Thursday, March 19, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 3/19/15


National / International News

<> White House FACT SHEET: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Federal Government and Across the Supply Chain - Today President Obama will issue an Executive Order that will cut the Federal Government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels -- saving taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs -- and increase the share of electricity the Federal Government consumes from renewable sources to 30 percent.

<> House Speaker John Boehner discussed Republicans' pro-growth, balanced budget - "Our budget will balance, but it's also about growing our economy, growing jobs and building economic strength for our future."

<> February 2015 Global Climate Report - The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for February 2015 was second highest for the month.

<> Voices of Experience: Insights into Advanced Distribution Management Systems report - DOE formed the Advanced Distribution Management Systems (ADMS) Working Group by assembling a leadership team of representatives from the utility industry with the mission to collect the experiences, insights, and lessons learned from implementing these systems.

<> "Winter" in Alaska - The extreme atmospheric pressure pattern that favored record-breaking snow totals across parts of the U.S. East left Alaskans asking, "Where's winter?" 

<> NOAA Regional Land Cover Change Reports - NOAA's Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) has released reports for U.S. coastal regions summarizing land cover status in 2010 and land cover changes over the previous decade and a half -- covering Great Lakes; Gulf Coast; Northeast; Southeast; and West Coast

<> U.S.-China Ten-Year Framework for Energy and Environment Cooperation and Climate Change Working Group Meetings in Beijing, China - U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern, Acting Assistant Secretary Judith Garber for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs Jonathan Elkind, travel to Beijing, March 18–20, 2015 for a series of meetings on climate change and environmental cooperation.

<> House Hearing On Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act - The Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy hearing on "H.R. ___, Improving Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015" - background, webcast, testimony

<> Energy Department Selects 11 Tribal Communities to Deploy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies - DOE announced that 11 tribal communities will receive nearly $6 million to accelerate the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies on tribal lands. [no Michigan-based tribes included]

<> Minnesota Governor: Farmers should 'look into their souls' on buffer plan - Laying the blame for many of the state's polluted waters squarely at the feet of agriculture, Gov. Dayton asked Minnesota farmers to "look into their souls" and support his proposal to buffer nearly every public water in the state from row crops and their associated runoff.

<>  Final Suit Routing Genetically Engineered Crops and Related Practices from Refuges - (Beyond Pesticides, March 19, 2015) A federal court ruled Monday against the use of neonicotinoid insecticides linked with destruction of bee colonies and other beneficial insects in national wildlife refuges in the Midwest region.

Federal Register Highlights 

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

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

Great Lakes News

<> Great Lakes land cover change chronicled in new NOAA report - A new NOAA report says four percent of the U.S. Great Lakes region saw changes to its land cover--paved surfaces, trees, forests, grasses, and wetlands--from 1996 to 2010 -- that figure represents 7,144 square miles, almost the equivalent of Lake Ontario's surface area.

  • Additional Lake Michigan Basin Land Cover Change Report - A special basin-focused report covering 1985 to 2010

<> Corps to host "Waterways, Wetlands, and You!" informational forum -

This event, facilitated by the Corps' Regulatory staff, will provide an overview of the Corps' Regulatory Program and give the public an opportunity to ask questions directly to the team members that review permit applications and enforce permit laws and regulations. Fort Wayne, Indiana, Thursday, May 14, 2015, 1:00PM

<> Bipartisan group in Congress urges no Great Lakes fund cuts - Members of Congress from both parties are lobbying colleagues not to cut funding from a key Great Lakes environmental program

<> Issue 3, Vol. 3, of the IJC Newsletter - The International Joint Commission (IJC) latest newsletter

<> WI State Senate passes bill to ban "microbeads," tiny bits of plastic in soap and toothpaste - Wisconsin is joining the nationwide push to ban a key plastic exfoliant in soap, toothpaste and other personal care products out of fear it's leading to water pollution.

Michigan News

<> Gov. Snyder: Michigan Agency for Energy will guide state work toward affordable, reliable solutions - The Governor said, "Michiganders need to know they'll have access to affordable, reliable energy long into the future, and a new agency will focus on coordinating efforts and decisions as the state looks to replace retiring plants with newer, cleaner sources."

  • Executive Order 2015-10 – A major restructuring of some state bodies and creating the Michigan Agency for Energy within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, to be headed by Valerie Brader, now a deputy legal counsel and senior policy advisor specializing in energy issues

<> Snyder lauds 'thoughtful' U-M report on hydraulic fracturing - Gov. Rick Snyder praised a recent University of Michigan hydraulic fracturing report last week and said its findings helped shape changes to state rules regarding the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.

<> MI Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development passes resolution supporting investment in state's roads - During its regular meeting, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development passed a resolution supporting investment in the state's roads and infrastructure

<> Rover Pipeline LLC Notice of Applications - FERC notice of application for a 711-mile new interstate pipeline through the States of West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan -- how to become involved in the FERC review

<> Michigan Sea Grant Fisheries Workshops - The 5 workshops in April at various locations in Michigan, focus on current research and information related to the regional status of Great Lakes fisheries.

<> Michigan Tech Celebrates World Water Day - Water is a natural resource none of us can live without. Every year, in recognition of this vital resource and the challenges it presents to people all over the world, Michigan Tech celebrates World Water Day.

<> Billionaire Matty Moroun needs a Detroit park for his new bridge to Canada - The Ambassador Bridge owner, despite years of losing court battles and public backlash, still wants to build a second span over the Detroit River, and over Riverside Park in Detroit

Michigan Legislative Tracking 

Newly introduced bills and bills that are moving, if any, are listed below. Click on the bill number for complete status, full text, & analyses. Uppercase is Senate action; lowercase is House action. Otherwise, for a complete list of environmental legislation this session (click here).


Daily Activity (3/18/15)


SB 0217 of 2015 Property tax; classification; reference to qualified forest in qualified agriculture definition; remove. [COMMITTEE]


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