Thursday, March 26, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 3/26/15


National / International News

<> Argument analysis: Michigan v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – In the U.S. Supreme Court. EPA may be a vote short -- or not. . . The agency's decision to regulate the emissions of mercury and other poisonous chemicals from the stacks of electricity-generating power plants that burn coal came out of the argument with clear support from only three Justices and possibly a fourth, offset by clear opposition from two and probably three others.

<> EPA Report: Automakers Surpassing Light-Duty Greenhouse Gas Standards - March 26, 2015. For the second consecutive model year, the automotive industry outperformed the national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards by a wide margin. Overall industry compliance in model year 2013 was 12 grams/mile – or 1.4 miles per gallon – better than required by the 2013 standard.

<> EPA Proposes Reporting and Record Keeping Requirements on Nanoscale Materials in the Marketplace - EPA is proposing one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace -- for the first time, the agency is proposing to use TSCA to collect existing exposure and health and safety information on chemicals currently in the marketplace when manufactured or processed as nanoscale materials.

<> DOE Literature Survey of Crude Oil Properties Relevant to Handling and Fire Safety in Transport - The dramatic increase in the quantity of crude being shipped by rail and the significant distances traveled, along with several notable recent train derailments, have raised serious transportation safety concerns.

<> NRDC's List of Problems with California's Draft Environmental Report on Fracking - NRDC reviewed that draft with partners at the Center for Biological Diversity, LA Waterkeeper, and the Sierra Club & together they submitted a107-page comment letter in response, along with two expert reports--one on the significant air pollution impacts and another discrediting claims about the economic impacts of well stimulation.

<> Washington, DC Takes No. 1 Spot on EPA's Energy Star Top Cities List - Washington, D.C. Leads Nation on EPA's Energy Star Top Cities List. . . DC has the most Energy Star buildings of any city in the U.S.; followed by Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York 

<> Ted Cruz: 'Global Warming Alarmists Are The Equivalent Of The Flat-Earthers' - Ted Cruz, the junior U.S. senator from Texas and first official contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, compared people who think that the climate is warming to "flat-Earthers" and described himself as a modern-day Galileo in an interview with the Texas Tribune.

<> RFF/Stanford seminar/webcast on Offshore Energy in the Arctic - April 1, 2015, 12:45-2:00 p.m. EDT. The Obama administration has taken steps—including the development of a targeted leasing model and the recent release of proposed Arctic drilling standards—to develop offshore oil and gas regulations tailored to the unique environment of the Arctic

<> Senate Committee Approves Railroad Safety and Positive Train Control Extension Act

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).

<> ENERGY, WATER - Final Rule. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management - Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Great Lakes News

<> Proposed fracking ban vital for protecting Great Lakes, says Council of Canadians - March 25, 2015 Toronto – Peter Tabuns, MPP for Toronto-Danforth, introduced a bill that would ban fracking in Ontario -- Other provinces such as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia already have similar bans

<> Soo Locks open despite bitter winter weather conditions with abundant snow and ice - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announced the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., opened on-time Wednesday, March 25, initiating the start of the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season.

Michigan News

<> Governor's Recycling Summit registration is open - The Governor's Recycling Summit and 33rd Annual Michigan Recycling Coalition Conference, taking place May 5-7, in Kalamazoo, mark the end of the first year of Governor Snyder's two year push to double Michigan's recycling rate. 

<> MDEQ approves revisions to Eagle Mine groundwater permit - Mercury levels in the effluent and the groundwater are limited pursuant to Rule 1098, Antidegradation, of the Part 4 Rules of Part 31 of 1994 PA 451, as amended. Mercury is the only Bioaccumulative Substance of International Concern in the discharge.

<> Enrollment in the 2015 Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program - 2015 CLMP Documents, Training Videos, and Manual -- All of the 2015 monitoring schedules, data forms, and other resources

<> Concerned citizens plan 3 days of protest against Graymont proposal, more, March 27, 28, 29 - Dr. Martin Reinhardt, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and an assistant professor of Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University, initiated this demonstration to cast a light on how the State of Michigan is violating the treaty rights of Michigan tribes and disenfranchising both tribal and non-tribal citizens from their right to clean air, water, and land.

<> Grand Rapids asks for help to keep lampreys out - The new barrier would take over the function of blocking the lampreys' spread after the planned demolition of a dam as part of an effort to restore the rapids that give the city its name.

<> Detroit water payments should be income based - According to the newly created Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), nearly 36,000 households in Detroit are facing water shut-offs as soon as the weather clears.

<> The water wars in Flint - If you don't live in the Flint area, you may be wondering what on earth is going on with the politicians and the water. 

<> Snyder faces challenges in boosting Michigan's energy efficiency, renewable energy - While he starts on that road, he faces some headwinds, some of which are coming from his own party.

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 (3/25/15)


SB 0236 of 2015 Environmental protection; water pollution; annual wastewater discharge permit fees; modify. [COMMITTEE]

SB 0237 of 2015 Health facilities; other; procedures for health professionals exposed to antineoplastic or other hazardous drugs; require department to promulgate rules to establish. [COMMITTEE]


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