Monday, April 13, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 4/13/15


National / International News

<> Renewable Fuels Volume Standards Timeline Announced - A proposed consent decree in litigation brought against EPA by, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), would establish a schedule for issuing Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014 and 2015

  • The Proposed Consent Decree - EPA intends to issue a Federal Register Notice allowing the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed consent decree.

<> NTSB Recommendations For Rail Tank Cars With Flammable Liquids  - The National Transportation Safety Board today issued four urgent recommendations calling for more robust and fire-resistant rail cars to be produced to safely carry flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol.

<> Coal-Tar-Sealant Runoff Causes Toxicity and DNA Damage - Runoff from pavement with coal-tar-based sealant is toxic to aquatic life, damages DNA, and impairs DNA repair, according to two studies by the U.S. Geological Survey published in the journals Environmental Science and Technology and Science of the Total Environment.

<> A Trip to Yucca Mountain - A bipartisan congressional delegation, led by Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), on Thursday [last week] traveled to the desert of Nevada to visit the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage site -- nearly $15 billion has been spent toward development of the nuclear waste repository and nearly a billion more is spent each year as the Yucca project remains stalled. 

<> Mercury threat to Arctic wildlife - Alarm bells are ringing for Arctic wildlife with the discovery that mercury levels in the feathers of ivory gulls have increased almost 50-fold over 130-year period

<> Climate Change May Pose Substantial Future Risk to Sagebrush Habitat in Southwestern Wyoming - Climate change may pose a substantial future risk for sagebrush habitat in southwestern Wyoming, and thus adversely affect the regional summer habitat and nesting areas of sage-grouse, according to a new study by the United States Geological Survey.

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions

<> Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al., v. EPA - 4/10/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit, Case No. 09-1322. Order issued that this court's judgment filed June 26, 2012, be amended in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision. See UARG v. EPA, 134 S. Ct. at 2449 (affirming in part and reversing in part).

<> Hawkes Co., Inc.  v.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - 4/10/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Case No. 13-3067. The Corps' issuance of an Approved Jurisdiction Determination that plaintiffs' property constitutes "waters of the United States" within the meaning of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, thereby requiring plaintiffs to obtain a permit to discharge dredged or filled materials into the "navigable waters, was a final agency action for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act, and the district court erred in dismissing the case for lack of a final agency action.

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)

Michigan News

<> Rover Pipeline suing Washtenaw County landowners for surveying rights - Rover Pipeline LLC, the company behind a planned natural gas pipeline that could run through Washtenaw County has sued several landowners to gain access to their property for surveys.

<> Snyder wants power grid that connects Michigan peninsulas -

<> Fracking opponents try again on ban ballot initiative - A grassroots organization, the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, is starting its second effort to get the issue before voters -- in 2012 and 2013, members tried to collect the 250,000 signatures needed to put a ban on the ballot, but came up far short — getting about 70,000 -- the group will need to collect 252,523 valid signatures by June 1, 2016,

<> Improvements scheduled to expand North Western State Trail – MDNR announced that the Alanson-to-Mackinaw City segment of the North Western State Trail will be improved and under construction this summer.

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).