Friday, April 17, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 4/17/15


National / International News

<> Judges Skeptical of Challenge to Proposed EPA Rule on Climate Change - (New York Times) A panel of federal judges appeared inclined on Thursday to dismiss the first legal challenge to President Obama's most far-reaching regulation to slow climate change (Murray Energy v. EPA and West Virginia v. EPA). 

<> CEOs Managing $1.2T Want Climate Action Now - (Bloomberg)The bosses of 43 companies including Ikea, Dow Chemical Co. and HSBC Holdings Plc called for swift action on climate change, a sign businesses are prepared for a United Nations deal this year on limiting fossil fuel emissions.

<> Investors push SEC to require stronger climate risk disclosure by fossil fuel companies - Just one day after BP adopted a shareholder resolution to support better carbon asset risk disclosures, 62 institutional investors representing nearly $2 trillion in assets called on the SEC to push for better disclosure by oil and gas companies of critical climate change-related business risks -- a detailed seven-page letter to the SEC

<> FERC Approves Final Rule to Improve Gas-Electric Coordination - FERC today took further steps to improve coordination of wholesale natural gas and electricity market scheduling as the nation increasingly relies on gas for electric generation -- effective 75 days after publication in the Federal Register

<> New maps highlight geologic characteristics of U.S. tight oil, shale plays - (Fri, 17 Apr 2015) EIA is currently in the process of updating maps of major tight oil and shale gas plays, including the Eagle Ford and Marcellus plays, which will help to better characterize the geology of key areas of production in in the United States. 

<> Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback - Large quantities of organic carbon are stored in frozen soils (permafrost) within Arctic and sub-Arctic regions and a warming climate can induce environmental changes that accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and the release of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane that can accelerate climate change

<> Ecosystem stewardship in an era of rapid climate change - A webinar presented as a part of the Climate Explorations Series by Ohio State University will discuss ecological science and management guidelines for climate change.

<> Projected Warming of Wisconsin Streams Could Negatively Affect Trout – USGS: Annual average stream temperatures in the Trout Lake watershed, Wisconsin, could increase from one to three degrees Celsius by the year 2100, which might negatively affect cold water fish like brook trout

<> ''Fast Track'' Trade Bill Would Undercut Health, Environmental Safeguards - (April 16, 2015) – Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) today introduced "fast track'' legislation that would allow President Obama to obtain expedited congressional approval of international trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the E.U.-U.S. trade agreement called Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

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, MICHIGAN - Proposed Rule. U.S. EPA - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Michigan; SO2

<> AIR QUALITY, MICHIGAN - Direct Final Rule. U.S. EPA - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Michigan; SO2

<> HAZARDOUS & SOLID WASTE - Final Rule. U.S. EPA - Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals From Electric Utilities

(click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

Michigan News

<> EPA Approves Michigan SIP Incorporating SO2 limits -- U.S. EPA issued a direct final rule and accompanying proposed rule approving a request by MDEQ, submitted on February 14, 2014, and supplemented on October 27, 2014, to revise the Michigan state implementation plan (SIP) to incorporate sulfur dioxide (SO2) limits found in Michigan's Air Pollution Control Rules at Chapter 336, Part 4, "Emissions Limitations and Prohibitions--Sulfur Bearing Compounds" -- effective June 16, 2015, unless EPA receives adverse comments by May 18, 2015.

  • Proposed Rule Approving Michigan SO2

<> Roadmap for Implementing Michigan's New Energy Policy - Stakeholder Workgroup - The Michigan Energy Office is seeking candidates to participate on an "Energy Roadmap Stakeholder Workgroup" to be directed by a multiagency steering committee to develop a stakeholder- and research-driven roadmap that aligns electric utility business interests and customer behavior with public policy goals.

<> State must invest in renewable sources and energy efficiency measures - A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy -- "Clean Energy Brings Health, Savings and Jobs to Low-Income Michigan Families" -- details the problems fossil fuels bring to  low-income families and communities of color and how they benefit the most from investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.

<> Battling invasives with cooperation, teamwork - Michigan's Invasive Species Program, which is co-managed by the Michigan departments of Agriculture & Rural Development, Environmental Quality and Natural Resources indicates that managing the fight against invasive species is a big, complex job, but it's made easier by the efforts of cooperative invasive species management areas – or CISMAs – local organizations that smooth the way for collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries.

<> MDNR honors Michigan communities, utilities and colleges with annual Tree USA awards - MDNR and the Arbor Day Foundation announced that 117 Michigan communities – from Marquette to Muskegon and Taylor to Traverse City – have been certified as a "Tree City USA" for their promotion of community forestry in 2014.

<> Groups Pressure Walgreens To Phase Out Toxics In Products - The Ecology Center with other Michigan health and environmental advocates delivered over 135,000 petitions to Walgreens signed by their customers from across the country calling on the retailer to adopt a comprehensive policy to phase out toxic chemicals in products like cosmetics, children's and cleaning products.

<> Calling all citizen scientists to report reptile and amphibian sightings as part of the Herp Atlas Project - MDNR says it needs Michigan's citizen scientists to send information about the reptiles and amphibians they see -- all species, no matter how common or rare they are.

<> Action stalled action on House Bill 4246 - the "no stricter than federal" bill - House Committee on Regulatory Reform, chaired by State Representative Ray Franz (R - Onekema), stalled action on House Bill 4246 as Michigan LCV members delivered more than 560 messages in opposition to the legislation directly to committee members

<> Michigan DNR plants more than a million Coho - What started 50 years ago as a way to control the alewife population in Lake Michigan has grown into a multi-million dollar per year sport fishing industry.

<> Tea party state Rep. Cindy Gamrat kicked from House Republican caucus - Freshman state Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) has been indefinitely removed from the Michigan House Republican caucus for allegedly breaking caucus confidentiality rules by posting a comment on Facebook during an off-campus budget workshop.

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 (4/16/15)


SB 0277 of 2015 Environmental protection; landfills; disposal of certain radioactive waste in landfills; regulate. [COMMITTEE]

SB 0121 of 2015 Appropriations; zero budget; department of environmental quality; provide for fiscal year 2015-2016. Creates appropriation act [FLOOR, S1]


HB 4469 of 2015 Environmental protection; landfills; disposal of certain radioactive waste in landfills; regulate. [Committee]

HB 4441 of 2015 Environmental protection; other; water pollution, sewerage, solid waste, and recycling fees; extend sunset. [2nd Read]

HB 4448 of 2015 Natural resources; inland lakes; inland lakes and streams application fees; modify. [2nd Read]

HB 4449 of 2015 Environmental protection; air pollution; air emission fees; modify. [2nd Read]


No comments: