Friday, April 03, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 4/3/15


National / International News

<> FACT SHEET: Administration Announces Actions To Drive Growth In Solar Energy And Train Workers For Clean-Energy Jobs - The President is announcing: Training 75,000 Solar Workers; the Solar Ready Vets Program; Utilizing the GI Bill for Solar Workforce Training; & measures Educating Veterans and Service Members about Opportunities to Gain Solar Workforce Training

<> EPA Announces Moratorium on New Uses of Bee-Killing Pesticides, Coalition Urges Broader Suspension - (Beyond Pesticides, April 3, 2015) Earlier today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a moratorium on new bee- and bird- harming neonicotinoid pesticide products and uses.

<> Department of the Interior Affirms 2008 Chukchi Sea Lease Sale - After thorough environmental analysis and substantial opportunity for public input, the Department of the Interior today issued a Record of Decision affirming Chukchi Sea OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 193 and the remaining oil and gas leases issued in 2008 as a result of the sale.

  • Shell's Arctic Drilling Moves Closer - The Obama administration's inconsistent approach to climate change was laid bare again last night after the US Interior Department reconfirmed Shell's controversial lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

<> EPA approves Enlist Duo™ herbicide for use in additional states - U.S. EPA announced its approval of Enlist Duo™herbicide for use in 9 additional states. A key component of the innovative Enlist™ Weed Control System, Enlist Duo with Colex-D™Technology is the only herbicide to combine the proven performance of glyphosate with new 2,4-D choline for exceptional weed control in corn and soybeans -- The newest additions are AR, KS, LA, MN, MO, MS, NE, OK, & ND -- The originally approved states: IL, IN, IA, OH, SD, WI. 

<> New Risky Business Report Finds Climate Change Poses Major Economic Risks to California Industries - California could face significant disruptions to its water supply, agricultural productivity, and coastal infrastructure unless businesses and policymakers take immediate action to address climate change.

<> GOP Senators Want McCarthy To Explain Climate Models; Accurate or Not - Senators say that at a recent hearing, McCarthy was repeatedly unable to say whether her past statements and climate model predictions actually comported with observed climate data.

<> AEC Applauds Third Way RFS Report - The Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) praised the a new report by Third Way detailing the commercial deployment of cellulosic ethanol and its link to the existing ethanol industry.

<> Drought-Stricken California Exempts Big Oil and Big Ag from Mandatory Restrictions - Some of the biggest water users have been exempted from California's mandatory water restrictions, specifically big agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of California's water, and oil companies.

<> API calls out 'blind spot' in U.S. trade policy on energy - A new federal report on barriers to "made-in-America exports" fails to consider restrictions on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 1970s-era limits on U.S. crude oil according to the American Petroleum Institute (API)

<> Request for Nominations of Candidates to the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)

<> U.S. Drought Monitor Update for March 31, 2015 - According to the March 31 U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate to exceptional drought covers 36.8% of the contiguous U.S.

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions

<> AmeriPride Services, Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas, Inc. - 4/2/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 12-17245. The Panel vacated the district court's judgment after trial and agreeing with the First Circuit, and declining to follow the reasoning of the Seventh Circuit, the panel held that in allocating liability to a nonsettling defendant in a CERCLA contribution action, the district court is not required to apply either the proportionate share approach of the Uniform Comparative Fault Act or the pro tanto approach of the Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act, but rather has discretion to determine the most equitable method of accounting for settlements between private parties.

<> The Hopi Tribe v. US - 4/2/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Case No. 2014-5018. The Hopi Tribe filed suit against the United States in the Court of Federal Claims seeking damages to cover the cost of providing safe drinking water on the Hopi Reservation.
     The Federal Circuit ruled, "We understand that water quality on parts of the Hopi Reservation is unacceptable, due in part to insufficient funds for new water infrastructure. But the Supreme Court's decisions are controlling in this case. Because the Hopi Tribe has not identified a money-mandating obligation that the United States allegedly violated, we must affirm the Court of Federal Claims' dismissal of this suit for lack of jurisdiction under the Indian Tucker Act."

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).

<> AIR QUALITY - Proposed Rule. U.S. EPA - Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards: State Implementation Plan Requirements; Notice of public hearing and extension of comment period.

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> OH Gov. Kasich Signs S.B. 1 to Protect Lake Erie and Ohio's Water Quality – 4/2/15. At Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon (Lucas Co.), Gov. John R. Kasich signed S.B. 1, legislation to protect Lake Erie and Ohio's water quality.

<> Lake Superior Binational Forum loses federal funding - Funding for the Lake Superior Binational Forum from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the U.S. EPA will end when current grants expire early this month -- The Forum, founded in 1991, has been funded by the U.S. & Canada, and is the only Lake Superior basin-wide outreach stakeholder group for the world's largest freshwater lake.

Michigan News

<> Wolf Supporters File Suit Challenging Law Intended to Undermine the Will of Michigan Voters - Keep Michigan Wolves Protected filed a lawsuit in Lansing in the Michigan Court of Claims to overturn the so-called Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act on the grounds that it violates the state's constitution.

<> DNR 2015-16 ORV trail grant applications now available - Grant applications now are available to public agencies and nonprofit incorporated clubs and organizations to maintain existing designated state ORV trails, routes and use areas; repair public lands damaged by inappropriate ORV use; and develop new ORV trails, routes and use areas.

<> EAG developing Roostertail PACE project - The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan has entered into a contract with the Roostertail, Detroit's premier waterfront entertainment facility, to develop a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) energy efficiency and facility improvement project for the venue.

<> Historic Petoskey inn looking at energy upgrade - The Inn at Bay Harbor The Inn at Bay Harbor, a luxury golf resort on Lake Michigan in Petoskey, is investigating a major energy efficiency upgrade on the historical building. . . 

<> DEQ awards grant for E. coli testing - The Mich. Dept. of Environmental Quality has awarded more than $15,000 to monitor E. coli levels in Mitchell Creek. 

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).

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