Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Chevron at Supreme Court, Wind PTC, Chemical Storage Bill
The Supreme Court of Canada yesterday agreed to hear Chevron Corp’s appeal of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling, which found that the province is a proper jurisdiction for Ecuadorean villagers to pursue their $9.51 billion lawsuit for Amazon jungle pollution.
The EPA failed to disclose cancer risks to volunteers used in pollutant research studies, the agency’s Office of Inspector General said in a report Wednesday. The study’s consent forms didn’t mention cancer because the EPA considered those risks minimal from short-term exposure, Businessweek reports.
The Senate Finance Committee yesterday passed, by voice vote, a package of tax break extensions including the restoration of the production tax credit for wind energy, which expired last year. The measure, which now goes to the full Senate, would extend the PTC for two years, and also includes incentives for alternative fuels and energy efficiency.
The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed, on a voice vote, an act that calls for source water protection programs for chemical storage facilities, and an inspection program for such facilities, the State Journal reports.
CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company will pay $131,594 and Washington Closure Hanford LLC will pay $44,000 after the EPA signed a pair of consent agreements with the contractors and with the Department of Energy, to resolve alleged violations of federal asbestos handling regulations at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. The settlements stem from what EPA determined was improper demolition work performed at the DOE Hanford Site.
Drilling for natural gas at Pittsburgh International Airport won’t significantly impact the environment, Federal Aviation Administration officials found, according to Shale Reporter.
Eight House Democrats asked the EPA to reopen its investigations into Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Texas water contamination incidents that may have been connected to natural gas drilling, The Hill reports.. The EPA handed off two of the investigations to states. It closed a third case, but the agency’s inspector general recommended more research.
Currently 57% of Americans say the country should emphasize conservation to solve energy problems, up from 51% in 2013 and 48% in 2011 – and compared to about a third who favor greater emphasis on energy production to solve the problems, a Gallup poll found.
The Department of Energy is revamping the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loans to make the program more responsive to applicant companies, and to extend the program to vehicle component manufacturers, the Hill reports. Republicans have criticized ATVM and similar DOE programs for investing in businesses, such as Fisker Automotive, that later flopped.
A working group including UN member state representatives, intergovernmental organizations and the scientific community is meeting in New York from April 1 to 4, to discuss the need for an international instrument that would regulate the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.
The American Chemistry Council testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, in support of the reauthorization of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Keeping this program in place is critical to assure the continued safe transportation of chemicals and other hazardous materials throughout the country, the ACC said.
UN climate chief Christiana Figueres yesterday called on the oil and gas sector to make a drastic shift to a low-carbon economy, or risk leaving three-quarters of fossil fuel reserves untapped, Reuters reports. “The time for experimentation, for marginal changes and for conditional response is now over,” Christiana Figueres told the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association.
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