Monday, April 14, 2014

Want shore protection funds? Make your beaches public


With New Jersey spending more tax dollars on shore protection projects after
Superstorm Sandy, advocates for greater public access to beaches see the
time is ripe for legislative change
.


Tom Johnson reports today in NJ Spotlight that a bill moving in Trenton (S-183) would
require any shore protection projects receiving public funding to include public access
to the waterfront, an amendment urged by a conservation group in a vote by a committee considering the bill last month.

Beyond the public access requirement, the measure also would require the DEP to establish a priority system for ranking shore protection projects.
It also requires all shore protection projects that include a structural component, such as seawalls and other permanent facilities, to also include non-structural components, like sand dunes. Towns with dunes fared much better during Hurricane Sandy than those without these natural barriers.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Looking for environmental seminars? Here's the place

You'll be surprised by the number of valuable environmental seminars, forums, meetings, workshops, webinars and other great educational and networking opportunities available each week in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware. And most of them are free!


Where can you find them? On our free Enviro-Events Calendar


Be sure to use the form in the upper right to
sign up for free email updates.
You'll receive one when we add new events--at least several times a week.

Tell your friends and colleagues, too, so they can subscribe to this great service.

Bonus: Submit information on your upcoming environmental event to:
Editor@EnviroPolitics.com  We'll list it for free.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Should chemicals pass safety tests like pharmaceuticals?

Should Congress shift the burden of proof about a chemical’s safety or toxicity to the manufacturer before the chemical can be released into the environment?

Two prominent women physician believe that chemical makers should share the same burden as pharmaceutical companies when it comes to product safety.

Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD, and Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD, write in The Hill that the Toxic Substances Control Act, unchanged since its passage in 1976, could do much more to protect the public --- especially pregnant women and children-- from unsafe chemical exposures.

"U.S. and global chemical production has risen steadily, with a more-than-15-fold increase between 1947 and 2007. A reformed Toxic Substances Control Act can give us a greater understanding of the risks posed by toxic chemicals in our environment, and better equip us to inform and care for our patients"

**Like what you're reading? Click here for free updates**

Why do Conry, who is
president of the American Congress of Obstetricians, and Giudice, the past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, think this is necessary?

"Studies have documented that dozens of toxic chemicals are found in virtually every pregnant woman in the United States," they write "Robust scientific evidence demonstrates that preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals can have a profound and lasting impact on health across a patient’s life, including increased risk of cancer in childhood and impairment of reproductive health development in adulthood, such as infertility."


Read the full post here


Recent Posts:
Bill would repeal 'Summer gas' rule in Pittsburgh area 
High voltage issue: Reversing NJ solar slowdown  
Sunoco Pipeline plan draws political resistance  
Will you know if a fracker next door polluted your well?
NJ's Kimberly Diamond to lead Women of Wind Energy 

 

Bill would repeal 'Summer gas' rule in Pittsburgh area


The Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would eliminate the requirement for summer blend gasoline in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler,
Fayette, Greene and Washington Counties.


The legislation, SB 1037, sponsored by Senators Elder Vogel and  Timothy Solobay,
passed the Senate 46-0 on March 19.


In a memo accompanying the legislation the sponsors write that, in 1998, the state Department of Environmental Protection adopted a 7.8psi RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) fuel standard for southwestern Pennsylvania to address federal air pollution control measures.

"Since that time, ethanol became mandated by the federal government, increasing the RVP value of fuel. This resulted in an exclusive “boutique” fuel mandate for southwestern Pennsylvania."

The sponsors say that the law has resulted in "gas prices averaging 10 to 15 cents higher in western Pennsylvania than in neighboring counties and also across the border in Ohio."


"In Pennsylvania, this boutique fuel is only required for the Pittsburgh region, and demand for the product is low. This equates to a hidden tax drivers must pay in southwestern Pennsylvania that is not required anywhere else," they argue.

**Like what you're reading? Click here for free updates**

The Pittsburgh-based
Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) opposes the measure.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania and much of the northeastern United States struggle to meet federal health-based standards for ozone for a number of years,” said its Legal Director Joe Osborne. “The summer gas requirement is one of the most common sense and cost-effective ways to reduce ozone emissions in the area.” 

Related environmental news stories:
Bill to Do Away With 'Summer Gas' in Pittsburgh Passes Senate
 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

High voltage issue: Reversing NJ solar slowdown


[Updated at 10:45 p.m. to add related news stories}

New Jersey once ranked second the nation in the number of solar energy installations, but its status has dropped in recent years.

How much?
It depends on which study you believe. One says the Garden State now ranks third in the cumulative number of solar installations. But an industry trade group claims that the state has slipped to fifth place.

Tom Johnson, who covers energy and environment issues for NJ Spotlight, asked a number of experts how to the slide can be reversed. He found that there is no easy answer.

Read the full story here

Related environmental new stories:

Solar Industry Snapshot: A Volatile Sector Still in Search of Stability 
Energy company offers incentive to move to solar for PSE&G customers
UD researchers and utility employees join to discuss solar power integration

PSEG Long Island announces results for 100 MW solar PV procurement program


Recent Posts
:
Sunoco Pipeline plan draws political resistance
Will you know if a fracker next door polluted your well? 
NJ's Kimberly Diamond to lead Women of Wind Energy  
Happy Birthday to Us--We're 25 today! 
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sunoco Pipeline plan draws political resistance

 
                                  The Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook. (April Saul / Philadelphia Inquirer)

An elaborate plan by Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. to transport Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids by pipeline across Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook is running into resistance, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports today.


The company's subsidiary, Sunoco Pipeline L.P., last month filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to sidestep local zoning restrictions to build pump and valve control stations in 31 municipalities crossed by the pipeline.

Sunoco Pipeline argues that it is a "public utility corporation," and that
the PUC can exempt the construction of the above-ground structure from local zoning if it determines the buildings are "reasonably necessary for the
convenience or welfare of the public."

**Like what you're reading? Click here for free updates**

A pumping station slated to be built on a two-acre site at the corner of Boot
Road and Route 202 in West Goshen Township has triggered alarm.

Two suburban Philadelphia state senators on Wednesday wrote to the PUC, contending that the exemptions would conflict with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in December upholding local zoning rights over oil and gas activity.

Read the full story: Sunoco Pipeline plan draws political resistance

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Will you know if a fracker next door polluted your well?

fracking rig and farm

So you're farming a bucolic little site in Pennsylvania, assuming that the well water you use to grow your crops and nourish your livestock has not been tainted by the operations of the nearby natural gas drilling site.

After all, it there was a problem, the state Department of Environmental Protection would notify you, right?  Wrong.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports today that:

“Even when pollution discharges from shale gas well pads and impoundments contaminate private water supplies, those violations often go unrecorded or publicly reported by state environmental regulators, according to documents filed in the Pennsylvania Superior Court case challenging the constitutionality of the state's oil and gas law, Act 13.

**Like what you're reading? Click here for free updates**

“According to a 40-page brief, filed with the court in Harrisburg, it is the "practice" of state Department of Environmental Protection regulators not to issue a violation notice, fines or formal determinations of contamination where shale gas development companies reach private settlements with water well owners.

“That DEP "practice," which began during the Rendell administration and continues to the present day, makes it impossible, according to the brief, for the public to know where and when groundwater, wells and springs are contaminated, because there is no publicly accessible record.”

Related environmental news stories:
Fracking California's Coast: Billions of Gallons of Fracking Pollution
State Senator Vincent Hughes Announces Legislation to Tax Natural
Natural gas industry buoyed by advancing technology 
Shale gas drilling could be boost to Allegheny County parks
Citi: Natural Gas Prices Don't Reflect Risks - Wall Street Journal (blog) 
Pa. Farm Bureau takes on natural gas drilling companies in royalty disputes

Recent Posts:
NJ's Kimberly Diamond to lead Women of Wind Energy
Happy Birthday to Us--We're 25 today! 
Capitol Hill Calendar: April 2-4, 2014 
Pennsylvania neighbors bicker over forced gas drilling


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NJ's Kimberly Diamond to lead Women of Wind Energy

Kimberly E. Diamond of Berkeley Heights, NJ has recently been appointed as Chair of the New York/New Jersey Chapter oWomen of Wind Energy (WoWE).
Chapter members include professionals from all areas of the wind industry, including investment bankers, lawyers, consultants, and developers.

Diamond, an attorney with Lowenstein Sandler LLP in the firm’s New York City office, has held a number of influential positions in the NY/NJ WoWE Chapter and in the national WoWE organization for over five years. 
In addition to serving on WoWE’s National Mentoring Steering Committee for several years, she has mentored professionals and graduate students in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and San Diego, CA.  She received the 2011 Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award during the inaugural year of such award.
For more, see: TheAlternativePress.com 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Birthday to Us--We're 25 today!


Brill Public Affairs celebrates it's 25th year today. And that's no April Fool's joke.

From a single room in the basement of Tom Leach's office condo on West State Street in Trenton, to more spacious quarters in numerous locations, we've been serving a list of lobbying and public relations clients with dedication and pride for---a quarter of a century? Wow, that number is hard to believe.

It's been fast, fun and rewarding. We've scored significant victories over the years but are still innovating and growing with each new client and business opportunity. Five years ago, we started a daily newsletter, EnviroPolitics, to serve businesses, associations, and professionals who need to stay on top of environmental news and legislation.

That worked out so well that we added EnviroPolitics Blog and Enviro-Events Calendar.
More recently, we've been tinkering with EnviroPolitics Podcast.

Any success we've enjoyed along the way is due to great colleagues, friends and clients.

The latter category has included:
  • 3M - Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing
  • Association of New Jersey Recyclers
  • B&B Automotive
  • Browning Ferris Industries
  • Chemsol Superfund Site
  • DeFeo Associates
  • Elizabethtown Water Company
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • National Solid Wastes Management Association
  • National Nutritional Foods Association
  • New Jersey Farm Bureau
  • NJ Auto and Metal Recyclers Association
  • NJ Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association
  • Northeast Spa and Pool Association
  • Portable Rechargeable Battery Association
  • Sims Recycling Solutions
  • Woodland Private Study Group

We've been in good company. Great stuff lies ahead. We invite you to stay in touch.


Capitol Hill Calendar: April 2-4, 2014

 

Hearings on Energy and Environment Issues and Legislation


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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE

Subcommittee on Energy and Power
10:00 a.m. 2123 Rayburn
and Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, joint hearing entitled "The Fiscal Year 2015 EPA Budget", 10 a.m., 2123 Rayburn.
 
HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
10:30 a.m. 2322 Rayburn
Hearing entitled "Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet", 10:30 a.m., 2322 Rayburn.
 
HOUSE TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
10:00 a.m. 2167 Rayburn (202) 226-0727
Hearing entitled "The President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget: Administration Priorities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers", 10 a.m., 2167 Rayburn.
 
HOUSE TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
2:00 p.m. 2167 Rayburn (202) 226-0727
Hearing entitled "Examining Issues for Hazardous Materials Reauthorization", 2 p.m., 2167 Rayburn.
 
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
2:30 p.m. SD-192
To hold hearings to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2015 for the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior, 2:30 p.m., SD-192.
 
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies
3:00 p.m. SD-124
To hold hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2015 for the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army, 3 p.m., SD-124.
 

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014


HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
9:30 a.m. B-308 Rayburn
Hearing on National Park Service FY 2015 Budget, 9:30 a.m., B-308 Rayburn.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
10:00 a.m. 2362-A Rayburn
Hearing on USDA Food Safety FY 2015 Budget, 10 a.m., 2362-A Rayburn.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
10:00 a.m. 2362-B Rayburn
Hearing on Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration FY 2015 Budget, 10 a.m., 2362-B Rayburn.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
10:00 a.m. 2358-A Rayburn
Hearing on Oversight of Department of Transportation Modes, 10 a.m., 2358-A Rayburn.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
1:30 p.m. B-308 Rayburn
Hearing on United States Fish and Wildlife Service FY 2015 Budget, 1:30 p.m., B-308 Rayburn.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
2:00 p.m. 2362-B Rayburn
On FY 2015 Budget, 2 p.m., 2362-B Rayburn.
 
HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
10:00 a.m. 2123 Rayburn
Hearing entitled "Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Energy Budget", 10 a.m., 2123 Rayburn.



HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES

Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs

2:00 p.m. 1334 Longworth 202-226-0200

Hearing on the following legislation: H.R. 69, the "Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2013"; H.R. 2646, the "REFI Pacific Act"; and legislation regarding the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act, 2 p.m., 1334 Longworth.


HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
2:00 p.m. 1324 Longworth 202-225-0691
Hearing entitled "Implementing the Cobell Settlement: Missed Opportunities and Lessons Learned"
2 p.m., 1324 Longworth.


SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

10:00 a.m. SD-406

Business meeting to consider S. 491, to amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 to modify provisions relating to grants, S. 1961, to protect surface water from contamination by chemical storage facilities, S. 224, to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish a grant program to support the restoration of San Francisco Bay, S. 2080, to conserve fish and aquatic communities in the D338United States through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation, improve the quality of life for the people of the United States, enhance fish and wildlife-dependent recreation, S. 2042, to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize the National Estuary Program, S. 1934, to direct the Administrator of General Services to convey the Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse back to Teton County, Wyoming, S. 2055, to allow for the collection of certain user fees by non-Federal entities, Corps Study Resolution: Point Judith, Rhode Island, and GSA Resolutions, 10 a.m., SD-406.


FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014


HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
9:00 a.m. 2359 Rayburn
Hearing on Department of Justice FY 2015 Budget, 9 a.m., 2359 Rayburn.
 
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
9:30 a.m. B-308 Rayburn

 

HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES

Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs

2:00 p.m. 1334 Longworth 202-226-0200

Hearing on the following legislation: H.R. 69, the "Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2013"; H.R. 2646, the "REFI Pacific Act"; and legislation regarding the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act, 2 p.m., 1334 Longworth.

 

SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

10:00 a.m. SD-406

Business meeting to consider S. 491, to amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 to modify provisions relating to grants, S. 1961, to protect surface water from contamination by chemical storage facilities, S. 224, to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish a grant program to support the restoration of San Francisco Bay, S. 2080, to conserve fish and aquatic communities in the D338United States through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation, improve the quality of life for the people of the United States, enhance fish and wildlife-dependent recreation, S. 2042, to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize the National Estuary Program, S. 1934, to direct the Administrator of General Services to convey the Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse back to Teton County, Wyoming, S. 2055, to allow for the collection of certain user fees by non-Federal entities, Corps Study Resolution: Point Judith, Rhode Island, and GSA Resolutions, 10 a.m., SD-406.

 

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014


HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

9:00 a.m. 2359 Rayburn

Hearing on Department of Justice FY 2015 Budget, 9 a.m., 2359 Rayburn.

 

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

9:30 a.m. B-308 Rayburn

Hearing on Bureau of Land Management FY 2015 Budget, 9:30 a.m., B-308 Rayburn

 

Hearing on Bureau of Land Management FY 2015

 
 
 
 

Plan calls for $10B artificial islands to protect NJ coast 

New Jersey legislation seeks to plug holes in solar roofs  
Port Authority Chairman David Samson resigns   
Shell closer to decision on ethane cracker plant in Pa 

 

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