In Court

hard on pollutants: A recent court settlement has required the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review environmental hazards of nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides and revise, as necessary, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for the pollutants under its Clean Air Act. The settlement comes as a result of a lawsuit by a coalition of public-interest groups, challenging EPA's failure to perform the mandated regular reviews of air-pollution standards. EPA has not reviewed sulphur or nitrogen oxide standards since 1996, nor changed sulphur standards since 1971, it said.

for traditional fishing rights: A group of coastal traditional dwellers from the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia's Northern Territory launched a lawsuit in the first week of December, claiming their rights on much of the state's coastline and rivers. Referred to as the Blue Mud Bay case, the case centres on a Federal Court decision in March allowing traditional owners exclusive access to the water between high and low tide mark at Blue Mud Bay in East Arnhem Land. If upheld, the case will affect all commercial fishing industries in the gulf.

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