Saturday, March 14, 2015

[WIMS] Daily Environmental HotSheet 3/13/15

National / International News

<> Secy. Kerry Remarks at the Atlantic Council as Part of the Road to Paris Climate Series - ". . .Now folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say 'climate change.' We have to talk about how we solve climate change. Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible. . ." 

<> Senators Boxer and Markey Introduce TSCA Reform Bill to Protect the Health of Children and Communities - Senators Boxer and Markey introduced the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act after consulting with a wide range of leading experts and stakeholders, including public health and environmental organizations, business groups, states, and groups that advocate on behalf of those who have suffered injuries from toxic chemicals.

<> Inhofe, Rounds Call on the Resignation of U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Chairman - In a letter, the Members shed light on the failed practices of Chairman Moure-Eraso and the lack of credibility created by him and his leadership team at this important agency

<> Portman and Shaheen Renew Efforts to Create National Energy Strategy -  U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) will today renew their push for a national energy efficiency strategy by introducing an updated version of the Portman-Shaheen Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC).

<> Sen. Markey: DOE Wind Report Refutes Doom and Gloom Opponents of Obama Climate Plan - Senator Markey said the report shows America can aggressively and affordably shift away from fossil fuels towards clean energy to cut carbon pollution that causes climate change. 

<> Protecting Vital Waters as Marine Sanctuaries - NOAA announced that it is expanding two existing sanctuaries off California's North-central coast that will more than double the current size of the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries. . .

<> Total energy subsidies decline since 2010, with changes in support across fuel types - (Fri, 13 Mar 2015) EIA has updated a report on federal subsidies to the energy industry, covering the 2013 fiscal year (FY).

<> Pipelines: How Many and Where Are They? - With all the attention that the Keystone Pipeline has been receiving lately, you would think that pipelines are a new or novel way to move oil and other products.  The reality is, pipelines are virtually everywhere in the United States

<> Secretary Jewell, American Express Announce Major Commitment to Increase Volunteerism on America's Public Lands - As part of the Interior Department's bold youth initiative to engage the next generation of outdoor stewards,

<> State Polls Show Public Opposes GOP's "Just Say No" Push on Climate - (March 12, 2015) – Large majorities of Americans in four key states wholeheartedly want their leaders to design a state-specific plan to meet new federal standards curbing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants, according to bipartisan polling released -- Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio

<> API, EWG, ActionAid call for repeal of corn ethanol mandates - March 11, 2015 – API, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and anti-hunger group ActionAid USA called for repeal of corn ethanol mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) during a joint press event Wednesday.

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions

<> AmerGen Energy Company, LLC v. U.S. - 3/11/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Case No. 2014-5067. The Appeals Court confirmed the decision  of the Court of Federal Claims that AmerGen may not include future nuclear decommissioning liabilities that it assumed when it purchased three nuclear power plants in the basis of the acquired assets in its 2001 through 2003 tax returns.

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

<> Lake Michigan salmon populations remain strong, study shows - MDNR northern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor Dave Boyarski says experts from across the region are seeing the salmon taking a firm hold of the ecosystem and breeding without the help of the hatcheries.

<> Integrated Water Management in the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River Basin - The latest Cities Initiative webinar series, which begins next week with the "Introduction to Integrated Water Management" webinar -- Wednesday, March 18, 11 am Eastern

<> Lake Huron Regional Restoration Meetings - A series of one-day public events are planned to discuss restoration progress in the U.S. Lake Huron basin and hear about plans to develop the Lake Huron Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) under the newly updated U.S.-Canadian Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Michigan News

<> Today: How Snyder's energy speech could impact clean energy job prospects in Michigan - While Gov. Rick Snyder prepares for his energy speech, which will be delivered today in Warren, a new report ranks Michigan fourth in the nation for clean energy and transportation jobs.

<> Michigan Proposal 1 would pay off debt, ramp up road funding over three years - Michigan Proposal 1 would eventually pump some $1.25 billion a year into crumbling roads, but it in early years, it would also help pay off a total of $1.3 billion in debt for infrastructure that's already been built.

<> CRC Report: Use of Immediate Effect in Michigan - The 2015-16 legislative session is underway and the Michigan legislature is again up to the standard practice of granting immediate effect to almost every law enacted -- a new Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) report identifies the need for reform -- either of the Constitution to reflect legislative practice or of legislative practice to reflect the Constitution.

<> MI fish farmer says regulatory hurdles hinder industry expansion - The permit for the Grayling Fish Hatchery is probably one of the strictest issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said Brad Wurfel, the agency's communications director.

<> Manure run-off from Kalamazoo County farm contained, environmental assessment ongoing - It appears snowmelt tainted by manure spread on a farm field in southeastern Kalamazoo County reached a nearby creek, but authorities say a preliminary investigation has shown no immediate harm to fish or wetlands or threat to humans.

<> Michigan's Economy Needs Access to Future Gas – [Michigan Chamber] In light of the recently published news that Michigan's natural gas consumption grew 11% this February from February 2014, it becomes even more important that we break the natural gas logjam.

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 (3/12/15)


SB 0199 of 2015 Trade; containers; beverages and beverage containers subject to bottle deposit; expand. [COMMITTEE

SB 0206 of 2015 Natural resources; funding; Michigan natural resources trust fund; clarify criteria for eligible expenditures. [COMMITTEE]


HB 4345 of 2015 Environmental protection; other; sale of personal care products containing plastic microbeads; prohibit. [Committee]