Wednesday, February 05, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 2/5/14

<> Farm Bill Passes the Senate - David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, "The long-tortured farm bill cleared Congress on Tuesday, ending a two year struggle that split the old farm-food coalition as never before and dramatized the growing isolation of agriculture and rural America in an ever more urban House. "Written off as dead just months ago, the giant five-year measure won final approval. . .

·          Senate Approves Senator Stabenow's 2014 Farm Bill, Legislation Heads to the President - The U.S. Senate today voted overwhelmingly to approve the bipartisan Farm Bill authored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. . .

<> U.S. to launch 'climate hubs' to help farmers face climate change - (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration will announce on Wednesday the formation of seven "climate hubs" to help farmers and rural communities adapt to extreme weather conditions and other 

<>EPA's 2012 Toxics Release Inventory Shows Air Pollutants Continue to Decline (HQ)- Total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12 percent from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report released today. The decrease includes an eight percent decline in total toxic air releases, primarily due to reductions in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions

<> E.P.A. Staff Struggling to Create Pollution Rule - The new regulation would primarily affect the country's 600 coal-fired power plants, like this one in Texas, and could ultimately shutter hundreds of them. Tom Pennington for The Texas Tribune — In marathon meetings and tense all-day drafting sessions, dozens of lawyers, economists and engineers at the Environmental Protection Agency are struggling to create. . .

<> National Award for Smart Growth Achievement - EPA announced the winners of the 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. This year's award recognizes five winners and two honorable mentions in five categories. The Award ceremony is today and recognizes and supports communities that use innovative policies and strategies to develop in ways that protect the environment, provide housing and transportation choices, and strengthen their economies

<> GAO-14-140, Coal Leasing: BLM Could Enhance Appraisal Process, More Explicitly Consider Coal Exports, and Provide More Public Information, December 18, 2013

<> House Democrats Request Hearing on Crude Oil Exports - House Democrats Request Hearing on Crude Oil Exports Request comes on eve of Republican hearing on energy production on public lands. Today, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) sent a letter to Chairman Doc Hastings. .  .

<> EPA finalizes first of two E-Manifest rules - Barnes & Thornburg LLP has issued an Environmental Alert on EPA's requirements governing the use of electronic manifests (or e-Manifests) as a means to track hazardous waste under RCRA. The final rule, announced Jan. 13, has not yet been published in the Federal Register and will become effective 180 days after publication.

<> Electricity Reliability and Affordability Act of 2014 - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), introduced the Electricity Reliability and Affordability Act of 2014 (S.1988). The bill would allow states to permanently waive any federal regulation regarding electric generating units for the purpose of power reliability and affordability.

Pipeline rupture report raises questions about TransCanada inspections - A CBC News investigation has unearthed a critical report that the federal regulator effectively buried for several years about a rupture on a trouble-prone TransCanada natural gas pipeline.

<> United Arab Emirates to host meeting ahead of UN chief's climate summit - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Minisiter of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, have announced that the Gulf country will host a high-level meeting in May to generate momentum for concrete actions to be taken at a climate summit Mr. Ban will convene four months later in New York.

<> Tons of illegal waste seized under Operation Demeter III- Customs officials continue to demonstrate leadership in preventing and combating the illegal trafficking of hazardous wastes. A joint global Customs initiative across Europe and the Asia Pacific region netted more than 7,000 metric tons of illegal waste, including hazardous waste, used vehicle parts and tyres, textiles, and e-waste.

<> C40 Releases Landmark Research Detailing a Clear Trend of Expanding and Accelerating Climate Action in the World's Megacities - C40 cities deliver on climate action, nearly doubling reported activities compared to 2011 and proving C40's collaborative, global model is working. . . The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) released landmark research today...