Policy

Upton pursues documents from FERC on grid vulnerability

House Republicans have announced new action in response to the publication of sensitive electricity grid vulnerability modeling, demanding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission turn over information about its management of internal security documents.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., called on FERC Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur to supply documents and communications about the unresolved attack on a substation in Metcalf, Calif. last April, and a separate analysis of modeling that detailed how attackers could cause a nationwide blackout.

Appeals court rejects challenge on cement plants

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has turned aside a challenge by environmental groups to an air pollution standard for cement plants.

In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court said the emissions-related provisions of the Environmental Protection Agency standard are permissible.

McCarthy, Moniz to throw 1st pitches at Sox game on Earth Day

Source: 
The Hill

Environmental Protection Administrator and Boston native Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will throw out the first pitches at the Red Sox game Tuesday, to mark Earth Day, The Hill reports.

Apache-activist alliance illustrates one way business can tackle climate change

Source: 
Reuters

Since the CEO of Apache Corp. struck a deal with a New England activist, the company hasn’t faced any shareholder proxy fights on environmental issues, Reuters reports.

Alaska House Finance tackles gas line amendment

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The House Finance Committee is nearing the end of its work on a bill aimed at advancing a major liquefied natural gas project.

The committee did a relatively light rewrite on the bill, after powering through amendments late Thursday. Co-chair Bill Stoltze planned to bring the bill back for discussion before it's sent to the floor.

SB138, from Gov. Sean Parnell, would set state participation in the project at about 25 percent. It's also aimed at moving the project into a phase of preliminary engineering and design.

Largest solar farm on Superfund site goes online

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The nation's largest solar farm built atop a federal Superfund site is now generating power on a tract of land in Indianapolis tainted by a long-shuttered plant's wood-treating operations.

The 43-acre Maywood Solar Farm went online last month, with more than 36,000 solar panels feeding 8 megawatts of electricity into Indianapolis Power & Light's power grid.

The solar farm is the largest built to date on a Superfund site, said Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Francisco Arcaute. The next largest is a 40-acre, 6-megawatt solar farm near Rancho Cordova, Calif.

Rule on power plant cooling water coming in May: EPA

Source: 
The Hill

The Environmental Protection Agency, under court order to issue a regulation protecting fish from water temperature changes caused by power plants, is delaying doing so by another month, pushing the move back until May, The Hill reports.

China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted

BEIJING (AP) — Faced with growing public anger about a poisonous environment, China's government released a yearslong study that shows nearly one-fifth of the country's farmland is contaminated with toxic metals, a stunning indictment of unfettered industrialization under the Communist Party's authoritarian rule.

The report, previously deemed so sensitive it was classified as a state secret, names the heavy metals cadmium, nickel and arsenic as the top contaminants.

SD Minerals Board OKs conflict of interest rules

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state environmental board adopted new rules Thursday requiring members to report conflicts of interest after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said South Dakota was among the states not following all requirements of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Deputy Attorney General Roxanne Giedd drafted the rules for the South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment. She said board members already identify and disclose conflicts of interest without specific rules stating they do so, but that "unfortunately, the Clean Air Act is requiring it."

DeFazio tours abandoned mine Superfund site

RIDDLE, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio on Thursday toured an abandoned copper mine in southwestern Oregon that is on the Superfund list of major pollution sites as he prepares to file legislation to overhaul the nation's primary mining law.

DeFazio, D-Ore., said the Formosa Mine, which is on federal and private land outside Riddle, illustrates what is wrong about the 1872 Mining Act: The Canadian companies that reopened the mine in the 1990s have disappeared, the bond put up for cleanup was nowhere near enough to cover the true costs, and the federal government never got a penny in royalties.

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