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WIMS - Waste Information & Management Services, Inc. - WIMS
Innovative Environmental Information Services Since 1980

Wednesday, February 12, 2003
© 2003. Permission is granted for Internal, Same-Office Distribution Only.

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National News

Bush Statement On Climate Change - Feb. 12: In a statement released by the White House today, President Bush said, "The United States is taking prudent steps to address the long-term challenge of global climate change. We are reducing projected greenhouse gas emissions in the near term, while devoting greater resources to improving climate change science and developing advanced energy technologies. America has already made great progress in this effort: Between 1990 and 2001, industrial sector emissions were held constant, while our economy grew by almost 40 percent. Sustaining and accelerating this progress will help us meet our goal of reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of the American economy by 18 percent by 2012... Underpinning our approach to climate change is an understanding that meeting this long-term challenge requires policies that recognize that sustained economic growth is an essential part of the solution. Policies that undermine the health of our economy would only hamper America's ability to develop and deploy new energy technologies and invest in energy efficiency and productivity improvements." Access the complete statement (click here). 

Abraham Announces Climate VISION - Feb. 12: Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced President Bush's business challenge climate change initiative termed "Climate VISION," or "Climate, Voluntary Innovative Sector Initiatives: Opportunities Now," at 2:00 PM. The initiative responds to President Bush's Feb. 2002 announcement of a new strategy to address the long-term challenge of global climate change, in which he committed to reducing America's greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent in the next decade. President Bush also challenged American businesses and industries to undertake broader efforts to help meet that goal. The Feb. 12th announcement recognizes the significant initiatives that major, energy-intensive sectors of the American economy are undertaking to meet the challenge. Access a release (click here, posted soon). Access the latest media coverage (click here).

Enviros Bash Bush Climate Plan - Feb. 12: Philip E. Clapp, President of the National Environmental Trust issued a statement on the President's Climate VISION plan saying, "These voluntary agreements will do nothing more than provide the Bush Administration and the most polluting industries with political cover in the fight to stop Congress from acting on global warming. It's not hard to get industries to sign up to increase their emissions for another decade, which is what the President's plan does... According to EPA's own projections, the carbon intensity target the Administration set for 2012 is exactly what would occur with no action at all. And that's what these agreements ratify for the country’s biggest sources of global warming pollution: no action at all.” Access a brief release and link to and a further analysis entitled, President Bush's Climate VISION Plan: What do the numbers mean? (click here). Also, see Sierra Club release (click here); and American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) (click here)
French and German "Water Barons" - Feb. 12: According to the the eighth installment of ICIJ's global water series, "The Water Barons," foreign private companies are gearing up to control a multibillion-dollar market to upgrade the nation’s aging water system, after spending millions of dollars over the last six years to sway congressional votes on privatization laws. Americans have the safest and cheapest public water systems in the world. But, as foreign companies flex their financial muscle, America’s drinking water may not be so cheap or public for long. The installment entitled -- Low Rates, Needed Repairs Lure ‘Big Water’ to Uncle Sam's Plumbing -- says that both public and private water purveyors are battling for a piece of that new market, but private water companies, led by French and German multinationals, appear poised to take the lead in providing drinking water to American consumers. The ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) is a project of the Center for Public Integrity. Access an overview and link to the latest installment (click here). Access previous and upcoming chapters (click here).
EPA Certifies First Fuel Cell Vehicle - Feb. 11: U.S. EPA announced the first certification for fuel economy and emissions of a U.S. hydrogen fuel cell zero emission vehicle. Engineers and scientists at the EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., are applying their unique technical expertise to selected fuel cell-related challenges. EPA's Ann Arbor Lab is the first federal facility capable of testing and certifying a fuel cell vehicle for emissions and fuel economy. As a result, the 2003 Honda FCX was the first to be certified as a U.S. hydrogen fuel cell zero emission vehicle. Access a release and links to further information (click here).

Abraham Names Climate Change Technology Director - Feb. 11: Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced that Dave Conover has been appointed as Director of the Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP). Managed by the Department of Energy, the CCTP is an ongoing, integrated, and comprehensive Federal research and development initiative that coordinates the actions of 13 federal agencies as they focus more effectively on President Bush's climate change goals. Previous to this assignment, Conover was Minority Staff Director & Chief Counsel of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Access a release (click here).

Waste Containment Systems Assessment - Feb. 12: U.S. EPA has just posted a December 2002, study entitled, Assessment and Recommendations for Improving the Performance of Waste Containment Systems [EPA/600/R-02/099]. This broad-based study addresses three categories of issues related to the design, construction, and performance of waste containment systems used at landfills, surface impoundments, and waste piles, and in the remediation of contaminated sites. Access an abstract and link to the complete report (click here).

Estuarine Water Quality Monitoring Case Study - Feb. 12: U.S. EPA has just posted a November 2002, study entitled, Developing and Implementing an Estuarine Water Quality Monitoring, Assessment and Outreach Program The MYSound Project [EPA/625/R-02/010] - EPA has developed a technology transfer handbook for the EMPACT MYSound Project. The handbook highlights information and monitoring technologies developed from the EMPACT Long Island Sound Marine Monitoring (MYSound) Project. Access an abstract and link to the complete report (click here).

Human Sounds And Affect On Marine Mammals - Feb. 10: A single Federal agency should be put in charge of monitoring marine noise and should fund research into how human-generated sounds may affect marine mammals and other sea life, says a new report from the National Academies' Ocean Studies Board. This agency's priorities should include investigating possible links between the use of high-energy midrange sonars and mass beachings of marine mammals and studying whether human-generated sound induces stress or subtle behavioral changes in these animals. Access a release and link to the full report (click here).

Sierra Club Praises Superfund Bill - Feb. 11: The Sierra Club praised Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) for introducing a bipartisan bill which they say will, "hold polluters--not taxpayers--accountable for the toxic waste sites they create." The Sierra Club also thanked the 22 Senators currently co-sponsoring the bill. Sierra Club said that The original 'polluter pays' funding mechanism enacted by Congress to pay for the Superfund program expired in 1995.  Since then the Superfund Trust Fund has diminished greatly and it is expected to run out of money by FY 2004.  As a result, individual taxpayers have been picking up the tab for program.  In FY1995, taxpayers paid about 18 percent of cleanup costs; in FY2003 they will likely pay more than 50 percent of the costs.  After FY 2004, taxpayers will likely pay for almost all of the program costs. Access a release with links to further information (click here). Access legislative status information for S.173 (click here).

Pew Report Examins Non-CO2 Impacts & Costs - Feb. 11: To effectively limit climate change, and to do so in a cost-effective manner, climate policies must address emissions of both carbon dioxide (CO2) and the other greenhouse gases, according to a new report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Although CO2 is the principal greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, other gases—including methane, nitrous oxide, and a number of manmade, industrial-process gases (such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride)—are also important contributors to climate change. The report -- Multi-Gas Contributors to Global Climate Change: Climate Impacts and Mitigation Costs of Non-CO2 Gases -- discusses the sources and amounts of these emissions, the atmospheric interactions of the various gases, and the relative costs of reducing them. Access a release and link to the full report (click here).

Mejdrech, et al v. Met-Coil - Feb. 11: In the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (Case No. No. 02-8018). The defendant, Met-Coil, owns a factory in Lisle, a town outside Chicago. The homes of the approximately 1,000 members of the plaintiff class are within a mile or two of the factory. The complaint alleges that a storage tank on Met-Coil’s property has leaked a noxious solvent, TCE, that has seeped into the soil and groundwater beneath the class members’ homes, impairing the value of their property. The suit seeks injunctive and monetary relief under federal and Illinois environmental law. On questions regarding certification of the class in the class action, the Appeals Court said, "We think the district judge’s determination was reasonable, indeed right... We can see, in short, no objection to the certification other than one based on a general distaste for the class-action device." The district judge limited class treatment to what he described as "the core questions..." Access the complete opinion (click here).

IJC Presses For Invasive Species Action
Feb. 10: The International Joint Commission (IJC) appeared before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee of Fisheries and Oceans to give evidence calling for immediate action on stopping the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes and other boundary waters. U.S. Chair Dennis Schornack told the Committee: "Let me be blunt - the gateway to the Great Lakes is controlled by our two nations.  As two nations dedicated to maritime free trade, we have always laid a welcome mat at this door.  But as nations also dedicated to conserving a world-class freshwater resource, we must take strong measures to keep our lakes free of unwanted invaders and open to commerce." Access links to the opening statement by the Right Honourable Herb Gray, the Statement by Commissioner Robert Gourd, and a briefing by the Honorable Dennis Schornack (click here).

Federal Register Highlights
- The following is a summary from our Daily REGTrak Bulletin for Wednesday, February 12, 2003.
    1. RT WATER - FR. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitation Guidelines and Standards for Concentrated
Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
    2. RT TRI/TOX - PR. Methoprene, Watermelon Mosaic Virus-2 Coat Protein, and Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus Coat Protein; Proposed Tolerance Actions
    3. RT TRI/TOX - NM. Tribal Pesticide Program Council; Notice of Public Meeting
    4. RT ALL - NM/ND. DOT/Federal Aviation Administration & DOI/National Park Service; Membership in the National Parks Overflights Advisory Group
    5. RT P2 - NF. DOE. National Energy Technology Laboratory; Notice of Availability of a Financial Assistance Solicitation
REGTrak subscribers receive a complete summary, contact information and direct links to the full-text of each announcement (pdf & html). For complete Federal Register reporting before 10:00 AM each day (click here). For an explanation of codes used see the sample REGTrak issue at the link above.

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