Friday, May 08, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 5/8/15



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National / International News

<> Inhofe, Whitehouse pledge to work together to ensure TSCA's passed in Senate - In a rare occurrence, Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) stated they would stand together to ensure that an open amendment process to the TSCA reform legislation would serve to move the bill forward and on to the U.S. House of Representatives, instead of getting stalled or stopped due to controversial provisions.

<> Sen. Murkowski Introduces 17 Targeted Bills to Modernize America's Energy Policies - 17 legislative proposals to modernize America's energy policies. These proposals range from increasing the use of renewable energy to the continued operation of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

<> Energy Department Authorizes Dominion Cove Point LNG to Export Liquefied Natural Gas - DOE announced that it has issued a final authorization for Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

<> Inhofe Critical Of Obama on Flood Risk Management Standard - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), sent a letter to President Obama critical of Executive Order 13690 saying it closed the door on any and all discussion when it comes to setting the appropriate standard for managing flood risks.

<>  In Brief: Legal Options for U.S. Acceptance of a New Climate Change Agreement - the degree to which the President is willing to test the limits of his legal authority, in accepting a Paris agreement, will depend not simply on legal analysis, but on political and prudential considerations.

<> Midwest states eye carbon trading to meet EPA targets - In the Midwest, several states oppose the EPA proposal and some have already tried to sue the agency to block it -- but Midwest utilities and regulators want the EPA to help establish a voluntary trading platform that states can "opt-in" in order to meet state targets rather than forming a formal multi-state market like RGGI where states work toward a common target.

<> Integrated Green Stormwater Infrastructure Guide - On April 22 EPA Region 3 released a publication titled, Community Based Public-Private Partnerships (CBP3) and Alternative Market-Based Tools for Integrated Green Stormwater Infrastructure: A Guide for Local Governments.

<> Western Snowpack Melts Early, Little Remains - West-wide snowpack has mostly melted, according to data from the fifth 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

<> Three New Draft Reports For EPA Science Advisory Board. . .

<> Why Canada's provinces are fighting the Feds on climate - When a leftwing party in Alberta ended 44 years of Conservative government in Tuesday's provincial election, it sent shockwaves through the energy industry and right to Ottawa.

<> New Report: Major Food Companies Must Adapt to Escalating Global Water Risks - Major U.S. food companies need to adopt far stronger practices to use limited global water resources more efficiently, according to a report released by Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group.

<> Groups Urge Investigation of USDA Censorship of Its Scientists - (Beyond Pesticides, May 8, 2015) A diverse group of environmentalists, beekeepers, farm workers, and advocates, along with Beyond Pesticides, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Inspector General and the co-chairs of the White House Task Force on Pollinator Health this Tuesday, urging a thorough investigation into recent reports that USDA scientists are being harassed and censored.

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 - Direct Final Rule, Partial withdrawal. U.S. EPA - Partial Withdrawal of Technical Amendments Related to: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Fuel and Quality Assurance Plan Provisions

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> MI Senator Stabenow Statement on Canadian Government Report Assessing Lake Huron Nuclear Waste Site - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said, "I am deeply disappointed by the Canadian government's review of the proposed nuclear waste site on the shores of Lake Huron. . ."

<> Drug used to treat type 2 diabetes may be harming Lake Michigan fish - Professor Rebecca Klaper said you need a microscope to see the problem with male minnows that have been exposed to a common drug used by people with type 2 diabetes called Metformin -- Normally it would just be sperm inside the testes, but the male fish are producing eggs.

Michigan News

<> Gov. Rick Snyder: I will focus my attention on Michigan's continuing comeback, telling our story - "I do not have plans to run for president in 2016. I will focus my attention on continuing Michigan's reinvention. . ."

<> Extensive testimony on House Bill 4297 - The House Energy Policy Committee received extensive testimony on the controversial HB4297 to amend the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act [under "Testimony" see 5/7/15, for testimony from 29 individuals & organizations]

  • HB 4297 of 2015 - Energy; alternative sources; energy generated from waste; allow to qualify as renewable or advanced cleaner energy, modify renewable energy location requirements, and eliminate energy optimization program.
  • Legislative analysis for HB4297

<> 11 communities earn local infrastructure loans - MDEQ today announced more than $172 million in loans awarded to fund wastewater or drinking water projects needed to improve water quality and public health around the state.

<> DTE Energy Shareholders Call for More Clean Energy, Transparency at Annual Meeting - Several DTE shareholders called on the utility to change direction; invest far more in clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar; and be much more transparent about its heavy spending in Michigan politics.

<> Call for abstracts! Deadline June 15 - 9th Biennial State of Lake Michigan and 15th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Joint Conference (October 28-30, Grand Traverse Resort, Acme, MI)

<> Michigan Embarks on Year Three of Aerial Photography Program - The Michigan Statewide Authoritative Imagery and LiDAR program (MiSAIL) brings partners together from around the state to collect high-quality images from all corners of Michigan -- these high-quality, reliable images are used in infrastructure mapping, property assessment, natural feature surveys, hydrologic mapping, emergency response, planning, zoning and much more.

<> National Water Trails Forum - Jun 24-26, University of MichiganAnn Arbor. Meet and learn best practices from a network of fellow National Water Trails (NWT) leaders -- an opportunity to discover Southeast Michigan's scenic water trails.

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 (5/7/15)


HB 4093 of 2015 Appropriations; zero budget; department of environmental quality; provide for fiscal year 2015-2016. Creates appropriation act. [Passed, COMMITTEE]


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