In April, the State Department announced that the Clinton Administration might negotiate bilateral agreements to allow Basel Convention parties to ship hazardous waste to the United States. Also in April, the EPA published its final rule codifying an OECD Council policy relating to the import and export of wastes destined for recovery (61 Fed. Reg. 16290). The rule establishes a gradual system for controlling movement of waste among OECD countries, and precludes the EPA from changing the rule because other OECD nations could refuse US waste if the rule were changed. The OECD decision, upon which the rule was based, called for a three-tiered approach to waste management with wastes being classified as least hazardous, hazardous, or most hazardous.
In February, the United States agreed to accept and store 20 tons of bomb grade uranium from European research reactors. After an environmental study, the United States determined this was the better alternative to either reprocessing the fuel or continuing to use weapons-grade uranium as fuel in the reactors.
In the latest Canadian-US document setting out a strategy for controlling persistent toxic pollutants in the Great Lakes, the countries for the first time formally agreed on a prioritized list of chemicals targeted for control. The strategy consists of a four-step process to work toward the goal of virtual elimination of toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes. First, the EPA and Environment Canada will identify the full range of toxic sources in the area. Second, the agencies will assess existing laws and programs. Third, the agencies will identify cost-effective options for more reduction. Finally, the agencies will implement specific actions for the virtual elimination of toxins.
Linda A. Malone
In response to Canada's arrest and seizure of a Spanish fishing vessel outside Canada's 200-mile fishing zone, Spain initiated proceedings before the International Court of Justice. 1996 saw the beginning of the first of what may be a two-phase proceeding before the ICJ related to jurisdiction. Canada, relying on a 1994 amendment to its acceptance of the Court's jurisdiction pursuant to Art. 36(2) of the Statute of the Court, objected to the