Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — August 24, 2011

1) Interior Department Schedules Sale of Offshore Oil Leases 

Making good on a promise, the Interior Department announced that it had scheduled its first sale of offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year. But it is changing some of the rules to ensure that leased parcels are actually drilled and not hoarded.

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-08-19)

2) EPA Faces Opposition Over Safeguards on Toxic Coal Ash Waste 

A controversy over regulation of coal ash disposal has reached fever pitch in Illinois, where a group opposing efforts to limit new regulations began briefing the public and the media on the current status of those efforts. Eleven Illinois Representatives are voting to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing safeguards to improve toxic coal ash waste dumps within the state.

(Source: AOL Energy, 2011-08-19)  

3) Lawmakers Introduce Clean Coast Environment and Public Health Act 

As Clean Ocean Action (COA) Executive Director Cindy Zipf and other environmental leaders see it, there’s now another reason to take pride in the Jersey Shore’s reputation as a destination rather than the dumping ground it was known as in the 1980s — new, even more stringent water quality testing legislation. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) held a press conference at Belmar’s Taylor Pavilion to announce their planned introduction of what is called the Clean Coast Environment and Public Health Act of 2011.

(Source: Middletown Patch, 2011-08-19)  

4) New Federal Air Quality Rule Called Threat to Electrical Service 

The head of the Texas Public Utility Commission expressed concern that a new federal air quality rule, set to take effect Jan. 1, will cause disruptions in electric service. If implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is not delayed, “I have no doubt in my mind that this rule will result in reliability issues and rolling outages in Texas,” Donna Nelson said at the start of the commission’s meeting. 

(Source: Star-Telegram, 2011-08-19)  

5) Court Says EPA Can’t Block Company from Marketing Pesticide 

The Environmental Protection Agency cannot block a pesticide manufacturer from marketing its products to golf courses — a move that allegedly cost the company $20 million in annual business, a federal judge ruled. American Vanguard’s pesticide product, which has been federally registered since 1985, prevents the accumulation of snow mold on golf course fairways and greens during winter months.

(Source: Courthouse News Service, 2011-08-19)  

…. and one more for good measure!

6) EPA Power Plant Rules Not a “Train Wreck,” Report Says 

Utility industry claims that looming Environmental Protection Agency rules for power plants will create an economic “train wreck” are overblown, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) says in a new report. Because EPA has yet to propose or finalize many of its clean air regulations, industry-sponsored studies predicting economic calamity “effectively underestimate the complexities of the regulatory process and overstate the near-term impact of many of the regulatory actions,” CRS says in an Aug. 8 report that has been circulating on Capitol Hill in recent days.

(Source: The Hill, 2011-08-18)

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