now owned by Vermont's Agency of Natural Rescues.