Wednesday, May 20, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 5/20/15



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National / International News

<> Unlocking Wind Power Across America - Now available in 39 states, wind power has emerged as an important source of American clean energy – and there's potential for even more; the Energy Department released a new report – Enabling Wind Power Nationwide  – that shows how the next generation of wind turbines can help expand wind power in all 50 states.

<> Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding - The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) hosted the event commemorating the official signing of the "Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding" in Sacramento, where founding signatories committed to cut total emissions by 80-95% percent below 1990 levels or to cut per-capita emissions to below two tons, by 2050.

<> Veto Warning On COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 - The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would undermine critical investments in science, technology, and research.

·         H.R. 1806: America COMPETES Reauthorization Act Of 2015

<> Senate EPW Oversight Hearing of Scientific Advisory Panels and Processes at EPA – statements, testimony & webcast

<> What Top Officials Charged with Keeping Our Nation Safe Are Saying About the TPP - It is certainly true that America's trade policy plays a large role in the resurgence and strength of our economy – but that's not the only role it fills. 

  • Statement by the President on Trade and Enforcement - I have made rigorous trade enforcement a central pillar of U.S. trade policy, and we have moved aggressively to protect American workers and to improve labor laws and working conditions with trading partners across the globe.

<> Senators Call on EPA to Reject "Frivolous" Regulations on Oil and Gas Extraction Industry - U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), David Vitter (R-LA) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), sent a letter to EPA Adm. Gina McCarthy calling on the EPA to reject the October 2012, Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) petition that requests the agency to add the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry, Standard Industrial Classification Code 13, to the list of facilities required to report under the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).

<> Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015 - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a new report indicating that more than 7.7 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry -- an 18 per cent increase from last year's figure of 6.5 million.

<>  21,000-gallon oil spill off the Santa Barbara County - The rupture on an 11-mile-long underground pipe, part of a larger oil transport network centered in Kern County, was first reported about noon Tuesday after a woman at Refugio beach smelled the crude's noxious fumes.

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

<> IJC seeks public comment on review of recommendations for protecting the waters of the Great Lakes - The International Joint Commission (IJC) announced the start of a public comment period on a consultants' review of recommendations made in the 2000 IJC report, "Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes" – deadline June 30, 2015.

<> New early season harmful algal bloom forecasts for Lake Erie are now available - In response to increased demand for harmful algal bloom information and data, beginning today, NOAA researchers, and their partners atHeidelberg University, will issue new experimental, early season forecasts of the seasonal harmful algal bloom in western Lake Erie.

<> 60 years of the GLFC - In 2015, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission celebrates two milestones: the 60th anniversary of the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, and the 50th anniversary of the commission's lake committees, which ensure collaboration across borders.

<> COMMENTARY: What Chesapeake Bay has to teach Lake Erie about environmental stewardship - The problems of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Chesapeake Bay area have been documented for decades, and may be relevant to Lake Erie's current water quality issues.

<> National Museum of the Great Lakes offers river tour - The National Museum of the Great Lakes will hold its first "Museum on the Move" program in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring a visit by the USS Brig Niagara, and a tour of the Cuyahoga River.

Michigan News

<> Michigan's rural roads ranked worst in country - According to a report by transportation research group, Michigan ranks worst nationally for its poor quality of rural roads and 14th worst for its rural bridges -- the report by TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation research group based in Washington, DC

<> Grant workshops for invasive species projects - To help representatives of local, federal and tribal units of government, nonprofit organizations and universities better understand the 2015 Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, the state of Michigan is offering workshops in June and July in Detroit, Hastings, Mackinaw City and Munising.

<> Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan launches ballot initiative - The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan launches its ballot initiative petition drive–all on paper, on foot, and in person–this May 22, 2015, as a new poll the Committee released, by Public Policy Polling, shows a strong majority supporting the ban on fracking and frack wastes.

<> Lawmakers should support reasonable protections for threatened bats - A plan to protect threatened bats from a deadly disease has drawn surprising criticism from a pair of lawmakers who say setting aside just one quarter of one percent of Michigan's forested land area will have a "chilling effect" on the state's logging and mining industries.

<> Piping plover egg at Ludington's Stearns Park beach causes 100x100 area to be roped off - Endangered piping plover eggs were spotted on a beach in Ludington, Mich., this spring, prompting officials to delay beach cleaning.

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 (5/19/15)


SB 0341 of 2015 Transportation; motor fuel tax; tax levy on alternative fuel used in vehicles; provide for, and make other revisions. [COMMITTEE]

SB 0342 of 2015 Vehicles; registration; fee increase for certain vehicles powered by electricity; provide for. [COMMITTEE]


HB 4093 of 2015 Appropriations; zero budget; department of environmental quality; provide for fiscal year 2015-2016. Creates appropriation act. [S-1 nonconcurred in]

HB 4617 of 2015 Environmental protection; landfills; mining, including reclamation activities, in landfills; prohibit. [Committee]