Day: July 13, 2021

IEEFA U.S.: Surge of coal-fired generation retirements looking like a reverse S-curve

Read the full story from IEEFA.

There is an inverse S-curve developing in the U.S. coal generation sector, with announced plant retirements expanding rapidly as utilities and independent power producers adjust to the influx of cleaner and cheaper wind, solar and battery storage resources disrupting the electric system.

DeWine signs bill giving commissioners ‘kill switch’ on wind, solar projects

Read the full story at the Ohio Capital Journal.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation Monday giving county commissioners new powers to kill wind or solar projects early in their development.

No such power exists for local officials for coal mines or oil and gas wells, which are regulated at the state level.

If commissioners opt against scuttling a project entirely, Senate Bill 52 also allows them to block wind and solar developments in all or part of unincorporated areas in the county. However, citizens would have the right to canvass signatures and put the restricted development area resolution up for a popular vote.

It also gives locals two votes on projects within their jurisdiction atop the seven preexisting votes among Power Siting Board members.

As Chatterjee’s tenure ends, FERC could be ‘single most impactful agency’ on climate: Rep. Casten

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

The question of who will fill Commissioner Neil Chatterjee’s seat took on new urgency last week as the commissioner announced that July would, probably, be his last open meeting.

Cities along Great Lakes will need $2B to address coastal damage: survey

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

Cities, villages and other jurisdictions along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River face nearly $2 billion in costs over the next five years to address coastal damage driven by climate change, per survey results released last week by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI).

According to survey responses, 95% of city officials say they’re highly or moderately concerned about coastal damage and 99% said there has been a consistent or increasing public interest in the issues. However, only 27% of respondents said their staff was highly knowledgeable on coastal issues and just 11% said they had a “high level of capacity” to respond to coastal problems.

Jonathan Altenberg, executive director of the Initiative, said the survey results should send a message to federal legislators as they debate a comprehensive infrastructure plan that could direct more money and ease policy around coastal issues. “These are big issues, there’s a lot of infrastructure at risk here,” Altenberg said.

Miles of California beaches closed after 17M gallons of sewage spills

Read the full story at The Hill.

About 4 miles of beaches in Los Angeles were closed Monday after more than 17 million gallons of sewage spilled into Santa Monica Bay over the weekend.

White House announces new head of climate assessment after ousting Trump-era pick

Read the full story at The Hill.

The White House has announced that Allison Crimmins will lead a major government report on climate change after the Trump-era pick for the job was removed earlier this year. 

Crimmins, a climate scientist who spent almost a decade working at the Environmental Protection Agency, is now the director of the Fifth National Climate Assessment.

PFAS legislative overhaul? American Chemical Society warns US chemical regulations require revamp to prevent health risks

Read the full story at Packaging Insights.

A new paper published by the American Chemical Society is calling for “meaningful action” on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to attenuate the “systematic failures” of US chemical regulation.

According to the environmental researchers, legislative strides should go beyond legacy contamination clean-up and also reduce current production and uses to limit future exposures.

Flesh-eating parasites may be expanding their range as climate heats up

Read the full story from NPR.

Americans, it turns out, can be exposed to Leishmania parasites without leaving the country. The parasites are currently endemic in Texas and Oklahoma, and new studies suggest that they might be present in other states, including Florida. While reported cases of leishmaniasis contracted in the U.S. are currently negligible, they may soon be on the rise: As climate change pushes rodent and sand fly habitat northward, scientists caution that in the future, an increasing number of U.S. residents could be exposed to different varieties of the flesh-eating parasite.

Acting United States Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis announces formation of environmental justice team in the office’s Civil Division

Read the news release.

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced today the creation of the Environmental Justice Team.  The Environmental Justice Team, comprised of seven Civil Division Assistant U.S. Attorneys, including the Civil Division Chief of Environmental Litigation, reinforces the Office’s focus on protecting the rights of residents of the Eastern District of New York who are disproportionately burdened by environmental and health hazards.  The Office has responsibility for the enforcement of our nation’s laws in the Eastern District of New York, which encompasses three of the five boroughs of New York City – Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island – and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. The Eastern District of New York encompasses approximately eight million people.  

Lego develops first bricks made from recycled plastic bottles

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Activists welcome move but warn recycling should not be default solution to plastics crisis.

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