Wednesday, April 15, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 4/15/15


National / International News

<> Obama legacy gets second legal test over 'goof' in climate rule - A congressional drafting error and clunky phrase is putting a second of President Barack Obama's signature endeavors in jeopardy. This time it's climate change -- if coal-mine operator Murray Energy Corp. and states led by West Virginia convince a panel of judges named by Republican presidents to agree with their reading, the EPA rules could be tossed before they are made final -- U.S. Appeals Court, D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments Thursday.

<> EPA Publishes 20th Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory - U.S. EPA released its 20th Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, showing a two percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 from 2012 levels, but a nine percent drop in emissions since 2005 -- covers seven key greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride.

<> Dow Launches 2025 Sustainability Goals to Help Redefine the Role of Business in Society - The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) announced a strategic set of commitments designed to redefine the role of business in society -- Dow's 2025 Sustainability Goals use a global lens to magnify the Company's impact around the world, driving unprecedented collaborations to develop a societal blueprint that will facilitate the transition to a sustainable planet and society.

<> House Hearing On Draft Ratepayer Protection Act - The Energy and Power Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), held a hearing to examine the draft of the Ratepayer Protection Act that seeks to empower states to protect families and businesses from higher electricity rates and other harmful effects of EPA's proposed rule regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, referred to by the agency as the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

<> House Hearing On draft of the bipartisan TSCA Modernization Act -  The House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), made progress toward reforming the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by reviewing a draft of the bipartisan TSCA Modernization Act.

<> Markup of The Coal Combustion Residuals Regulation Act of 2015, H.R. 1734 – Chairman Upton (R-MI) stated, " We figured out a practical solution by which state governments would be allowed to implement EPA's protective standards through state permit programs."

<> EPA 2014 Highlights of Progress: Responses to Climate Change by the National Water Program - EPA has released a 2014 Highlights of Progress Report that provides a summary of major accomplishments addressing climate change and water by the EPA National Water Program and Regional water programs during 2014.

<> EPA Water Utility Response On-The-Go Mobile Website - EPA  has launched an innovative tool that consolidates and makes accessible from the fieldinformation and tools that water utility operators and their response partners may need during an emergency.

<> U.S. energy imports and exports to come into balance for first time since 1950s - (Wed, 15 Apr 2015) Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2015, released April 14, show the potential to eliminate net U.S. energy imports sometime between 2020 and 2030.

<> Cap and Trade System to Limit Greenhouse Gas Pollution in Ontario - Ontario is joining other jurisdictions, including Qu├ębec and California, by imposing a hard ceiling on the pollution allowed in each sector of the economy -- known as cap and trade. . .

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

<> Combined sewer overflows last week doubled 2014 amount - Combined sanitary and storm sewers in central Milwaukee and eastern Shorewood discharged an estimated 681.1 million gallons of storm water and sewage to local waterways April 9, according to Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District officials -- for comparison, the district reported 341 million gallons of total sewer overflows in all of last year, and more than 1.1 billion gallons of overflows in 2013

<> International Joint Commission Newsletter - Great Lakes Survey Results, Ice Breaking, and an Update on Lake Erie Algae and more

Michigan News

<> Gov. Rick Snyder signs bills preserving integrity of hunting and fishing by prohibiting use of drones Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, will be banned from interfering with hunting and fishing on Michigan lands, under bills signed by Gov. Rick Snyder -- Senate Bills 54 and 55, sponsored by state Sens. Tom Casperson and Phil Pavlov

<> State board approves petition language to ban drilling - Michigan's Board of State Canvassers approved the format of petitions for a ballot campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing Tuesday, and the leader of the effort said volunteers will start collecting signatures on May 22 -- the group has 180 days from the start of petition circulation to collect 252,523 signatures.

<> Northern Michigan Green Infrastructure Conference June 4 - June 4 at Great Wolf Lodge and Conference Center in Traverse City for the Northern Michigan regional Green Infrastructure Conference which expands on the 2014 statewide conference to highlight a broad range of benefits and opportunities provided by Green Infrastructure (GI) planning and preservation in northern Michigan.

<> Free e-Waste Recycling Event April 23 - 25 – Businesses, nonprofits, & the public quickly and easily get rid of your electronic waste in an environmentally friendly manner. Bring your old, working or broken electronics, including computers, monitors, keyboards, mice, cables, televisions, VCRs-you name it. We'll take it all and responsibly and securely recycle it.

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 (4/14/15)


SB 0264 of 2015 Vehicles; fund-raising registration plates; fund-raising registration plates for National Wild Turkey Federation; create. [COMMITTEE]


HB 4441 of 2015 Environmental protection; other; water pollution, sewerage, solid waste, and recycling fees; extend sunset. [Committee]