Tuesday, March 31, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 3/31/15


National / International News

<> United States Submits its Climate Action Plan ahead of 2015 Paris Agreement - The United States has submitted its new climate action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) -- the "Intended Nationally Determined Contribution" (INDC) comes well in advance of a new universal climate change agreement which will be reached at the UN climate conference in Paris, in December this year.

<> U.S. Can Lead on Global Climate Action: Clean Power Plan Is a Linchpin - Today we are expecting the U.S. to make public its proposed contribution to the global effort to tackle climate change as part of the UNFCCC process

<> EPA's McCarthy: Keystone alone wouldn't be climate disaster - "No, I don't think that any one issue is a disaster for the climate, nor do I think there is one solution for the climate change challenge that we have," McCarthy said during an interview with POLITICO's Mike Allen.

<> EPA Seeks Input for Potential Rule Banning or Restricting the Use of N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) and Methylene Chloride for Use in Paint and Coating Removal - U.S. EPA is seeking nominations from individuals who represent small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profit organizations to provide input to a federal panel that will explore risk reduction in the use of NMP and methylene chloride for paint or coating removal.

<> EPA Seeks Input for Potential Rule Banning or Restricting the Use of Trichloroethylene (TCE) as a Commercial Degreaser, Spotting Agent in Dry Cleaning, and in Certain Consumer Products – U.S. EPA is seeking nominations from individuals who represent small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profit organizations to provide input to a federal panel that will explore risk reduction in the use of Trichloroethylene (TCE)

<> New EIA monthly data tracks crude oil movements by rail - (Tue, 31 Mar 2015) For the first time, EIA is providing monthly data on rail movements of crude oil, which have significantly increased over the past five years.

<> EPA Takes Action to Protect the Public from an Unregistered Pesticide - U.S. EPA issued an order to stop the sale of BioStorm and NanoStrike -- products that are being marketed by the company for use in sites that include hospitals and athletic facilities

<> Wind, Solar Industries Release Clean Power Plan Handbook - The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have jointly published a handbook for states detailing how to incorporate renewable energy into state plans

<> USDA Awards Loans and Grants to Support Rural Economic Development - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of $31 million in loans and grants for organizations in 12 states to promote rural economic development -- IA, IL, IN, KS, MN, MO, MS, NC, NM, SC, SD, & TN

<> Secretary Jewell Highlights Economic Benefits of Recreation, Strong Trade Agreements, in Discussion with Outdoor Retailers - Secretary Jewell met with representatives of the outdoor recreation industry, Members of Congress, and local leaders for a roundtable discussion on the value of outdoor recreation in generating economic growth and supporting jobs.

<> The Brownfields 2015 Educational Program is now available online - Register Now for the National Brownfields Training Conference, September 2-4, 2015, at the Hilton Chicago conference venue

<> Report highlights sustainability progress on campus and beyond - The University of Michigan is showing a positive impact on sustainability both locally and globally as highlighted in the university's online sustainability report released this week.

<> Putting a Carbon Charge on Federal Coal: Legal and Economic Issues - What is the legal and economic feasibility of imposing an "upstream" CO2 charge on coal production at its extraction site?

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).

<> HAZARDOUS WASTE - Proposed Rule. U.S. EPA - Michigan: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revision

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> Volunteers in forefront of monitoring Great Lakes streams - Volunteer monitoring is common across the Great Lakes region, including such groups as the Michigan Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program of MiCorps, Wisconsin Water Action Volunteers, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Aquatic Resources Monitoring, the Minnesota Citizen Stream Monitoring Program, the Ohio Stream Quality Monitoring Program, the Indiana Hoosier Riverwatch as well as the Illinois RiverWatch.

<> Lake Erie algae relief years away - What's causing the algae blooms is a complicated mix of problems that have been blamed on farmers, changing weather patterns, aging wastewater systems, leaking septic tanks and invasive species in the lake.

Michigan News

<> EPA Proposes To Approve Michigan's Hazardous Waste Program - EPA is accepting comments until June 1, 2015, on its tentative decision that Michigan's application to revise its authorized program meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA.

<> MDEQ Announces New RLS Project Delivery Methods - Starting May 1, 2015, the Revolving Loan Section (RLS) will be allowing three new delivery methods (Construction Management At-Risk, Progressive Design-Build, and Fixed-Price Design-Build) in addition to the traditional Design-Bid-Build for the State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water Revolving Fund programs -- guidance material available

<> Grand Rapids awarded cleanup grant for new MSU Research Center site - MDEQ announced a $1 million grant for the city of Grand Rapids to address brownfield conditions at the former Grand Rapids Press site.

<> City of Auburn Hills awarded cleanup loan to help develop lofts - MDEQ announced a $572,750 loan to the city of Auburn Hills for environmental cleanup at a vacant property downtown, at the corner of Auburn Road and Squirrel Road.

<> MDARD Asking Poultry and Domestic Bird Owners to Increase Biosecurity Efforts - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is encouraging domestic bird owners to increase their biosecurity efforts and take appropriate steps to protect their birds from avian influenza.

<> Michigan Trails Advisory Council to meet April 7 in Roscommon - MDNR announced that the Michigan Trails Advisory Council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, April 7, at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center, 104 Conservation Drive, in Roscommon, at 10 a.m.

<> MDOT schedules annual public meetings throughout Upper Peninsula - March 30, 2015 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss the department's Five-Year Road and Bridge Program, the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and the State Long-Range Plan (SLRP).

<> The Watershed Center Awarded More than $728,000 for Kids Creek Restoration - The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay will receive more than $728,000 to continue its work on Kids Creek, an impaired stream in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed. 

<> Ribbon Cutting for Fred Meijer CIS Trail - Twenty two years after the Central Michigan Railroad ceased operations between Ionia and Owosso, the Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee Trail has been officially opened by MDNR

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).