Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 5/27/15



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National / International News

<> EPA Says: Clean Water Rule Protects Streams and Wetlands Critical to Public Health, Communities, and Economy – 5/27/15. In an historic step for the protection of clean water, the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Army finalized the Clean Water Rule today to clearly protect from pollution and degredation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources -- the Clean Water Rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

<> New report: The Role of the 2015 Agreement in Enhancing Adaptation to Climate Change - The document was prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) Secretariats in 2015 in response to a request from the Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG) on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

<> World Meteorological Congress opens with a tweet from space - The World Meteorological Congress has opened its quadrennial session which will decide on the Strategic Plan, budget and office holders to underpin the work of the World Meteorological Organization for the next four years -- shaping WMO's contribution to the U.N. climate change negotiations taking place in Paris in December which aim to reach a new agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prevent climate change from reaching dangerous levels.

<> NRC Seeks Comment on Draft Environmental Study For Medical Radioisotope Production Facility - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on a draft study detailing environmental impacts for a proposed medical radioisotope production facility operated by SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc. for the production of molybdenum-99 and other radioisotopes at a facility located in Janesville, WI, approximately 40 miles southeast of Madison.

<> Energy Department Launches Better Buildings Alliance Indoor Lighting Campaign for Commercial Buildings - Through the Better Buildings Alliance, the Department is working with key stakeholders and end users in both the public and private sectors to install and demonstrate advanced technologies.

<> EPA Training Grants Create Job Opportunities Across the Country - U.S. EPA announced the selection of 19 communities in 17 states and territories for approximately $3.6 million in Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) grants to receive up to $192,300 each to operate environmental training programs to clean up Brownfields sites in economically distressed communities.

<> Energy Department Announces $32 Million to Boost Solar Workforce Training, Drive Solar Energy Innovation - The Energy Department is announcing $32 million in funding to help train American workers for the solar energy workforce and to further drive down the cost of solar by developing innovative low-cost concentrating solar power collectors and increasing access to critical solar data.

<> Study highlights benefits of EV fleets - Electric vehicle fleets: the bigger, the better.  And don't wait. Those are the two key take-aways from a new fleet-greening study commissioned by the State of Colorado. 

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

<> Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body and Compact Council Meetings – The Council of Great Lakes Governors announced that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body (Regional Body) and Water Resources Council (Compact Council) will meet on Thursday, June 25, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. EDT, and 2:45 p.m. EDT, respectively, via conference call.

<> MI Senators Stabenow, Peters Introduce Bill to Keep Plastic Beads out of Great Lakes - U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced legislation to protect the Great Lakes from pollution caused by small, plastic microbeads that are ingredients in certain soaps and personal care products. [House companion bill, H.R.1321, introduced in March]

<> GLMRIS Brandon Road Study Stakeholders Call - The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) GLMRIS Brandon Road Study Team has released the GLMRIS - Brandon Road, EIS, Scoping Summary Report

<> Destructive zebra mussels resist eradication in Great Lakes despite local successes in controlling them - The EPA approved Zequanox for open water use to combat invasive zebra and quagga mussels in lakes, rivers, recreation areas and other open bodies of water.

Michigan News

<> MDEQ Updates BEA & Due Care Guides - MDEQ has updated the Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) and Due Care Guides to reflect recent changes to the law.

<> Webinar: The State of Recycling in Michigan June 11, 10:00 - 11:00 AM. MDEQ is hosting The State of Recycling in Michigan webinar for local decision makers, recycling program implementers, and organization leaders interested in improving recycling in Michigan.

<> Kalamazoo River Area 1 presentation available, public comment extended - EPA held a meeting to share plans to cleanup Area 1 of Operable Unit 5 (OU5) of the Kalamazoo River -- the public comment period is extended to July 3, 2015

<> Experts Say High-Risk Mackinac Straits Pipeline Should be Shut Down - The 62-year-old Enbridge oil pipelines running through the Mackinac Straits should be shut down pending a full public review because of structural concerns, including the worry that waste excreted by zebra mussels may have corroded and dangerously weakened the steel pipes, according to a report released today by FLOW at a Mackinac Island press conference by a team of scientists and engineers.

<> New Analysis for House Bill 4449 (Substitute H-1 as passed by the House) The bill would delay the sunset on the ROP program fees from October 1, 2015, for four years to October 1, 2019; and adjust and increase annual ROP fees for "major source" facilities.

  • HB 4449 of 2015 Environmental protection; air pollution; air emission fees; modify. [Passed, Transmitted]

<> Michigan confirms first case of CWD in free-ranging white-tailed deer - MDNR and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) confirmed that a free-ranging deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

<> Utility plans would further divide industrial, residential users - Michigan's two largest investor-owned utilities are seeking a change in the way electricity rates are set that would effectively raise rates on residential customers and decrease rates for industrial users.

<> Call for Abstracts! Upcoming Lake Michigan & Great Lakes Beach Conference - MDEQ has issued a call for abstracts for the 9th Biennial State of Lake Michigan/15th Annual Great Lakes Beach Association Joint Conference to be held at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa near Traverse City on October 28-30, 2015 -- deadline is June 15, 2015

<> Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge - John Hartig lecture on June 10 at 7 PM at the Caroline Kennedy Library in Dearborn Heights

<> Air Quality in West Michigan: What Solutions are out there? - Thursday, June 4th, 2015, 6:30 pm - Booths, Demonstrations & Exhibits, 7:00 pm - Air Quality Forum followed by a Q & A, event at Loutit District Library in Grand Haven

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 (5/26/15)


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


HB 4448 of 2015 Natural resources; inland lakes; inland lakes and streams application fees; modify. [Enrolled]

SB 0217 of 2015 Property tax; classification; reference to qualified forest in qualified agriculture definition; remove. [2nd Read]