Tag Archives: Environmental Protection Agency

Man accused of redirecting $315,000 in grant funds for his own use

A Fairbanks man has been indicted for allegedly using more than $300,000 in federal grant money to attend flight school and to buy himself an airplane, real estate, firearms and online pornography. David Michael McGraw, 38, “willfully misapplied” the money while he was working as the finance director for the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council from 2010-14, according to a news release issued by the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Alaska. >click to read< 12:22

Pebble Mine: In reversal, EPA deals setback to controversial gold mining proposal in Alaska

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced late Friday that he will not scrap the agency’s 2014 determination that a large-scale mining operation could irreparably harm Alaska’s Bristol Bay water­shed.,, The announcement said the decision “neither deters nor derails the application process” for the mine. “It is my judgment at this time that any mining projects in the region likely pose a risk to the abundant natural resources that exist there,” Pruitt said. “Until we know the full extent of that risk, those natural resources and world-class fisheries deserve the utmost protection.” >click here to read< 08:54

Cantwell’s legislation provides regulatory relief for smaller vessels like crab and salmon boats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Fishing and Small Vessel Relief Act (S.2194) to extend protections for fishermen and small vessel owners from adhering to costly requirements that do not tangibly protect or improve water quality for vessels of their size. An EPA study found that incidental discharges from these small vessels do not generate a significant threat to our waters. The bill will extend a current moratorium that exempts fishing vessels and vessels under 79 feet from incidental discharge permitting requirements mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These vessels have been continuously exempt since 2008 under a temporary moratorium as they do not pose a serious environmental risk. click here to read the story 21:35

Gulf of Mexico Now Largest Dead Zone in the World, and Factory Farming Is to Blame

Nitrogen fertilizers and sewage sludge runoff from factory farms are responsible for creating an enormous dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. As fertilizer runs off farms in agricultural states like Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and others, it enters the Mississippi River, leading to an overabundance of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, in the water.,, This, in turn, leads to the development of algal blooms, which alter the food chain and deplete oxygen, resulting in dead zones. Needless to say, the fishing industry is taking a big hit, each year getting worse than the last. The featured news report includes underwater footage that shows you just how bad the water quality has gotten. Video, click here to read the story 14:13

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration. The list is here and there are two positions with NOAA, and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, along with other nominations for various agencies. James Bridenstine of Oklahoma to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mr. Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Timothy Gallaudet of California to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Dr. Gallaudet is a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy whose most recent assignment was Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander of the Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command. click here to read the list 10:35

Bay-Delta Water Case Against EPA Advances

A federal judge refused  Tuesday to dismiss allegations that the Environmental Protection Agency shirked its duty to review temporary changes California made to its water-quality standards during the drought, an action that environmentalists say shrank the state’s salmon and steelhead fish populations. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar denied a motion by the EPA to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it last year by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Bay Institute and Defenders of Wildlife. Tigar said their claims are not moot and that they plausibly alleged that the EPA was required under the Clean Water Act to review the changes to more than two dozen water quality standards to protect fish and wildlife in the Bay-Delta Estuary. Read the story here 13:42

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Mentions RI Fishermen During Pruitt Hearings

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse quizzed President-elect Trump’s nominee for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency about his support for Rhode Island fishermen. During Senate hearins today, Whitehouse asked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt if “he would support the fishing and aquaculture industries in the face of climate change, and whether he would protect Rhode Islanders from out-of-state polluters.” “As we discussed when you and I met, the oceans off our Ocean State are warming due to fossil fuel-driven climate change,” said Whitehouse. Read the rest here 08:12

‘Captured’! EPA Let Green Lobbyists Write Its Global Warming Regs.

The Obama Administration basically let lobbyists tied to left-wing environmental groups write the government’s massive global warming regulatory scheme, according to documents obtained by a free market legal group. Attorneys with the Energy & Environment Legal Foundation (E&E) released a report Monday calling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a “captured” agency “allowing green pressure groups improper influence.” Michael Goo. “Mr. Goo shared his draft options secretly, using his private email rather than his official EPA email, with lobbyists and high-level staffers at the Sierra Club, Clean Air Task Force and the Natural Resource Defense Council; also using Goo’s non-official account, these lobbyists in turn told Goo how to draft or alter the policy that was ultimately implemented in the rules,” the report reads. Read the rest here 14:16

Third party subpoenas denied in Pebble litigation

judgementA federal court judge has ruled against motions from the Pebble Limited Partnership to compel testimony and documents from third party interests in Pebble’s lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. In a U.S. District Court decision handed down in Anchorage on Nov. 18, Judge H. Russel Holland quashed the motion in which Pebble sought testimony and numerous documents from the Alaska Conservation Foundation and the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, through former employees Sam Snyder and Bob Waldrop respectively. Read the article here 16:39

Battle Over Alaska’s Bristol Bay Pits Salmon Against Gold

Commercial fisherman, native Alaskans and environmentalist in Bristol Bay have banded together to fight the building of the mine. Bristol Bay provides 40% of America’s wild caught seafood and $2 billion dollars in commercial fishing. It’s also the single greatest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Right now, much of the land is protected by either the federal or state governments, but not the one piece where the potential mine would sit. Read the rest here 09:44

EPA causes a major environmental disaster, the question is: will it fine itself and fire those involved?

The often justifies its own existence by noting that corporations, who see profit as their goal rather than environmental protection, are ill-equipped (or at least, ill-prioritized) to care for America’s natural resources. It turns out that, perhaps, the EPA might also be ill-equipped to handle toxic waste when it comes to preventing large-scale pollution of our nation’s waterways. In fact, they may have caused, on its own, one of our nation’s greatest environmental disasters. Read the rest here 17:45

Corn Belt Pollution: Louisiana Shrimp And Oysters Pay The Price as EPA raises the ethanol mandate

Nitrogen run-off from the nation’s booming Corn Belt is the single largest source of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River basin, which drains a stunning 41 percent of the waterways in the contiguous United States. Massive amounts of water, sediment and nutrients wash off cornfields from as far away as Minnesota, enter the Mississippi River system, and eventually reach the Gulf. Read the rest here 12:07

Scary lessons for Bristol Bay from recent B.C. mine-waste accident

For millennia, humanity’s insatiable appetite for valuable metals has degraded the integrity of ecosystems that provide habitat for the world’s wildlife, and the clean water and food humans need to thrive. During the past decade, proposals have emerged to develop several mega-mines on the North America’s West Coast on some of our largest free-flowing rivers that produce much of the world’s wild salmon. Read the rest here 07:52

Updated Advice on Eating Fish During Pregnancy

“These findings very consistently demonstrate that among women who consumed more fish during pregnancy — or at least the amounts we’re currently recommending — that there were improvements in children,” Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the F.D.A.’s acting chief scientist. Read more here  15:43

EPA agrees to pesticide buffers to protect salmon

The settlement agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides was published Friday in the Federal Register. Read more here  13:57:10

New Minnesota environmental law bans triclosan

A University of Minnesota study published in January 2013 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology said increasing amounts of triclosan were found in the sediment in eight Minnesota lakes and rivers, including Lake Superior, the Duluth harbor, Shagawa Lake in Ely, Lake Pepin, Lake St. Croix, Lake Winona and East Lake Gemini, all of which receive treated sewage effluent. Read more here 12:11

Bloated Bureaucracy Creating Conflict by Executive Order – NOP Riverhead “Listening Session”

baby fishermanNotice of the Riverhead listening sessions was sent to stakeholders by email and via a listserv, Michael Snyder of the N.Y. Department of State, said after the meeting. Notice was not given to the news media for public dissemination, he acknowledged. A host of nongovernmental organizations were represented in the audience, including: The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Peconic Estuary Program, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, Sea Grant, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, the Surfrider Foundation and the N.Y. Aquarium. riverheadlocal.com  Read more here  17:44

Big Green’s ‘sue-and-settle’ strategy draws pushback from states, Congress

Scott Pruitt is Oklahoma’s attorney general and he’s fed up with Big Green’s outrageously destructive sue-and-settle attacks using endangered species as a weapon to obliterate America’s burgeoning oil and gas production. (OUR INDUSTRY?) Read more here washingtonexaminer 11:25

Getting a Grip on Nitrate Discharge Levels – EPA’s Great Bay nitrogen levels upheld by board

Newmarket town officials agreed in December 2012 to accept a nitrogen discharge permit issued by the EPA to reduce the amount of nitrogen discharged from the town’s wastewater treatment plant into the Lamprey River to 8 milligrams per liter (mg/l), and then ultimately to 3 mg/l. The EPA has argued excess nitrogen discharge into the bay is causing water-quality issues in the Great Bay estuary, including reducing eelgrass and oyster populations. [email protected] 08:30

Sen.Vitter’s dead-zone stance is wrong, coastal experts say

The Gulf dead zone south of Louisiana and Texas was above average in size this summer, and is getting some needed attention after no recent progress in efforts to reduce it, according to coastal experts. In a Nov. 1 letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Republican Senator David Vitter, [email protected] 19:24

New EPA chief steps into Alaska mine controversy

“No amount of money or jobs can replace our way of life,” Nondalton Tribal Council President William Evanoff told the EPA leader. “The threats are real.” In the Bristol Bay fishing town of Dillingham, everyone who spoke to McCarthy was against the Pebble mine. The town of about 2,300 lives and breathes salmon, with vivid murals on the weathered buildings celebrating salmon and urging their preservation. [email protected] 11:49

Compass: EPA can and should block Pebble mine

This week, as one of her first priorities as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, administrator Gina McCarthy is coming to Alaska to visit Bristol Bay. The question she must soon answer is whether one of the world’s largest copper-gold-molybdenum mines could be responsibly developed and operated amid the spawning grounds of one of the world’s largest runs of wild salmon. [email protected]  08:50

The biggest environmental decision facing Obama you’ve never heard of. Unless you are a Fisherynation follower!

bristolbayWashington Post – If you want to get a sense of how contentious the decision is over whether the  Obama administration is going to block a planned cooper and gold mine near Bristol Bay, consider this: the Environmental Protection Agency has just decided to allow the public another month to weigh in on a scientific review of the project they released a year ago. continued

EPA requiring ships to better clean dumped ballast water that’s blamed for invasive species

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new requirements for cleansing ballast water dumped from ships, which scientists believe has provided a pathway to U.S. waters for invasive species that damage ecosystems and cost the economy billions of dollars. continue reading

R.I. Fishermen Rally for Counterparts in Alaska

“We’re reaching out to commercial fishermen on the East Coast because we need the nation’s support on this issue,” Carscallen said. “This is not a question of jobs versus the environment, but of protecting a thriving, lucrative established industry that yields high returns, year after year, for local communities in the Bristol Bay watershed, and the country. This is something that all commercial fishermen can relate to, and we appreciate the support of New England’s fleet.”

Read more here               Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay


GULF OIL SPILL: Judge tosses claims against dispersant’s maker

NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge presiding over litigation spawned by the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has dismissed all claims against the manufacturer of a chemical dispersant that was used to break up crude gushing from BP’s blown-out well. http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/viewart/20121205/NEWS02/312050031/GULF-OIL-SPILL-Judge-tosses-claims-against-dispersant-s-maker

New study shows dispersant makes oil up to 52 times more toxic to Gulf of Mexico microorganisms


Followup studies after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill call into question the extensive use of chemical dispersants. Photo courtesy NOAA.

FRISCO — The massive amounts of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Deepwater Horizon drill rig exploded was devastating to marine life, but the dispersant used in the aftermath to try and break down the oil slicks may have been even worse for some species, according to new research done by scientists with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/12/01/environment-new-study-shows-dispersant-makes-oil-up-to-52-times-more-toxic-to-gulf-of-mexico-microorganisms/