Saturday , 25 February 2017

January 6, 2016 E-News

BILLS ON PROPERTY RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENTAL RULES GET HEARINGSGOP proposals to broadly expand property rights, shrink environmental protections and limit powers of local government spurred sharp divisions Tuesday in a packed day of committee action at the Capitol. The bills are part of a five-year trend in which Republican lawmakers have sought to use their control of state government to shift the balance toward development and individual property owners over other priorities such as water quality, tenant rights and local control. In one action Tuesday, two GOP lawmakers said they were scaling back a proposal to dramatically limit local governments’ ability to enact historic preservation rules. With Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) saying he wants to wrap up the Legislature’s two-year session in February, lawmakers are rushing to hold hearings and committee votes on bills in an attempt to get them passed before legislators leave the Capitol for the rest of 2016.

GROUP LAUNCHES EFFORT TO HALT FRAC SAND MINING – A group of landowners has officially launched its effort to halt frac sand mining in Jackson County. A petition filed in Jackson County Circuit Court last month says county officials haven’t followed proper procedures for appealing zoning decisions and should re-consider a challenge of a rail spur for sand transportation in the town of Adams. Attorney Tom Lister, who filed the court action, said the interested landowners wanted to begin with the rail spur because overturning its approval likely would help halt its associated mining operation in the town of Alma. “We believe that the rail spur will, upon a full hearing, through the (court action), be avoided, and if there is no rail spur, there’s far less likelihood of a mine,” said Lister, who filed the action on behalf of Adams residents Ronald and Susan Kloss.

WYSOCKI BUYS LAND EYED FOR SARATOGA MEGA-FARM – The company planning to operate a controversial mega-farm in Wood County now owns the land on which that farm would be located. The Wysocki Family of Companies said Wednesday it has purchased about 7,000 acres of property in the town of Saratoga from a timber company. Wysocki intends to use that land for Golden Sands Dairy, a proposed farm that would house 4,000 milking cows, 300 heifers and 1,000 calves. The farm, which meets the legal definition of a concentrated animal feeding operation  — or CAFO — would generate approximately 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25 tons of solid manure every year, state Department of Natural Resources records show.

EPA RELEASES FINAL REGULATORY DETERMINATIONS FOR CONTAMINANTS ON THE THIRD DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANT CANDIDATE LIST – The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) directs EPA to publish a list of contaminants (referred to as the Contaminant Candidate List, or CCL) to assist in priority-setting efforts. The SDWA also directs the Agency to select five or more contaminants from the current CCL and determine whether to regulate these contaminants with a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation. EPA is announcing the final determinations not to regulate four of the 116 CCL 3 contaminants – dimethoate, 1,3-dinitrobenzene, terbufos, and terbufos sulfone. The agency is delaying the final regulatory determination on strontium to consider additional data and decide whether there is a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction by regulating strontium in drinking water.

DOE ISSUES FIRST STANDARD FOR COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL PUMPS – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued final energy efficiency standards for commercial and industrial clean-water pumps today, marking the start of a new era in energy savings for this equipment. The new rule will save more than $1 billion and avoid 17 million metric tons of carbon pollution over the next 30 years, and is one of a number of rules finalized by DOE over the last week that cap off an eventful 2015 for appliance and equipment standards. Lauren Urbanek, senior energy policy advocate, blogs about the pump standard here:

COMMUNITIES AND UTILITIES PARTNERING FOR WATER RESILIENCEIs your community prepared for a day without water? Strong community partnerships with water utilities can help communities rebound quickly when water service is interrupted. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a variety of resources that communities and utilities can use to prepare for water-based emergency situations. To access these resources go to .

QUOTE – “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” –  Dale Carnegie

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David Lawrence
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