Thursday, May 14, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 5/14/15


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National / International News

<> Senators Introduce Legislation to Roll Back "Clean Power Plan" - U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, introduced a bill that will be the principal legislative vehicle in the Senate to rollback President Obama's "Clean Power Plan" -- The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), will ensure reliable and affordable energy, put jobs and our economy first, and curb federal overreach.

<> After Almost Seven Years, New York State Completes Environmental Review of Fracking Following the historic announcement in December that New York State would ban fracking, the Department of Environmental Conservation today released of a lengthy technical document analyzing the health and environmental impacts of the controversial practice.

<> House Natural Resources Oversight Hearing CEQ Guidance for GHG Emissions - background, testimony, webcast

<> House Hearing on Discussion Drafts Addressing Hydropower Regulatory Modernization and FERC Process Coordination under the Natural Gas Act - Hearing Notice, Background Memo, FERC Process Coordination Discussion Draft, Hydropower Regulatory Modernization Discussion Draft, testimony and webcast

<> House Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Markup of the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 - Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 12:00pm; background, discussion draft, etc.

<> House Health Subcommittee Vote on Microbead-Free Waters Act - background, H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act, statements, webcast

<> DOE Labs Fuel Advancements in Nuclear Tech - The Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing to examine research activities and infrastructure within the Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratories to advance nuclear energy technology. 

<> House Hearing: 35th Anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act: Railroad Deregulation Past, Present, and Future – Hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials summary, webcast, testimony

<> Cantwell Introduces Bills on Cybersecurity, Grid Modernization, Workforce and Smart Buildings - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has unveiled several bills to be considered for bipartisan, comprehensive energy legislation.

<>  New study shows Antarctic ice shelf is thinning from above and below - A decade-long scientific debate about what's causing the thinning of one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves is settled this week (Wednesday 13 May) with the publication of an international study in the journal The Cryosphere.

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

<> Jean Michel Cousteau talks invasive carp in the Great Lakes during event at The Henry Ford - He said that giving the species a new source of food would likely deter them from heading to the Great Lakes, provided it was easier to access than the food supply in the region.

<> Coal-fired ferry set to sail Lake Michigan again after environmental fixes - A coal-fired passenger ferry is set to return to service on Lake Michigan after undergoing a makeover to meet terms of a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency.

<> Door County's Peninsula Wetlands deemed of international significance - The 11,443-acre site joins Everglades National Park in Florida and Chesapeake Bay Estuary in Virginia as one of only 37 sites in the United States to achieve this designation.

Michigan News

<> House Republicans unveil new roads plans - Oakland County Reps weigh in on proposal The House Republican Caucus today unveiled a simple roads plan that will create a long-term fix for Michigan roads and bridges. The plan focuses on using existing dollars and reprioritizing restricted funds. 

<> HB4540 critical energy infrastructure and cybersecurity-related information - The House Fiscal Agency has posted a summary and analysis of the controversial bill that would amend FOIA to allow a public body to exempt certain "critical energy infrastructure" information from disclosure.

<> Oil spill settlement will help Kalamazoo River be 'healthier, more accessible,' DEQ director says - MDEQ Director Dan Wyant said the settlement accomplishes what environmental laws are meant to do -- "make it right when natural resources are damaged."

<> Project moves ahead to generate energy from St. Clair River current; work planned this summer - A project to generate energy from the St. Clair River's strong current is moving forward with plans to install four energy-harnessing devices in the river this year.

<> DNR seeks public input on Fisherman's Island State Park General Management Plan - Located in Charlevoix County the 2,678-acre park includes more than six miles of scenic Lake Michigan shoreline with 80 rustic campsites, a picnic area, foot trails and undeveloped land for hunting and wildlife observation.

<> DNR to host May 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Ishpeming to Republic ORV Route

<> GM to invest $1 billion, creating 2,600 jobs, in Warren tech center - General Motors Co. plans to spend $1 billion on construction and renovations at its Warren Technical Center -- a top-to-bottom overhaul aimed at boosting innovation and employee attraction across a 60-year-old campus.

<> Be a Salmon Ambassador - Do you frequently fish Lake Michigan, northern Lake Huron, or tributary streams for Chinook salmon? If so, consider signing up to be a Salmon Ambassador. 

<> Michigan's largest solar array project near Ann Arbor to go online this year - DTE Energy is moving forward with a solar power project near Ann Arbor -- the project will be visible to motorists traveling the highway. 

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 (5/13/15)


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