Day: June 5, 2020

New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say

Read the full story from The Hill.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday announced a proposal critics say not only restricts the Clean Air Act but will undermine future administrations seeking to reduce air pollution.

The proposal changes how the government justifies its own air pollution regulations, limiting how the EPA weighs carbon pollution that impacts climate change as well as the benefits of tackling multiple air pollutants at once. 

The proposal dictates how the agency must compile its cost-benefit analysis for future air rules — a lengthy, technical pro-con list defending a rule that is most often scrutinized by staffers and those who plan to sue over their regulations.

Russian Power Plant Spills Thousands Of Tons Of Oil Into Arctic Region

Read the full story from NPR.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency after a giant diesel fuel spill in a remote Arctic region 1,800 miles from Moscow.

Movie screening and online discussion: The Story of Plastic

Champaign County Environmental Stewards (CCES), Food and Water Watch-Midwest, and the Prairie Group of the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter are teaming up to bring you an important film. “The Story of Plastics” brings into focus an alarming, man-made crisis, and the heroes who work every day to tackle the problem. You can be part of the worldwide movement to #BreakFreeFromPlastic: @brkfreeplastic.

RSVP here.

You will be invited to a screening of “The Story of Plastics” and a panel and Q&A discussion on Zoom after the last screening on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm central time.

Screenings will become available 48-72 hours before the panel discussion when you will receive an email with two links: one to access “The Story of Plastics” screening, and one to access the Zoom panel discussion, which will be held after the last screening. We will send both links to the email you used to respond to the RSVP.

Check your email on Monday morning, June 8, World Oceans Day, for links to the “The Story of Plastics” screening and Zoom Panel Q&A discussion.

CWLP could become world’s largest carbon capture research station

Read the full story in the Springfield State Journal-Register.

City Water, Light & Power is on path for constructing the world’s largest research and development pilot for a new carbon capture system.

The U.S. Department of Energy had about 30 responses from power plants across the country when it initially proposed the idea about three years ago. The DOE has narrowed it down to about five competitors – CWLP being one.

While CWLP is not guaranteed to host the pilot system, Kevin OBrien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois, and the principle investigator overseeing the project, said DOE is “very impressed by the team,” and by CWLP’s facility…

The goal of the three-phase project is to simply show that it can capture carbon dioxide, which would open up for further projects determining what to do with the captured chemical. Its full research results are projected to be completed in 2025 by the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the DOE.

Why combining diversity with STEM is a good thing for kids

Read the full story in National Geographic.

Wildlife biologist and mom Rae Wynn-Grant talks about the importance of diversity in STEM—and how parents can embrace it for their children.

IRS Releases Proposed Regulations for Carbon Sequestration Tax Credit

Read the full story at JD Supra.

The proposed regulations, released on May 28 and on which taxpayers may currently rely pending finalization, build on prior guidance for carbon capture and sequestration tax credits under Section 45Q of the Internal Revenue Code. This guidance provides a framework for certainty in allowing developers, investors, and even service providers to benefit from the Section 45Q credit in a manner similar to that employed for other industries. The benefits will hopefully speed the expansion of the carbon capture industry and the reduced carbon release that it promises, similar to how tax credits have helped spur the renewable energy industry.

With $3 billion PFAS cleanup price tag looming, Pentagon looks to industry for ideas

Read the full story from McClatchy News Service.

Staring down a $3 billion—and growing—tab to clean up water sources at military installations across the country that are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals linked to firefighting foam, the Defense Department is now in discussions with private companies about potential cleanup solutions that might reduce the cost.

It’s Time to Include PFAS in Every Property Related Release

Read the full story from Newmeyer Dillion.

While the federal government and states (including California) are working on establishing standards and how to manage the toxic chemicals known as PFAS (as defined below), certain states and banks are requiring testing for PFAS to approve no-further-action (NFA) determinations or to underwrite loans. PFAS do not easily fit within standard definitions of hazardous substances used in today’s agreements. Thus, if you want to ensure you and your successors are released for PFAS which later environmental testing may reveal, ensure such is specifically listed in your releases.

Trends Emerge in States’ Approaches to PFAS Emerging Contaminants

Read the full story from Barnes & Thornburg.

On Wednesday, May 13, I presented at the Geosyntec PFAS Technical Experts Launch Webinar Series on the panel, “The Evolution of PFAS Litigation and Future Drivers.” The attendees included over 1,000 environmental practitioners across the country. The panel was moderated by Dr. Rula Deeb of Geosyntec and other panelists included lawyers from Bick Law LLP, Crowell & Moring, LLP, Godfrey & Kahn S.C., and Manko, Gold, Katcher and Fox LLP.

My discussion focused on how states are managing the dynamic issues of regulatory and technical developments related to PFAS emerging contaminants. State activities can be a driver for litigation, and litigation can be a driver for states to take action. Many PFAS issues in states have tended to arise after an acute local issue raises awareness and spurs the state to act. 

Take the Pollinator Garden Challenge

Read the full story at Greenability.

You can help save the bees that pollinate our food production systems by joining a national movement to plant more bee-friendly gardens during National Pollinator Week, June 22-28.

By creating, planting and maintaining a garden, and registering it on the Pollinator Garden Challenge map, Americans can contribute to revitalizing the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across the country.

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