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Daily Environmental HotSheet



Friday, January 8, 2016

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National / International News

<> SAB Review of the EPA’s draft Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources - The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was asked to comment on various aspects of the EPA’s draft Assessment Report, including the descriptions of hydraulic fracturing activities and relationship to drinking water resources, the individual stages in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle (HFWC), and the identification and hazard evaluation of hydraulic fracturing chemicals -- SAB identified several areas of the draft Assessment Report that can be improved.

<> New State Report Further Proves EPA Falsely Tied Hydraulic Fracturing to Ground Water Impacts - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement regarding the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) draft final report on domestic water wells in Pavillion, Wyoming. Wyoming DEQ’s December 14, 2015, report reaffirms the findings of federal and state officials discrediting the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft study on the same issue

<> Annual 2015 U.S. Climate Report - The 2015 annual average U.S. temperature was 54.4°F, 2.4°F above the 20th century average, the second warmest year on record -- only 2012 was warmer for the U.S. with an average temperature of 55.3°F -- this is the 19th consecutive year the annual average temperature exceeded the 20th century average.

<> EPA Administrator Discusses Climate Policy with Council on Foreign Relations - Following the Paris climate talks, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy discussed the domestic and international implications of the Paris Agreement for the future of climate policy and diplomacy – watch the presentation and discussion.

<> Federal Agencies Partner to Launch the $1 million Transform Tox Testing Challenge - U.S. EPA and the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and NIH’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) are announcing a new challenge that will award up to $1 million to improve the relevance and predictivity of data generated from automated chemical screening technology used for toxicity testing.

<> Getting a Clue about Lead Plumbing - EPA blog: Congress banned lead pipes and limited lead in brass and solder in 1986 because lead can affect almost every system in the body. While children are most susceptible, adults can also experience harmful health effects from lead.

<> INFOGRAPHIC: Carbon Capture 101 - Carbon capture is an important part of the Energy Department's Fossil Energy research and development efforts, but how does it work? This infographic breaks it down 

<> EPA OIG says: EPA's Tracking and Reporting of Its Conference Costs Need Improvement - Accurate data on conference costs will provide the EPA with the information it needs to be more efficient in how funds are spent.

<> Coal production and prices decline in 2015 - U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that since reaching a high point in 2008, coal production in the United States has continued to decline. 

<> EPA Proposal Would Weaken Civil Rights Protections - On Dec. 14, the federal register published the proposed rule that was intended to improve the way the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights responds to civil rights complaints it receives -- however, actually weakens existing protections by removing deadlines for the agency to respond and investigate complaints, according to the groups that filed suit.

<> API’s Gerard outlines the state of American energy in annual address, releases 2016 report - API President and CEO Jack Gerard delivered the keynote address at API’s Sixth Annual State of American Energy event on Tuesday, releasing the State of American Energy 2016 report and highlighting the energy issues that will shape America’s economic and political news this year.

<> TransCanada's Keystone XL Legal Case Against the Obama Administration Explained - TransCanada contends that symbolic politics--not merits or facts--were what led the president to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

<> Rep. Lamar Smith: Climate exaggeration - The Obama administration wants Americans to believe that without government intervention, climate change will become a cataclysmic threat.

U.S. Appeals Court Environmental Decisions

<> Anglers Conservation Network v. Pritzker - 1/5/16. In the U.S Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, Case No. 14-5304. Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit claiming that federal agencies unlawfully neglected to manage stocks of river herring (alewives and blueback herring), and shad (American shad and their smaller relatives, hickory shad) in the Atlantic Ocean from New York to North Carolina.
     The district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that there was no basis for judicial review of the Fishery Council’s decision. The Panel ruled, "In short, plaintiffs’ claims are not subject to judicial review under the Magnuson-Stevens Act or the Administrative Procedure Act. The judgment of the district court is therefore affirmed."

<> Larry Askins v. Ohio Department of Agriculture - 1/6/16. In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Case No. 15-3147. Plaintiffs-Appellants Larry and Vickie Askins filed a citizen suit alleging that Defendants-Appellees U.S. EPA, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio Department of Agriculture (collectively, “Defendants”) violated the Clean Water Act’s agency permitting procedures regarding discharges from animal feeding operations. The district court held that the Clean Water Act does not permit suits against regulators for regulatory functions and dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The Panel 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).

<> Nothing We’re Tracking Today (click for the complete Energy & EPA announcements)

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