• 14/10/2006

Oil lease sale blocked: In a preliminary ruling, a US federal court has recently blocked the US administration's plan to allow oil companies, access to the sensitive wetlands near the vast Teshekpuk Lake in the Arctic Alaska. The ruling has come as the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to properly consider the impact of oil development in areas near the National Petroleum Reserve on the state's North Slope region. "The lease sale was based on flawed environmental assumption,' said the court in its judgment. The lease sale of the Teshekpuk Lake, included stipulations to limit surface disturbance and environmental damage, was scheduled to take place towards the end of September. The marshy tundra, which lies between Teshekpuk Lake and the Arctic Ocean, is famous for both its wildlife and petroleum potential.

Coal unit fined: The Supreme Court has asked India's largest coal producing company, South Eastern Coalfields Ltd, to pay Rs 300 crore, within a month, as compensation for using forestland in Chhattisgarh. The amount is in addition to Rs 50 crore that the PSU has already paid to continue its operations in the state. The court, in its earlier judgment, had said that all companies were liable to pay Penal Compensatory Afforestation cost and amount of Net Present Value to continue operations in the alloted forestland.

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