Friday, May 30, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/30/14

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National / International News


<> A Proposed Change to the Energy Department's LNG Export Decision-Making Procedures - To reflect changing market dynamics, the Department of Energy is proposing a change in the way it reviews applications to export liquified natural gas to non-Free Trade Agreement countries.

<> Slideshow from the White House Energy Datapalooza - Go behind the scenes of the Energy Datapalooza to see how entrepreneurs and government are working together to empower consumers and save energy

<> 8 State Alliance Releases Plan to Put 3.3 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles on the Road - Eight states located on the East and West Coasts released a collaborative Action Plan to develop infrastructure, coordinated policies, codes and standards and a consumer market primed to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025.

<> EPA Environmental Appeals Board Denies Fracking Injection Petitions - Three petitions challenged an Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit to Seneca Resources Corporation for a Class II injection well. The "Board denies Ms. Swanson's petition because it lacks the requisite specificity, denies Highland Township's petition as untimely, and denies Ms. Hudson's petition for lack of standing."

<> GAO-14-645T, DOE Loan Programs: DOE Has Made More Than $30 Billion in Loans and Guarantees and Needs to Fully Develop Its Loan Monitoring Function, May 30, 2014

<> EWG To Ethanol Lobby: Tell the Truth on the Renewable Fuel Standard - Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, has issued a statement calling EWG's new report, "Ethanol's Broken Promise: Using Less Corn Ethanol Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions," "simply preposterous" and misrepresenting studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • RFA Disputes Flawed EWG Report - (May 29, 2014) Today, the Environmental Working Group released a report titled "Ethanol's Broken Promise: Using Less Corn Ethanol Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Bob Dinneen, president. . .

<> Moms Tell EPA to Ban Glyphosate After Residues Found in Breast Milk - Beyond Pesticides, May 30, 2014) This week, a group of concerned mothers and environmentalists met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to discuss a recent pilot study that detected glyphosate residues. . .

<> 7 Groups Attacking The President's Plan To Cut Carbon Pollution, Even Though It Hasn't Been Released Yet - Tiffany Germain, Senior Researcher with the Center for American Progress Action Fund, contributed to this piece. . .

<> Energy Department Announces National Geothermal Data System to Accelerate Geothermal Energy Development - May 28, 2014Energy Department Announces National Geothermal. . .

<> USDA Awarding $6 Million to Prepare Farmers for New Farm Bill Programs - May 29, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $6 million to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop. . .

<> DOE Announces Webinars on Energy Efficiency Expert Evaluations, the Better Buildings Challenge and More - May 29, 2014DOE Announces Webinars on Energy Efficiency Expert Evaluations, the Better Buildings Challenge and More EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency. . .

<> Wood-waste biofuel to cut greenhouse gas and transform shipping industry - A sustainable biofuel made from Norwegian forest wood waste could help transform the shipping industry and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

<> GE Labeling Narrowly Defeated in California Senate - Center for Food Safety Vows to Continue to Push for the Right to Know California's SB 1381 (Evans) to label genetically engineered foods was narrowly defeated in the California Senate today, with 19 votes in favor and 16. . .

<> Legal Action Taken to Reduce Wildlife Poisoning - Groups intervene in lawsuit by d-CON producers fighting California's controls on super-toxic rat poisons. . .

<> The Future of Solar Economics and Policy - Solar power is at a unique place in history. It's growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Friday, May 30, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


  1. Toxics - Proposed Rule. U.S. EPA. Lead - Framework for Identifying and Evaluating Lead-Based Paint Hazards From Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities in Public and Commercial Buildings PDF | Text | 


(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)


Thursday, May 29, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/29/14

National / International News


<> White House Releases Report on the Administration's All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth - Today, the White House released a report, "An All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth," detailing the President's all-of-the-above energy strategy and the profound transformation in the domestic energy sector since the President took office.

<> EPA Report Shows Impact of Changing Climate on Americans' Health and Environment - U.S. EPA released the third edition of a report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States. The report pulls together observed data on key measures of the environment, including U.S. and global temperature and precipitation, ocean heat and ocean acidity, sea level, length of growing season, and many others.

<> President Said to Be Planning to Use Executive Authority on Carbon Rule - President Obama's proposed regulation to cut pollution from coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent would be the strongest action taken by an American president to tackle climate change.

<> A Pushback on Green Power - Opponents of government policies that have spurred the growth of renewable energy are pushing back on mandates nationwide.

<> EPA Selects 171 Communities for New Brownfield Investment Grants - 171 communities will receive 264 grants totaling $67 million in brownfields funding to clean and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment [includes 5 MI communities]

<> EPA Funds Universities For Cleaner Fuel Burning in Developing World - $9 million IN new funding for six universities to research cleaner technologies and fuels for cooking, lighting, and heating homes that will help improve air quality and protect the health of Alaska Natives and people across the developing world.

<> EPA's Catalog of Federal Funding Updated wIth FY 2014 Funding Data - EPA's online catalog of federal funding sources for watershed protection was recently updated to include the latest information about FY2014 federal funding allocations for programs focusing on watershed protection and restoration.

<> Study: Crude exports yield economic benefits across 50 states - May 29, 2014 ─ A new state-by-state analysis shows that 18 U.S. states could gain over 5,000 jobs each in 2020 from exports of U.S. crude oil, said API Vice President for Regulatory and Economic Policy Kyle Isakower.

<> Everything You Need to Know About Agricultural Emissions - The Greenhouse Gas Protocol launched a new guidance this week to help agricultural companies measure and manage their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from crop and livestock production. 

<> EPA Plan To Reduce Corn Ethanol Mandate Would Cut Carbon Emissions - An EPA proposal to cut the amount of corn ethanol required in gasoline would lower greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million metric tons, according to a new report released by the Environmental Working Group

<> GAO-14-628R, Surface Transportation: Actions Needed to Improve Documentation of Key Decisions in the TIGER Discretionary Grant Program, May 28, 2014 – In A Management Report to Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation, GAO found the Department of Transportation (DOT) did not document key decisions made in evaluating grant applications and selecting projects during the fifth round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 

<> Wisconsin scientists release climate change scenarios for 2070 - A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers released Yahara 2070, an iniative to explore possible futures for the people, lakes, and ecosystems of Wisconsin's Yahara Watershed.

<> EPA Has Not Implemented Adequate Management Procedures to Address Potential Fraudulent Environmental Data - EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, May 29, 2014, Report No. 14-P-0270

<> Draft Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Report - May 27. CASAC Review of the EPA's Integrated Review Plan for the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur Dioxide (External Review Draft - March 2014)

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> US v. Certified Environmental Services, Inc. - 5/28/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, Case No. 11-4872. The defendants, consist of an asbestos air monitoring company, five of its employees, and an employee of an asbestos abatement contractor, were convicted, collectively. The Appeals Court ruled the judgments of conviction as to CES, and 4 of the employees are vacated. The case is remanded for a new trial as to CES, and two employees and for resentencing for two employees.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Thursday, May 29 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Nothing We're Tracking Today (click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/28/14

Subscribe by June 30, 2014 to avoid disruption in service
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National / International News


<> FACT SHEET: Harnessing the Power of Data for a Clean, Secure, and Reliable Energy Future – White House fact sheet: "We are blessed when it comes to energy, but we're much more blessed when it comes to the innovation and the dynamism and the creativity of our economy." – President Barack Obama

<> EPA Adds Clothes Dryers to Energy Star Program, Increasing Energy Efficiency of New Appliances - If all residential clothes dryers sold in the U.S. meet these new requirements, the utility cost savings will grow to more than $1.5 billion each year and more than 22 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented.

<> NRC Commissioners Kill Further Study of Moving Spent Fuel from Overcrowded Cooling Pools - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced that four of its five members voted to decline further consideration of a plan to expedite transferring spent nuclear fuel from cooling pools to dry casks at U.S. nuclear. . .

<> GEF Countries Meet with a Strong Mandate for Environmental Action - This week, the leadership and member countries of the Global Environment Facility meet in Mexico with a strong mandate – nearly $4.5 billion in pledges, a record level, to support developing countries as they work to prevent the degradation of the world's environment.

<> NRDC Reports Governor Christie Trying to Double Down on Climate Inaction - The Christie Administration has announced its intention to once again try to stop New Jersey from participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative despite the New Jersey legislature twice voting to keep them in place, a recent court ruling finding its previous attempt was illegal, and overwhelming bipartisan support for pollution limits from New Jersey residents.

<> A Stronger America: Cutting Carbon Pollution from Power Plants and Cleaner, Safer Energy - The Carbon Pollution Standards, which are expected to be announced next week, will finally put national limits on the amount of carbon pollution emitted by fossil fuel fired power plants. Environmental Defense Fund listing of facts with links to sources.

<> Potential EPA carbon regulations could significantly harm the U.S. economy - We've done the math: New Report Released Today. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing new regulations on carbon emissions from the power plants of today and tomorrow. In order to evaluate these new regulations, all Americans should understand the effect… U.S. Chamber Energy Institute

<> Cutting Carbon: States Can Use What they've Already Got to Whittle Power Plant Emissions - As the Environmental Protection Agency gets ready to release proposed greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants on June 2, state officials around the United States are weighing options on the best ways to cut carbon. . . 

<> Girls Rule at 2014 White House Science Fair - Senior Administration officials and young female participants in the 2014 White House Science Fair gather in the Roosevelt Room for a discussion about girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> Oklahoma v. Environmental Protection Agency – 5/27/14. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 13-921. On appeals from the U.S. Appeals Court, Tenth Circuit, certiorari denied. The High Court refused to review the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals prior decisions to uphold the United States Environmental Protection Agency's plan to cut haze pollution.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Wednesday, May 28, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Nothing We're Tracking Today (click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/27/14

Subscribe by June 30, 2014 to avoid disruption in service
(click here)


National / International News

<> Pebble Partnership Lawsuit Targets Overreaching EPA Pre-emptive Veto Process - The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) filed suit in U.S. District Court for Alaska seeking an injunction to stop EPA's process to preemptively veto the Pebble Project under Section 404(c) of the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA).

<> CO2 concentrations top 400 parts per million throughout northern hemisphere - For the first time, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) in April throughout the northern hemisphere. This threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance. . .according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch network. . .

<> New Ranking Shows All Major Auto Companies Boosted Green Performance - the Union of Concerned Scientists' (UCS) latest Automaker Rankings report, which found that Hyundai-Kia has unseated Honda to become the group's new "Greenest Automaker."

<> Americans care deeply about 'global warming' – but not 'climate change' - Read the full story in The Guardian. Yale researchers have found that the two terms, often used interchangeably, generate very different responses. The full report, What's In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change, is available. . .

<> Wind energy is one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways states can meet carbon pollution rule for existing power plants - A just published Am Wind Energy Asso white paper, "The Clean Air Benefits of Wind Energy," finds that wind energy is a widely-available, affordable, reliable, and rapidly scalable source of carbon emissions reductions.

<> New Study Finds Strong Carbon Pollution Standards Improve Air Quality, Environment, and Health - New study by Syracuse and Harvard universities shows potential for reductions of more than 750 thousand tons of other harmful air pollutants across continental U.S.

<> Climate Change Accelerates Hybridization between Native and Invasive Species of Trout - Summary: USGS scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate. . .

<> International Conference on Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus - a Call to Action for policy makers, practitioners and researchers around the world to start developing and implementing strategies that jointly address water, energy, and food in a comprehensive nexus approach.

<> EPA Requires Mining Company to Restore Damaged Streams in Kentucky - U.S. EPA Region 4 has reached an agreement with Nally and Hamilton Enterprises, Inc. (Nally), for filling streams at two coal mining sites in Kentucky. . .

<> Science Advisory Board Teleconference Meeting - 06/19/2014. Panel for the Review of the EPA Water Body Connectivity Report – "Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence"

<> California Moves to Ban Plastic Mircobeads in Personal Care Products - Bill passed by state assembly sets a national precedent for holding companies liable for products that harm aquatic species. . .

<> Obama Administration Announces $6.7 Million to Hire Young People to Work on Public Lands Across the Nation - The grants, the latest in the Obama Administration's efforts to develop a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) and expand employment opportunities for young people and veterans, will provide jobs resulting in paid. . .

<> China to scrap six million cars in toxic smog drive - China's government has underlined its determination to tackle toxic urban smogs by ordering six million high-polluting cars off the road by the end of 2014.


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> Center for Biol. Diversity v. U.S. EPA - 5/27/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 12-1238. Petitioners claim that EPA's failure to issue a new multi-pollutant rule in 2012, violated the Clean Air Act. EPA explained at length that the uncertainty it faced was unusually profound. Petitioners question that conclusion, but as between petitioners' critique and EPA's scientific analysis, EPA's judgment prevails -- "the petition for judicial review is denied."

<> Electric Power Supply Assoc. v. FERC - 5/23/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 11-1486, consolidated with 11-1489, 12-1088, 12-1091, 12-1093. Electric Power Supply Association and four other energy industry associations petition the court for review of a FERC final rule that seeks to incentivize retail customers to reduce electricity consumption when economically efficient. Petitioners say the new rule goes too far, encroaching on the states' exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the retail market. The Panel agreed and vacated the rule in its entirety.

Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Tuesday, May 27, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Nothing We're Tracking Today (click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)


Friday, May 23, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/23/14

Have a safe & enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. WIMS will resume publication on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.


National / International News


<> GAO-14-430, Freshwater: Supply Concerns Continue, and Uncertainties Complicate Planning, May 20, 2014 - Key issues related to freshwater availability and use. According to state water managers, experts, and literature GAO reviewed, freshwater shortages are expected to continue into the future. In particular, 40 of 50 state water managers expected shortages in some portion of their states under average conditions in the next 10 years

<> As Congress Derails Energy-Efficiency Bill, Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Second Video in Series Encouraging Americans to Join Movement to Help End Political Dysfunction in Washington - May 23, 2014. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) released a new "Lip Service" campaign video illustrating the partisan rhetoric on energy policy as efforts to pass an energy-. . .

<> EPA and Duke Energy enter Agreement to Cleanup Coal Ash Release in the Dan River - ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed an enforceable agreement with Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke) to perform a comprehensive assessment, determine the location of coal ash deposits. . .

<> SAB Advice on Advancing the Application of CompTox Research for EPA Chemical Assessments - May 22. EPA established the Computational Toxicology (CompTox) Research Program to explore and develop ways to exploit modern advances in molecular biology, chemistry, exposure science and computer science to more effectively and efficiently assess chemical hazards and along with exposure information, their risks.

<> Clean energy business community urge Congress to pass the EXPIRE act after holiday break - A letter was delivered to Senators earlier in the week from a broad spectrum of the business community urging speedy passage of the EXPIRE act to continue clean energy economic development in the U.S.

<> FEMP Offers New eTraining Core Course on Fundamentals of Life Cycle Costing for Energy Conservation - May 22, 2014. FEMP presents a new e-Training Core Course that providing skills to improve Federal economic-based. . .

<> How the National Labs Help Us Understand the Inner Workings of Power Plants - How the National Labs Help Us Understand the Inner Workings of Power Plants Learn more about research at the National Energy Technology Lab that's helping us understand more about what happens inside power plants.

<> Contractor sentenced to prison for environmental crime - United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated that David Braswell was sentenced in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, for violation of the Clean Air Act -- six months in prison, six months house arrest, three years supervised release and a $10,000.00 fine.

<> Survey: Climate Change Now More Divisive Than Abortion, Gun Control & Death Penalty - The University of New Hampshire didn't anticipate such a large gap. . .

<> Renault and LG sign MOU on development of next-gen long-range EV batteries - Renault and LG Chem signed an MOU to develop the next-generation of Li-ion batteries for longer-range electric vehicles (EV), reportedly with an eye to doubling current range (e.g., from about 90 miles to about 180.) LG Chem 

<> 'A Government Of Thugs': How Canada Treats Environmental Journalists - I attempted to enter Canada on a Tuesday, flying into the small airport at Fort McMurray, Alberta, waiting for my turn to pass through customs. "What brings you to Fort Mac?" a Canada Border Services Agency official asked. . . "We might have to send you back to the States," the official said, after asking if I had working papers.

<> Are you being SLAPPed? How corporations and governments try to silence public debate - The lawyers at Greenpeace International are a creative, dedicated team who tackle a wide range of duties. Part of our work is preparing legal strategies and defence for cases against Greenpeace International. 

<> Conservation Groups Urge Hillary Clinton to Speak Out Against Keystone XL - letter was signed by leaders of 30 conservation groups from around the country, including the Center for Biological Diversity,, CREDO Mobile and Friends of the Earth.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Friday, May 23, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Toxics - PR. U.S. EPA. - Receipt of Several Pesticide Petitions Filed for Residues of Pesticide Chemicals in or on Various Commodities PDF | Text |

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)