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State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Illinois Governor Vetoes Plastic Bag Recycling

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ENVIRONMENT: ILLINOIS Gov. Pat Quinn (D) vetoes SB 3442, which would have required plastic bag manufacturers to set up collection and recycling programs and barred local municipalities from establishing their own plans (QUAD-CITY TIMES). • The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturns Environmental Protection Agency rules that set how much air pollution 28 states must reduce to avoid incurring violations in downwind states. The court said the EPA exceeded its authority by requiring states "to reduce their emissions by more than their own significant contribution to a downwind state's nonattainment." The regulation was the EPA's attempt to deal with states which meet federal air quality standards but whose industries emit significant pollution that impacts other states (NEW YORK TIMES). • The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 1221, which would bar the use of dog packs to hunt bears and bobcats. The measure is now with Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for review (STATE NET). • MASSACHUSETTS lawmakers give final approval to HB 4306, a bill that would require Bay State homeowners and others to use only low-phosphorus or phosphorus-free fertilizers on their lawns. The measure, which is now with Gov. Deval Patrick (D), exempts new lawns, agriculture and turf farms (BOSTON HERALD).

Plastic Grocery Bags

ENERGY: The CALIFORNIA Assembly gives final approval to AB 1456, which would require state regulators to adopt safety standards for natural-gas pipelines and allow the state to fine utilities that fail to meet those benchmarks. It is now with Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for review (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE).

A REAL HEAT WAVE: Government agencies buy all kinds of things, so a call for bids to supply the feds with a large amount of ammunition isn't at all unusual. Unless, of course, the agency in question is the National Weather Service. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, a recent NWS request for 24,000 rounds of hollow point .40 caliber bullets and a plethora of paper targets had some folks wondering if the nation's weather geeks were trading in talking about the nation's blistering summer temperatures for a chance to start packing some real heat. Alas, the whole thing was just a clerical error. The bid request was supposed to be for the law enforcement arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, which employs 63 armed officers tasked with enforcing the nation's ocean and fishing laws. The error has since been corrected.

- Compiled by RICH EHISEN

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