Monday, March 16, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 3/16/15


National / International News

<> Global CO2 Emissions Did Not Rise in 2014 IEA Chief Economist Says - The chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said in an interview with the Financial Times that global emissions of carbon dioxide did not rise in 2014 over 2013, despite the fact that the world economy continued to grow.

<> Presidential Task Force Releases Action Plan to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud - the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud, co-chaired by the Departments of Commerce and State, released its action plan which articulates the aggressive steps that federal agencies will take both domestically and internationally to implement the recommendations the Task Force made in December 2014

<> Op-Ed: California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now? - Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing.

<> Bayer Attempt to Silence Critics of Its Bee-Poisonous Pesticides Rejected by Judge - Last week, a judge in Duesseldorf Regional Court ruled that the German branch of Friends of the Earth (BUND) has a right to speak out against chemical company giant Bayer CropScience's neonicotinoid pesticide, thiacloprid, regarding its potential danger to bees.

<> ACEEE Releases Tool for Including Building Codes in States' Clean Power Plans - Today the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a step-by-step guide that helps states document and claim emissions reductions resulting from building energy codes as a means of complying with their obligations under the Clean Power Plan -- the first in a series of guidance documents that demonstrate how a state can take advantage of energy efficiency in its compliance plan.

<> New NASA Mission to Study Ocean Color, Airborne Particles and Clouds - NASA is beginning work on a new satellite mission that will extend critical climate measurements of Earth's oceans and atmosphere and advance studies of the impact of environmental changes on ocean health, fisheries and the carbon cycle

<> NRDC: New FEMA Requirements Will Better Prepare Communities for Climate Change Risks - (March 13, 2015) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday it finalized new policy guidance requiring states to consider climate change's projected effects when they plan and prepare for natural disasters

  • FEMA: State Mitigation Plan Review Guide - In 2012, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) petitioned the agency to adopt this requirement because most states' plans did not account for climate change when assessing their future vulnerability to natural hazards.
  • More from NRDC

<> Lake Tahoe research provides new insights on global change - A recently published study on how natural and man-made sources of nitrogen are recycled through the Lake Tahoe ecosystem provides new information on how global change may affect the iconic blue lake.

<> The Worldwide Coal Boom Is Going Bust: Sierra Club and CoalSwarm Report Details New Data from Global Coal Plant Tracker - The Sierra Club and CoalSwarm released their new report, Boom and Bust: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline, which details the findings of an extensive investigation into every proposed coal-fired power plant worldwide since 2010

<> Community Leaders Strike Back: Dozens Take to Capitol Hill Demanding Congress Put People before Polluters - Nearly 100 concerned community leaders will take to Capitol Hill this week to urge their hometown elected officials to support EPA and its efforts to curb public health threats like smog pollution, coal ash, and carbon pollution.

<> Business Group Says Boxer Toxic Chemicals Bill Would Be Improvement - American Sustainable Business Council says the Boxer-Markey TSCA reform bill is an improvement over current law and the Vitter-Udall bill is insufficient to drive innovation for safer alternatives, promote transparency in the supply chain and preserve the rights of states to act if the federal government doesn't.

<> DOE vs. EIA: Who Should You Trust on Wind Energy? - American Energy Alliance says the Administration's major Wind Vision report, released last week, should be treated more as a press release for the wind industry than a realistic assessment of future energy trends.

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 - Final Rule. U.S. EPA - Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> When invasive Asian carp look for love in all the right places - Only 10 Asian carp needed to establish population in Great Lakes

Michigan News

<> Proposal 1's passage would trigger these 10 laws - Here are the details on the 10 pieces of legislation that would take effect if Proposal 1 is passed on May 5.

<> Citizens Groups Call for More Action, Less Lip Service from Gov. Snyder - [The Governor] "highlighted the need to reduce utilities over reliance on coal, increase utilities use of renewable energy, and reduce energy waste as the best way to protect public health and preserve Michigan's Great Lakes and environment, but did not put forward any specific policy suggestions."

<> Utility tree trimming sparks legal battle in Michigan - A legal battle is brewing across Michigan and the nation that pits the public against utilities over trimming trees to assure reliable access to power.

<> MDEQ Michigan Environmental Network News - March 13, 2015. News from the Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) on environmental partner programs.

<> First Michigan Seafood Summit a Great Success - Organizers report that the inaugural Michigan Seafood Summit was standing room only with more than 100 people in attendance March 12 at the Kellogg Conference Center.

<> Michigan Chapter Sierra Club Update Newsletter

<> FEMA Awards $708,653 Grant to Plainfield Township - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released $708,653 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Plainfield Township, MI, to acquire and demolish 15 residential structures in the Grand River floodplain.

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).