Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 5/14/14

National / International News


<> A Numbers-Based Case for Why It's Time to Act on Infrastructure - The United States was once known as a leader in infrastructure, and we're slipping -- The White House releases a new analysis that makes a numbers-based case for exactly why we need to invest in infrastructure right now — and what it's going to mean for all of us if Congress fails to act.

<> Sen. Hearing: Charting a Path Forward for the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program - Testimony and webcast of Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

<> National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change - CNA Corporation's Military Advisory Board (MAB, 16 retired Generals and Admirals) re-examines the impact of climate change on U.S. national security in the context of a more informed, but more complex and integrated world.

<> Draft Report - 5-12-14 Draft CASAC Ozone Review Letter - Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Review of the EPA's Health Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone (Second External Review Draft – February, 2014)

<> Senate EPW Committee Hearing: Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning: Stakeholder Views – Testimony, Statements & Webcast

<> Climate scientists need to set the record straight: There is a scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening - Nearly all climate scientists are convinced that human-caused climate change is occurring, yet half of Americans do not know or do not believe that a scientific consensus has been reached.

<> Webinar for Utilities on Climate Adaptation - EPA's Climate Ready Water Utilities program will host a webinar on May 28 at 1 to 2:15 p.m. EST  on financing water sector climate adaptation strategies. Guest speakers include Dave Wright from Southern Nevada Water Authority, Jeff Hughes from the UNC's Environmental Finance Center, and Kirsten Anderer from EPA's State Revolving Fund program.

<> Coral Reefs are Critical for Risk Reduction & Adaptation - Summary: Stronger storms, rising seas, and flooding are placing hundreds of millions people at risk around the world, and big part of the solution to decrease those risks is just off shore. A new USGS study finds. . .

<> What Are the Hottest Sectors for Next-Generation Energy Services? - From physical assets to analytics, there is an almost endless array of activity located at the grid edge. But when it comes to things like the areas with the most innovative companies, the analytics space is quite clearly in the lead for. . . 

<> USDA Announces First Citrus Greening Funding Allocations and Appointments to Citrus Disease Subcommittee - May 13, 2014 – United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more than $1.5 million in funding to expand bio-control efforts to fight Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening. . .


U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions


<> WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. EPA - 5/13/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 13-1212. Petitioners sought to require EPA to add coal mines to the regulated list of stationary source categories under the Clean Air Act. The Panel ruled: "We disagree. On the record before us, we find that EPA's action easily passes muster under the 'extremely limited' and 'highly deferential' standard that governs our review of an agency's denial of a rulemaking petition."

<> Coal River Energy, LLC v. Sally Jewell - 5/13/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 13-5119. Appellant argued that the fee under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act was unconstitutional because the Export Clause of the Constitution states that "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state." The district court dismissed the case as untimely. The Panel affirmed.

<> United Fire & Casualty Company  v.  Titan Contractors Service, Inc - 05/13/14. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Case No: 13-1307. The case involves whether coverage and defense were barred by the "absolute pollution exclusion" and regarding whether TIAH, an acrylic concrete sealant, would fall within the policy's definition of a pollutant. The majority Panel ruled that TIAH was a pollutant and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.


Federal Register Highlights 

The following is an alert of Environmental Federal Register announcements that may be of interest for: Wednesday, May 14, 2014.  (Click here to access today's complete Federal Register index with links to complete announcements).


1. Toxics - Proposed Rule. U.S. EPA. Pesticides; Agricultural Worker Protection Standard Revisions; Extension of Comment Period 60 Days PDF | Text | 

2. (May 13, 2014) Water Quality - Notice of Data For Comment. U.S. EPA. Updated National Recommended Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health PDF | Text |