Wednesday, March 18, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 3/18/15


National / International News

<> House Hearing On "Waters of the United States" Proposal - The House Agriculture Committee, Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a hearing on the EPA-Corps of Engineers propoal defining "Waters of the United States" or WOTUS. [links to statements, testimony]

<> Sens. Manchin, Thune Introduce Bill to Block Expensive EPA Regulation that Hinders Economic Opportunities - Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing costly regulations that would increase energy prices, curb job growth and hinder economic opportunities by setting the ground-level ozone standard at an unprecedented low level -- The Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act.

<> House Passes Lucas Bill to Promote Scientific Integrity at EPA - The House of Representatives passed (236-181) the bipartisan EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R.1029), introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice-Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) which they say brings fairness, transparency, and independence to the EPA's expert panel.

<> Secretary Jewell Offers Vision for Balanced, Prosperous Energy Future - In remarks today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell laid out the Department's priorities for strengthening our nation's economy with a balanced, prosperous energy future over the next two years.

<> Senators Stabenow, Graham Introduce Bill to Toughen Trade Enforcement - U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Co-chairs of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure American businesses and workers can compete fairly in a global marketplace.

<> Coal Ash Resources page updated - NW&RA Waste & Recycling Asso  has updated its  Coal Ash Resources page with a new technical brief on the effects of coal ash on an MSW landfill.

<> Chemistry Industry Highlights Manufacturing Growth at Natural Gas Caucus Briefing - The shale gas production boom has made America one of the world's lowest-cost producers of basic petrochemicals, with a decisive competitive advantage in global markets.

<> Weather reports from the future - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) invited television weather presenters from around the world to imagine a "weather report from the year 2050" -- What they created are only possible scenarios, of course, and not true forecasts. Nevertheless, they are based on the most up-to-date climate science, and they paint a compelling picture of what life could be like on a warmer planet.

<> Members of Congress Call for Listing Monarch Butterfly as Threatened - (Beyond Pesticides March 18, 2015) Fifty-two members of Congress penned a letter to the White House calling for the protection of the Monarch butterfly, which has declined by 90 percent in the last 20 years, and for listing as a 'threatened' species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions

<> Alfonso Rodriguez v. Secretary of Department of Environment - 3/16/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, Case No. 14-3467 (not precedential). Dr. Rodriguez challenges § 3222.1 of Act 13, which provides two mechanisms for health professionals to learn proprietary information about the chemicals used in fracking. The District Court dismissed the case for lack of standing, and the Appeals Court affirmed.

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 - Final Rule. U.S. EPA - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> Asian Carp Canada GLIN Site of the Month - Asian Carp Canada, built and maintained by the Invasive Species Centre, has been selected to be the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN) Site of the Month for March 2015

<> Coalition Grants Available to Help Groups Secure Federal Funding - This is just a reminder that the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has up to $104,000 in funding available to help groups participate in federal Great Lakes restoration efforts.

<> Recapping Great Lakes Days 2015 - Posted on March 17, 2015. Great Lakes Day was a tremendous success! In February, around 100 Coalition members and partners met with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to advocate for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other Coalition priorities. 

Michigan News

<> Native American groups seek injunction against MDNR on Graymont land transfer proposal - A group of American Indians from northern Michigan filed for an injunction in federal court in Grand Rapids seeking to bar the Director of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Keith Craegh, from approving a land transfer to Graymont Mining Company.

<> Gov. Snyder approves $24.7 million in outdoor recreation development, acquisition grants - The Governor signed legislation creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for local communities and authorizing nearly $24.7 million in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grants.

<> Natural Resources Commission to meet Thursday in Roscommon – MDNR Director Creagh is scheduled to announce his decisions on several land transactions, including a revised land transaction application submitted by Graymont, Inc. -- links to more information about the Natural Resources Commission, including full agendas and meeting minutes

<> Permit to Install Alpine Power Plant (Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc.) - PTI application for two gas-fired, simple-cycle combustion turbine generators (CTGs), a new diesel-fired emergency generator, a new diesel-fueled fire pump, and two new natural gas-fired fuel heaters at a Greenfield site located near Elmira, Michigan (west of the City of Gaylord, Michigan).

<> Wind Farm Critics Want To Stop Expansion In Upper Peninsula - GARDEN, Mich. (AP) – Critics of the first wind energy farm in the Upper Peninsula are asking a judge to intervene before more turbines are erected in an area known as the Garden Peninsula.

<> Increasing state's renewable energy standard - Just days after Gov. Rick Snyder announced his goals for renewable energy and energy efficiency, Michigan Clean Water Action delivered more than 10,000 letters from Michiganders across the state to Snyder 

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 (3/17/15)


HB 4078 of 2015 (PA 7 of 2015, IE: 3/17/15 Appropriations; capital outlay; Michigan natural resources trust fund; provide appropriations


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