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Bee advocates, environmentalists, and farmers suffered a stinging defeat in federal court last week, when the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that EPA guidance over pesticide-coated seeds is not subject to legal review.

Bees are currently suffering unprecedented die offs, with beekeepers losing 44 percent of their bees last year. Some have pointed to neonicotinoid pesticides as a likely contributor to the deaths. Those same pesticides are often applied directly to seeds, a practice the EPA generally exempts from normal pesticide regulations. Recent guidance to that effect, given to EPA inspectors, led the apiarists and others to sue, arguing that the guidance qualified as unlawful agency action under the Administrative Procedures Act.

"The Lake Tahoe Region is an area of unmatched beauty surrounding the largest alpine lake in North America," Judge Mary M. Schroeder writes at the beginning of a recent Ninth Circuit opinion. And she couldn't be more on point. With its deep-blue waters, towering trees, and majestic mountain peaks, Lake Tahoe is one of the great natural wonders of the American West. Even the Donners must have marveled at their sublime surroundings as they succumbed to cannibalism among Tahoe's alpine slopes.

But that beauty has brought the Tahoe area incredible popularity, popularity which risks burying the area's natural charms under vacation rentals and ski resorts. To help manage that growth, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency released, in 2012, the first comprehensive update to environmental regulations since the 1980's. And though that regional development plan may not have gone as far as environmentalists would have wanted, its environmental impact statement did not violate the requirements of the law, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Wednesday.

The Pacific bearded seal's future is on thin ice, literally and figuratively. The seals, known for their long, mustache-like whiskers, live and feed off the ice flows that cover the shallow waters off the coast of Alaska and the Arctic. Those flows are expected to decline dramatically, shrinking as climate change drives temperatures north. By 2095, loss of ice will leave the Okhotsk and Beringia bearded seal population segments endangered, according to estimates by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

As a result of the threat posed by climate change, NFMS listed the seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, a designation that comes with significant protections. And that listing, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Monday, was wholly allowable, rejecting a challenge that the listing was too speculative.

If you're a legal professional in the Evergreen State, we've got some good news for you. FindLaw just launched its new Washington Revised Code and Constitution section, bringing you the best source for Washington codes you can find.

So if you're wondering about Washington's civil procedure laws or the state's probate law, wonder no more. FindLaw's here to help you out -- for free.

Judge Lucy Koh won't be asking attorneys if they're smoking crack from her seat on the District Court of the Northern District of California much longer. That's because Judge Koh is on her way up -- up to the Ninth Circuit.

Koh, who has been one of the most important and entertaining judges in Silicon Valley for years, was moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 13 to 7, several months after she was originally nominated in February. That leaves only a full vote in the Senate standing between Koh and her spot on the Ninth Circuit.

If the sun and surf weren't good enough, things just got a little better in America's youngest state. The world's number one legal website (you're looking at it) now offers Hawaii's revised statutes and constitution online, for free.

So if you need to know who can sell used cars in Honolulu, what can happen if you steal cable on the Big Island, or are just wondering who owns the state's subterranean minerals, FindLaw has you covered.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act can't be used against companies that "dispose" of hazardous substances through air pollution, the Ninth Circuit ruled last week, in a case of first impression.

The State of Washington and Colville Tribes had sought to use CERCLA, also known as the Superfund Act, against a Canadian smelter that had released hazardous pollution into the air, pollution which was later deposited in Washington. But, the Ninth ruled, that smelter cannot be considered a person who "arranged for disposal" of hazardous substances under that law.

By sending out a wall of sound through the oceans, Navy sonar can detect enemy ships hundreds of miles away, day or night, in weather fair or foul. But that blast of sound can be damaging to the ocean's inhabitants, deafening whales and disturbing other marine mammals. Some marine mammals swim hundreds of miles to escape sonar, others may bleed from their eyes or ears, and some beach themselves on shore to get away from the harsh sounds.

And while the Navy's current peacetime sonar use makes efforts to reduce those impacts, it does not go far enough, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Friday, finding that government approvals for the sonar program violated the requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

A social media company that accessed Facebook user's profiles, with the user's permission but against warnings from Facebook, violated a federal anti-hacking law, the Ninth Circuit ruled on Tuesday. Power.com, a now-defunct social network aggregator, had encouraged its users to recruit others through their Facebook accounts, sending form messages and emails promoting its website. And they persisted after being told to knock it off. That continued access of Facebook, after the company issued a cease and desist, constituted a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Ninth Ruled.

The ruling is the Ninth Circuit's second decision taking a broad interpretation of the CFAA in as many weeks and it should give any computer user pause.

Culverts can be tricky things, especially if you're a fish. Culverts, those tunnels and pipes that carry creeks and streams under roadways, are an easy way to allow traffic to cross small waterways. But some of them also choke off fish entirely, becoming obstacles for salmon swimming from their upstream breeding grounds to sea. The problem is particularly pronounced when culverts are aging or in disrepair. And plenty of Washington State's culverts are aging and in disrepair.

Twenty-one of the state's Native American tribes, joined by the federal government, sued over the state of Washington's culverts, arguing that they impeded salmon runs and violated the tribes' treaty rights to catch fish. Those tribes were successful in the Ninth Circuit on Monday, with the court upholding a district court order that requires Washington to fix more than 800 derelict culverts.