Wednesday, May 13, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 5/13/15



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National / International News

<> Obama's plans for trade deals with Asia and Europe in tatters after Senate vote - Senate legislation fails to pass after Democrats put concerns about US jobs ahead of president's argument that trade deals will boost global economy

<> House passes bill to stop EPA/Corps WOTUS rule – Despite an Administration veto threat, the House voted Tuesday to overturn the Obama administration rule aimed at redefining which streams, ponds, wetlands and other waterways are under its jurisdiction.

<> Energy Department Authorizes Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project to Export Liquefied Natural Gas - DOE announced that it has issued a final authorization for the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project (Corpus Christi) to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States.

<> Committee Releases Bipartisan TSCA Modernization Act, Markup This Week - Bipartisan leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today unveiled a new draft of the TSCA Modernization Act and announced a subcommittee markup on the legislation for this week. [Links to  updated draft of the legislation and summary; background memo, amendments, and votes posted soon]

<> Nation's Beekeepers Lost 40 Percent of Bees in 2014-15 - Beekeepers across the United States lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2014 to April 2015 -- summer losses eclipse winter losses for the first time on record according to study led by University of Maryland professor

<> Small Businesses: Here's How To Act on Climate and Improve Your Bottom Line - Co-authored from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy & David Levine, Co-founder and President, American Sustainable Business Council

<> Resistance to pipeline bigger than Keystone thwarts Enbridge in Wisconsin - Pipeline giant Enbridge, Inc., is in a standoff with a Wisconsin zoning committee over the company's plans to vastly increase the amount of tar sands oil pumped through one of its lines -- the Dane County, Wisc. zoning committee, motivated by Enbridge's Kalamazoo River spill in Michigan in 2010, wants added insurance requirements to ensure proper cleanup in the event of a spill.

<> Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero-Carbon Future - From the World Bank -- The report lays out three steps countries can follow to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero and stabilize climate change: Plan for the end goal, not just the short-term; get prices right as part of a broad policy package that triggers changes in investment and behavior; and smooth the transition for those most affected.

<> Keystone activists enraged by report that FBI spied on them - According to the Guardian's reporting, which was based on a Freedom of Information Act request, the Houston FBI Office reportedly broke agency rules on numerous occasions by spying on anti-pipeline activists between November 2012 and June 2014.

<> NRDC "Sneezing and Wheezing" Report Spotlights Climate Change Links to Asthma and Allergies

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 - Notice of Data. U.S. EPA - Release of Risk and Exposure Assessment Planning Document for the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Nitrogen Dioxide

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> International Joint Commission Newsletter - Catch up on the Spring Semi-Annual, Signs of Spring Campaign and Ballast Water Technology

Michigan News

<> Schuette, Wyant Announce $75 Million Settlement for Enbridge's Kalamazoo River Oil Spill - Settlement invests millions for river improvements and will finalize cleanup and restoration requirements for areas affected by the spill

<> Michigan Senate adds 30 days to session to work on roads bill - The Michigan Senate is planning to remain in session this summer after voters rejected a road-funding proposal on last week's ballot.

<> In Re App of Detroit Edison 2012 Cost Recovery Plan 5/12/15. In the Michigan Court of Appeals, Case No. 318388. Petitioner Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) appeals by right from an order of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) granting the application filed by Detroit Edison Company (Edison) to implement a power supply cost recovery (PSCR) plan in its rate schedules for the 2012 metered jurisdictional sales of electricity, and for approval of its five-year forecast. The Appeals Court affirmed the decision of MPSC.

<> Next meeting of the Saginaw-Tittabawassee Rivers Contamination Community Advisory Group - 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Monday, May 18 at the Tittabawassee Township Memorial Park Building, 150 Park Street, Freeland

<> Sen. Virgil Smith arraigned, removed from committees - State Senator Virgil Smith (D-Detroit) faces felony assault and gun charges in connection with a shooting incident this past weekend --  accused of hitting his ex-wife and shooting at her car.

<> Citizens Guide MI Legislature App - The Citizens Guide to the Michigan Legislature SmartPhone application provides pictures and contact information for all members of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, links to their web sites; committee listings; contact information for Senate & House clerks and business offices, as well as caucus staff for both chambers.

<> Planning begins on transit system connecting Detroit to Ann Arbor, Pontiac, Mount Clemens At a kickoff rally in Detroit today, officials announced they'll have those plans ready to go in November, in time to get them on the 2016 ballot.  

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 (5/12/15)


HB 4093 of 2015 Appropriations; zero budget; department of environmental quality; provide for fiscal year 2015-2016. Creates appropriation act. [FLOOR]


HB 4570 of 2015 Education; financing; definition of turbine for purposes of industrial personal property exemption from school operating millage; provide for.  [Committee]

HB 4571 of 2015 Economic development; plant rehabilitation; definition of turbine; provide for. [Committee]

HB 4572 of 2015 Michigan business tax; credits; definition of turbine in eligible personal property tax credit; provide for. [Committee]

HB 4573 of 2015 Property tax; exemptions; definition of turbine; provide for. [Committee]