Tuesday, May 13, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/13/14

National / International News


<> Amid Pipeline and Climate Debate, Energy-Efficiency Bill Is Derailed - The bill, which had drawn unusual bipartisan support, died in the Senate in a standoff over the Keystone XL pipeline and plans for climate change regulations.

<> Senators Boxer, Vitter, Carper, and Barrasso Release 6-Year Bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill - the MAP-21 Reauthorization Act (S. 2322), long-term bipartisan legislation to fund and improve the nation's Federal-aid highway programs for six years at current funding plus inflation (bill & summary available).

<> Committee Leaders Seek Information on DOE's Management of SPR - House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today wrote to Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz regarding the management of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) 

<> EPA Announces $3.6 Million in Environmental Job Training Grants to Provide Unemployed Residents with Job Opportunities Cleaning Up and Reducing Pollution Nationwide - The grants, which include one to the City of Detroit fund training programs that provide unemployed and under-employed individuals with the comprehensive skills and certifications needed to enter full-time careers in the environmental field.

<> Taking on the challenges of an increasingly electrified world - IEA report says business-as-usual approach must be overhauled to cope with global shift to electricity -- a new report indicates that actively managing this transformation is the only way to ensure we meet global energy security and climate goals economically

<> Fireside Chat: Lessons from Fire Ecology and Post-fire Landscapes - Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist of Geos Institute stated, "Contrary to popular belief, most large wildfires are not catastrophes of nature, as many plant and wildlife species depend on them to restore habitat in short supply and to replenish soil nutrients."

<> BTLaw Alert On EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule - Barnes & Thornburg LLP has issued an Environmental Law Alert entitled, "Which Way is the Wind Blowing? U.S. Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule"

<> GAO-14-290, Army Corps of Engineers: Actions Needed to Further Improve Management of Hopper Dredging, April 10, 2014 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has taken actions to address GAO's 2003 recommendations for improving information related to hopper dredging -- a dredge type that performs much of the dredging in ports and harbors.

<> NCDC Releases April 2014 U.S. Climate Report - The average temperature for the contiguous United States during April was 51.7°F, 0.7°F above the 20th century average.

<> Year-in-Review: 2013 Energy Infrastructure Events and Expansions Now Available - May 12, 2014. Year-in-Review: of the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability

<> Consider Clashing Scientific and Societal Meanings of 'Collapse' When Reading Antarctic Ice News - Two new studies chart an irreversible loss of West Antarctic ice, but over many centuries.

<> Two New Studies Address the Ongoing Plight of Honeybees - Once again, new reports have surfaced providing more evidence that the destructive use of pesticides in large-scale agriculture. . .


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> In Defense of Animals v. US Dept. of the Interior – 5/12/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 12-17804. The panel affirmed the district court's summary judgment in favor of federal defendants in an action alleging that the roundup, or gather, of wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area on the California-Nevada border violated the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Tuesday, May 13, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Air Quality - Proposed Rule. U.S. EPA. Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin; Infrastructure SIP Requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS PDF | Text | 

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)