Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Port Emissions, Lake Tahoe, PA Bans Clean Energy Contracts

by | Aug 17, 2011

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California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris settled with seven companies operating terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over alleged diesel emission standards violations, the Los Angeles Times said. The operators will be paying for projects related to testing solar electric panels in saltwater and capturing exhaust from idling vessels. They also will pay money to the ports to fund grants for low-emission trucks and locomotives.

Earthjustice, representing the Kansas Sierra Club, filed a legal brief on Monday to stop the construction of a coal-burning power plant near Holcomb, the Lawrence Journal World said. The environmental group says the permit approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for Sunflower Electric Power Corp. violates the Clean Air Act.

New York state lawmakers Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Suffolk) joined others who are asking the Department of Environmental Protection to extend the length of the comment period for hydraulic fracturing, the Democrat and Chronicle said. The agency is recommending the standard 60-day review period while the lawmakers wanted a 180-day window to comment.

California governor Jerry Brown, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and U.S. EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld signed an agreement to return Lake Tahoe to almost 100 feet of clarity within 65 years by removing fine particulate matter, the EPA said. Using a total maximum daily load standard, the states will work to prevent urban stormwater runoff, forest runoff, stream channel erosion and atmospheric deposition. The agreement calls for advanced and innovative controls to achieve the needed pollution reductions.

The former UN Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Yvo de Boer called for businesses to get involved in international climate change negotiations, Engineering News said. Boer, who is now KPMG’s global climate change and sustainability adviser, suggested a recently established CEO forum in South Africa with 40 private sector members may be a good start. Businesses there are discussing issues with government before the 17th conference of parties (COP 17) , which is scheduled to be held this winter in Durban.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is defending his environmental policies after a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story said the administration has been cutting staff from renewable energy and conservation programs, the Times Leader reports. The Post-Gazette also reported that the administration is forbidding state agencies from signing clean-energy contracts.

Waste & Recycling News reports that Illinois lawmakers have passed a law to allow the state´s Department of Transportation to use asphalt made from recycled roofing shingles.

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