Monday, May 12, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/12/14

National / International News


<> Remarks by the President on American Energy - The President discusses energy issues at a Walmart facility in Mountain View, California

<> New Energy Efficiency Standards for Electric Motors and Walk-in Coolers and Freezers to Save on Energy Bills and Reduce Carbon Pollution - New Energy Efficiency Standards for Electric Motors and Walk-in Coolers and Freezers to Save on Energy Bills and Reduce Carbon Pollution. These standards combined will help reduce harmful carbon pollution by up to 158 million metric tons.

<> Better Buildings Challenge to Cut Energy Waste Grows by 1 Billion Square Feet - Better Buildings Challenge to Cut Energy Waste Grows by 1 Billion Square Feet Building on President Obama's Climate Action Plan and the Administration's Better Buildings Challenge. . .

<> Senators Stabenow and Markey Lead Bipartisan Group of 22 Senators Urging President Obama to Consider the Impact of Large-Scale Natural Gas Exports on American Manufacturing, Families - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee and co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, and Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce. . .

<> NRC Prioritizes Detailed Earthquake Risk Analysis For Central and Eastern U.S. Reactors - The NRC requires the sites, including Bridgman, MI, to submit their detailed risk analysis by June 30, 2017

<> Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants: Key Challenges - C2ES Analysis says: EPA faces a number of policy challenges as it develops its guidelines for carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.

<> NCDC Introduces the National Temperature Index Page - NCDC developed the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). NCDC's National Temperature Index page allows users to compare temperature anomalies, or departures from average, using multiple datasets. . .

<> NARUC Joins State Groups in Encouraging EPA to Allow Energy Efficiency in 111d Compliance - The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has signed onto principles with two State government associations (the National Association of State Energy Officials, and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies) over how energy efficiency programs could be used as part of a way to comply with upcoming federal emission reduction requirements.

<> On Migratory Bird Day, UN taps tourists to help protect world's original long-distance travelers - May 10, 2014 – On this year's World Migratory Bird Day, the United Nations is spotlighting the role sustainable tourism can play in conserving one of the world's true natural wonders: the spectacular movements of migratory birds along their flyways. 

<> GAO-14-238, Oil and Gas: Updated Guidance, Increased Coordination, and Comprehensive Data Could Improve BLM's Management and Oversight - A report to a number of Democratic requesters

<> Pesticides, Not Mites or Pathogens, Major Cause of Honey Bee Decline - (Beyond Pesticides, May 12, 2014) A study published in the Bulletin of Insectology substantially undercuts chemical industry arguments that neonicotinoid pesticides are not the primary contributing factor in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

<> United States, Canada, and Mexico Submit North American HFC Phase Down Amendment to the Montreal Protocol - If adopted, it could yield reductions of over 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide-equivalent through 2050, roughly equivalent to two years of current annual emissions of all greenhouse gases.

<> National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program RFP - EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced by diesel engines and diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas. Closing deadline 6/17/14.

<> Cities in India Among the Most Polluted, W.H.O. Says - The findings question why so much attention is focused on China when New Delhi is the most polluted city, followed by three other cities in India.

<> New China-UNEP Agreement to Boost South-South Cooperation on Climate Change Adaptation - In a new high-level agreement - endorsed today in Nairobi by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner - UNEP and China agree to harness their "strengths, capacities and resources" to assist countries of the Global South combat climate change.

<> Back to the future to determine if sea level rise is accelerating - Scientists have developed a new method for revealing how sea levels might rise around the world throughout the 21st century to address the controversial topic of whether the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing.


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> National Association of Manufacturers v. U.S. EPA - May 9. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case Nos. 13-1069 & 13-1071. The Panel said: "In 2013, EPA tightened the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS, for fine particulate matter. The National Association of Manufacturers and other industry groups challenge that decision. Consistent with the general principle that the Clean Air Act gives EPA substantial discretion in setting the NAAQS, we deny the petitions for review.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Monday, May 12, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Wildlife - Proposed Rule. Commerce Department. Endangered and Threatened Species: Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat; Implementing Changes to the Regulations for Designating Critical Habitat PDF | Text | 


2. Wildlife - Proposed Rule. Commerce Department. Endangered Species Act: Interagency Cooperation-Endangered Species Act of 1973, as Amended; Definition of Destruction or Adverse Modification of Critical Habitat PDF | Text | 

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)


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