Monday, May 11, 2015

[WIMS] Environmental HotSheet 5/11/15



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National / International News

<> The Chemistry of Waters that Follow from Fracking: A Case Study - In a study of 13 hydraulically fractured shale gas wells in north-central Pennsylvania, USGS researchers found that the microbiology and organic chemistry of the produced waters varied widely from well to well.

<> Our Nation's Infrastructure Needs You … Now - The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says the Highway Trust Fund is not keeping pace with our nation's transportation needs and is set to expire on May 31 -- important statistics and more are presented in the new ASCE "Save America's Infrastructure" app.

<> Senators Call For Strong Labor Standards In TPP Deal - 5/11/15. In Letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Senators Warn That Waiting to Implement Standards Until After Trans-Pacific Partnership Goes Into Effect Could Diminish Enforcement of Labor Protections in TPP Counties

<> Manufacturers Are Ready for TSCA Reform – National Association of Manufacturers said today's announcement that 36 bipartisan U.S. Senators have now joined the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is proof that compromise is still possible in the halls of the United States Congress and that Washington can still work for manufacturers and citizens across the country.

<> GM counts on electric cars being the future - "The company believes the future is electric, with billions (of dollars) of investment to support an all-in-house approach to the development and manufacturing of electrified vehicles," GM said in its annual sustainability report released Thursday.

<> Toxic Chemicals and Oil Byproducts Found In Treated Irrigation Water - (Beyond Pesticides, May 11, 2015) Oil giant Chevron has been helping farmers in Kern County, CA find a solution to raising crops during the ongoing drought — but it may cause long-term health effects.

<> The What and Why of Carbon Budgets - For any given temperature target there's a corresponding total cumulative amount of greenhouse gasses that can be released, while still having a decent chance of meeting the target -- for example, the IPCC estimates that if we want a 2/3 chance of keeping warming to less than 2°C, then we can release no more than 1000Gt of CO2 between 2011 and the end of the 21st century.

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions

<> El Comite el Bienestar de Earlimart v. USEPA - 5/8/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 12-74184. The panel denied a petition for review brought by several community organizations challenging EPA's 2012 approval of revisions and additions to California's Pesticide Element for its State Implementation Plan under the Clean Air Act, relating to the reduction of volatile organic compounds in the San Joaquin and Ventura air basins; and held that EPA was not arbitrary and capricious in construing the Pesticide Element and approving Fumigant Regulations and the SIP Revision.

<> In Re: Deepwater Horizon - 5/8/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Case No. 13-30843. This action involves the Settlement Agreement" approved by the district court on December 21, 2012, between BP Exploration and the certified Economic and Property Damages Class. 
     The Panel concluded: "In sum, finding that we have jurisdiction over this appeal, we hold that the parties have a right under the Settlement Agreement to appeal claim determinations from the district court to this court. We also hold that the Final Rules violate this right with its lack of docketing provisions providing for a proper appeal to this court, and remand on that basis."

<> In Re: Deepwater Horizon - 5/8/15. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, Case No. 13-31296 c/w Nos. 13-31299, 13-31302. Three consolidated cases related to settlement awards BP paid to nonprofits through its Court-Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP). 
     The district court denied discretionary review of these three awards and the Appeals Court affirmed the district court ruling.

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)

Michigan News

<> Michigan Recycling Index -  Through a grant provided by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Community Pollution Prevention Grant, the Michigan Recycling Index was created to guide a data collection process for a statewide assessment of recycling activities and recycled materials in Michigan -- two reports from the results of this Index.

<> New Detroit Water Shut-Off Notices Going Out, Along With Aid - The Detroit News says that about 20,000 to 25,000 residential water accounts are delinquent and will start getting notices on Monday giving them 10 days to get assistance or face having their service shut off.

  • Detroit Water Fund information flyer

<> Pothole pots of gold? Think again - There are more than 400 pots of money, called restricted funds, that account for about $20 billion in annual spending and which lawmakers are looking to as a possible source of road funding.

<> Truck enforcement stretched thin in Michigan - Michigan weighs less of the road-chewing truck freight on its highways than most neighboring states as its enforcement team is stretched thin and in need of technology upgrades -- truck enforcement has become especially pertinent as the Legislature scrambles for ways to protect the state's crumbling pavement following voters' rejection last week of a tax increase package that would have put $1.3 billion more a year toward road repair.

<> Senator Stabenow Honors John D. Dingell During 10th Annual Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Benefit Dinner - The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, which covers 48 miles of shoreline, is the only international wildlife refuge in North America.

<> Weekly Recycling News MRC - Michigan Recycling Coalition's Weekly Newsletter View this email in your browser May 8, 2015   Gratitude & Gravitas - We are calling it a success! While we will be sorting out the details for a while, so far this Summit & Conference has met our highest expectations. 

<> MDARD Eradicates Hemlock Woolly Adelgid from Three Michigan Counties Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams today announced that Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) has been eradicated from three counties across the state – two sites in Macomb County, two sites in Ottawa County and multiple locations within Emmet County.

<> MDNR creates Blue Ribbon Advisory Group to review, plan future of Michigan state game areas - The group will begin with a review of state game areas in southwest Michigan and then focus on those in southeast Michigan.

<> Kalamazoo peregrine falcons parent chicks as world watches - A video camera installed in the nesting box of Kalamazoo's peregrine falcons gives running account of how birds parent their chicks -- and has let viewers watch the chicks emerge from their shells and turn into fluffy balls of down in mere days.

<> Report: Detroit Riverfront Conservancy plans transit system along Detroit River - Associated Press - The nonprofit Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is preparing to raise $3 million to fund a transportation system along the Detroit River that includes water taxis and trolley buses. 

<> Backers ready to launch Grand Rapids 'waterfront metropolis' plan - A coalition calling itself GR Forward is less than 30 days away from laying out its strategy for "a collection of big, bold ideas to turn Grand Rapids into a waterfront metropolis.

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).

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